Sports collectibles business undergoes rebranding,


Christopher Jameson started collecting sports memorabilia growing up, and he had a passion for trading card games such as Magic the Gathering and Pokémon. Both loves would inspire his future business venture as an adult.

Jameson and his wife moved to Milledgeville from New England, where he was already selling memorabilia on the side. His wife had taken a new job in the Milledgeville area, and since they were making a fresh start, he though that he could perhaps pivot to something else. Jameson decided to leave his job in corporate security and fully focus on the memorabilia business. 

But by the time they relocated, the COVID-19 pandemic had taken the world by storm and shut everything down. Jameson initially kept his memorabilia sales online, as they were prior to moving to Milledgeville. However, as soon as the restrictions were lifted, he was finally able to open his storefront, C.J.’s Sports Collectibles.

Things have changed quite a bit since 2021 when he opened, with the store recently undergoing a rebranding and changing its name to The Ript Zone. Originally, Jameson’s business was primarily focused on sports memorabilia and trading cards. As time went on, however, he realized that those items did not have a wide local appeal. Jameson found that Magic the Gathering, Pokémon and Dungeons & Dragons were more of a draw for the people of Milledgeville and a better fit for the store as a whole. 

Changing up the business was not hard for Jameson since he already enjoyed all those things. He was a Magic player in the ‘90s, a Pokémon player in the 2000s, and had started playing Dungeons & Dragons when he was 9 years old.

“It’s actually a lot more fun,” Jameson said of running the business since the transition. “I love my sports memorabilia, but doing the trading card games and Dungeons & Dragons, stuff like that — I find that a lot more fun. It’s like yeah, I have a job, but it is a job that I can have fun at and really enjoy.”

Located at 132 S. Wayne St. in downtown Milledgeville, The Ript Zone offers trading card games such as Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and more. The store also sells Funko Pop figures and carries a collection of movie memorabilia. The memorabilia is mainly related to ‘80s and ‘90s horror, but there are items from other genres as well. 

The Ript Zone also hosts events and tournaments related to the games the store has in stock. Jameson said that these events have been bringing out players and customers, usually resulting in The Ript Zone having quite the full house. Tables and open seats are always available to players and free to use although Jameson noted that if they are running a tournament, the tables might be full. Tournament booking is posted on the business Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Jameson said he enjoys the community interaction he gets through the business. He said online sales have taken away the in-person aspect of card buying, but he has always found joy in selling and buying in-person.

“It means a lot that I’m able to build something that downtown obviously needed and be a part of building that community here,” he said. “It’s not just about getting the college kids in here, it’s about getting the locals coming down, too, and bringing those two groups together. So, you’re helping the community of trading card players and collectors meet each other that wouldn’t have met each other if this wasn’t here.”

The Ript Zone is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit https://riptzone.com/ the business Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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