Which BCW Cardboard Boxes are Large Enough for Card Holders or Graded Cards?

Most BCW cardboard boxes are only large enough to hold standard 2½” x 3½” cards or cards in sleeves. However several boxes have wider rows to accommodate cards in protective holders such as semi-rigids, toploaders, 1-screws, magnetics or other holders or cases. Some BCW boxes are designed to hold graded cards or other tall cards. A few boxes have both wide rows and increased height.

If you are trying to decide which BCW boxes are right for your collection, the list below shows the basic sizes. If you store cards in protective holders, you’ll need a box with WIDE rows. If you have graded cards, other tall cards, or you have 4-screw card holders, get a box labelled GRADED.

Note the length of the card boxes are often named by the number of cards they can hold, such as a 930-ct. Box, however these sizes are based on the thickness of a traditional card. Modern cards are often thicker than traditional Topps baseball cards. Learn more

Link to the boxes below for specific dimensions.

BCW Card Box SKU Row Width Height
100-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-100 Standard Standard
200-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-200 Standard Standard
300-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-300 Standard Standard
330-ct. Storage Box (for Pre-1957 cards) 1-BX-330 Standard Standard
400-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-400 Standard Standard
500-ct. Storage Box (for Pre-1957 cards) 1-BX-500 Standard Standard
550-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-550 Standard Standard
660-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-660 Standard Standard
800-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-800 Standard Standard
800-ct. Storage Box (2 Piece) 1-BX-802 Standard Standard
930-ct. Storage Box 1-BX-930 Standard Standard
Graded Trading Card Box(30 Graded Cards) 1-BX-GTCB WIDE GRADED
Vault Storage Box (1,000-ct.) 1-BX-VAULT WIDE Standard
Super Vault Storage Box 1-BX-SVAULT WIDE GRADED
Shoe Storage Box (1,600-ct.) 1-BX-SHOE WIDE (2 Rows) Standard
Graded Shoe Box (100 Graded Cards) 1-BX-GSB WIDE (2 Rows) GRADED
Super Shoe Storage Box (3,000-ct.) 1-BX-SSHOE WIDE (3 Rows) Standard
Monster Storage Box (3,200-ct.) 1-BX-MON Standard (4 Rows) Standard
3,200-ct. Storage Box (Full Lid) 1-BX-3200 Standard (4 Rows) Standard
Super Monster Storage Box (5,000-ct.) 1-BX-SMON Standard (5 Rows) Standard
5,000-ct. Storage Box (Full Lid) 1-BX-5000 Standard (5 Rows) Standard
The BCW Shoe Box with Toploaders

The BCW Shoe Box with Toploaders

BCW Album Options

BCW offers many different albums designed for collectors. Rick discusses the options…

2″ Binders:

Plain 2″ Binder

Clearview 2″ Binder

Break Back 2″ Binder

3″ Binders:

Plain 3″ Binder

Baseball 3″ Binder – Black

Baseball 3″ Binder – Blue

Baseball 3″ Binder -Burgundy

Baseball 3″ Binder – Baseball Collector’s Album

Football 3″ Binder

Basketball 3″ Binder

Hockey 3″ Binder

Sports 3″ Binder

Comic Book 3″ Binder

Coin Collecting 3″ Binder

LX Binders:

Z-Binder LX

1″ LX Binder

Pro-Folios:

9-Pocket Pro-Folios

4-Pocket Pro-Folios

9-Pocket Pro-Folio LX

8-Pocket Pro-Folio LX

Z-Folios:

12-Pocket Z-Folio LX

11×17 Z-Folio LX

Stor-Folios:

Comic Book Stor-Folio

Comic Book Stor-Folio – BCW Print

Magazine Stor-Folio

What Thickness of Card Holder Do I Need?

With the increased popularity of memorabilia sports cards comes increased confusion on what thickness of card holders you need to protect your prized cards. Card thickness (depth or caliper) is often measured in points. One point is equivalent to .001 inches or .0254 millimeters. Here are a few methods you can use to determine what card holder you need to protect your thick cards.

Download (PDF) and print your own BCW Card Thickness Gauge.

