Feb 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

SharkAChu!!!!! 

My world changes almost daily…the things I was into last week is probably not the things I’m into this week with the exception of a few things- my wife, trading cards and my love for Jennifer Aniston. 

There are things I have remained into but they come and go in intensity like darts, wrestling, Lego Mini Figures, POP figures, video games, etc. 

I got into something several months ago and honestly, I see it becoming one of those things that never goes away; as the kids would said…”it’s life.” (yes, I’m still #nWo4Life as well)

My son has been into Pokemon cards for years now, not so much playing the game but actually collecting the cards, which works for me because I run an international trading card charity that donates trading cards to kids. I didn’t care that much to buy cards for my son because all duplicates went directly into donations so it was a win/win.

Then along came Pokemon GO and we started playing that as a family- going out and driving around or getting some MUCH needed walking in and it was a game that we could all play, regardless of our skill level and something we could do as a family. Sure, we could set around and play board games but why not get out into the world!

Pokemon came out 20 years ago and I never gave a crap about it; I was into sports cards and thought stuff like Magic The Gathering and Pokemon was just stupid, pointless and worthless. (One of my life’s biggest regrets!)

I was buying Pokemon cards for my son and he was talking about Pokemon stuff constantly and he would show me a card and I would be like “eh, that is pretty cool.” Then we realized what code cards were…we had just been throwing them away, but we learned that we could set up an account and use them to get a digital pack of Pokemon cards that you can collect and use to play online…so why toss them? We could also donate those to kids who play online or use them as prizes!

We started building up a decent amount of online cards, his collection was growing and all the duplicates allowed us to be able to give Pokemon cards to kids that we saw out walking around playing…suddenly, this little hobby was doing a ton of things! We even donated a ton of Pokemon cards to charity events that focused on kids and Pokemon GO.

I started playing Pokemon online, learning to build decks and using some of our collection to build real life decks that my son and I play against each other. 

Now…I’m pretty hooked- I’ve been watching YouTube channels like crazy, learning about every card and decks and the best way to play them and it is amazing. 

Now, I’m not great…probably not even good…but I do consider myself an average to decent player. I’ve never been to any real life competitions and I’m still learning….which at almost 40 years old, probably makes me one of the oldest newbies in the game but I highly recommend getting your kids into this amazing hobby. I also recommend getting your parents and grandparents into it as well!!! Everyone can play!

It can be expensive and that sucks but it’s amazing on so many levels and a great way to offset the money you put into the hobby is to donate your doubles. I know that if I buy a booster box for $100, I’m going to get a few cards to add to my collection, a ton of online cards and a TON of duplicates to put into future donations. For me, when you add all of that value, it’s a no brainer! We are already up to about 1500 cards to donate just from OUR collection. In all honesty, we don’t get many Pokemon card donations (about 1 per year) but that is why it’s so amazing; MY donations area a great way to offset all of the sports cards we get and it allows us to get Pokemon cards to younger kids or kids who just aren’t into sports. 

On top of all of this, it allows me to understand the donations my charity gets and allows me to be able to keep our promise, as far as Pokemon cards. When someone donates a card with a book value of $25 or more…we contact them to send it back because we don’t want to rip anyone off. In the past, I made it very clear that I had NO clue about those types of cards so people were donating at their own risk. (If uou donate Magic The Gathering cards or other gaming cards, you are still on your own because I don’t know anything about them and have no plans to learn. Sorry.)

Pokemon is a HUGE hobby, from cards to video games to stuffed animals. YES, I have my two favorite Pokemon setting by my side of the bed- Cubone and Pikachu! (and yes…I’m almost 40 years old…which leads me to my next section of this post!)

I’m almost 40 years old and I play Pokemon TCG and a lot of people can get really disrespectful about that. Let’s get a few things out there- I’m happily married and have been with my wife for going on 14 years. We have a 10 year old son that has more than he needs and we both have full time jobs. I haven’t lived with my mom since I graduated high school, I’ve never gotten government assistance and I’ve had the same job for almost 12 years- even winning an “Outstanding Employee Award” a few weeks ago. 

Basically, I’m not a jobless, lowlife that lives in his parents basement and the folks that I know, who do play Pokemon, aren’t either. 

On top of all of that, I have found a way to take the hobbies that I love and use them to hopefully make the world a better place through my trading card charity- I have figured out a way to do what I love and help others and a way to not feel like I’m just wasting money.

I would call myself a successful adult….and yet “I’m an adult who plays children’s games!”

The Pokemon TCG is basically poker meets chess (I was in the chess club in middle school) and I don’t think many people would make fun of an “adult chess player.”

Not only do you have to be good at math and pretty smart overall to be a decent Pokemon player, you have to constantly have your mind going…honestly, it’s WAY more complex than chess.

But the bonuses continue…at least for me- there is a ton of stress relief in sorting cards, coming up for deck ideas, just wasting a stress free hour or two playing and bringing smiles to kids by handing out Pokemon cards randomly.

So far, the people I have dealt with or watched play have been awesome people and the folks we have met through Pokemon GO have seemed very welcoming and friendly. I went to my first card shop in YEARS and picked up some Pokemon cards (for myself and donation) and those people were extremely friendly.

There is NO downside to Pokemon…unless maybe my son and I drive my wife nuts….but other than that- NONE. The only downside for a regular person would be the cost, but I have taken care of that by donating duplicates to kids. 

YOU can do that too.

Please understand that we LOVE getting your donations but you don’t have to send them to us…YOU can donate your Pokemon cards to kids. Pokemon is HUGE right now, and while we can find homes for all the Pokemon cards we get donated, it’s really easy to find homes in your area as well.

If you play Pokemon GO….keep some cards with you to hand out to kids you see playing- every single kid we have handed cards to have been ecstatic! 

I’m almost 40 years old and have NO shame in saying that I’m working towards becoming a Pokemon Master! 

If you play the Pokemon TCGO- feel free to add me- SharkyHitchens. Maybe we can play a couple games or just chit chat about new sets coming out.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness
~~~~~shArky~~~~~

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