Back in the 80s, kids used to collect trading cards. For some reason, at the age of 4, I got an unfinished album from one of my cousins. And, for some reason, I needed to finish it up (along with all the sweets you needed to eat in order to get the trading cards). The album we’ve saved from oblivion is from the end of the 70s, but the collection lasted as long as for me to collect the missing trading cards! It means that the same collection of trading cards lasted during years, giving the collectors time enough to end up the whole collection.
“The book of riddles” has a total of 266 trading cards and it is accurate and complete. However, it is not the type of album a 4yo of the 80s would be willing to fill up. It looks like it is meant for older kids with more knowledge than a 4yo has. Whatever the case, it is a relic and a funny album to possess, specially if you take a look at the “technology” section. They imagined the future in funny ways. Another section that also makes you giggle is the “money” section. In there you can take a look to old European currencies, along with very old international bills. It makes you think how fast we’ve changed.
Back in the 70s trading card collecting was a major entertainment for kids. Since collections were up and running during years, you could have kids obsessed exchanging the same trading cards at ease. In the 80s however, the trend started to get somewhat “quicker,” to the point that you would need to rush to get your collection done, within the year. So, the custom of passing along an unfinished album to somebody else to finish it, was definitely gone.
I did collect lots of different types of trading cards. But, unlike nowadays, most of the trading cards came with sweets, like donuts or small chocolate bread. I remember exchanging some of my trading cards with other people, but I also remember having the same trading card repeated endless times and keeping all of the copies just because I loved them. I used to eat some sweets in the afternoon, and open the envelope to find out which trading card I got. I must admit it was a thrilling experience.
Collections sped up, and so the rush in getting and exchanging all the trading cards before the collection died. And with that, came stress. Maybe because of the speed, the stress of it, or because I already had some collections, or because of my increasing interest in reading books and doing other stuff, my hobby of collecting trading cards died (quite soon btw). However, finding out this little treasure, and complete, is thrilling. It makes you giggle all along, specially considering how people saw the world at that time. There was no internet, no cell phones, no selfies, no Instagram and no Facebook. Whatever happened, was analogical.
Being a kid from the 80s also means that I am lucky enough as to have been able to experience a little bit of “Ye Olde Analogical World,” and also lucky enough to enjoy and understand the techie world we live in.
ps: this was in Spain, just after a long Dictatorship. In the ’70s the regime was still up and running. From the ’80s, with democracy, things speeded up, and increased its speed every year. Technology trends were also different. While kids in Italy enjoyed Commodore 64, kids in Spain had the Amstrad CPC 464. Well, you get the picture.
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