Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-05-10 16:27 (JST)
Translated by. Braden Noyes
In the last few months, there has been a mysterious rise in the price of a certain card from the trading card game known as “Boy Crazy!” The game was originally released back in the year 2000 by a publisher in the United States called Decipher.
The card in question is #154 Jason Colorado, which is currently selling on auction websites for around 500 times that of other cards from the game. So the question is: Was this actually a rare card from the set or did something happen relating to the young boy named Jason? When one such curious fan asked the question on Twitter, it led to an unexpected revelation.
Boy Crazy! is a trading card game originally published back in 2000. Each card includes a photograph of a different handsome boy between the age of 12 and 22, as well as information about him such as his height, eye color, and favorite type of music. All one needs in order to play is a deck of cards and a writing utensil.
To get started, one player draws 9 random cards from the deck and decides which of those boys they like the best. That player then writes down the boy’s name and the reason they chose him on a piece of paper, keeping it hidden from everyone else. The other players then look at the 9 cards and try to guess which boy the first player chose. Correct guesses earn you a point. It’s a very simple card game that was designed for young girls.
Game reviewer and science fiction author Kosaku Akano is known for being an avid game collector, one such game being Boy Crazy! He often acquires these via overseas auction sites, but on May 8, 2021, he made a tweet mentioning his puzzlement at why the prices of these kinds of cards have gone up so much over the last few years.
Currently, the only card from Boy Crazy! that seems to be priced so highly is card #154 Jason Colorado. As of May 10, 2021, eBay in the United Kingdom has a number of cards from the game listed for the price of £0.99 (about $1.40 USD). For some reason, however, card #154 Jason Colorado is listed at £499 pounds (about $700).
Interestingly, there also seem to be two other Jasons from Colorado depicted on cards #73 and #332. However, the pictures seem to be of different boys, and judging by the research done by this article’s original author, they seem to be going for the regular, lower price. It’s only card #154’s Jason that is valued at a premium.
Akano reasoned this was probably the result of a sudden increase in niche TCG enthusiasts, a jump in the value of Jason himself, or just the fact that fewer copies of Jason’s card were printed. However, information provided by one of Akano’s Twitter followers, @chachadamore, has led to a surprise realization.
It would appear that the grown-up Jason himself was using his own card as a way to promote the cannabis breeder business where he works. Jason announced that he was offering a lifetime supply of free cannabis seeds to anyone who mailed in a copy of his #154 Jason Colorado card.
Dark Horse Genetics, a company based in the state of California, held a livestream event on YouTube on December 17, 2020. During the event, representative Jason Holck announced that anyone who mailed in a copy of Boy Crazy!’s card #154 Jason Colorado would receive a pass for a lifetime supply of free cannabis seeds. He also posted on Instagram the following day about the sudden price jump of the #154 Jason Colorado card to $2,500 USD, demonstrating just how big the reaction was to his announcement.
During the broadcast, Jason explained that “his card was printed 20 years ago.” Jason was clearly visible during the broadcast and he still looks just like his portrait on the card, leaving little doubt that Jason Holck is indeed the boy from the game. With his “Free Cannabis Seeds For Life” campaign, Jason transformed his own card from Boy Crazy! in a single night. What was once merely part of a card game meant to be enjoyed by teenage girls is now a high-value item sought after by adults who love weed.
According to the Oxford Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in Mississippi, the average retail price of medium-quality joints (a marijuana cigarette) in the US in 2020 was $6.18 per joint. Cannabis regulations vary from state to state, which also affects retail prices, but according to the data, the cheapest price per joint for medium-quality marijuana can be found in Mississippi, with an average cost of $3.96 per joint.
At the time of writing this article, the current price of #154 Jason Colorado has settled at around $500 to $1,000 USD. If you were to smoke one joint per day, this would add up to around $120 per month, and that’s if you’re in the cheapest state. Thinking about it this way, the free lifetime pass you would get with card #154 Jason Colorado can be considered an extremely good deal.
But hold on a minute. Many people in Japan still associate marijuana with the dark underground. So is it even legal for Jason to be promoting it? While cannabis may be placed in the same category as hard drugs in Japan, this is not the case in many other countries. It’s true that controlled substances such as cocaine and heroin are restricted by law in most countries, however regulations regarding cannabis are changing.
Many countries already have exceptions for medical-use marijuana, and many are beginning to legalize its recreational use as well. Canada, for example, deregulated cannabis use back in 2018. In the state of California, where Dark Horse Genetics is based, the possession and sale of recreational cannabis is legal, meaning Jason’s promotion is fully within the law.
Even if this exchange is legal, however, it’s a good bet that it rubs card collectors like Akano the wrong way. All they want to do is enjoy playing Boy Crazy! using Jason’s card, but its price just happens to be through the roof. But the worst part is that the other buyers don’t care about the actual game at all. They only want the cards in order to trade them in for a free marijuana pass. An irritated Akano tweeted his annoyance at the situation.
Incidentally, there is no law against the possession of cannabis seeds in Japan. However, cultivating those seeds would be in violation of the Cannabis Control Law. If you’re looking to purchase this card in hopes of redeeming it for the free seeds, I recommend you make sure to first move somewhere that using them is legal. I hear Dark Horse Genetics’s home state of California is welcoming of that sort of thing.