There are lots of choices when deciding how to protect your cards. You can use 9-Pocket Pages to place cards in an Album, or you can use individual card holders. We have listed most of the BCW and Pro-Mold Card Holders below. To simplify the decision, first determine what size you need. Most cards are 2½ inches wide x 3½ inches high, but dimensions can vary. Then check the thickness using the information above. After you have determined the size, select your desired closing method: snap, 1-screw, 4-screw, magnetics or toploaders.

Interior
W x H
in Inches
Depth in Points Description Brand Closing
Method
SKU
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. BCW
Mini Snap
BCW Mini Snap 1-MS
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Pro-Mold
Mini Snap
Display Box
Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC1D
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Pro-Mold
Mini Snap
Blank Packaging
Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC1B
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. BCW
Regular Snap
BCW Snap 1-RS
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Improved
Mini Snap
Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC1II
2 5/9 x 3½ 70-pts. Action Packed
Mini Snap
Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC3
2⅔ x 3 8/9 30-pts. Pre-57 Holder Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC4
2 5/9 x 3½ 120-pts. Real Thick Card Pro-Mold Mini Snap PM-PC20
2 1/16 x 2½ 30-pts. 1948-1950
Bowman
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC48
2 3/16 x 3 20-pts. Topps &
Bowman Minis
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC21
2 1/16x 3 1/8 20-pts. 1951-1952
Bowman
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC51
2 5/8 x 3¾ 30-pts. 1952-1956
Topps
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC52
2 ½ x 3¾ 30-pts. 1953-1955
Bowman
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC53
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Regular
1-Screw
BCW 1-Screw 1-1S
2 9/16x 3 9/16 50-pts. Thick Card
1-Screw Holder
BCW 1-Screw 1-1S-THICK
2 9/16x 3 9/16 120-pts. Super Thick Card1-Screw Holder BCW 1-Screw 1-1S-STHICK
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Regular
1-Screw
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC5II
2 5/9 x 3½ 20-pts. 1-Screw
with Stand
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC13
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. 1/2″
1-Screw
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC14
2½ x 3½ 50-pts. 1/2″ 1-Screw
Thick Card
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC15
2½ x 3½ 110-pts. 1/2″ 1-Screw
Real Thick Card
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC16
2½ x 3½ 180-pts. 1/2″ 1-Screw
Super Thick Card
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC17
2½ x 3½ 100-pts. Extra Thick Card
4-Screw Holder
Pro-Mold 4-Screw PM-PC19
2½ x 3½ 50-pts. Thick Card
1-Screw
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC6II
2 5/9x 3 5/9 120-pts. Extra Thick Card
1-Screw
Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC18II
1.517x 2.717 20-pts. 1-Screw T-206 Topps Ginter Pro-Mold 1-Screw PM-PC206
n/a n/a 4-Screw
Non-Recessed
BCW 4-Screw 1-4SNR
n/a n/a Pro-Mold 4-Screw
Non-Recessed
Pro-Mold 4-Screw PM-PC9
2½ x 3½ 4-Screw
Recessed
BCW 4-Screw 1-4SR
2½ x 3½ 30-pts. Pro-Mold 4-Screw
Recessed
Pro-Mold 4-Screw PM-PC11
2½ x 3½ 4 Screw
Black Border
BCW 4-Screw 1-1CS-B
2½ x 3½ 35-pts. 35-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-35
2½ x 3½ 55-pts. 55-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-55
2½ x 3½ 75-pts. 75-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-75
2½ x 3½ 100-pts. 100-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-100
2½ x 3½ 180-pts. 180-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-180
2½ x 3½ 360-pts. 360-pts. Magnetic BCW Magnetic 1-MCH-360
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Pro-Mold Regular
Magnetic
Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH1
2½ x 3½ 50-pts. 50-pts. Magnetic Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH2
2½ x 3½ 120-pts. 120-pts. Magnetic Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH3
2 9/16x 3 9/16 180-pts. 180-pts. Magnetic Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH4
2½ x 3½ 80-pts. 80-pts. Magnetic Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH5
2½ x 3½ 150-pts. 150-pts. Magnetic Pro-Mold Magnetic PM-MH6
2¾ x 3½ Approx.30-pts.. Acrylic Card Stand Vertical BCW Pressure Fit 1-ACS-V
2¾ x 3½ Approx.30-pts.. Acrylic Card Stand Vertical
with Header
BCW Pressure Fit 1-ACS-VH
2¼ x 4¼ 1/4″ Acrylic
4-Screw
BCW 4-Screw 1-A025
2¼ x 4½ ½” Acrylic
4-Screw
BCW 4-Screw 1-A050
2¼ x 4½ 118-pts. ½” Acrylic 4-Screw with
3MM Insert
BCW 4-Screw A050–A050-I-3MM
2¼ x 4½ 1″ Acrylic
4-Screw
BCW 4-Screw 1-A100
2¼ x 4½ 118-pts. 1″ Acrylic
4-Screw with
3MM Insert
BCW 4-Screw A100–A050-I-3MM
2¼ x 4½ 235-pts. 1″ Acrylic
4-Screw with
6MM Insert
BCW 4-Screw A100–A100-I-6MM
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. Semi-Rigid BCW Topload 1-DLX-10 (10-PK)1-DLX-50 (50-PK)
2½ x 3½ 20-pts. 50-Pack Large
Semi-Rigid
BCW Topload 1-DLX-LG-50
2 1/16x 3 1/8 20-pts. Tobacco Ccard Toploader BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TBC-25
2¾x 3 7/8 20-pts. 25-Pack Standard
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-N (25-PK)
2¾x 3 7/16 20-pts. 5-Pack
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-120 (5-PK)
2¾x 3 7/16 20-pts. 25-Pack Premium
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH (25-PK)
2¾x 3 7/16 20-pts. Toploader
with Stand
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-S
2¾x 3 7/8 20-pts. Toploader with “Rookie Card” BCW Topload 1-TLCH-RG (Gold)1-TLCH-RW (White)
2¾x 3 7/8 20-pts. Toploader with
Color Border
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-BK 1-TLCH-BL1-TLCH-RD1-TLCH-GR1-TLCH-WH
2¾x 3 7/8 50-pts. Action Packed
Toploaders
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-1.5MM
2¾x 3 7/8 79-pts. Thick Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-2MM
2¾x 3 7/8 108-pts. Thick Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-2.75MM
2¾x 3 7/8 138-pts. Thick Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-3.5MM
2¾x 3 7/8 197-pts. Thick Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-5MM
2¾x 3 7/8 240-pts. Thick Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-7MM
2¾x 3 7/8 360-pts. Thick Card
Toploaders
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TH-9MM
2¾x 4 7/8 20-pts. Tall Card
Toploader
BCW Topload 1-TLCH-TALL

