GREAT FALLS — If you can collect it, chances are you could find it at the Great Falls Cards Show that took place on Saturday. In the Missouri Room of the Civic Center in downtown Great Falls, all sorts of collectors got together to buy, sell, and admire each other’s collections.
The event was set up by Scott Swanke, owner of Action Cards and Collectibles in Great Falls. He hosted a well-received collectibles event back in January, and decided to host two more, one in October and another in April.
“It's great. It's been very... I've been very blessed,” Swanke said, “The community has supported me great over the years, and now I'm supporting them back.”
After owning and operating his shop for years, Swanke appreciates being able to switch roles with the community during events like this.
“It's something that I wanted to do for a long time,” Swanke said, “It's kind of ironic because everybody in here, they're my customers. So now they get to play card dealer for a day.”
Collecting things is a very popular hobby that spans generations and genres. People collect everything from vintage baseball and football cards to NASCAR memorabilia and board games. At the event, there were multiple husbands and wives, as well as fathers and sons working together.
“Oh, we've been collecting cards kind of seriously now for maybe... Maybe two to three years,” Austin Fonk, one of the collectors said.
Along with his son James, Austin has been into card collecting ever since James bought a pack of Pokémon cards a few years prior. Since then, they have expanded their collection to sports cards as well.
“Since he's got to be around me a lot, he just kind of gravitated towards certain hobbies that that I like. And then he starts [to] like them and we kind of... It's fun to do together,” Austin Fonk said.
The collectors had a variety of pieces that ranged from a couple cents per card to over $1000. This makes it easy to begin a collection, but having a curated and valuable collection can be incredibly difficult. For most collectors, however, it is not all about monetary value.
“It's a great hobby and I feel like a bunch of people should pick it up,” James Fonk said, “it's fun meeting new people and it's just fun in general.”
To learn more Action Cards and Collectibles, you can visit the store at 909 13th Street South in Great Falls, check out the Facebook page, or call 406-453-6629.