Taking a look inside the anime trading card scene04 August, 2012 by Mus
With the release of Cardfight!! Vanguard in 2011, Japanese trading card games have reached mainstream visibility, with advertisements appearing at MRT stations and on buses. Of course, this translates to more interest in other trading card games the Japanese have to offer. The Card Geeks (TCG) is one of several establishments that cater to the Singaporean followers of Japanese trading card games.
TCG started in 2009 with a shop in Sunshine Plaza. Since then, they have moved to new premises in the POMO mall just across the street, and have opened a branch in Clementi as well. In PoMo, they share a shopfront with long-time anime goods retailer, Kareshi Kanojo no Mise.
The shop stands away from other trading card retailers by being one of the first few shops that has an official relationship with Bushiroad as seen through the Gold/Silver Exchange and not expanding into other areas of anime merchandising such as figurines. TCG provided a way for customers to officially connect with game company Bushiroad, before there was an official South-east Asian branch of the company.
While much of the card games sold in TCG are from Bushiroad, they offer games from other companies such as Arclight with the Tanto Cuore card games, and card-related products. These include merchandise such as card covers as well as deck holders. The shop also maintains presence in anime-related events such as AFA and STGCC, where aside from having retail booths, they assist in organizing tournaments.
The shopfront is rather small, as it is shared with KKnM. Surprisingly however, this doesn’t really feel as cramped as one might think. The small physical space also makes it easier for shopfront workers to interact with the customers. Those new to the game can easily ask for a pointer or two on how to start up, and the playing area makes it nothing less than convenient to have a go.
This philosophy of engaging the community seems to carry throughout the dealings TCG has with the anime community at large. They are also a large part in the community with A.C.M.E., and have a sizeable presence and following on Facebook. Given the growing numbers of anime card game players in Singapore, this seems like the best way to make sure they stay connected.
TCG’s main store is located at #B1-17, 1 Selegie Road at the PoMo mall.
Writer who also doubles as the photographer during event coverage. Mus' interests in Japan lie in the language, literature, popular culture and underground rock bands. Having an academic background in Japan, Mus is also particularly interested in the study of Nihonjinron.