Collect Forever booth
The collect forever booth at Comic-Con. Times of San Diego photo

Collecting comic books is going high tech. And a San Diego company is leading the way.

Upper Deck, the sports trading card company based in Carlsbad, took advantage of the Comic-Con media spotlight to announce a new, innovative way for fans to add to their collection without having to clear out more space in their homes.

The company launched Collect Forever, an online purchasing and collection hub that will initially focus on Marvel and D.C. comics, trading cards and collectibles.

Fans will be able to go to collectforever.com and preorder comics and items that will then be sealed and stored in Upper Deck storage facilities. Fans can either leave them in storage, ship them to their homes or trade them online with other fans.

“This is going to change the way people collect collectibles forever,” said Upper Deck President Jason Masherah.

He added: “If they want to shop in their underwear at two o’clock in the morning, we want them to buy comic books, figurines and collectibles at two o’clock in the morning.”

The launch of Collect Forever comes during a pandemic-induced growth period in the collectibles industry during the past two years as more people have found themselves at home and with more time to engage in hobbies. Having comic books and collectibles viewable online and stored safely should  make it easier to trade comic books with fans around the world.

 “This is the complete opposite of NFTs, said Masherah. “Everything is physical.”

Upper Deck will store the purchases in facilities in Pittsburgh and Seattle. There are no current plans to open a storage facility in San Diego, said Ben Swiderski, vice president of ecommerce at Upper Deck.

Collect Forever launched Thursday, the first full day of Comic-Con with an exclusive Michael Jordan Funko Pop figurine that was selling for $40.

“Interest is very, very high,” said Swiderski.

Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast. He has written for The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.