BCW Folio Solutions for Card Playsets

In Magic: the Gathering, Pokémon, and other card games, collecting playsets of four cards is ideal for some strategies. In Magic for example, you have a deck of sixty cards (in general) and you draw seven cards in your opening hand and one more each turn thereafter. Magic rules limit your card selection to no more than four of the same card in your deck. Thus, if you have four of a certain card in your deck, a “playset”, you can maximize the likelihood the desired card will be in your hand when needed.

Organizing playsets in a binder is perfect for displaying what sets you have or showing what cards you’re needing to complete a set. Furthermore, when forming a deck with a desired tactic, folios make it easy to see your options and selecting your deck. BCW offers three solutions for collecting cards in playsets.

BCW 4-Pocket Page Pro-Folios

BCW 4-Pocket Pro-Folios

BCW 4-Pocket Pro-Folios provide a simple 4-up page. Twenty double-sided pages are welded into the album for holding 160 cards. The pages are acid-fee with side-loading pockets. An elastic closure is used to keep the folio closed. 4-Pocket Pro-Folios are available in five colors.

BCW 8-Pocket Page Pro-Folio LX Black

BCW 8-Pocket Pro-Folio LX Black

The BCW 8-Pocket Page Pro-Folio LX is available with a black leatherette cover and an elastic closure. It’s the same exterior size as our 9-Pocket Page Pro-Folio LX, however the cards are oriented the other direction with 8 pockets per page which is conducive to collecting sets of four. The folio contains twenty double-sided pages to for holding 320 cards.

