Archive for Featured Retailers
A big initiative in Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary celebration is getting on the road and visiting hobby shops that have helped us be so successful over the last quarter century. Other than providing these shops with the Hobby’s best products, we support them with the best service and plenty of support. I recently did a round of surprise visits to some very loyal shops in the Pacific Northwest to talk to them about their businesses, the future of Upper Deck and of course to surprise them with some goodies to celebrate our anniversary.
It was a fun road trip to say the least. Here is who I saw:
14020 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle WA 98133
Mon-Sat 10-8, Sun 10-5
My first stop was the Card Exchange. Owner Ryter VonDiFloe was on-hand to talk about the hobby and his store. He has also been in the hobby since 1989 and this is his second store, having moved into this present building in 1994. Card Exchange is chock full of boxes and singles alike, of both the sports and entertainment card varieties. They have secured the neighboring business as a separate gaming area and they run tournaments five days a week. The overall square footage, including the gaming room, is a massive 3200 square feet!
Card Exchange prides themselves on sales and service and the best variety of sports cards around. They have over 6,000 different sealed box titles of different products, going back to 1986 launch dates. They sell on Beckett on eBay, and occasionally have autograph guests. This is definitely a shop worth visiting if you are a sports fan or gamer!
World of Collections
22611 76th Avenue West, #101
Edmonds, WA 98026
Mon-Thurs 10-7, Fri 10-10, Sat-Sun 10-6
The layout of World of Collections is amazingly unique. It is split down the middle with sports dedicated to one half of the store and entertainment (comics & gaming) on the other half. They have been in business since 1986 and in this location since 2012. They sell all brands of sports cards, have display cases of must-see singles, a bevy of card supplies, licensed merchandise, memorabilia, pennants and sports novelties. Other cool items adorn the walls including signed jerseys of both Tony and Phil Esposito, and owner John Strazzara shared some stories about the famous hockey-playing brothers that I recommend you ask him about when you visit.
For the die-hard gamers, they sell board games, roleplaying games, card games, puzzle games, dice games, CCG, TCG, CMG and gaming supplies. They have graphic novels, magazines, comic-related memorabilia, t-shirts, figurines, toys and action figures. They offer a comic subscription service to their customers, and they hold gaming events in their store 2 days a week.
Mill Creek Sports Cards
15704 Mill Creek Boulevard, #5
Mill Creek, WA 98012
Mon-Sat 11-6, Sun closed
Mill Creek Sports Cards has been open since 1991 and they specialize in certified authentic memorabilia. Owner Scott Mahlum states they house over 36,000 unique autographed items in their retail store, as well as trading cards and supplies. They have exclusive representation on memorabilia for players like Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki. They have one of the largest collections of memorabilia I have ever seen, and it is impressively organized in their warehouse.
While there, I could see customers dropping off their items to be autographed by athletes who will be coming in for future signings. Their organized staff easily pick orders and they had a slew of fresh items packaged and awaiting carriers for shipping.
1630 Duvall Avenue North East
Renton, WA 98059
Mon-Fri 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun closed
Owner Don Joss has a great family-owned store and has been collecting since 1985. He officially became a store owner in 1988 by buying out a portion of an existing hobby business, all while he was still in high school. His store has been in its present location since 1990. They have a ton of singles and sealed boxes, selling both in store and online. Their main focus has been sports from inception, though they have dabbled in beanie babies and other items during boom times. They do athlete signing on occasion, as well. DJ’s Sportscards boasts the most singles – vintage and modern. They buy a lot of collections of both cards and collectibles, and sell at reasonable prices to keep the rotation of inventory fresh.
DJs’ sells on eBay and Beckett, but their shop is definitely worth seeing and their service is excellent. Come and visit this family-oriented shop and check them out for yourself.
Pastime Sports and Games
20378 Fraser Highway
Langley, BC V3A 4G1
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9
Pastime Sports and Games
Central City Shopping Centre
Surrey BC V6B 6N9
Mon-Tues 10-6, Wed-Thurs 10-10, Fri 10-midnight, Sat 10-11, Sun 11-9
I visited the Langley Store location which was awesome. Owner Ken Richardson has been working in card shops since he was 11 years old. He moved from doing shows in 1988 to owning his first store in 1990 and opened the Langley location in 1993, followed by the Surrey location in 2011. This store is packed full of product, with something for everyone.
For sports and sports card events, Pastime Sports has trade nights, group breaks in store, and occasionally set up at local hockey arenas for events. They have a tremendous amount of autograph guests that come to the store, many players being Hall-of-Famers. They also sell on eBay, Beckett, and Amazon.
Gaming has become a large part of their business and they run organized play for many product brands. What they really do well is events and taking care of their customers however. Recently they ran a Customer Appreciation weekend where they had live bands, barbecue, autograph guests, group breaks and the Langley Rivermen hockey team even came by with their mascot.
So when you make your way up to the Pacific Northwest, make sure to pay these shops a visit! Let me know how it goes and if you’ve ever done a Hobby Shop Road Trip like this, let us hear about it!
Upper Deck has been the collector’s choice for the last 25 years for several reasons like the quality of the product, the value found within packs and because the company demonstrated responsible printing and distribution. There is another reason why Upper Deck has been successful however, and that is because of the efforts of hobby shops. To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Upper Deck has looked at a variety of fun ways to show dealers how much we appreciate their efforts. Today at the National Sports Collectors Convention, we found another way to do so.
Upper Deck worked to thank Certified Diamond Dealers who chose to set up at the National Sports Collectors Convention this week with their very own Upper Deck trading card. As we delivered them today, their smiles told the story of how much they appreciated the gift.
