Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting Paid to Play

*Day 16* I'm blogging everyday till VidCon! What is VidCon? Check it out at

This is another "I bet you wish you had my job" sort of blog. :-P

This past Father's day my friend Molly posted a video in which she told a story about how her dad once bought her the one Pokemon card she had wanted the most. Her video made me remember my obsession with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. I used to watch Pokemon when I was young, but I was never interested in collecting the Pokemon trading cards. I started watching Yu-Gi-Oh! when I was 16 because it would come on right after Pokemon and I got hooked on that show. I think because that show was actually about a card game, that got me really interested in the cards and I started buying them like mad.

*Here's Molly's video if you want to watch

Collecting Yu-Gi-Oh cards was an addiction really, but I kept it quiet. I didn't hang out in the "anime" crowd at school, so I tried to keep my love for Yu-Gi-Oh! to myself as much as I could. Only a couple of my friends knew that I liked Yu-Gi-Oh and that I collected the cards. They sort of made fun of me for it, but they were still my good friends, so I never held it against them.

Anyway, I kept watching Yu-Gi-Oh even when I was out of high school and in college. I still loved it. One summer, we moved from Las Vegas to Henderson (Henderson is a suburb of Las Vegas, if you were a visitor here you would not be able to tell the difference). Anyway, since we moved, I needed to find a new job that was closer to my new house. Our new home was about 10 minutes away from a Toys R Us. I thought it might be fun to work there, and I saw that they held trading card tournaments on Saturdays, so I went in and applied.

I was called in for an interview and about halfway through the interview they happened to ask why I wanted to work there. I mentioned about the trading card tournaments and that I collected the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and knew how to play and I thought it might be fun. When I told them that, they said "Why didn't you say that at the beginning?!?!" It turned out that they didn't have anyone at the time to run the Saturday tournaments, and none of their workers knew how to play any of the games. So they hired me as their special events co-ordinator. So, all of a sudden, I had a new job running trading card tournaments. I not only got paid to play Yu-Gi-Oh for two hours every Saturday, I had to learn to play the Pokemon TCG as well as the Duel Masters TCG, and a couple of years later I had to learn Zatchbell also. The best part was that the company would periodically send me several boxes of starter sets and booster packs so I could build my own decks (I wasn't required to have my own cards even though I did). So I got tons of extra cards that I didn't have to pay for! (I collected some Pokemon and Duel Masters cards this way too, but I don't think that I have any of the Pokemon cards anymore.)

Just as a side note so that you know that I worked for more than just a few hours on Saturdays, my job as the special events coordinator included a lot of other things, like organizing new toy demonstrations and sometimes we would have "character" meet and greets (for example we had a model come in once and dress as Barbie from FairyTopia, another time we had a Care Bear in the store... stuff like that.)

Anway, it was exciting to be getting paid to play a game that my friends had teased me about in high school. I still have all of my Yu-Gi-Oh cards! and some of the Duel Masters cards.

Before I say goodbye, I just want to say, as sort of a response to Molly's video. When I collected Yu-Gi-Oh cards, the one card that I wanted the most was a Dark Magician Girl card. She wasn't a trump card, but it was very difficult to find an English version of this card. For a long time, the only ones I ever saw were Japanese cards (which are not "legal" in US tournaments, so if you are a card collector, you know that it's better to have "legal" cards.) Anyway, one night I bought a few booster packs while I was working at Toys R Us. I went out to my car and opened the packs and inside one of the booster packs I found her! A Limited Edition, Gold Foil, Holographic version of the Dark Magician Girl!!!

I just about screamed when I saw the card. That was probably the happiest moment of my card collecting life! (I later got another Dark Magician Girl card, it was a "Secret Rare Promo Card" with a different drawing on it, though I don't know why they called it a 'secret' card, it was sold along with a special collectors tin and it was packaged so that you could see the card. I only bought the tin because it had this card!) Anyway, that's all I have to say about that. Goodbye till tomorrow. :-)

Question: Did you collect any trading card games? If you did, what was the one card you wanted most, and did you ever get it?

1 comment:

  1. I have never collected any trading card games and I have to say I actually avoided Pokemon when I was younger because I didn't get the cartoon! I would probably enjoy the card games though to be honest! Great story! As usual <3