BCW 12-Pocket Page Z-Folio LX

BCW 12-Pocket Z-Folio LX

The BCW 12-Pocket Page Z-Folio LX has twenty double-sided pages for holding 480 cards. The pages are acid-free with side-loading pockets. The leatherette covers are available in five colors. A durable zipper ensures cards will be kept safe.

Double Sleeving Gaming Cards

Gamers sleeve their cards to protect their cards, to identify a particular deck, to make shuffling easier, and to express their individuality. For added protection, some players prefer to double sleeve their cards. The added layers from double sleeving make the cards more rigid, which may be a positive or negative quality, depending on the player’s shuffling method and the the desired level of protection.

For regular sleeves, BCW offers Deck Guards in 10 colors. The colored Deck Guards are double matte sleeves, meaning both the colored layer and the clear layer have a textured finish to reduce glare. BCW also carries Clear Deck Guards (not matte finish). The Clear Deck Guards differ from BCW’s standard “penny sleeves” as the Clear Deck Guards are made from thicker plastic.

caption

Stacks of 60 cards

BCW offers two choices for inner sleeves – Regular Inner Sleeves and Resealable Inner Sleeves. Both styles fit perfectly inside BCW Deck Guards, but the process of double sleeving takes more time and precision. The Resealable Inner Sleeves have a 1-inch flap that folds onto the back of your card and a low-tack adhesive with a tear-away strip allows you to easily seal the card.

A card enclosed in a BCW Resealable Inner Sleeve and then in a Deck Guard is not entirely waterproof, but will save your card if someone spills a drink on the table. When double sleeving your cards, place the cards in the inner sleeves in the inverted direction. Then place these in the Deck Guards (outer sleeves) in the normal upright position. Therefore your cards will not have any exposed edges.

caption

A standard Bridge/Ripple shuffle technique

caption

A Waterfall shuffling technique

As double sleeved cards are thicker and more rigid than single sleeved cards, you may want to adjust your shuffling technique.

The overall thickness of your deck will naturally correlate to your choice to single sleeve or double sleeve your cards. Even the flap from the Resealable Inner Sleeves will slightly alter how your deck stands as seen in the photo above. Make sure you accommodate for the thickness of your sleeves when selecting a Deck Case.

MTG Goldfish’s review of BCW Inner Sleeves

MTG Realm’s review of BCW Inner Sleeves

New BCW Gaming Products

BCW card gaming products are made to impress and perform. Different venues draw in a variety of loyal players each looking to smoke their rivals and come out on top. Regardless of where you show up to play – weekly library leagues or graveyard-shift prerelease tournaments, you want gear worthy of a champion. BCW gaming products will stand the tests of time and endurance.

The base line of BCW gaming products.

The base line of BCW gaming products.

All of the BCW gaming products listed below are available in black, white, red, green & blue.

Deck Guards – 50 glare resistant sleeves per pack with double matte finish

4-Pocket Pro-Folio – Rigid front and back covers with flexible closure, 20 durable pages to hold 160 cards

9-Pocket Pro-Folio – Rigid front and back covers with flexible closure, 20 durable pages to hold 360 cards

9-Pocket Pro-Folio LX – Premium leatherette cover with flexible closure, 20 durable pages to hold 360 cards

Deck Case – Durable case holds 80 sleeved cards with attractive dragon graphic on the lid

Deck Case Large – Durable case holds 100 sleeved cards with attractive dragon graphic on the lid

Deck Case LX – Premium leatherette Deck Case holds 80 sleeved cards with magnetic closure and embossed dragon graphic on the lid

Why do BCW Card Box Names Not Match the Amount of Cards They Can Hold?

BCW offers numerous sizes of boxes to store collectible trading cards. The boxes are named by numbers, implying they can store that many cards. An example is the BCW 930 Count Box – its title implies it holds 930 cards, however the description claims it holds 825 cards. So why do BCW box names not match what the boxes actually hold? Is there a system to help collectors understand the box naming system vs. the actual box quantity amount?

