ML Trading Cards brings an old school hobby to today’s kids in Hampton NH


HAMPTON — When kids step into ML Trading Cards, located at The Rim, an indoor multi-sport facility down the street from Winnacunnet High School, it’s a chance for them to hunt their favorite players on trading cards.

When their parents walk in with them, it’s a chance for them to step back in time when they were kids opening packs and hoping to find their favorite team’s star player.

That’s exactly what owner Matt Lewis hopes to offer his customers – a fun experience that allows young fans and their parents to share in the simple joy that comes with opening a pack of sports cards and discovering the player (or players) they are looking for.

After:‘One in a million’: Mike Trout card worth $10,000 found by Exeter woman in $60 storage unit

“You see so many kids come in, and they’re having so much fun opening packs and trading cards with their friends,” Lewis said. “That’s what got me into (this hobby) when I was a kid. I hope we can provide those same opportunities for kids now.

Lewis opened his long-awaited store last November and said that while he’s excited about how business has gone so far, he hopes it continues to grow.

Lewis has worked in the sports facilities industry for over 20 years, and when he started working part-time at The Rim he saw an opportunity to combine his love for sports facilities with his long-held hopes of opening a sports card store.

ML Trading Cards, a sports card collecting store, located at The Rim, an indoor multi-sports facility, in Hampton, is open daily except Tuesdays and hosts trading nights once a month.

“That space (at The Rim) became available and I said, ‘You know what? Let’s give it a whirl,” Lewis said. ” It was fun.

Lewis said his desire to start a store was somewhat latent until his sons took up the hobby of collecting cards during the pandemic.

“As soon as my boys said they wanted to start collecting, I was like, ‘Okay. Let’s go,'” Lewis said.

Being able to reconnect with his childhood passion alongside his children has revived the hopes of a store. Joel Williams, the general manager of The Rim, gave him a shot at a place where up to 12,000 people show up for tournaments every week.

“A lot of times when people come in, it’s just to let them know we’re here,” he said. “Once they come here, often they become loyal customers.”

While capturing audiences captive when families are at The Rim has been invaluable, Lewis hopes to let the Hampton community know he’s there so that even during the facility’s quiet season, people can come in and find places to stay. maps.

ML Trading Cards, a sports card collecting store, located at The Rim, an indoor multi-sports facility, in Hampton, is open daily except Tuesdays and hosts trading nights once a month.

“We have swap nights once a month, and those are very popular with the kids,” Lewis said. There are also adults. I am a small store that caters to children and any collector. I buy, I sell and I trade. I’m starting to pay more attention to this so I can grow my inventory.

The next trade night is scheduled for June 23 where Lewis will offer pizza, raffles and giveaways.

Lewis said his best-selling items so far have been football and basketball cards, but he also has football and baseball cards, as well as the latest craze, Pokémon cards.

“It’s so cool to see someone walk in, open something and hit a big card,” he said. “You see the smile on their face, and they’re hooked. That’s what it’s about. We are not like many other card shops. We mainly welcome young children and families. Most of what I have here is between $20 and $200.

After:Sales of sports cards ‘out of control’ as nostalgia runs high during COVID pandemic

He said it was important to keep low-priced items in stock when a large part of his clientele was made up of children and families. He tries to keep that in mind and make it a fun and approachable experience. He hopes that with the summer a bit slower in terms of people coming for tournaments, the Hampton community will keep coming to the shop.

“My hope is that beachgoers, regulars come more,” he said. “I’m here now. I’m not just for Rim customers. I’m here for the entire Hampton community. Come in, have a good time.

Lewis, however, said he didn’t do it alone. He credits his brother, Williams and Jeff Lisbon, owner of Diamond King Sports in Greenland, for helping him get the store up and running. It also has a group of businesses sponsoring it and has the banners of those businesses on its walls.

“(Lisbon) has been a big help,” Lewis said. “He’s been in the business for 39 years, and as I’m just starting out, he’s been a great mentor to me. If I need anything, he always helps me.

Lewis is also looking to sell more memorabilia and hopes to host fun events throughout the summer to give customers even more.

“The Rim has been just awesome to me,” he said. “They’ve been really supportive of what I’m trying to do. What’s scary is knowing that things might slow down when the tournaments don’t happen. I put all my savings into it and I want (this store) to succeed. Not just for me, but for the whole community. It’s not my full-time job. It’s a fun hobby for me. I wish it were successful, but right now I just like seeing kids having fun with it and talking to collectors who are passionate about what they do. It’s good.”

ML Trading Cards is open on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Comments are closed.