Ladies and Gentlemen, You are in for a treat! Today we have an interview with the Kard Killer himself. If you haven’t already seen, @Kardkiller is an Instagram personality that has been taking the cardboard community by storm. Run by an anonymous collector, the creator regularly puts out content where he destroys/customizes (call it what you want) cards in new and unique ways. I was lucky enough to get the KardKiller himself to answer some questions for us. So grab a cup of coffee and get settled!
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where are you from, etc. How long have you been in the hobby and what did you originally start collecting?
In order to maintain my anonymity I have to be selective with what I can tell you about myself. I was born and raised in New York City. I don’t mind people knowing this since narrowing the field down to about 10 million people doesn’t pose much of a problem. There are people who are curious to find out who I am, but I believe the mystery is part of the fun for everyone, and a reveal would ultimately be met with disappointment. It will eventually happen though, just not yet. I have been involved with the hobby since I was a child, so it has been decades of collecting for me. There were a lot of kids in my neighborhood collecting at the time, and it was something that bonded us together. We all went to shows together and traded cards after school and on the weekends. We all agreed to each collect individual athletes, for me it was Ken Griffey Jr. Obsessed is a word that comes to mind, lol. Despite what anyone might think, my love for this hobby runs deep.
How did you get the idea to start customizing and destroying cards? How long have you been doing that?
The process has been going on for a while, I have “destroyed” thousands of cards in the name of art over the last 4 years, but only recently began documenting it on IG since January. At first I figured it would be interesting to see how people would react. It goes against every protective instinct a collector has for their cards, and I was sure I was going to start a war. As it turns out, the exact opposite happened, and almost everyone embraced it. That reaction caused the quick evolution of the page and continues to shape and inspire me to push the world of the Kardkiller to uncharted territory. This is just the beginning.
Do you PC any cards that you don’t customize or destroy? What cards?
Sure. I’ve had a Griffey collection since he was a rookie. Aside from a few UD rookies (which is a whole different story all together, #griffeychallenge) I do not mess with them. They are a part of my childhood, and are off limits to the killer. There are many cards out there that I won’t touch out of respect for the hobby and community. For example, I find no need in destroying a Jordan rookie just “for kicks”. The shock value of that is cheap, and the killer’s message is not. Almost anything else is fair game.
What is the most expensive card you have destroyed?
So far, it would have to be the Sony Michel rated rookie blue auto /75. I “destroyed” it with a nod to Banksy, shredding the card as it was being auctioned off. There were people who were upset about it, but most see my point. Now there are 74 normal, boring if you will, Michel cards left out there in the world of its’ kind, but there is one that has a story to tell. I took away the opportunity for it to be a mint condition card, but I replaced it with the opportunity to be the most recognized Sony card in the hobby. Well worth the trade, in my mind. The way I see it, these cards bear a new legacy, never have been destroyed in the first place. It now resides in the hands of another hobby innovator @chrisg613, who is currently working on being the first to successfully slab a Kardkiller creation.
What was your favorite method you have used to destroy a card?
Putting cards into famous movie scenes is my bread and butter. It is so much fun to come up with and execute the ideas. Most of time I’m just laughing at how absurd the whole thing is.
Lately though, I have really been enjoying dissecting jumbo patch cards and replacing the patch with a piece of art. It’s like the cards become a frame, and the patch area becomes a canvas. This has become the latest part of the evolution of the page.
What are your collecting/customizing goals for the future?
I structure my goals like a pyramid, with small ones being immediate and many at the bottom, and the larger one being fewer and more down the line at the top. The small ones (individual posts, pieces of art, etc.) will get me to the large one, which is to inspire more people to customize a portion of their PC and create a sub-genre in the hobby. If you could take that three dollar card that has been sitting in a box for ten years and turn it into a one of a kind card that someone would pay twenty dollars for, why wouldn’t you? There are other long term plans down the line that will branch out of the IG page, some of which I can’t divulge just yet, but you would be amazed at what you can customize with cards!
Do you have future plans to sell customized cards or open some sort of store or service to monetize the following you are building up?
For sure. Anything custom that I have put on IG can be purchased at anytime if it is still available. I also leave the option for commissions in the description. I am currently partnered with @elitecardsales in order to maintain my anonymity during transactions (and no, we are not the same person lol). There are plans to open up an online shop to make it even easier to purchase Kardkiller creations or commission custom work later this year.
Have you thought about starting a YouTube channel where you document how to customize cards? Or even just post more destruction videos?
The demand for a YouTube channel has been growing, and will be a part of the evolution of Kardkiller. It will be a channel with videos instructing in detail how I customize cards into killer creations. Most artists do not like to and/or told not to divulge their techniques so as not to be copied. I can’t express enough how narrow of a view I find that to be. I want to inspire people to look at the hobby from a different angle, and if showing them everything I do helps them get there, I would consider it my honor.
What advice do you have for anyone just getting started in the hobby?
Have fun. It’s called a hobby for a reason. This community is an amazing group of people, the more involved you are, the more you will feel it. What you can get out of it will be way more valuable than a small piece of cardboard, unless it’s a Mantle rookie.
That’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed the KardKiller interview! Got something to say? Leave a comment below!