This is a frequently asked question at BCW Supplies. To understand the answer, a brief history lesson in baseball card collecting is needed. Between 1956 and 1981, Topps was the only manufacturer of baseball cards and they used an 18 point card stock. In 1981, the MLB added 2 more licensees which were Donruss and Fleer. By 1989, The Upper Deck Company, Score, and other brands started emerging. With competition came innovation and card companies started making cards with a little heavier card stock and UV coating which made them a couple of points thicker. One manufacturer of football cards, Action Packed, even started embossing their cards. Then, the card manufacturers started making thicker “premium brands” of trading cards and adding pieces of memorabilia to some of the special cards, usually referred to as inserts.

So, the answer is that, for the period between 1956 and 1989, cards were approximately 18 points thick and the boxes were originally designed for these cards.

See all of the BCW Trading Card Boxes. Please refer to the product description to ensure the box you need with protect all of the cards you are storing.

The bottom of most BCW boxes list their size.

The bottom of most BCW boxes describes their size.

BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes Winners’ List

Some of the 2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes Prizes

Some of the 2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes Prizes

The 2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes has concluded and all prizes have been awarded. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winners. Thanks to Pro-Mold as well for supporting the sweepstakes.

Prizes List:

(1 winner) Spalding NBA Basketball signed by Julius Erving protected in a BallQube Display Case, Prize awarded to Michael B.

(1 winner) Boston Celtics NBA Jersey signed by Larry Bird protected in a BCW Jersey Display Case, Prize awarded to Mike P.

(1 winner) Cleveland Browns NFL Riddell Helmet signed by Jim Brown protected in a BCW Helmet Display Case, Prize awarded to Kim M.

(1 winner) Wilson NFL Football signed by Peyton Manning protected in a BCW Football Display Case, Prize awarded to Robert H.

(1 winner) New York Jets NFL jersey signed by Joe Namath protected in a BCW Jersey Display Case, Prize awarded to Beth E.

(1 winner) Chicago Bears Riddell Mini Helmet signed by Dick Butkus protected in a BCW Mini Hemet Display Case, Prize awarded to Christine K.

(1 winner) Rawlings Baseball Bat signed by Andre Dawson protected in a BCW Bat Display Case, Prize awarded to Jonathan S.

(1 winner) Rawlings MLB Baseball signed by Mike Schmidt protected in a Pro-Mold UV25 Baseball Square, Prize awarded to Joe V.

(1 winner) MLB Baseball Cap signed by Cal Ripken Jr. protected in a BCW Cap Display Case, Prize awarded to Ivelisse W.

(1 winner) Chicago Blackhawks NHL Hockey Puck signed by Bobby Hull protected in a BCW Puck Holder, Prize awarded to Sean C.

(1 winner) Full Size Soccer Ball Signed by Pele protected in a BCW Soccer Ball Display Case, Prize awarded to Annmarie W.

(1 winner) Miami Dolphins NFL Dan Marino signed 8” x 10” photo protected in a BCW Topload Photo Holder, Prize awarded to Josh C.

(1 winner) UFC Lightweight Myles “Fury” Jury signed 8” x 10” photo protected in a BCW Topload Photo Holder, Prize awarded to Christine W.

(1 winner) “2014 Black Box” 2013 Panini Absolute Prime 1/1 Stedman Bailey card protected in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder, Prize awarded to Wayne B.

(1 winner of 6 cards) 2013 Panini Select Football Cards (D.J. Fluker, G. Bernard, D. Sims, T. Bray, J. Taylor, F. Harris) in BCW topload card holders, Prize awarded to Deede C.

(1 winner) 2013 Panini Prism Eli Manning signed card protected in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder, Prize awarded to Randy T.

(1 winner) Black Printing Plate (1 of 1) of 2013 Topps Supreme Football Eli Manning Card in a BCW card sleeve and toploader, Prize awarded to Rick R.

(1 winner) 2013-14 Panini Select Hockey Alex Galchenyuk signed card in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder. Prize awarded to Mark L.

(1 winner) 2011-12 Panini Contenders NHL Booklet Card signed by M.Paajarvi, A.Lander, H.Karlsson, M.Backlund protected in a BCW Booklet Card Holder

NOT AVAILABLE – Prize was misplaced at the National Sports Collectors Convention.

