Chicago Non-Sport Card Show Review: It Was a Windy, Rainy Weekend in Chicago…

The Chicago Non-Sport Card Show was held on April 29 and 30, at the Carol Stream Holiday Inn , where the show has been held now for several years. The location is easy to get to, free parking, and well suited for a show this.

By May 4,2016  2

The Chicago Non-Sport Card Show was held on April 29 and 30, at the Carol Stream Holiday Inn , where the show has been held now for several years. The location is easy to get to, free parking, and well suited for a show this size. It always feels like an old family reunion with many of the friendly faces we have seen over the years.

When I report on this show, I always refer to it as a small show, and it is. Smaller than Philly, and in fact smaller than the Chicago show used to be. But it is still a great show to attend, I didn’t hear any collectors complaining, and for those who enjoy non-sports trading cards – this is the place to be. It’s worth noting that while there a several local dealers who set up tables, many dealers feel the show is worthwhile to make the drive from Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and of course, Ed Webb comes all the way from Arizona.

For me the show begins early, NSU’s Price Guide guru Bill DeFranzo was visiting family so I stopped by and picked him up. Bill is a pleasure to chat with, and he treated me to a great lunch at a place called the Rock and Roll Deli not too far from the hotel. Lots of autographed photos all over the place, Adam West and Dean Martin were right near our table.

Then it was off to the show. Right away we received a packet of show promos, including the P12 show card of BB 8 by artist Jeff Abar, Sci Fi Cards P45 by Dan Gorman, Rittenhouse Next Generation Portfolio Prints P3, Trizia Promo from 5Finity, an exclusive Three Stooges Series 5 P3. From Breygent there was an exclusive Chicago Grimm promo, numbered to 100. These were in short supply.

Outside the showroom Paul Maiellero had a table with a huge assortment of sketch cards from the Treasure Chest of Art project, and other items, including Connie Faye’s Women Marine print which I wrote about in last Fall’s show report, and a killer Mark McHaley print of Han Solo and Chewbacca. I could not pass up a beautiful sketch of Dr Who by Kevin Leen.

Doctor Who by Kevin Leen

Doctor Who by Kevin Leen

Inside the doors were a slew of dealers, and while some specialized in toys and comics, all had cards for sale. For new card collectors, a stop at the tables of the two host dealers is a must. Ed Webb’s Sci Fi Cards and Kevin Bennett’s K & J Non Sport Cards had plenty of autographs, chase singles, boxes and sets. Ed brought a stack of Rittenhouse James Bond retro cards and I was able to take a bunch off my want list – now only need about 150 of them. Oops, wait, the new Bond set just came out with three new retro sets – so make that about 300 I need. Took a big chunk out of my want list at K & J, including some hard to find Bond, Bates Motel and Game of Thrones.

Long time dealer Ron Gahan came from Detroit, it is always a pleasure to see him. It has been a few years since he made this show. He had lots of 90’s boxes and sets. Iggy and Carl were also set up, with sketches, autos and chase, at great prices.

Ron Gahan

Dealer Ron Gahan

Card Talk’s xTime (xVader Cards) always does well at the show. Very reasonable prices, and he also brings singles from recent sets, many of us were able to find needs from The Force Awakens 1 and 2, and Journey to the Force Awakens. xTime also has been getting into older cards, and he had a very diverse collection including many original Mars Attacks.

Other dealers include Brian Schemine, David Hartman with some painted figurines, many of which he had done, and John’s Flea Circus – no fleas – but lots of toys, comics and cards. New dealers included Scott Castleman with original 70’s Star Wars cards, unopened packs, and graded cards, and Alex and Ricardo, with 90’s cards, and all kinds of Star Wars toys and products. Artist Jeff Abar was there to do original art, he did a few BB 8 drawings during the weekend.

One dealer not present was Bill Hjelmgren from Looky Here Cards. Bill has been battling cancer for the last couple of years, and had to skip this show due to some treatments. Ed Webb commissioned a metal version of the Jeff Abar show promo, numbered to 50, for sale, with all proceeds going to Bill and his family. Hopefully Bill will be totally cured and set up at the fall show.

P12 promo card by Jeff Abar

P12 promo card by Jeff Abar

Artist Jeff Abar

Artist Jeff Abar

One of the highlights of the show is the Friday night after-show dinner at Alberto’s in the hotel. This time we had close to 20 collectors and dealers. The food is excellent and you can’t beat the companionship. Once again, Ed surprised us with special promos, a metal version of his P45 promo, and a metal version of the Abar BB 8 show card Collector’s Gathering card, numbered to 30.

I returned Saturday morning, we had a slightly larger crowd. Picked up more goodies and ran out of money by noon, so I went home early, tired and poorer than when I arrived, but very happy. It was fun seeing all my card collecting friends like SteveTrek, Greg Geerts, Kennywood, Scott Thomas, and many more. I made some nice trades too, thanks to Lovesmesomecards, Hippiejewel and Rod S.

Thanks to Ed and Kevin for organizing this show, it is always a good time. The next show will be Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.


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  • wolfie May 4, 2016 Reply

    very nice, it was allmost like being there. :)


  • Allan R. May 4, 2016 Reply

    Fantastic read. I will absolutely make the trip next year!


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