The Hobby


Action / Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 88% · 8 reviews
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 90 90


Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
816.4 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 12
1.64 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 28

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by RespectedMann 6 / 10

It serves its purpose

Just like many other hobbies out there, the world of card collecting is a fascinating pass time that deserves way more recognition and analysis.

This documentary, while interesting and well-researched, only covers this activity on a superficial level, focusing mostly on its early days and the financial side of the industry. This limited approach only feels more prominent due to the length of the film, and the fact that the editing is nothing to write home about.

At the end of the day, I think the film serves its purpose of documenting the hobby, but it lacks any real substance to be anything special.

Reviewed by / 10

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

was kid fun, now big biz

Greetings again from the darkness. As a kid and blossoming baseball fanatic, there were few things more exciting than ripping into a new pack of baseball cards. While some friends used clothes pins to attach them to bike wheels for a cool sound, I preferred to study the cards, especially the statistics and brief bio on the back. Often, the flat panel of bubble gum included was so stale it would snap in two, but the smell of a pack remains ingrained in my olfactory memory bank all these years later. In this documentary, Morgan Jon Fox explores the difference between traditional card hobbyists and new age collectable card investors, and introduces us to the people driving the changes.

New York Times reporter Paul Sullivan starts things off by recounting the investigative series he published on the collectable card industry. He admits to being shocked that not only were some cards selling millions of dollars, but also of how the card market had become just that ... a true marketplace. No longer was it just adolescents swapping a Robin Yount for a Reggie Jackson. Where there had once been passionate collectors as hobbyists, there were now passionate investors - only they weren't passionate like fans of the players on the card, instead they were passionate and focused on making money. RBI stats had been replaced by ROI, and these people were serious. Even the product evolved - trading cards were now collectable cards. And no one was putting them on their bicycle spokes.

Filmmaker Fox provides a bit of history for us. Cards date back to 1869 and were included in tobacco, candy, and gum packs. It was Topps who invented the modern-day collectables in 1952. This is also the year of the infamous Mickey Mantle rookie card that caused values, and the card market, to explode. The story behind this is quite surprising and detailed in the film. As the market for cards grew, more companies joined in. Competing with originator Topps were Fleer, Upper Deck, and Panini, and in 2021, the industry shifted again. Powerhouse retailer Fanatics and co-founder Josh Luber gained exclusivity for football, baseball, and basketball. Trade shows, podcasts, and websites all led to the growth in values which then led to popularity. What was once childhood fun, was now big business.

This was filmed in 2021-2022 when collectable cards were showing tremendous value jumps, and at the time, it was estimated that the market could be worth $100 billion by 2027. Not long after, values for many cards, and for the industry as a whole, plummeted. The rarest cards held up, but the mass market continues to struggle. The concern from insiders is that the market could 'age out' like stamp collecting has. Efforts are underway to draw more kids into collecting, and also expand the 'non-sports' market, which includes cards like Pokemon, Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter. Fox even shows us some old Presidential collectables that feature Abraham Lincoln. While the line has certainly blurred between investor and hobbyist, it appears those who focus on a specific segment are now the most successful.

Available TVOD on February 16, 2024.

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