(1 winner) 2012 Topps Supreme Football Kendall Wright Signed Patch Booklet Card in a BCW Booklet Card Holder, Prize awarded to Christine C.

(1 winner of 12 cards) 2013 Panini Prism/2014 Industry Summit cards (Coby Fleener, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Joe Carter, Jay Bruce, Jorge Alfaro, John Havlicek, Nate Archibald, Robert Horry, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Evgeni Malkin) protected in BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holders, Prize awarded to Cassandra B.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Bloodlines UFC cards (40 base, 1 dual signed booklet, 4 autos, 4 patches, 1 commemorative coin) protected in BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holders, Prize awarded to Stephanie E.

(1 winner of the set) 2014 Topps Heritage Baseball (1965 design) 216 cards, includes Jose Bautista patch card, protected in BCW card sleeves and in a BCW trading card box, Prize awarded to Gloria T.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Premier Gold (English Premier League) 50 cards, includes C.Ronaldo auto, protected in BCW pages and a binder, Prize awarded to Avi H.

(1 winner of the set) 2014 Topps Major League Soccer cards, 144 cards, includes 5 Mexican National Team cards, protected in BCW pages and an album, Prize awarded to Anthony F.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Museum Collection football cards (16 base, 3 patch, 1 autograph card of Tavon Austin), protected in BCW or Pro-Mold card holders, Prize awarded to Rachel S.

(1 winner of an unopened box – 144 cards) Panini Prism 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Cards. Plus BCW card sleeves and card holders to protect the cards. Prize awarded to Jenny H.

See the sweepstakes’ Official Rules for more details.

Collecting Playing Cards

How did I get involved in such an unusual hobby?

A memoir by Robert Lancaster

1968 – AN INNOCENT ENOUGH BEGINNING

One day in 1968 or 1969 (Making me ten or eleven years old at the time), my mother took me on a drive to shop at the Hallmark Greeting Card store at the Eastland Shopping Center in Covina, California (about five or ten miles from where we lived.

Shopping trips had never been a frequent occurrence as I grew up, mainly because we couldn’t afford them. – so this was a real treat for me, and I jumped at the invitation.

This was not long after my Dad had died (of Yet Another Heart Attack), and my Mom was trying to cheer me up.

As we walked into the store, I excitedly asked her if I could look for something we could buy for me. She told me that would be fine, as long as it cost less than a dollar, and she had to approve of it first.

I immediately headed for the “games” section of the store, and looked for anything I’d like which cost less than a dollar. This was a rare occasion – I could not waste it on getting something less than “cool”!

A display of miniature decks of playing cards caught my eye. We played a lot of cards at home (mostly Rummy and Solitaire), so I figured that my Mother could not object to my getting a deck of playing cards. And the ones in the display intrigued me because they were kid-sized (about half the size of a regular deck). I always enjoyed kid-sized versions of things, and regular/adult-sized playing cards were tiring for kid-sized hands to hold for very long, so I went over to take a closer look at the selection.

Each of the boxes containing the decks showed what looked to be the design on the back of the deck inside. Many/most of them were pretty boring designs: landscapes, pictures of horses – that sort of thing.

But there were several which had images of Peanuts comics characters against brightly-colored, almost psychedelic backgrounds.

BCW_Peanuts_600

I loved Peanuts characters, Snoopy in particular, and owned several paperback collections of Schulz’ work. And, having teenage siblings, I knew how “groovy” (this was the 1960s, after all) psychedelic colors and designs were!

I looked through the Peanuts decks, and picked out one which had Snoopy, dressed as The WWI Flying Ace, against a yellow-and-orange, diagonally-striped background.

“Groovy” indeed – and it only cost seventy-five cents (if memory serves)!

I took it to my Mom to get her approval. At first, she was not happy with my choice, saying that we already owned decks of playing cards, so we didn’t need another one.

But I explained that they were Just My Size, and THEY HAD SNOOPY ON THEM, and she relented, after first checking the price. She tossed the box into her shopping basket (Yaaay!), and we finished our shopping.

When we got home, I took the little Hallmark’s bag containing my treasure to my bedroom, plopped down on the floor, and opened the box with the deck.

