The year was 1993 and a 13-year old Mario Alejandro walked into Sunshine Comics in Sunrise, Florida with $15 dollars to blow. The choices were simple: Marvel Universe Series 4 loose packs or any Jose Canseco I did not have in my collection of about 40. The problem was that in 1993, Jose was still a big star whose cards commanded big money. Knowing I would never be able to afford what the owner had on display, I headed towards the comic cards to bust as many packs as I could afford.
Next to me was a kid around my age that I had seen shop at the store many times. He had purchased almost all the packs in the box and was going through them like they were going out of style. After a few minutes of going through my stash I noticed that the kid next to me had been silent for a few minutes. I looked over to him only to find the infamous Spiderman vs. Venom hologram card in his hand.
Back then I did not know how rare the card was but I had heard rumblings that it was THE card to own from the set. Before I could even ask the kid to see it, he had traded it in for 10 more packs of Marvel Universe and $10 dollars. I wish I had known that the odds of pulling this chase card was 1:180 packs or roughly about one in five boxes. I really didn’t think anything of it until the next weekend when I found the very same hologram card on display with a sticker that read “$115 dollars”.
I am not one to laugh at anyone’s misfortune but I must admit that I did not feel bad when the comic shop shut down for business and ultimately became a Subway restaurant around 1995. Today this card, despite not being extremely rare still sells for respectable prices on the secondary market. Copies sell for as low as $25 to as high as $40 depending on the condition and whether or not they are graded or raw.
Yes, people even get these cards graded…