The long beloved Captain of the Enterprise will launch his new series of collectibles on WAX tomorrow and the crew is bracing for impact. Fans of WAX.io are unsure of how to feel after the recent successful, but rocky, launches of both Garbage Pail Kids and Tiger King. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that details for the sale have only started to appear recently, after an email announcement from WAX yesterday. A successful partnership with a brand outside of Topps would go a long way towards building confidence in WAX as a platform. While failing to deliver could be catastrophic and scare away potential business partners. Here I look at what we know about this sale and explain why I think it is a good fit for WAX.
Golden Tickets will be redeemable for signed memorabilia
The Shat Packs go for sale tomorrow at 12pm EST on shatnercards.io for good old fashioned fiat currency. Unlike previous WAX sales, there will not be a pre-sale or secret code to enter the site. Instead it will be a mad rush to purchase packs with some measures in place to restrict the amount of packs you can buy at a time.
This sale in different from GPK and TK in that the packs contain shards and cards, with shards being the main component of the packs. Players will combine shards (3+) which will then create a card and determine its rarity. Certain cards such as Golden's will not need shards and will come in packs as complete cards. This mechanic ensures that players will want to not only open packs, but also trade on the secondary market for shards. Lucky collectors of Golden cards can even redeem them for signed memorabilia – a feature that will drive die hard Trekkie Fans insane.
Here is a breakdown of the sale:
Standard Packs : 7,000 Price $4.99 / each
Contains: 5 Shards or Cards
Mega Packs : 3,000 Price $24.99 / each
Contains: 30 Shards or Cards
Total Cards : 41,709
Variety : 65 photographs
Rarities : Base, Shimmer, X-Ray, Radiant, Golden Ticket
Total Possible Sets : (If 65 photos of all variety) 128 Sets
How Does it Compare?
If you compare this release to GPK and TK you find that Shatner will be a much more rare offering. While we do not know the exact breakdown for rarities or the probabilities, we can assume completing a full set will be very difficult. With only 128 full sets that can be completed if there are 65 cards across all varieties, it will not be easy to complete a full spectrum of cards, especially if you include Golden's.
If Golden cards are burnt after being redeemed there will also be a second market for Golden cards that have or have not been claimed for their prize. A similar market may appear for shards if they contain mint numbers. No secondary markets like this exist for the current offerings of GPK and TK although that could change with season two.
It is likely that the sale will sell out. The WAX team plans to put limits in place per order, but with only 10,000 total packs and likely limits between $500 and $1000, only 220 people can buy every pack. With the previous GPK and TK sales selling out in hours and minutes respectively, many players will FOMO in to ensure they do not have to scramble on the secondary market if the game ends up grabbing their interest. As some players prepare for season two of GPK, they may dabble into decks of Shatner as a way to entertain themselves and parlay their WAX funds during the downtime.
Newbies Don't Know Shat
The popularity of William Shatner outside of blockchain will be an interesting dynamic in this sale. Based on replies to Shatner's tweets, there is an army of followers willing to buy anything with his beautiful mug on it, if they can find their way through WAX. The emergence of WAX pairings on places like changenow.io will help to fuel the secondary market, but it is likely that this batch of new users will get confused by the complexities of WAX and navigating collectables.io, Waxstash.io, and GPK.Market.
We can be sure that Shatner's fans are watching as over 350 people have liked posts with the hashtag #ShatnerWAXPacks, which is impressive for the size of the existing WAX community. The Telegram communities for Shatner have also grown to around 150 in the largest group, which is comparable to the group for the GPK launch.
Combine shards to create new cards
WAX has a lot to prove to fans after issues with both supply and payment processing stunted the potential of their previous offerings. The team says they have put a new system in place to ease the issues, although any new system can have bugs. Hopefully, the limits to sales and the new payment system will ensure a smooth process. Having everyone enter the site at once, which plans to be updated at the time of sale, will be interesting to watch. If the site crashes, we will lose many potential customers that will never come back.
The WAX team has not done a whole lot of promotion for the Shatner release. Much of the promotional push has come only in the last week and many details of the sale are only confirmed on Telegram. It is likely that the team does not want players like myself dwelling over the details and laying out scenarios for the sale, which I will do in the next section. They also probably expect the sale to sell out and do not want to attract more attention than is needed to accomplish their goal of selling the cards. They know this is a marathon and not a spring if WAX wants to keep the customers it onboards.
The current trade volume for WAX is 17.5 million or close to $831,000 according to Waxplorer. If Shatner can capture even a small portion of that volume it should be able to sustain a market of less than 42,000 assets. However, the total traders on the platform in the last 24 hours was only 85 and only 61,000 WAX or close to $3,200 was traded in the past 24 hours. With the Tiger King release still fresh, it is surprising that a market with that high of total trade volume can be sustained by such as small daily active user base. It is still to be seen if each new release on WAX will continue to expand the number of active users or if the engagement with the platform will level off as the rate of project releases continues to accelerate.
One thing I can say with good certainty is that Shatner will be popular due to its new and exciting mechanics. Users of WAX are looking for fun and exciting ways to interact with the platform and anything that spurs a reason to trade on secondary markets will gain interest. Having to gather shards and then roll for the cards adds a loop that is missing from GPK. Plus, the incentive to collect the real-world memorabilia will likely create long term value for players.
The scarcity of the cards themselves will also play a factor in creating long term value for the project. Knowing that packs will continue to rip open as players look for rare cards and shards while still not creating a huge supply of any one card is powerful. Since no one has any idea what the 65 cards look like, or what the unique memorabilia is, it will be a while before the market is able to determine the right prices. Because of this, price discovery will play a large factor and will sway according to how the users as a community view each card. Any card with strong meme value is likely to be a winner, but it is not clear if cards will be more valuable based on their rarity level alone.
Cards will be trackable on any WAX blockchain explorer
From looking at Google trends for William Shatner, certain cards will be more popular than others. Anything relating to Star Trek will do well, but also anything from The Unexplained or from any of Shatner's popular TV shows will be popular. Without clear Google data on anything related to WAX, it is hard to say if any of that search traffic will be relatable to this market, but looking at an IMDb breakdown of Shatner's career is a good start for determining what will be popular amongst his fans.
Beam Me Up, Shatner
Combining new mechanics, a limited number of cards, and a popular brand puts my enthusiasm for this release as a reasonable level. Shatner will attract customers with different reasons for collecting than what we saw with GPK and TK. and Trekkie fans go far lengths to collect something that they see as rare or valuable to their fandom. We will know soon if the user base of WAX be large enough to support the increasing number of IPs in the ecosystem, but based on the limited information we know so far, Shatner is a welcome addition to the WAX crew.