Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Jet Collectors

Jet card collectors talk trade in the Parque Nacional.
I came upon this quirky Bogotá subculture in the Parque Nacional today. At first, I thot they were fans of Panini, the futbol star cards which generated a craze during the World Cup. But the Panini season passed with the Cup, and these cards' images were rather different: colorful animals, dinosaurs, plants and interstellar bodies.

These, in turned out, are the stickers wrapped around those little Jet candy bars. This particular passion's a bit quirky, perhaps, especially for adults. But it's no worse or weirder than collecting coins, stamps or old books, and lots cheaper and more colorful.

Why spend one's time collecting useless things? Why not? It's more active than television, and better for your health than drinking. Not only that, but it's cheaper and more pleasant for the palette than collecting old cars. And you've got an excuse to buy little chocolates.

"That's why we're all a little bit fat," one collector, Juan, told me.

A sentiment which certainly gratifies the Jet chocolate company.

While nobody gets rich collecting Jet stickers, there is a bit of money in it. I see on an Internet commerce site that a full album from decades past can be worth as much as 220,000 pesos, almost US$100.00 - at least in the seller's eyes.

Not child's play. A dinosaur album.

A good trade.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

No comments: