The history of Trading cards


Rylan Kraus

An assortment of trading cards, mostly pokemon cards.

Over the years, many things have come and gone: shoulder pads, pet rocks, and finger puppets. In between these odd creations are trading cards. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of different kinds of trading cards, from 80’s Odd Rods to the Rap Pack trading cards. Amid these cards, are the ones that really took off like Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Football, and Baseball. 

The first-ever trading card game (not the first-ever trading cards) was Magic: The Gathering. This card game was published on August 5th, 1993. Magic the Gathering was made by college professor Richard Garfield. This trading card game paved the way for other Trading card games in the future. In the game Magic, the gathering players would collect and use a variety of cards to lower your opponent’s points/health from 20 to 0.

One of the trading card games that Magic: The gathering helped create/pave the way for are Pokemon cards. Pokemon cards were first published on December 18, 1998. The original Pokemon cards were created by an artist by the name of Mitsuhiro Arita. Similar to Magic: The Gathering, in the Pokemon trading card game, players would collect cards with a variety of health points and attack points. Two players would have different decks from each other. The winner of the game would be the person who defeats all the other player’s cards but still has cards of their own.

Arguably the most famous type of trading cards in America are sports trading cards (for example, football, baseball, and basketball). The first-ever football trading cards were made in 1888 and were inside cigarette packs. These cards are what jump-started trading cards. Sport trading cards were so big because kids could collect cards of their favorite athletes. These cards were at their highest in the late 80’s-early ’90s during which time Trading cards shops popped up all over America.