At first, I was disappointed because the Jacks, Queens and Kings – what we called the “face cards” in our family – did NOT look like those in a regular deck. The Jacks, Queens and Kings were Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown!

This at first disappointed me, because it meant (to me) that the cards were not a kid-sized version of a regular/adult-sized deck, they were a toy!

But when I saw that Snoopy was on the Aces – and, better still, was on the jokers (juggling four balls AND Woodstock!), the deck’s “coolness” started winning me over. It soon became well-used, with me playing countless hands of Rummy with my siblings and friends using it. And playing Solitaire no longer took up an entire coffee table to play!

The little box with the deck earned a treasured place in the top drawer of my dresser, where it was stored for the rest of my childhood.

1978 – THE ADDICTION CONTINUES

I can tell you the EXACT DATE when I purchased the second deck in what would become my collection/obsession: December 16, 1978.

I know the date because it was the day AFTER the day I got married to Cindy – my first wife.

The most we could afford for a “honeymoon” of sorts was a day at Disneyland.

As we strolled up the sidewalk on the left side of Main Street (as you enter the park), there was a glass case, about the size of a phone booth (remember those?) sitting on the sidewalk in front of a store.

Inside the case was an Audioanimatronic figure of a Gypsy fortune teller, seated at a table, telling fortunes.

On the table before her was a crystal ball, and an array of playing cards, laid out in fortune-telling fashion. The gypsy waved her hands above the cards, while her lips moved. Her words, played through a speaker mounted on the outside of the case, invited passers-by to pay to have their fortune told.

Something about those playing cards caught my eye, and I stopped to take a closer look.

Sure enough, the Jacks, Queens and Kings on the cards were NOT those of a standard deck, but were portrayed by Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse! The joker, of course, was portrayed by Goofy.

BCW_Disneyland_600

I was immediately reminded of my beloved Peanuts deck, and wondered if the deck was for sale somewhere in the park. I looked in the display window of the store we (and the case) were in front of, and saw that copies of the deck – some with a blue back, some with a red back – were for sale!

We entered the store and I bought one of the decks.

When we got home that evening, I rummaged through stuff from my childhood until I found my old Peanuts deck. I then opened my new Disney deck, and then found a plain-old, standard deck in the house, and spread the three decks out on my desk, comparing their face cards (which, I would much later learn, are more properly referred to as the court cards, or just the courts.

I found that I really appreciated what the artist/designers had done with the Peanuts and Disney decks – they had put a new spin on an old tradition, while still leaving everything recognizable enough for play.

I began to wonder if there were perhaps more decks out there like these. If there were, what a fun and different collection they would make!

I mentioned this to Cindy, and she said that she sometimes saw old decks of cards for sale in the antique stores and antique malls she frequented. She didn’t know if they would be what I was interested in, but thought it might be worth a look – I agreed, and we soon started haunting such places around SoCal together.

2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes!

Some of the 2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes Prizes

Some of the 2014 BCW Fan Cave Sweepstakes Prizes

BCW will be awarding sports cards and autographed sports memorabilia to the lucky winners of the 2014 Fan Cave Sweepstakes. All of the cards and memorabilia will be protected by holders or display cases provided by BCW Supplies. See the list of prizes below. If you want to see the prizes for yourself, visit the BCW booth at the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, July 31st – August 3rd. BCW will award the prizes shortly after the NSCC.

The Entry Period has concluded.

Prizes List:

(1 winner) Spalding NBA Basketball signed by Julius Erving protected in a BallQube Display Case, Prize awarded to Michael B.

(1 winner) Boston Celtics NBA Jersey signed by Larry Bird protected in a BCW Jersey Display Case, Prize awarded to Mike P.

(1 winner) Cleveland Browns NFL Riddell Helmet signed by Jim Brown protected in a BCW Helmet Display Case, Prize awarded to Kim M.

(1 winner) Wilson NFL Football signed by Peyton Manning protected in a BCW Football Display Case, Prize awarded to Robert H.

(1 winner) New York Jets NFL jersey signed by Joe Namath protected in a BCW Jersey Display Case, Prize awarded to Beth E.

