Cards banned after schoolyard 'unfair trades'

Jasmine Albrandt (2), of Waikouaiti, holds her DreamWorks Heroes action cards in central Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Jasmine Albrandt (2), of Waikouaiti, holds her DreamWorks Heroes action cards in central Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Unfair playground deals between pupils have forced several Dunedin primary schools to ban the latest trading card craze.

DreamWorks Heroes action cards featuring characters from movies such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar are collected through a Countdown supermarket promotion.

They are popular with primary school pupils, who have been trading them in playgrounds in recent weeks.

But the schoolyard trading is starting to cause trouble, with some pupils pressuring others into unfair deals.

Arthur Street School principal Verity Harlick said she discouraged pupils from bringing the cards to school after some trades went ''awry''.

''We have requested that our children don't bring them to school, for their own peace of mind and safety.

''For us, it had been going quite smoothly. A lot of the children had bought the collector's book and they were trading and admiring the cards.

''But there had been a few unfair trades which had occurred.''

She said a couple of parents had asked the school to collect them back from pupils.

''Because some of the cards have a higher value or status than others, that was where the difficulty was coming in.''

Andersons Bay and Mornington Schools have also banned the cards.

Mornington School principal Brent Caldwell said a great deal of swapping had occurred in the playground, and they had also started to appear in lesson time.

''The supermarket promotion has a limited shelf life, and like most market-driven collectable crazes, it will soon pass.''

Mr Caldwell said it was one of many ''fads'' that went through schools, but one of only a few banned in recent years.

He said another recent craze - Rainbow Bands (coloured wristbands) - had been good for pupils because they had worked collectively to produce an ''amazing array'' of wristbands in vibrant colours.

Green Island School principal Steve Hayward said the cards had not been banned at his school yet, but he was monitoring the trading among pupils.

''We haven't banned them like we had to do with the old Pokemon cards in the past,'' Mr Hayward said.

''We banned those because kids were using standover tactics - there was unfair swapping, you know, that kind of stuff.

''At the moment, we haven't got any issues, but I'm not saying that won't happen in the future.''

Countdown Dunedin area manager Stuart Worsnop said there had been a great response to the cards in Dunedin and swap meets had been organised at stores around the country.

A swap meet would be held at Dunedin stores on Sunday to give children the opportunity to complete their sets, he said.

''The campaign runs until stocks last, which is expected to be the middle of June.''

Trading card ban

What absolute nonsense. How about leaving the kids to work it out for themselves? I was stunned to read some parents had actually gone to the point of contacting the school and asking them to intervene to get certain cards back.  

What a great lesson for a child if they end up on the bad side of an unfair trade - they wont fall for that again.  For goodness sake people, smarten up and let these kids learn through their own experiences. 

Hitting the banned button

This is another good example of how New Zealanders seem determined to believe that we can make all our troubles go away by just hitting the banned button. Now we're trying to teach kids that banning is the solution to this problem. I agree with the first two posters. Children should be taught to behave responsibly with these cards. It won't be too long before these kids can be responsible (or not) with a number of adult things (motor vehicles, sex, booze, other substances etc) that will hurt them if they are not careful. Children (and adults) need to learn to be responsible. Banning takes away that chance to learn and just drives the problem underground.

Teach fair trading in classroom

I agree. Take the cards from the unregulated playground and structure learning. Practical learning experience. Also point out 'bully' traders are successful up to the point of their arrest.

Opportunity to learn fair trading skills

Instead of totally banning the trading of cards, schools may want to take this opportunity to teach our children the various fair trading methods and what is not fair (especially those that are considered bullying tactics). I think our children can learn a thing or two from these experiences. Like all crazes, it will soon pass.

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