Jason Keen brings ‘nostalgia futures’ to Northern Colorado through cards and comics – Loveland Reporter-Herald
For someone looking for a pack of basketball cards or a comic to keep them busy, Grand Slam Sports Cards and Comics offers interested patrons in Northern Colorado a place to be.
Jason Keen, owner of the the store at 1730 W. Eisenhower Blvd, said the store opened at the end of the “junk wax” era of sports cards — a time in the late 80s and early 90s during which card companies were printing three times as many cards as before. The store opened in 1992 on Fourth Street and moved to its current location in the summer of 1993.
While many companies were impacted by the pandemic in a negative way, Keen said his store, which was open for curbside pickup and shipping during the closure stages of the pandemic, and the industry itself saw a rise in interested buyers.
With the holidays approaching, Keen said during a normal holiday season he doesn’t see as many people coming through to buy gifts (although, the store does see some holiday shoppers). Instead, he added, he sees more interested collectors looking to buy for themselves around January or February, and they don’t have a shortage of things to look for. With all kinds of sports cards, some packs reaching as high as $5,000, interested collectors can have their pick at Grand Slam.
Alongside sports cards, Keen and his shop offer card games, board games, comics and more.
1. What is the coolest card or comic you have had or sold in the shop?
Amazing Spider-Man #129 First Appearance of Punisher. (The comic sold for around $950)
2. How did you get into selling cards and comics?
My brother is the original owner of Grand Slam. When I was a teenager, I opened my own store for selling Sports Cards in my garage in 1993. I would sell and trade to kids in the local neighborhood. I eventually worked at the shop full time starting in 2007.
3. What has the pandemic been like for your industry?
For our business as a whole we have seen an incredible amount of growth this year. Sports cards are going through an explosive expansion that we haven’t seen in more than thirty years. We are creating new collectors, and revitalizing old collectors. Overall it has been a very positive experience during a time when the world needs a little joy.
4. What has been the impact on your business of patrons buying cards and comics online instead of shopping local?
Admittedly being the only store of our kind in Northern Colorado our main competition is the internet. I used to think it affected us negatively, but now I think the internet is good competition for everyone. Now that we are seeing online stores being taxed, as well as eBay, the playing field is becoming more normalized. I have also done my best to use social media to our benefit, and it is now almost an every day part of our business.
5. What is the importance of continuing to sell things like cards and comics?
I call what we sell “Nostalgia Futures.” Collectibles are a great distraction from the current world. With both collectibles, comics and cards, it gives you something to think about the past fondly, or it allows you to look
forward to the future. It is also a great way to connect with children. There is a shared history in our culture of sports players and comic book stories.
Title: Owner of Grand Slam Sports Cards and Comics, and hobby technician
Time in the area: Two and a half years in Loveland, but Fort Collins since 1981.
Grand Slam business hours: Currently open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. everyday in Loveland. A second location is at 1020 28th Ave. in Greeley.
Category: Sports Card News