I never did the Pokemon Trading Card Game as a kid for a couple of reasons --
1) I never really got an allowance so I couldn't buy them on my own,
2) because trading cards were pretty expensive and in the eyes of my adult figures growing up, they were a waste of time.
-- but I longed for them, and the few that I managed to get my hands on (generally the promos that came when you went to see any of the numerous Pokemon movies), I cherished. None of those cards have survived all the times I've moved since then, but... I've got them all back.
Maybe it's due to my 'Pokemon syndrome' (the irrepressable urge to 'catch 'em all'), but I adore trading cards. Specifically Pokemon cards for a long time, but now I've also gotten into Skylanders cards, and DC / Marvel superhero trading cards. I feel like a little kid for liking to collect them so much, but I can't help getting so excited whenever I get my hands on one that I know is rare or one whose art I really enjoy. And some of these cards are VERY beautiful.
I'm currently drooling over this rare Pokemon card to snag for my collection.I know that most adults play the Magic: the Gathering trading card game, and I know quite a few who do baseball cards and stuff, but I can't get into them.
I have a few decks that I'll actually play the card game with, but mostly I collect them for the artwork, and because I genuinely love Pokemon - I always have since I was a kid.
Pokemon was magical for me because I was definitely a tsundere as a kid- the loner girl who'd act tough and scare everyone else. In the beginning, (and true today), in order to catch all of the Pokemon, you needed to have two game cartirdges. Some of them were special only to Pokemon Red and some were special only to Pokemon Blue. So, in order words, you needed a friend with the opposite game as you, and Pokemon forced me to talk to people and forced me to be nice to them.... and I finally made some real friends.
I wasn't as adamant about Pokemon games in junior high and high school because the magic had faded away by that time for most, but I still kept up with the series in secret. Now, it's starting to be cool again, and I'm glad I can be part of something that is really special to me, especially with people my own age.
I think trading cards are a cool hobby and I kind of feel sorry for the people who get embarrassed by them or think they are just for nerds and kids, and sure, while not everyone is a rare Mickey Mantle that you're able to sell for hundreds of dollars.... it's a hobby you can do across all ages, and the swapping and collecting helps people interact with people. I think they can be a friendly and valuable tool.
There's a trading card out there for everyone :)