Helping Young Collectors Take Care of Their Pokemon Cards
Many Pokemon cards have been lost to improper care over the ages.
This isn't your fault, nor your child's fault! These cards are great to hold, look at, shuffle - and really are meant to be played with.
Collecting cards has changed the standards by which your #shinycardboard should be treated when you open a pack -- store in your binder -- or display the card art on your shelf.
With beautiful colours, holographic foil, texture and eye catching art - comes with the ability to get scratched, bumped, bended and blotched if they are not cared for properly.
A modern Pokemon card pack has six common cards, three uncommon cards and one rare card. They also have a code card and an energy card. Packs have at least one foil (sometimes a reverse foil + premium card) card. Although all cards are great, these 2 cards are usually the most sought after for their collectability.
When you (or your child) are opening packs, make card care part of the excitement of loving these cards! Celebrate! Sleeve to protect, and secure for display!
#1 Sleeve Your Pulls
Sleeves are the first line of defence against the scratches, dirt and dings that can build up over the lifetime of a beautiful card.
Perfect Fit Sleeve vs Card Sleeve
Perfect fit sleeves (e.g. KMC Sleeves Perfect Fit) are great Japanese sleeves that you should put over your card. The Japanese know all about collectable cards - and these should go on first. They fit very securely around the card and very unlikely to allow them to slip out. They also are very clear and you can see the card in all its glory.
If you are going to be handling / shuffling and playing with the cards, next it should go into a card sleeve. Card sleeves are meant to be shuffled and are a bit more solid than perfect fit sleeves. You can find card sleeves made by DragonShield or within Elite Trainer Boxes.
(Penny sleeves are also used, but they tend to be looser. They are fine in most cases, but make putting cards in binders sometimes too snug.)
You can use both perfect fit sleeves and card sleeves at the same time. Simply put one on from the top, one on from bottom - and you can be sure that dust and moisture are so much less likely to reach your cards.
# Binder or Top Loaders for Display
Get the right binder for storage. Tempting to put in a 3 ring binder, but... see Deep Pocket Monster's great assessment of binder blunders.
Try to buy 'side loading binders' not 3 ring binders for storing your cards. In 10 years, you might find the binder sitting under a tote somewhere, and be pleased that your cards are as fresh. 3 ring binders can damage cards pressed up agains the rings when there is pressure on top.
Top Loaders (e.g. 3x4 ) are a great way to elevate the security and status of any special card. It can protect the card from bends and allow it to be displayed, handled and viewed even by the most rambunctious of collector. Ensure the card is in a sleeve before it goes into the top loader. Cards can still move around (and get damaged) inside a top loader without a sleeve to slow its movement.
Grade savers are normally used to send in cards for 'grading' for shipping purposes. They are a little more tight than a top loader to ensure the card doesn't move, but not as rigid. They generally don't provide everyday protection.