Force Tip of the Day: Top Value Cards Other Than the Big Three

Now that Android has launched, there are a lot of new players that are looking to establish themselves in a market that has already been chugging for almost two months. That is going to cause some major problems, especially considering the value that some of the cards have.

Just for reference, here are what the big three sell for on the secondary market:

Vintage: Han in the Millenium Falcon

Widevision: Help Me Obi Wan….

Connections: Darth Sidious and Darth Maul

Just from those auctions you can see what the asking prices are for major cards in the game. These are easily some of the most valuable cards that exist in any of the digital apps, outside of rare variant sigs from Bunt. That being said, there are a lot of other cards that are also pretty valuable, and I want to discuss a few that could be climbing in value as the new Android crowd comes on board.

Topps Choice: Jek Porkins

As part of the first week of releases when the app launched, Porkins already started climbing in value as the Topps Choice set has become a marathon. Now that the crowd has tried to track down one of hardest in the set, at only 2000 copies, the users have realized how few are actually for trade.

Ebay value definitely reflects this situation:

Topps Choice: Jek Porkins

Sepia Film Quotes

I am a huge fan of the film quotes set, mainly because Star Wars has been just as much about the dialogue as the stories in many cases. As a result, the cards have been hugely valuable, and the sepias are exponentially more than any of the other cards.

Here are what they are going for:

Film Quotes: Han Solo Sepia Variant

Film Quotes: Elegant Weapon Sepia Variant

Vintage: Grand Moff Tarkin

With the main sets in the game, there are a lot of cards that are going to be valuable as long as the marathon exists. Tarkin is a tough get, mainly because so many people have left the game with that card still on their account. Because the card only has 2000 copies, there arent as many in ciruclation. It has led to a lot of value being established.

Here is what they are going for:

Vintage: Grand Moff Tarkin

Nightbrothers Maul and Variants

There has been no more popular set than the Nightbrothers, and many users have tried to speculate which will be the next one just like it. Film Quotes was a possibility, but they arent like the Nightbrothers cards. For a cartoon based set, it just makes it that much more impressive.

Here are the auctions:

Nightborthers Collection: Maul

Nightborthers Collection: Maul Variant

Galactic Moments: Ralph McQuarrie

Although the set has a higher card count, its clear that the first version of every one of the marathon cards are going to be more expensive than the others. Ralph may have a ton of copies, but a lot of people still need the card, very similar to Greedo bounty.

Check it out:

Galactic Moments: Ralph McQuarrie

As the game ages, more cards will surface as the top cards to acquire. So many players will want the cards as the game progresses towards the end of the sets. It might be a good idea to pick them up now.

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Huddle Getting Weird – In a Good Way

I have long established that there is only so much one designer can do with headshots. You literally have one picture, and you have to do whatever you can to sell packs. I cant think of a more difficult situation for the offseason, and yet, I think Huddle has done some GREAT stuff so far.

Its clear that the huddle design team has been given the green light to go any sort of direction they see fit, and so far, they have yet to let anyone down. I almost wish things had gotten this weird during the actual season, as each set is better than the one before it.

I think that when you have a limited approach due to the subject matter available, it can be close to impossible to keep things fresh. It almost depends on the artist to design AROUND the lack of variety, and focus as much as possible on the theme of each set.

At that point, it becomes less about the players and more about how much you can build around the designs themselves. Luckily for the Topps team, they have some of the best of the best on the team. Adding in that the Huddle app is so drastically reduced in active users because the season is over, and all of a sudden, it becomes a treat to see what they can come up with.

Experimentation can lead to some really cool stuff, and I think that this is the golden age for that type of stuff.

I cant wait to see what they have in store for the rest of the offseason after seeing these:

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Force Tip of the Day: Android Launch and Weekly Insert Impact

As has been discussed for a number of weeks, Star Wars Card Trader will eventually come to the Android platform. With the launch of that platform will come some large volumes of new users who will have missed out on a number of weeks worth of cards.

Impact

Right now, there are a ton of people who have access to a small pool of insert cards each week, many of which sell out VERY quickly. With an added impact of thousands more, there could be some major change to the insert availability and economy.

Although the Topps team is likely going to consider how all of this is going to go down as they get closer to launch, its clear that the ripples will be felt regardless. This could mean that the game will change considerably to accommodate the growing user base, or things could just end up being that much more competitive.

