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  • July 23, 2023 5 min read


    Here are the randomly generated winners of the Playing Card Survey drawing. All entries as of 8.4.23 were entered to win. We selected 12 winners using the Wheel of Names. Those folks below, be on the lookout for an email from us very soon!


    Unlocking the Exciting World of Playing Card Collecting Part 1

    This article presents the initial findings of a captivating survey that has been open for just 60 days, drawing over 100 enthusiastic responses. While it is essential to acknowledge that this collection of responses may not encapsulate the entire playing card collecting industry, it serves as a fascinating glimpse into the vast array of preferences and tastes among avid enthusiasts.


    Before delving into the survey results, it is crucial to highlight the inherent limitations of any survey. While we have attempted to design the questions with utmost care and inclusivity, the data may be subject to selection bias, stemming from the voluntary nature of participation. Additionally, the sample size, though significant, may not accurately reflect the diversity within the playing card collector community.

    General Information about Surveys

    Surveys, as a research tool, offer valuable insights into the interests and preferences of participants. The goal of this particular playing card collecting survey was to gain a better understanding of what drives the passion for these artful and intricately designed pieces. By analyzing the responses, we hope to shed light on the most sought-after themes, designs, and aspects that enthusiasts appreciate in their collections.

    In the following sections, we will present key highlights and trends observed in the responses received during the survey's active period. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a curious novice, join us in unraveling the captivating world of playing card collecting. Embark on a journey of discovery and appreciation for these seemingly ordinary yet exceptionally cherished pieces of art.

    How long have you been collecting playing cards?

    At the time of this writing, we have 106 responses to the survey. That gives us a decent sample, but as you’ll see in the data, we’re missing a large subset of card collectors who started collecting before 2018. In fact, 67% of our respondents started collecting playing cards in 2018 or later.

    As we dig deeper into this population who started collecting from 2018 onward, you might think their collections are small and just getting started. Well, out of this population, 13% of these newer collectors have already amassed more than 1000 decks in their collection. 43% already have more than 500 decks in their collection.

    How much money do collectors spend on playing cards each year? 

    As you’ll see in the next chart, these collectors who are just starting in this fascinating hobby, are spending a lot more on playing cards annually than more seasoned collectors. I theorize that this because newer collectors may still be honing their collections and seeing what they like. As you’ll see in the data, if you started collecting since 2016, you are more likely to spend over $700 per year on playing cards. Additionally, 61% of respondents spend over $500 per year on playing cards.

    Even with this boom in collecting and hundreds of dollars spent on playing cards, the overwhelming majority of respondents plan to add even more decks to their collections this year.

    However, it looks like there are more respondents who started collecting since 2021 who will NOT add decks to their collection this year compared to those who started collecting in previous years. My assumption is that this is just a reflection of the natural evolution of collecting where people jump in to see how it is and then decide to try another hobby or take a break. The data also shows the natural tendency of collectors to narrow their focus the longer they collect.

    Where do card collectors hang out? 

    Not surprisingly, where collectors hang out seems to have evolved with the times and in a similar way to other clubs and collecting groups. While this data is a small subset, I think it generally speaks to trends we are seeing throughout society. 

    When I first started collecting, the place to go were online forums for collecting like United Cardists. And even before that, playing card collecting clubs were the backbone of the industry. Today however, our data shows that the majority of our respondents prefer to get their playing card news and information from Facebook groups dedicated to playing cards. There are so many out there all you have to do is look for the one that matches your interests. Here are just a few that I'm a member of:

    They all have their own vibe and rules. Some are focused on advertising Kickstarter campaigns or new deck launches, while other groups only allow pictures of decks from the collections of their members. Here's what the data is showing us about our respondents so far. 

    So, what can we glean from this first cut of the data? Well for me the biggest takeaway is that people have really jumped into card collecting over the last five years and the trend continues to be positive. What fueled this proliferation of playing card buying since 2018? In this article from Smithsonian Magazine, During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Avid Collectors Find Joy in Their Prized Possessions | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine , Psychiatrist Shirley Mueller, author of Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play, who has spent decades researching the neuropsychology and science of collecting, says that during times of uncertainty, “Collecting provides solace and structure, and ways that we can still be productive doing something we can enjoy…Collecting is also about control,” she says. “We can control our collections.”

    I think that gives us one explanation, but in our next survey update I'll dive into what our respondents like most about collecting, how optimistic they are, and what features in a deck their looking for. 

    The survey is still open, so let us know your thoughts on playing card collecting. You can take the survey here: Survey.

    Also, soon we'll be selecting ten survey respondents to receive a free gift from us. Be sure to include your email address when you take the survey, and while you're at it, create an account. That'll make it easier to ship you your prize if you're selected. Don't worry if you're not selected this time, you'll be in the running for the next drawing in a few weeks. 

    Until next time!

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