Monday, December 27, 2021

6 Charts Comparing Christmas Day for Video Game, Pokemon Card & Sports Card Collectors

On Christmas morning a large percentage of the United States wakes up and opens Christmas presents. For collectors that usually means Santa (spoiler alert: some loved one), bought them something for their collection. A new video game, fresh pokemon card packs, or the latest sports card hobby box, etc.

Is Christmas Day the exact same for each one of these collector groups though? and our sister site,, are the #1 trafficed price guides/collection trackers for video games, pokemon cards, and sports cards. We can look at the user traffic to see how Christmas Day differs for each type of collector.

All times and charts below are in Pacific Time Zone.

Spike in Traffic on Christmas Morning

Every collector young and old is eager to open their presents to see what they got. The first thing most collectors will do is open the presents.

Soon after the last wrapping paper has been torn and the Christmas tree is barren, everyone asks themselves "Now what?". The answer for card collectors is very different than the answer for gamers.

There is a huge Christmas Day spike in traffic for Pokemon and sports card users. Pokemon traffic is up 152% on Christmas morning vs the previous Saturday. Sports card users are up 85%.
Pokemon Cards: +152% at Peak on Christmas vs Previous Saturday

Sports Cards: +85% at Peak on Christmas vs Previous Saturday

Card collectors open their new packs and see what see they got. Many of them then rush to PriceCharting or SportsCardsPro to find the value of their new cards.

How much is that full art Charizard GX card worth? Is my new Tom Brady blue rainbow tiger stripe prizm worth anything?

Gamers on the other hand, start playing their games.

There is a small spike in traffic in the morning, but the rest of the day is actually less traffic than a typical Saturday. The Christmas Day peak, at 11am for gamers, is actually 3% below the previous Saturday.
Video Games: -3% at Peak on Christmas vs Previous Saturday

Surprise, Kids Wake Up Earlier Than Adults

The peak in traffic for each type of collectible is different too.

Kids are notorious for waking their parents up early to open presents. I don't have survey data to prove it, but I'm very confident the average present opening time is earlier for households with kids than households without kids.

The average pokemon card collector is younger than the average retro gamer (video game collecting focuses on retro while Pokemon and sports cards focus on new releases). Sports cards is a mix because there are lots of kids into sports cards, but lots of adult card collectors too.

For Pokemon cards the peak in user traffic is 9am. For sports cards it's 10am. And for gamers it is 11am.

This matches up with the ages. Pokemon card collectors are checking their card prices sooner than the average sports card collector, who checks earlier than the average gamer.

Christmas Traffic Declines As Day Continues, But Not the Same Amount

After the peak in traffic, users decline for all collector types.

Pokemon shows a very steady decline with traffic down every hour from the peak. From 9am to 6pm, traffic declined 38%. Still much higher than the previous Saturday but a steady decline as people move onto other Christmas Day activities unrelated to card collecting.

Pokemon Card Users: -38% From Peak to 6pm

Mean while, sports cards have a much smaller decline in traffic and actually increase during some hours of the day instead of a slow and steady decline like Pokemon.

Sports Card Users: -14% From Peak to 6pm

What explains the difference? NBA and NFL games on Christmas Day.

It is really popular for sports fans to check card prices during games. They might buy a card for a player having a great game. Or sell a card for the rookie who got benched. On a typical day, the peak in traffic on SportsCardsPro is during the evening games.

Both the NFL and NBA have nationally televised games scheduled on Christmas Day. The NBA has five games starting at 9am with the Hawks vs Knicks and finishing with the Mavericks vs Jazz ending around 9:30pm. The NFL has two games, a 1:30pm kickoff and a 5:15 kickoff (ending a little after 8pm).

The chart below overlays the game start and end times with the traffic data.

Sports Card Traffic With NBA and NFL Games Overlayed

You can see traffic hold relatively steady while the NBA and NFL games are both being played (1:30-8pm). Then traffic starts declining in the last hour with only one NBA game. Followed by a steep decline after that last game ends.

Summary of Christmas Day for the Average Collector

Gamer: Slower start to unpacking then add some new games to their collection. Then start playing them. Traffic is very similar to the average day.

Pokemon Card Collector: Open new packs early in the day and check the prices on their new cards. Quickly move onto other Christmas activities.

Sports Card Collector: Open new packs in mid morning. Check the prices on those cards. Then start watching pro sports on TV and check card prices until the games end.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this info! Very cool to get some insight into how other collectors use the website.

Videogame_Dad said...

Very interesting thank you

SoupTime454 said...

I find this type of data to be very interesting, and would enjoy more articles like this in the future.

JJ said...

Glad you all like the article. I enjoy finding data like that and writing about it so I'll try to do similar articles in the future.


I didn't expect to be so pleased with examining these data trends.

Seth Sparks said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

What you do is as incredible as the data you report. Amazing as well as appreciated. Thank you.

Sla said...

Nice! Always love to see data.

I know I always request random features in comments so I'm going to give you another one :P

We need an easy way to get all of the games missing manuals. I just sat through a claim sale of manuals and could not remember what I needed!

JJ said...

@slacroix - Good suggestion. I can see how that would be helpful. I'll make a note about that now for future addition to the site.

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