TORONTO -- During the COVID-19 pandemic many Canadians have taken up new and old hobbies and one that has seen a resurgence is the buying and selling of trading cards.

“It's a global phenomenon that people are getting into trading cards and they are having fun with it," said Robert Bigler, the general manager of eBay Canada.

e-Bay said the trading card category on its website grew by 110 per cent in 2020 with over 1.5 million cards sold on it’s platform and believes its poised for higher growth this year.

Bigler said hockey cards are the most popular category with favourites like Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. One seller had a big payday selling an older Wayne Gretzky card.

“It was a Canadian that sold a card to an American last year. It was a Gretzky, of course from 1979 and it sold for $108,000 U.S.,” said Bigler. 

Basketball cards are also becoming a favourite with collectors and there is a renewed interest in Pokémon cards as a Charizard PSA 9 sold for $44,000 Canadian. 

“Charizard is doing well, Pikachu and MewTwo are all popular Pokémon cards," said Bigler. 

At Dolly’s Toys and Games in Scarborough the pandemic has made doing business in person more difficult, but owner William Chong says retail sales online is booming.

“Now that a lot of people are staying home they have the time to dig out a lot of these old collections," said Chong.

Chong says while interest in trading cards is being driven in part by nostalgia, some collectors are treating them like assets and money in the bank.

“A lot of people are investing in trading cards and buying cards as investments, so there is a lot of money flowing into the industry," said Chong.

Bigler said most cards on its website sell for an average of between $30 and $40, but Chong said he had a customer who found old cards worth almost $100,000. 

If you find old trading cards they have to be in excellent condition and extremely rare to have any real value, but it doesn’t hurt to go online to see what they might be worth.