This month’s spotlight is on avid playing card collector Mike Quinn who has become a well-known member of the playing card community and has built up a respectable collection over the years. Read on to find out how Mike began collecting playing cards and what it really takes to become a prominent collector.
PlayingCardDecks: What made you begin collecting playing cards?
Mike Quinn: I started collecting playing cards about 5 years ago as a result of my association with magic, my grandson, and my son. We all loved playing cards and my first decks were from magic shops. I never did do much card magic, but I did love collecting the decks.
So, do you only collect playing cards?
No, I also collect coins, knives, magic props, puzzle boxes, card clips, and oddities. [However] I enjoy collecting playing cards the most.
As cards are your favorite item to collect, how many cards would you say are in your collection currently?
Last count was around 2,800 and still adding!
With that many cards, how do you keep your collection organized?
My collection is a complete disaster when it comes to organization. I started by keeping them all in totes. I grew tired of never really getting to see them, so I am starting to find ways to get them out and enjoy them. I have some that are framed, some in carat cases, and most are now stacked on shelves.
Do you ever open the decks, buy duplicates, or trade ever?
The short answer is yes to all of them. I open some to see just how beautiful they are. I do buy duplicates so I can open them or just have some extras of decks I really like. I would really enjoy trading or selling decks with fellow collectors so we can keep our collections up to date or finish a series.
What’s your favorite deck in your collection?
Wow! That is really difficult to say. I have so many favorites. I loved the David Blaine decks, Fontaine decks, anything [from] Midnight Playing Cards or Encarded, and Season’s Playing Cards.
What are your favorite types of decks to collect? Least?
My favorite types of decks are from the hand full of creators that really push the boundaries in cards by creating one of a kind decks with limited runs. My least favorite decks????? I am not sure I have any yet. I love playing cards of all types. They all have their place.
Are there any decks not in your collection that you would like to have?
Too many to count! I have so many decks I have yet to find, but then that is half the fun. You just have to take your time and stay the course. Eventually I will find them.
What does family and friends think of your collection/collecting?
I think my family thought it was a bit odd at first. Now they are all very supportive and even bring home their finds to add to it from time to time. My friends are amazed once they see it, but I think most people have no idea what it means to collect playing cards.
Aside from being an avid collector, you are also very active on KickStarter. Tell us your experience with being a KickStarter backer.
I became a backer in 2012. I have backed 565 projects to date. KickStarter has given designers a platform to make their dreams a reality. I have enjoyed being a part of it.
Do you belong to any other organization or get together with other enthusiasts?
I am a past president and a member of the IBM Ring 9 here in Atlanta. As well as a member of SAM assembly 30 in Atlanta. I belong to several card collector forums as well.
You attended the 52 Plus Joker Convention; tell us about your experience.
Last year was my first year to attend. It definitely exceeded my expectations. I was impressed by how many different collectors attended. I met some amazing people and made some friends that will definitely last a lifetime! I would like to give a shout out to the Erlanger Squad. Just a great group of fellow collectors as well as friends.
You are also active on social media. Tell us about your Instagram account.
Instagram was really kind of a chance happening for me. I signed up and really never used it. Then one fine day I decided it may be a good place to post some cards so I could keep up with what I had in my collection. I don’t know if it is just me, but I have a hard time keeping track of it all. I posted a few decks and surprisingly people liked them. Crazy right? Well that sparked the idea of me changing the name of my account to “a_deck_a_day”. Now my goal is to post a new deck every day. I have posted over 900 decks to date. I do some giveaways from time to time just to have some fun. I usually make the giveaways collection related. I enjoy seeing your first deck, your favorite deck, the deck you most want to add to your collection, and so on. This brings us together as a community and who doesn’t like to win a FREE DECK?
What are your other online haunts?
I help moderate a few Facebook sites for the magic community and I just enjoy learning and finding new things when time permits.
Last question here: Do you have any tips for novice card collectors?
Have fun! Collect what you like. The longer you collect, the more you learn you just can’t have them all. Happy collecting!