Metrocards become hot collector item

Aug. 31, 2008 at 9:57 AM

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Collectors say pieces of art are getting swiped, literally, every day in New York City.

Metrocards, the plastic cards used to pay fares on transit lines, have become something of a hot item for collectors because of their variety of images on the flip side, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The cards' depictions of animals, world leaders, landmarks, entertainers, advertisements and numerous other subjects and themes have drawn collectors since their introduction in 1994. Collectors view them as miniature pieces of art, with value for selling, trading or just keeping.

A MetroCard collectors group on Yahoo now has 60 members and on Saturday 18 pieces were listed on EBay at prices ranging from $20 for an expired student card to $520 for an expired MetroCard stamped "NYPD."

"We have customers out there who have been collecting these cards since Day 1," Margaret Coffey, New York City Transit's assistant vice president for marketing, told The Times. "We get a lot of calls from people who inquire about the availability of certain cards. All they are trying to do is make their collections as complete as possible; it's really no different than collecting baseball cards."

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