Collecting Trading Cards in the Digital Age: Fun, Profit, and Games! The TOPPS Case

in #investments5 years ago

Hello!
First of all, Big Thanks for your votes on my first introduction post! It's easy to feel engaged to this medium.
Internet is amazing. And Steemit seems a genuine jump in how the information is going to be created, distributed, and "consumed".

Today i want to talk about TOPPS. The american Trading Cards company, founded in 1938, has made a quantum leap during this last years, jumping to our phones and tablets with "digital collectible trading cards".

When you log into one of the apps, whether is Star Wars, Bunt (Baseball cards), Kick (Football/soccer cards) or even The Walking Dead TV series, you can open (virtual) cards, pull (virtual) short-printed inserts, or trade basic set (virtual!) cards with other users.
As the Topps apps are a "closed" environment, you can always, of course, screenshot any given "card" that you like, even if you don't own it, and keep it forever in your phone photo section. But the value of the cards rely on the ecosystem that Topps has developed.
When they release a "subset", usually they release different cards during one or two weeks. Let's say "Legendary Quarterbacks" (Yeah, there's a NFL app too) or "Star Wars Bounty Hunters". Those cards, called "inserts", appear one every 20, 50 or even more "packs". A pack can cost between 1,000 and 20,000 "topps coins", and all players get a daily free allotment of 25,000 coins.
This is a basic example taken from the Star Wars app, but other apps have tuned different daily rewards, more or less expensive packs, etc, to cater to their specific public.
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The business model of Topps is double. Digitally, it's a standard "freemium model", where you can get more coins making small purchases via App Store or APK store. $0.99 will give you 25,000 credits, enough for a bunch of packs, or you can spend up to $99.95 on 1,350,000 credits and be Mr. Suitcase :-)
"Off line" however, lies also an interesting spin off: An often despised hobby, the card collecting industry has been lagging since 1990. But this apps have helped to their revival. Several topps physical sets this year carry promo codes to be used in the digital apps, and sometimes there has been promos in the digital apps that have given as prize physical sets from the Topps online store, like posters, uncut sheets or oversized cards. The frontier is getting thinner and thinner everyday.

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Of course, there are more examples to this trend: World of Warcraft Trading Card Game included chase "scratch" codes that turned into digital mounts in the online game, being extremely sought after (we sold in the store a digital mount for $899 USD in the peak)
Pokemon keeps melding the original Card Game with the online version, and the ultra popular Pokemon Go! Its only going to present more opportunities of promotions between the digital and the physical world.

LETS CRUNCH SOME NUMBERS !

I recommend to check this list made by the friends at "Digital Card Marketplace" : https://digitalcardmarketplace.com/digital-card-price-guides/top-sales-of-all-time/

Here you can see how the top 100 most expensive DIGITAL cards have been well into the $250+ range. The basic trait to look for here is the uniqueness, of course, and several of the most expensive cards, over the $750 mark, are under 25 card count or less.

The hobby keeps expanding, and noone knows where it can ends. Each TOPPS team works as a separate entity, and in each game you can see how their creative team looks for new and revolutionary ways of engagement. Just a week ago, for example, they inserted a special chase , with an astounding 1:10,000 odds, to win a digital trading card PERSONALISED by the MLB New York Mets Superstar Pitcher Noah "Thor" Syndergaard , in which he will (digitally) sign the card with a reference to the winning user login name. Card Count : 10 copies in the whole world. How cool is that?

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(Look at the "signature cards"... awesome.. Also they keep details as some card "damage" for a vintage look)

There is so much more to talk about this nascent hobby, but i dont want to extend too much in this my second article here. Let me finish by recommending you all to download the most popular Topps apps: Star Wars Card Trader, Kick, Bunt and Huddle. If you log in every day, and every seventh day get the weekly bonus, you're basically getting $100 for free every month! Spend it wisely, be a cunning trader, and you can get a nice card collection.... While making some satoshi in the meantime ;-)

Please don't refrain to post replies, comment or ask me anything! I will love to hear from you whether if you are a new digital collector or just a savvy veteran trying to finish his Vintage collection :-) For the record, my account in Star Wars is YASUKI. Send me a message over there or post your username here for some free cards!
Thanks,
Pablo