Value of Sold Out Inserts

Right now, a 1750 count Vintage sells out in less than 30 minutes. These cards are so popular that the store slows to a crawl during the time they are released. If you add another contingent of users, who knows what will happen?

It will also mean that the android users will have missed so many of the previous weekly inserts that value for the big cards may jump so high that they are basically untradeable. Right now, its close to impossible to get your hands on a Vintage Han without mortgaging your house. Now think about 10,000 more people entering the marketplace? Good god.

Same thing goes for any marathon or active set that is still in process during the eventual Android launch.

Potential Scenarios

If Topps were smart, there would be a weekly marathon set starting from scratch around the launch that gives these users access to their own special chase. I would almost make an Android exclusive Vintage set and let them use those cards to trade for the ones they missed. Either way, the biggest cards in the game remain extremely valuable.

If you have noticed, not every insert has a sold out tag, including the Greens and Oranges in some cases. Im curious if a re-release is in order. That could tank value of some of these cards, so look out. It might just be a mistake though.

Similar, I am of the opinion that card counts on the main weekly sets will need to increase significantly. You cannot continue to have 2000-3500  card count sets when so many new users are coming on board. This may mean that the newer inserts are more common, but there will be more fish in the sea to eat them up. Demand shouldnt be as impacted. This is something to be toyed with, and my advice would be to start high and bring it down until the balance is reached.

Servers will also need to be able to take on the added stress, as mentioned above things get very slow upon the release of certain cards.

Im sure there will be a million new issues that pop up as soon as the app ports to Android, but its going to be big. I think its worth preparing ourselves now for what might happen as soon as the launch is imminent.

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Getting Ahead in the Games: How Important is Staying Connected?

There is one aspect of every Topps app that many people are just starting to catch onto, and it has to do with the team’s presence on many of the social media outlets. For most of the duration of all four of the apps, the role of this presence has grown considerably, to the point where you might miss out if you arent following along.

As of right now, all four apps have their own dedicated twitter account. Bunt is @toppsbunt, Huddle is @toppshuddle, Kick is @toppskick, and Star Wars Card Trader is @toppsdigital (There is a fake Topps star wars account out there, just an FYI). If you are not on twitter, it is worth creating an account just to get access to these four handles. They tweet out news, updates, and a lot of information straight from the news feeds in game, which makes it easier than being near your phone and waiting for push notifications. I have set up tweet alerts for all of them, just so that I dont miss something big.

You can also follow many of the producers, including Bunt’s @toppsmike and @toppshanford, Huddle’s @toppsmarc, Kick’s @courtines and SWCT’s @toppssteve. There are also accounts for @ianhundiak, @neilkleid and @chrisvaccaro, who are just as important individuals in the Topps Digital Universe.

On Facebook and Instagram, all of the apps have their own fan pages as well, which you can find some interesting information as well as users going back and forth. I dont use these lines as much out of personal preference, but they can be very helpful to follow along.

A good portion of all four apps is timing, which includes being online when big releases and pack sales happen, and I have seen quite an advantage getting early information hints posted through these mediums. Some of the pages are more active than others, but its also prime time for certain apps right now.

Similarly, if you are having an issue in game, using Social Media can be a good way to find users that have a similar problem. Although the main accounts will likely only respond to UNIVERSAL issues over PERSONAL issues, it may be helpful to see how other people are approaching the problem. I love being on Twitter, and have found a number of people that have helped me stay on top of the strategy and even provided help in finding cards if needed.

Bottom line, if you are on your phone playing these games, its worth your time to get going with being connected a bit further. At the very least, you can ensure that nothing slips by, and maybe even get an edge or two along the way.

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Breaking Down the 2015 Weekly Bunt Insert Sets

I have always enjoyed the the weekly insert sets, especially because they are usually some of the better looking examples that maintain value through the year. That being said, with the Bunt design team now going above and beyond to create a number of good looking weekly sets too, its getting more complicated. Either way, the weekly sets remain the cream of the crop.

2015 Signature Series

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When I first saw the design that was previewed on Instagram the day before launch, I was surprised with the direction they went for the card. I thought that the 2014 sig design was incredible, and this year’s was a completely different direction. I do not like the separated area for the sig, as it actually hides the autograph more than accentuates it. Either way, its something we will have to deal with.

From the Vault

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I really like this set a lot, as I have mentioned was due to my affinity for the 1985 football design that is used for this set. When it was first released, I thought there would be new designs each week, but it looks like they are sticking with 1985 for now. That is fine with me, as the player checklist makes this interesting more than anything. Higher card counts will hamper value, but these cards still trade well.