Dealers were very creative with their imagery and they will certainly be a unique type of business card for them to use with customers. And who knows, maybe you’ll even see some autograph versions selling on eBay.
Upper Deck has also been working to support dealers with special Random Acts of Kindness Mail Days for their best customers. More surprises are yet to come. Thank you to all the dealers who keep Upper Deck as the collector’s choice!
For years I have been hearing about this great shop in Kenosha, Wisconsin called Sports Dome and I had met the owner Vera Maloof along with her family at a variety of events over the years. They are incredibly kind and great representatives for the hobby. Recently during a visit to Chicago I took some time out to make the relatively short trek up to Kenosha and was happy I did. Sports Dome really is a beautiful trading card shop with tons of great collectibles that is well worth stopping by.
6916 Green Bay Road
Kenosha, WI 53142
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday by appointment
I was able to spend some time with Vera who gave me a breakdown on why YOU should visit Sports Dome if you are ever in the area, take a look!
And check out some more images of the shop.
One of the great parts about getting out and traveling is stopping in on different trading card shops and this is definitely one you will not want to miss!
One of my jobs with Upper Deck is supporting card shops throughout the U.S. and Canada so it is important for me to get out and visit them. To me it is a bit of a dream job as I loved going from card shop to card shop when I was a kid and seeing everything different about them. To this day, that still holds true, each shop really does have something unique to offer collectors which makes them all so worthwhile to visit. Recently I was in the Chicago, IL area and that meant I just had to stop by Bleachers Sports in Winnetka, IL.
557 Chestnut Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday by appointment
One of the things that makes Bleachers sports special is that it is a family business owned by Keith McDonough with lots of help from his wife and their son Sam who is heavily involved. What you will notice right away when you walk into the shop is like any good family business, they treat you like family. Keith has been able to be successful in this industry by having a genuine concern for his customers and seeing them happy. The entire family is that way.
The next big thing you will notice is the incredible amount of signed sports and music memorabilia available. Every time I visit Keith’s shop I see so many great gift ideas for family, friends and even myself. With such a wide array of authentic signed collectibles, it is almost like visiting a museum that you can actually purchase items from. They even do custom framing to help you make a signed item you have into a very special collectible.
As I mentioned earlier, the McDonough family are very engaged with their customers so if you have the opportunity to visit them when they are running a pack wars event, do not miss it. Keith hands out free packs to guests and then asks questions about the cards in search of particular cards that are relatively easy to find. As fans share they have those cards, he puts names of those customers in for a draw and after the event is over, collectors can score some really cool items. There is a real sense of camaraderie and excitement as a large group of collectors opens up packs.
And lastly I think a great reason to visit Bleachers Sports is there is always great fun around pulling cards from new packs. While I was there this customer was lucky enough to pull a Julius Erving autograph card numbered to just 3 copies from Upper Deck’s latest SP Authentic product. While there is a glare on the card, his smile tells the entire story.
If you are in the Chicago area, make sure to drop in on Bleacher’s Sports. You’ll be happy you did!
Most people often dream of playing professional sports, but for the 99.99% of us who never make the pros, the next best thing is working in the sports industry. One of the ways sports fans can scratch that itch is by opening up a sports collectibles store and Upper Deck is excited to see numbers are on the rise with regard to new shops opening throughout the United States and Canada. To celebrate some of the newly opened shops over the last year, Upper Deck is partnering up with our Authorized Distributors to offer free prize support for these shops to run events around Small Business Saturday.
Many brave shoppers will wait in huge lines at large retailers on Black Friday hunting for great deals, but on Saturday Upper Deck encourages you to think small. Everyone has a sports fan on their holiday gift list so make sure to get out on Saturday, November 30 and give some support to those smaller local sports collectible shops in your area.
As we previously mentioned, Upper Deck is sending the shops below some really cool prize support like t-shirts, autograph trading cards and autograph memorabilia to run events around Small Business Saturday. Upper Deck’s distributor partners will be working with them to provide refreshments for guests. If you are in an area where one of these new shops are located, pay them a visit on Small Business Saturday to win some great prizes and help support a small business owner during the holidays. Don’t miss Upper Deck’s Small Business Saturday; it’s going to be HUGE!
Central Sports Cards
791 Central Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02861
1824A Merrick Road
Merrick, NY 11566
Cardman Sports Cards
322 D Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
B&B Sports Cards & Collectibles
1500 West Chestnut Street #0753
Washington, PA 15301
Kams OTW Cards
825A South Green River Road
Evansville, IN 47715
Through the Decades
9008 Taylorsville Road
Louisville, KY 40299
Triple B Sports
1635 Triplett Street Suite A
Owensboro, KY 42303
105 North Market Street
Chatham, IL 62629
115 Susan Drive Suite G
Normal, IL 61761
Lower Level Sports Cards & Collectibles
189 Henderson Highway
Winnipeg, MB R2L 1L7
1505 West 66 Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6P 2R8
Penticton Sports Cards & Collectibles
288 Westminster Avenue
Penticton, BC V2A 1J9
Pax of Wax
2210 Avenue C North
Saskatoon, SK S7L 6C3
Hero Video Games (Gaming & Entertainment Products)
870 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M9V 1V7
584 Upper James Street
Hamilton, ON L9C 2Y6
Out of the Box Sportscards & Collectibles
2194 Robertson Road
Ottawa, ON K2H 9J5
Fan of the Sport
571 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, ON N5P 1C5
286 Lake – Unit 2
St. Catherines, ON L2N 4H2
108 Niagara Street
St. Catherines, ON L2R 2B4
Maxxblankk Hobby Et Coll.
24 Rue St.Pierre Local #3PT#22
Rimouski, PQ G5L 1T3