(1 winner) Chicago Bears Riddell Mini Helmet signed by Dick Butkus protected in a BCW Mini Helmet Display Case, Prize awarded to Christine K.

(1 winner) Rawlings Baseball Bat signed by Andre Dawson protected in a BCW Bat Display Case, Prize awarded to Jonathan S.

(1 winner) Rawlings MLB Baseball signed by Mike Schmidt protected in a Pro-Mold UV25 Baseball Square, Prize awarded to Joe V.

(1 winner) MLB Baseball Cap signed by Cal Ripken Jr. protected in a BCW Cap Display Case, Prize awarded to Ivelisse W.

(1 winner) Chicago Blackhawks NHL Hockey Puck signed by Bobby Hull protected in a BCW Puck Holder, Prize awarded to Sean C.

(1 winner) Full Size Soccer Ball Signed by Pele protected in a BCW Soccer Ball Display Case, Prize awarded to Annmarie W.

(1 winner) Miami Dolphins NFL Dan Marino signed 8” x 10” photo protected in a BCW Topload Photo Holder, Prize awarded to Josh C.

(1 winner) UFC Lightweight Myles “Fury” Jury signed 8” x 10” photo protected in a BCW Topload Photo Holder, Prize awarded to Christine W.

(1 winner) “2014 Black Box” 2013 Panini Absolute Prime 1/1 Stedman Bailey card protected in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder, Prize awarded to Wayne B.

(1 winner of 6 cards) 2013 Panini Select Football Cards (D.J. Fluker, G. Bernard, D. Sims, T. Bray, J. Taylor, F. Harris) in BCW topload card holders, Prize awarded to Deede C.

(1 winner) 2013 Panini Prism Eli Manning signed card protected in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder, Prize awarded to Randy T.

(1 winner) Black Printing Plate (1 of 1) of 2013 Topps Supreme Football Eli Manning Card in a BCW card sleeve and toploader, Prize awarded to Rick R.

(1 winner) 2013-14 Panini Select Hockey Alex Galchenyuk signed card in a BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holder, Prize awarded to Mark L.

(1 winner) 2011-12 Panini Contenders NHL Booklet Card signed by M.Paajarvi, A.Lander, H.Karlsson, M.Backlund protected in a BCW Booklet Card Holder

NOT AVAILABLE – Prize was misplaced at the National Sports Collectors Convention.

(1 winner) 2012 Topps Supreme Football Kendall Wright Signed Patch Booklet Card in a BCW Booklet Card Holder, Prize awarded to Christine C.

(1 winner of 12 cards) 2013 Panini Prism/2014 Industry Summit cards (Coby Fleener, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Joe Carter, Jay Bruce, Jorge Alfaro, John Havlicek, Nate Archibald, Robert Horry, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Evgeni Malkin) protected in BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holders, Prize awarded to Cassandra B.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Bloodlines UFC cards (40 base, 1 dual signed booklet, 4 autos, 4 patches, 1 commemorative coin) protected in BCW or Pro-Mold Card Holders, Prize awarded to Stephanie E.

(1 winner of the set) 2014 Topps Heritage Baseball (1965 design) 216 cards, includes Jose Bautista patch card, protected in BCW card sleeves and in a BCW trading card box, Prize awarded to Gloria T.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Premier Gold (English Premier League) 50 cards, includes C.Ronaldo auto, protected in BCW pages and a binder, Prize awarded to Avi H.

(1 winner of the set) 2014 Topps Major League Soccer cards, 144 cards, includes 5 Mexican National Team cards, protected in BCW pages and an album, Prize awarded to Anthony F.

(1 winner of the set) 2013 Topps Museum Collection football cards (16 base, 3 patch, 1 autograph card of Tavon Austin), protected in BCW or Pro-Mold card holders, Prize awarded to Rachel S.

(1 winner of an unopened box – 144 cards) Panini Prism 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Cards. Plus BCW card sleeves and card holders to protect the cards. Prize awarded to Jenny H.

No purchase necessary to enter. The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States or the District of Columbia that are age 18 or older at the time of entry. Each potential winner can win only one prize. See the Official Rules for complete details. Read how the prizes will be awarded.