Fresh Faces

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This set is supposed to commemorate players who have been in the league a while, and have moved on from previous locations. Although I think the design looks nice in a retro kind of way, the overall set theme is a bit weak in my opinion. I would have liked to see more of a focus on the younger players of the game instead of the older ones, as I think this year has some incredible talent at the gate.

Editors Choice

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This year’s Editors Choice design is nothing short of awesome. Because of the white background, the player almost jumps off the card. Its a dynamic looking insert, and its a set that many people have collected now for a long time. Although some of the appeal is gone because the card counts are set, it still maintains a great reputation. Last year, there were some very rare examples because of the set format, but the lack of rarity is more than made up for with the cool look.

Players of the Week

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I always love the players of the week, as I believe that it celebrates the pinnacle of what everyone wants in a performance for your deck. However, because the cards are relatively easy to obtain, the set value has diminished considerably. I remember this was also the case last year, as some of the cards were in the tens of thousands thanks to a packout in special offers. However, there were also ones that were crazy rare because they never were widely available. Things are open to that again this year, but so far, its been pretty easy. Great look to the cards though, as it is a transfer from the Huddle POTW cards during the playoffs.

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Force Tip of the Day – The Quest for Obtaining the Big Three

As we have all come to experience over the last few weeks, there are three cards that will likely hold continuous monumental value throughout the course of the first 30 weeks. Vintage Han, Widevision Help Me Obi Wan, and Connections Sith Lords. This value could continue permanently depending on the structure of the app post week 30, but that is a long way off. So, the question is, how do you get a copy if you dont already have one of these?

NOTE: Blind trades from the main screen or master card sheet for these cards is NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL. You will either get yourself ignored or pull up a list of accounts that own the card, but are no longer active in the game. The Fan Feed is your best bet, and even then its going to be tough.

Vintage Han in the Millennium Falcon (1500 copies)

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This is the holy grail of Star Wars Card Trader, and for good reason. Like the Honus Wagner T206, circulation is greatly impacting the value, as there are far less than 1500 to trade for. As the app gets older, fewer will be available, especially as the award approaches. With so many people looking to complete their sets, or hoard extra copies in case things get nuts, the value is approaching its peak.

Bottom line, all three of these cards will take hours of work to acquire, unless you are going to pay the crazy money to get one from eBay. Han is the most extreme, and its almost better to bear down and try your best now before things get out of hand. Funny enough, its likely going to take 9 cards to get this in hand, and those 9 cards are likely going to need to include the other two in this post.

If you can put together a 9 card offer, with the Connections Sith, Obi Widevision and some other very nice inserts like Nightbrothers, Duel of the Fates WV, or multiple other Vintage cards, you might get lucky. You just need to find someone who has a dupe. I have also seen the 250 copy Sepia Film quote get some looks when combined with some serious firepower, but those are becoming increasingly difficult to get on their own.

I have owned 3 of the Vintage Han cards, stupidly trading away 2 of them for the flavor of the month before the true value of the card was uncovered. If you only have one, I would definitely think twice about trading it away. Right now it will create a huge headache trying to reacquire it, and its not a good idea unless you get some really, REALLY nice cards in return.

Widevision “Help Me Obi Wan Kenobi…” (1500 copies)

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Like Vintage Han, this card is just as much about circulation as it is about anything else. As Hoarders work to stock up their enormous collections, fewer will be available than there already are. This card is almost more difficult to find than Vintage Han, as fewer people advertise that they have one for trade. Because the economy is almost iconic for Han, more people try to trade them for the ransom of their choosing. Obi wan, not so much.

As we are seeing with this holy trinity of SWCT inserts, the eBay prices are getting quite insane. That means that everyone and their mother is aware of how valuable these cards really are. I have offered 9 cards, including 3 vintage, a duel of the fates WV, and 5 other low count inserts and gotten denied on multiple occasions for this card. You almost need a Sith Connections card in your back pocket just to ensure that you can get one. I think the best option for any of these three is to find someone that is willing to trade their copy, and send them a 1:1 same card trade with a message. Tell them you are in the market, and let them go shopping. It will take quite a few of these messages to finally get a bite, but as long as you have the cards, you can likely find a suitor.

If you dont have the cards, its time to fire up the old credit card and buy some packs, or trade your collection away piece by piece to get what you need. The best option isnt always the most attractive, but most of the later releases are easily replaceable if you are hard pressed. These cards, once in your collection are not replaceable in the slightest.

