I am feeling better now, thanks! Still coughing up goo, but not sick

“But who would let their kid bring cards worth hundreds of dollars to school???”

Like, every parent? I’m not joking. I saw this when I was working at the game store, when I was a tournament organizer and when I was a teacher. Kids would show up to events or school with binders and card boxes worth hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars. And then just leave them sitting out! At the game store we’d always let kids check in their cards and we’d keep them safe in the backroom. I did something similar at school. But there were always kids who would bring their whole collection and suddenly find it missing, and then we’d have to deal with angry parents. I always asked why they let their kids bring hundreds of dollars of cards to an event/store/class unsupervised. Of Course, some parents had no idea the cards were valuable. They were just upset that something their kid loved was taken from them. Understandable! Other parent had a very real idea of what cards were worth (it was common for parents to “manage” their kid’s collections), but they didn’t see why THEY had to be the ones to keep their child’s belongings safe.

“Did people really steal cards from kids?”

ALL THE TIME! If you didn’t live through early Pokemon you may not understand it. People were making thousands of dollars off of cards and it was like the Wild West. Shady adults would hang out around our store trying to buy cards from kids. Older teens would try to sneak into the store during events to shove any unattended card boxes or binders into their backpacks. The other game shop in the mall paid cash for any cards, no questions asked. Adults would try to sneak into our backroom to steal cards we kept safe there. Other store owners or people who wanted to buy cases of cards to sell on ebay would try to bribe or threaten us.

It wasn’t all bad. A few adults who loved the game “retired” from regular tournament events to instead show up and support younger players, volunteering to bring snacks, coach with deck building, loan players cards they needed or even hang out to provide security. I remember a cowboy hat wearing adult who used to be one of our top tournament players rounding up two sketchy looking guys (also adults) who he saw intimidating some younger players. Turns out they had been stealing cards from kids all day. Their backpacks were stuffed with binders and card boxes!