South Jersey father and son create mobile app for trading card collectors

HADDONFIELD, N.J. (WPVI) – “When I was Charlie’s age, I became obsessed with maps,” Ted Mann says. “I loved it as a kid, but I hadn’t until recently when Charlie got into the hobby.”

Ted dusted off his baseball card collections while Charlie stacked his Pokémon cards. Like many collectors, the father-son duo wondered how much their paper treasures were worth.

And since the two had a special hobby together, a unique idea was born.

“Professionally. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life running companies in computer vision, visual search,” Ted said. “Charlie is the one who had the inspiration to say, ‘Dad, wouldn’t this same technology work very well on trading cards?'”

Thus, the “CollX” application was born. As the name suggests, it helps users collect, organize, and trade cards using image recognition technology.

“You can just take a picture of any sports card and find the average price, comps, whatever you really need to know,” Charlie said.

Currently the app supports sports cards such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey and football. But in a few weeks, it will add support for the Pokémon trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card game, Magic: the Gathering and professional wrestling cards.

Working with the app has given Charlie more confidence to trade with his classmates. But more importantly, it gave him an idea for the future

“When I grow up I want to be like my dad,” he said. “I kind of want to make an app too, or maybe continue my dad’s app because my dad really inspires me.”

Likewise, Ted is very grateful for the bonds he has forged with his sons.

“I love building a business, but for me the best part is spending time with Charlie, spending time with my other son, August,” he said.

Ted thinks the trading card craze isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. And despite how quickly the kids are growing up, he thinks he and Charlie have created something special to hold on to.

“Hopefully we have the relationship now, that it continues until he’s older,” Ted said. “And maybe one day he can do it with his own son.”

The CollX application grows with 70,000 users just three months after its launch. To learn more, visit their website.

RELATED: South Jersey Moms Write Children’s Book About Parenting Anxiety

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