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Collector Showcase – Jeff Walsh’s SGC graded Digimon Card Game collection

There are many factors to the popularity of the Digimon Card Game, with the passionate and devoted fans being at the epicentre of its success. One such person in the community is Jeff Walsh, a family man who, despite living a busy life, still finds the time to collect his favourite cards in graded form. In fact, Jeff has managed to collect SGC graded versions of all of the SRs and SECs from the very first set of the game, Special Booster 1.0, as well some other rare and valuable cards. 

Jeff first came onto my radar after selling an SGC Premier TO Greymon prize card back in January that sold for a record $4000. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the Digimon collector quite well, especially after he agreed to sit down with me for a conversation about his incredible collection, his personal thoughts on the Digimon Card Game and SGC as a grading company.

Before we get into your collection, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of the Digimon Card Game. 

First off thank you for this, it is greatly appreciated. I am Jeff Walsh from southside Chicago, Illinois. I have been collecting cards of all sorts for almost 25+ years now. I am married to a wonderful wife for 18+ years now and we have 2 daughters who mean the world to me so you can say I’m a lucky guy!! 

Were you a fan of the Digimon franchise as a kid?

Digimon did not come out until I was 18 years old so I used to watch Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men when I was a kid. Later on, Dragon Ball Z came out and I’d watch that with some friends. 

What led you to collecting Digimon?

The thing that got me collecting Digimon is actually pretty funny, I lived in Japan for 7 years and went to Akihabara the anime district in Japan and was looking at some Gundam figures and ran into an Omnimon figure and was like this is pretty cool and it stuck with me ever since.

Images courtesy of Jeff Walsh

That’s really cool! During your time in Japan, did you ever experience TCG culture? Or did you ever get a sense of how franchises like Pokemon and Digimon impacted the culture? 

A lot of places you go to in Japan are anime-themed or geared towards some form of cartoon (Anpanmon, My Melody, Pokemon, Gundam – among others that were very big there during my time there). It was definitely an awesome experience and is one of my favourite places in the world and I’ve been to a lot of places! I never saw any of the TCG card events there but I definitely looked at the Anime model kits that were in the stores. I also went to a nice Comic-Con in Australia and visited the marvel museum in Hong Kong. 

So you would recommend Japan for a lover of Anime like myself?

If you have never been to Japan, that would be my top recommendation for someone to travel to just to experience such a wonderful culture and wonderful people, not to mention the great food too! They did have a Mario cart experience in which you could dress up as one of the Mario characters and drive in a go-kart around the streets. Not sure if they still have that but a definite must!! Also, if you’re old enough to drink and want a good time and see lots of cosplay, go to the bars during Halloween, it’s a blast for sure!

Do you collect any other graded TCG cards? 

I do collect other cards like baseball and American football cards. 

It’s clear you are a fan of slabbed cards, but why do you choose to grade?

I think graded cards are where it’s at if you plan on keeping your cards in the best shape possible so that they can hold their value over time. It’s nice to see a grade reflecting the condition of a card and it’s good to be able to make displays for them too.  

This may be a hard one to answer – which card is the crown of your collection? 

Out of all my cards, my favourite is my Omnimon ghost. We can all agree it’s a very tough card to get. I’ve seen a guy buy six cases and not hit one and then seen some lucky guys and gals get it in one box! I love it because of its rarity and how amazing it looks. 

Digimon Card Game graded
Image courtesy of Jeff Walsh

You mentioned your Ghost Omni has been graded with SGC, as well as the rest of your graded collection. Can you tell me why you decided to go with SGC over PSA or BGS? 

The reason I chose SGC is the fact that they have always been a top grading company. In my opinion, they are the strictest and I have crossed over cards from SGC to PSA/BGS and others to see how tough their grades are. All of the SGC 9.5’s or SGC 10’s I’ve crossed over have gotten Gem mint from the others showing they are right on with their grades.

Jeff was gracious enough to share some of his cross grades with us.

 I’ve done that about 10x already and same results every time. I could send you some pictures to show what I mean by that. The cost to grade with SGC is by far the most affordable, the turnaround time is the best overall across the board, and I love their slabs –  they just feel nice and look really good. Of course, collectors have their own preferences when it comes to grading cards with a  company they like and enjoy.

For Digimon Card Game fans who don’t know about SGC, what else can you tell us about this grading company?

There was just a lengthy video a couple of weeks ago from a card group called slabstox where they interviewed Peter the CEO of SGC. It was so informative on the overall grading process and everything you need to know about grading in general, not just SGC. If your readers get a chance, I would recommend checking it out. 

Have you ever graded with any other service? How do they compare? 

First of all, I’d just like to say that I am not endorsed by any grading company nor do I receive money from any grading company – I’m just an average jo collector. I have used other grading companies like PSA/BGS and even tried HGA before but SGC is my favourite. HGA is a young company so they are still new and have room to improve when it comes to turnaround times. I do hope they keep on learning and improving so that they can survive.

Digimon Card Game graded
Images courtesy of Jeff Walsh

Why did you choose to grade your Special Booster 1.0 collection?

I chose 1.0 because I look at this as being the first edition of the new series and it will be the iconic set down the road. 

Do you plan on grading any other master sets, if so which ones? 

The other master set I’m working on is all of the Omnimon Alt Arts because he’s my favourite and can’t wait for merciful mode in BT9.

Digimon Card Game graded
Images courtesy of Jeff Walsh

Do you think of your collection as an investment for the future, or do you intend on keeping them?

I look at my collection as a long term investment to pass down to my kids for them to sell later on or hold onto for themselves if they’d like. Look at Pokémon – could you imagine having a gem mint shadowless Charizard 20 years ago and selling it today? I’m not saying all cards are that way but if a large population of people have found cards they like, as time goes by, less and less of that card become available.

My perspective is that a collector wants the best condition card of their favourite character or a condition they can afford to remind them of good times that were offered to them during their playing days.

Digimon Card Game graded
Images courtesy of Jeff Walsh

Speaking of playing, you’ve shared your incredible collection but have you ever played the Digimon Card Game? 

I really appreciate the players of this game because I enjoy playing it too! There is no end all card, it’s very strategic and ever-changing. It will be very interesting to see where Bandai goes with it. I hope they make a great app soon to reach an even broader audience and make it more accessible to those that don’t have local game shops or tournaments near them. 

With that answer in mind, do you think the Digimon TCG will continue to thrive?

I think for Digimon to come back after 20 years to a TCG and hold strong for the last year, it speaks volumes and it looks like it will continue to grow.

Thank you Jeff for sharing your incredible collection and letting us know your thoughts on the SGC grading service. Do you have a collection that you are incredibly proud of? Maybe your assembly of rare cards could be the focus of our next Collection Showcase. Click here to get in contact with Ludkins Media!

To keep up to date with all future Digimon Card Game updates and interviews, head over to our  Instagram or Facebook and follow us there. 

Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media

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