Posted on 11/30/22
Posted on 01/30/22
My love affair with trading cards and anime began when I was growing up in Simi Valley, California. I was six or seven years old, a young boy with an active imagination. Pokémon is what originally drew me into the world of anime and TCG. I remember watching Pokémon VHS tapes almost every night before bed.
We didn’t have a lot of money, but mom managed to get a GameBoy into my hands. While she drove around running errands, getting documents notarized, and meeting people for appointments, I’d be rocking Pokémon Blue in the backseat. There was a lady in the neighborhood who sold Pokémon booster packs out of her house, and I used to beg my mom to stop and buy me a couple every time we were nearby. I was obsessed with these cards, and snatched them up whenever I could. My collection was never really great, but I loved everything about it and this made a huge impact on me.
At age 11, I discovered A Hidden Fortress in Simi Valley, CA. This is the trading card store that opened the doors to Magic: The Gathering for me. My mom handed me five dollars and I bought 11 cards. The artwork blew me away. After that day, I rode my bike over to the shop with a backpack full of cards at every opportunity.
While my passion for trading cards grew by the day, so did my involvement in sports. If I wasn’t playing football, I was playing Magic. My weekly ritual was to play at Friday Night Magic (FNM) events when I didn’t have a football game. When I graduated and went to UCLA, the expectation was that no one would be playing Magic on campus, so I gave my collection to a close friend named Jan. Then, two weeks into my first semester, I ran into six or seven people playing an intense game. I was bummed, but the fire had been relit inside of me.
At UCLA my focus was mainly on football and academics, but in 2014 the fantasy scene was calling my name once again. The Seattle Seahawks drafted me in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, and I started spending time at Shane’s Cards in Renton, Washington. Slowly, my collection was evolving into something special. This is when my relationship with the trading card community was to take an unforeseen mega leap to the next level.
I had about $20,000 worth of built-out decks in a backpack. This backpack was in the backseat of my car, along with an iPad and my Seahawks playbook.
My girlfriend at the time, now my fiancé, borrowed the car and headed out clubbing. While Devyn danced the night away, someone broke into my car and stole the backpack. I was devastated and immediately made offers on social media to recover my belongings. The reward included tickets to Seahawks games, and my public pleas more or less went viral. The stolen items were not returned as I had hoped, but the response from the fantasy gaming community was truly overwhelming.
Fans were sending me cards in the mail, Wizards of the Coast stepped up, and before I knew it, I became known as the athlete who plays Magic. I happily took the torch, and now I am a leading spokesperson for the industry, helping to show that jocks and “cool” people play Magic as well. For far too long, trading card collectors have been perceived to be “nerdy”, “geeky”, and relatively unpopular types. That stigma is changing.
The ultimate example of this shift in perception (and reality) is my friend Post Malone. He is an avid trading card collector, and has intelligently invested a good amount of money from his platinum and diamond record sales into his collection. Post Malone has 22.9 million followers on Instagram, so he is clearly the complete opposite of unpopular. With people like Post Malone, Steve Aoki, and Gary Vaynerchuk openly investing chunks of money into trading cards, Logan Paul doing Pokémon box breaks on YouTube, and people like myself selling high-end TCG and sports cards, the bullying aspect that we often see connected to this hobby is quickly disappearing.
It always brings a smile to my face when parents of kids who play Magic thank me for the positive impact that I’ve had on their children. I’m blessed to be in this position with Cash Cards Unlimited. I have a golden opportunity to help shape the future for a trading card community that I am in love with. Cash Cards has some new and exciting partnerships and alliances on the horizon, and now that I’m back in Cali I’ll have the chance to be even more hands-on with the day-to-day operations. Football can be unpredictable, but the TCG and Sports Card Community is rock solid. The Foil King is home, where he belongs.
Posted on 08/08/19
Posted on 08/08/19
The inaugural “Relics Revisited” event at Cash Cards Unlimited was a huge hit with the trading card game (TCG) community, and we expect this to be the first of many.
I’m still buzzing from all of the excitement and camaraderie that took place offsite on Oct. 22.
Kindred spirits gathered from near and far for this exclusive box-breaking event, which featured Magic: The Gathering’s (MTG) 1994 Revised Edition and a Commander VIP experience. Traditionally, people don’t often allow themselves the satisfaction of opening packs of vintage Magic cards, because they’re concerned about preserving their value. Think of Steve Carell’s character Andy Stitzer in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, who never liberates his collectibles from their packaging.
While it’s wise to protect your investment and handle your cards with care, Magic is ultimately a game to be enjoyed, and events like BreakX bring our TCG community together in a special way.
For this unique event, we sold out all 36 VIP spots within 24 hours of putting them on sale, which was amazing. Our goal is to keep rocking these old-school box breaks every few months, eventually working our way up to the unthinkable: opening an Alpha box.
Alpha is the first set of cards Magic produced, and a box is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000. Exciting stuff!
There’s so much to love about TCG: the excitement of opening a fresh pack, the brilliant artwork on the cards, the sport and competition involved in playing head-to-head or in tournaments ... For me though, the most important aspect of Magic: The Gathering and all the other TCG formats is the fellowship we experience within the community. The ritualistic gathering of the tribe is 90% of the magic involved, if not more.
Our VIP list for this virgin voyage of “Relics Revisited” consisted of Post Malone, DJ Skee, comedian Rick Glassman, The Professor, Jimmy Wong and Josh Lee Kwai from The Command Zone podcast, reps from I Hate Your Deck, Troll & Toad, and Whatnot, to name a few.
