Jasmine Albrandt (2), of Waikouaiti, holds her DreamWorks
Heroes action cards in central Dunedin. Photo by Craig
Unfair playground deals between pupils have forced
several Dunedin primary schools to ban the latest trading card
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
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
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
Mr Caldwell said it was one of many ''fads'' that went
through schools, but one of only a few banned in recent
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.''