Connections Sith Lords Maul and Sidious (2000 copies)

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This card is one of my favorites in the game, and I am not surprised at how popular it is. The scary thing is, there is a huge gap between it and the next card in line, so you will have to find someone that is okay with losing load bearing wall for 9 support beams.

I spent about 5 hours yesterday trying to track one down for the purposes of this article, and was able to make it work with a combination of Tarkin Vintage, Nightbrothers, and Quotes with 5 other inserts to seal the deal. It was overpaying, but having given up my copy to get Vintage Han weeks ago, this was a necessary replacement.

This is a hard card to locate in the fan feed at the moment, as the release of Topps Choice and Fan’s Choice with the same character has clouded search results. The best way to search is to type in Sidious or Connections and sort through the junk.

Now, I realize that I am putting these cards on a pedestal, but my experience in trying to get them has led me to this viewpoint. I have a collection score over 80, with a huge focus on weekly inserts and sets. I have lots of insert firepower to trade away, and I still had a very difficult time. There are people out there who are working at the same speed trying to hoard as many copies of these three cards as possible, and their firepower grows mightier with each passing day. This isnt the most urgent of situations at the moment, but it will be soon as the first marathon awards come due.

Honorable Mention: Jek Porkins Topps Choice (2000 copies)

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Although I have always expected Topps Choice to be a marathon set, I guess the articles never mentioned it up until yesterday with the release of Darth Maul. Because people pay attention better than I do, the value on this card has skyrocketed ever since the article was published. A word to the wise, this is now a top valued card, and its crazy how quickly things can change. I wish I had the foresight to see this coming before trading away my dupes.

If you have the whole set besides the big three (or four), its time to get on the horse. You will thank me later.

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Sandlot Unwrapped: Breaking Down New Bunt Inserts 4/17/15

Another week of Bunt, and with it, another batch of really cool cards that we are getting the first look at for 2015. Some important sets have started as of this past week, and its worth discussing how they may fall in line with the other releases so far.

Robinson Cano Signature Series

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Card Count: 275
Boost: 1x
Collectability: Extreme
Playability: Normal
Cool Factor: Home Run

This was actually a pretty nice tribute for Jackie Robinson day, as Cano has always been a strong supporter of the legacy for which he was named. The card was previewed as part of the launch media, so we knew it was coming very quickly. At 275 copies, the card should end up being one of the rarer sigs of the year, which makes its value up there with Trout as relatively untradeable at this point.

Jeff Samardzija VIP Signature

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Card Count: 150
Boost: 1x
Collectability: Extreme
Playability: Normal
Cool Factor:Grand Slam

Man do I love this design. Its sleek, its stylish, and it is bold. Where the other signature design doesnt provide a place where the signature is ultimately the focus of the card, this design is awesome in showcasing the player and the signature. As I mentioned to TOPPSMIKE, I like this better than the regular look, and that’s the truth.

Andrew Miller VIP Gold Card

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Card Count: 283
Boost: 2x
Collectability: Strong
Playability: Normal
Cool Factor: Double

Going back to the player selection argument, I am not a huge fan of this. I get that he is a Yankee, but he isnt really the type of player that your top paying customers will want. A guy like Chris Sale or Johnny Cueto would have been quite the reward. I do like the way they designed the card with the special border, though, that is definitely better than 2014’s examples. With 2x cards being a premium at the moment, w

Mookie Betts VIP Black Boost

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Card Count:
Boost: 3x
Collectability: Extreme
Playability: Advanced
Cool Factor: Home Run

This is also an interesting choice, but one that makes a little more sense to me, considering that Mookie has been playing so well to start the season. I would say that highlighting players without a base card so far is a great idea, and I hope this continues.

Diamond 1/1 Cards

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Im sure you all saw that the first batch of 2015 Diamond VIP 1/1 boosts hit the sheet, with quite a few of the recipients going wild over Kris Bryant. These cards will show a “1” in the card count, but likely are untradeable because they are on lockdown by the owners. I really like the look of the card, with the commemorative logo in the bottom right. Really cool card.

Play Hard Series

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I wanted to cover this set in this post, as I think it is beyond awesome looking. A great theme and a great look to the cards have made this a set I really want to chase, and if this is the way we are headed for 2015 Bunt? Sign me up. I think that set design and focusing on the collection aspect of the game is going to be a very big part of the potential success, and I hope that stuff like this continues.

Verdict: BUY!

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