We were blessed with a diverse and energetic group for this groundbreaking event, and the excitement was palpable. It just goes to show that TCGs are for everyone- rock stars, jocks, actors, comedians, executives, nerds, “normal” folks, kids starting out, and people from every point on the global spectrum. There is something here for everyone.
The stigma that TCGs are for geeks and unpopular kids is being flushed out as false.
People with all types of personalities and backgrounds are coming together to share something that they love, and the industry is growing. The beautiful thing about games like MTG, is that the cards can serve as an equalizer of sorts.
There’s no doubt that there can be a great deal of creativity employed in building a powerful deck, but it also comes down to the luck of the draw. Any given tournament, you can be champion. Any given pack opened, you can pull a rare and valuable card that you’ll cherish forever. So much joy is derived from TCGs on so many different levels.
In the 28 years since Magic first appeared on the scene, both the game and collectible nature of MTG has grown exponentially. As of December 2018, there were more than 35 million players worldwide, and that number is probably closer to 40 or 45 million now.
The future is bright for TCGs, and Cash Cards Unlimited is in an especially awesome position now that we’ve partnered with Stock X and Troll & Toad.
We thrive to offer our customers the richest experiences possible on a consistent basis.
An example is the art gallery presented at the “Relics Revisited” BreakX event, which provided additional stimulation and a cool ambiance for our VIPs. And the event would not have been possible without the work and creative force that is Evan Thomas who coproduced this even. He is the Director of Product, Category Expansion."
Our vision is to offer a diverse menu of throwback options at our break-box events, such as high-end sneakers, high-end artwork, and of course high-end TCGs.
We want to evolve the vintage collectible culture within the walls of our shop, and shine that light out into the TCG community. It’s a blessing to be on the front lines of this magical movement.
Cash Cards Unlimited is located at 31320 Via Colinas #104, Westlake Village, CA 91362. It can be reached at (818) 851-9011 or Cashcardsunlimited.com
Posted on 09/27/16
While most of the focus will be on the city of Los Angeles during the days leading up to the Super Bowl, NFL defensive lineman Cassius Marsh is focused on growing the business he started last March.
Marsh is the owner of Cash Cards Unlimited located in Westlake Village, tucked in the Santa Monica Mountains located about 40 miles north of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood – where Super Bowl LVI will be contested between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
The defensive end capitalized on the rebirth of the trading card market. While Marsh told FOX Business in a recent interview he had to deal with some foundational issues earlier on within his shop, he’s still seeing a lot of success.
Cassius Marsh's shop is located in Westlake Village, Calif. (Cash Cards Unlimited)
"I'm still having a ton of success with the business, sales going really well, growing our brand and everything like that. But it was a lot of work to Ux a lot of the issues that came with the negligence, but ended up being a blessing in disguise," he said. "We ended up really setting up the business to have a really strong foundation. And ever since we made that transition, we've been doing nothing but growing in our numbers, growing every month. We've been beating our goals. This last month we did $344,000 in sales."
Marsh said he and his team secured partnerships with Goldin Auctions and have been continuing relationships with Ultra Pro and StockX as well as working with a bunch of different in[uencers.
With the restrictions loosening for some around the coronavirus pandemic and people not spending as much time going through their trading cards as much as they were, Marsh said he’s still seeing appreciation in the value of Magic: The Gathering cards.
"I actually really do," he told FOX Business when asked whether he still believes there’s interest in collecting trading cards. "From a sports standpoint, it's really a ton of investment. There's a lot of people investing because obviously there's these like huge hit cards that are going for a ton of money. So a lot of people, like large investment groups that have been put together, there's a ton of people who are really investing in the sports side of things. So that's been continuing to grow.
Marsh has also gotten into the NFT game.
"Our foundation has been Magic and the great thing about Magic: The Gathering is that it really doesn’t dip with the market and ... it explodes on its own regardless of what’s going with Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh or sports. Magic: The Gathering has been appreciating at a 15 to 20% rate of the past, like 15 to 20 years. There are some cards that I bought like three years ago at like $50-$80 that are now upwards of $1,000. For us, that’s kind of my foundation. It’s what I love. We’re truly passionate about it so it’s great to have everything here. We don’t live or die by an one trading card game or sport or anything like that. We offer pretty much everything here."
Marsh has dabbled in the non-fungible token (NFT) world as well. But he’s learned some of the ups and downs of dealing with the wild west of crypto.
"I had an unfortunate incident not too long ago, a couple weeks back where I actually got hacked and had about $30,000 in crypto stolen from my wallet ... upwards of about $150,000 of NFT stolen from my wallet. So that was truly unfortunate," he said.
"I love the NFT and I love the NFT market and what it's doing for businesses and what it's doing for the collectibles community. I'm a fan of NFTs and what it brings to the table. It's igoing to be really interesting to see as as more and more companies start to get involved. And the trial and error of what works and what's the best way to create utility and what's the best way to create longevity with all of these projects and stuff like that. It’s been a fun addition to add to the Cash Card brand because it’s all collectibles."
While Marsh won’t be playing on Sunday, he still has something interesting planned for the weekend leading up to the Super Bowl. He partnered with DJ Steve Aoki to do a bunch of box breaks on WhatNot on Friday. WhatNot is described as a "a community marketplace where you can safely buy, sell, go live and geek out with collectors and other like-minded people."