Former Seahawks player and lifelong card collector Cassius Marsh has opened a collectible card shop in the Southern California neighborhood he grew up in — and the increasing value of collectibles through the pandemic means business is booming.
Marsh has partnered with Nick Nugwynne, one of his best friends from high school and a passionate Pokemon trading card fan, to open Cash Cards Unlimited in Westlake Village, California, just down the street from the high school they went to together.
Cash Cards Unlimited sells football cards, basketball cards, Pokemon cards and Magic: The Gathering cards. Although it has a brick and mortar location, they have a robust website for e-commerce that keeps a regularly updated inventory of nearly everything they offer inside the store.
Marsh has been a Magic: The Gathering card fan ever since he visited his local card shop when he was 11 years old. Since then, he has been an avid collector and player of the trading card game.
Marsh said the game, designed by Renton-based Wizards of The Coast, is a cleverly strategic and competitive fantasy-themed game with “amazing” art printed on the cards.
Sports cards and trading card games have seen a recent increase in value through the pandemic, with cards like an autographed Mike Trout rookie card from 2009 selling for nearly $4 million at an auction in 2020.
Collectible cards are valued highly because they are limited and rare, and Marsh said Magic: The Gathering cards are no different. He said certain sets of cards were made in limited amounts early in the game’s upbringing in the 1990s.
He also said certain cards are valued for their rarity and for the advantage they provide to players who have them in their decks. For example, Marsh said the right version of a “Black Lotus” card, which he described as “the best card in the game,” can sell for up to $1 million.
Marsh said he had been using the money he earned from playing in the NFL to stock up on unopened packs of Magic: The Gathering cards for years because he knew he wanted to open a card shop and create a place of community for other avid trading card game fans.
Marsh became somewhat of a social media influencer for Magic: The Gathering after a collection of his cards were stolen from his car while he was playing for the Seahawks. Wizards of the Coast helped give him cards after his cards were stolen, raising his profile as a famous Magic: The Gathering fan.
He said he has since been able to score some trading card-related sponsorships before opening his own card store.
“I turned my passion into a side hustle,” Marsh said. “Now it developed into a full-blown business.”