How Will New Marathons Impact SWCT?

Right now, there is a pretty visible split in the community about the period between the end of the previous 30 week marathons and the new marathons that launched this past weekend. Some saw it as a quirky time where fun sets and lots of variants were enough to pass the time. Others saw it as a complete departure from the point of the app, focused on squeezing every last dollar out of the community.

In reality it was probably some of both, as there were some great looking cards that hit the app after the end of week 30. There were also a ton of expensive base and insert variants that seemed overly repetitive. I really didnt think that much of it, because I knew the marathons would start again. Luckily for all of us, my prediction of early 2016 with a new app build was not correct.

So, this whole situation begs the question of what type of impact these new marathons will have on a community divided by the “offseason” period where no marathons were released.

Why New Marathons Will Be Awesome

When SWCT started, it was clear that collecting sets was going to be a humongous part of the app. At first, it was the only part of the app. Although the advent of hoarding and the Smuggler’s Den have added new elements to the game, the main concept still rings true.


Marathons were the most important sets in the app, and will likely remain so for the sequel to the original wave of releases. Sets like Vintage ran the trade economy to a point, with Widevision and others not far behind. When the marathons encountered production delays, the app pitched a fit. It was a situation that almost required people to set their watches each day to ensure that they didnt miss out on the sets they collected.

When that element went away (save for Galactic Moments’ enormous delay), it was clear that a solid majority of the app population would be looking for a replacement until the Topps Digital team decided how to proceed. Some were okay with being patient, while others got increasingly frustrated with content not meeting their standards set by the wonderful marathon releases. For others, the conclusion of the marathons even brought a surly response, with dissatisfaction over the award cards, award distribution and the like. Lets face it, a time without a cause, like the marathons provided, made/makes people really cranky.

Now that we are back, the initial releases showcased how much fervor could be generated around the sets. The release of the first Vintage card on Thursday wreaked havoc on the servers for the first time in months, and Widevision wasnt much different. Not only were people excited, but so many wanted to get in on week 1, that the tech behind the app couldnt handle the volume. That is pretty promising.

Ebay Values for the Vintage and WV look pretty nice as well, even though it doesnt invoke the prices of Han and Obi Wan:

Vintage Week 1 – Skywalker’s Rescue

Widevision Week 1 – Goodbye For Now

Topps Choice Week 1 – Cane Adiss

Film Quote Week 1 – Power of the Dark Side

Obviously, server crashes and insanity wont be the case every week, but it shows there is still an immense amount of interest to start the marathons over again. Although many will drop off, quite a huge proportion of the chasers will not. These types of things just bring people together.

At its core, the creation of new marathon sets will continue to ensure that users keep coming back every day. For Topps it means more money, but for us, it means more people on the fan feed and articles looking to trade, and more activity within the app. This is a great thing.

With Force Awakens at 3 weeks and counting, this is only going to get better, and I am excited to see how this all turns out.

Why the New Marathons Arent a Big Deal

For every positive side of the story, there is a negative, and there are a few with this scenario as well. As mentioned above, there is a lot of unrest within the app, mostly around the strategy employed to keep people around while Topps sorted out the way all of this was going to look.

Because of the frustration and dissatisfaction that exists, many users may be so disenfranchised that the release of new sets wont be enough to bring them back from the dark side. I understand this feeling, even though its not one I have personally.

To these users, they feel that Topps showed them that the time between the sets was more about the money than creating compelling content. Even though there were great sets available, the main focus wasnt what people were looking for in a time where the daily chase was gone.

That’s not saying that all is lost for these individuals, but I will say that it looks like they will consider the releases with a skeptical eye until they feel that Topps has proved themselves again. If similar experiences in Bunt and Huddle are any indication, this might be an insurmountable task for the team.

I would guess that many will not be completely out, as the draw to open packs with free coins is just too much. At the same time, Topps has to bank that the new marathons will generate enough revenue to replace the people who decided that the current state of SWCT was not for them.

To be completely honest, im not even sure how I would offer an olive branch if I were Topps, but something like a VIP program is probably a good start. Users will complain about the money every chance they get without a doubt, but I feel like the complaints tend to be of a different tone when VIP is part of the game.

I am not positive that any one program will change people’s mind, but incremental little steps are definitely worth considering.

Overall, I could not be more excited to have a new chase that dominates my experience daily on the app. I have waited to see this type of race begin again, and this time, there are some new wrinkles. Check back as we see what Topps has in store.

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Breaking Down the New SWCT Marathons!

Well, im going to be completely honest. I did not think we were going to get these this soon. I thought it would take until at least after the movie, and possibly into 2016 before new Marathons started, but I am ecstatic that we are seeing them now.

After a preview post on iO9 and a few other sources, its time to take a look at what we have seen, and get some good ideas about what is coming down the pike. I think that the marathon sets are what really get the game moving, and now that it looks like the daily cards are back, we can all exhale a bit.



The most popular of the first wave of marathons is back, with a tweaked look for wave 2. These will continue to be released every thursday, just like before, and I would expect that this should remain the top of the mountain. Now that everyone will have the opportunity to start from the beginning, we could see that value is returned to where it was at the beginning of wave 1. Obviously, Vintage Han will always be the anomaly, but these cards look really, really cool. Seeing that Value dropped so far at the end, a new start will definitely be huge.

Verdict: light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512


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These have a bit of a different look than they did in wave 1, but I am loving the new look. They look much more sleek and modern, which should be a good way to separate them from the first batch. One of the main reasons I loved the first wave so much was because they were retro looking, but I like the newer look just as much.

Verdict:  light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512

Film Quotes

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The new Friday marathon is Film Quotes, which I think is the strongest concept of the three previews, but the weakest of the designs. Considering how awesome the sets were that were released early in the app’s existence, this is really disappointing. I hate that it says “Film Quote Friday” on the card, which just doesnt belong there to me. Branding the card with a hook is just awful in my opinion.

Verdict: light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512

Topps Choice


I actually loved the Topps Choice design last year, and this retro look is pretty cool too. The only thing is that the Topps 1977 design is getting a bit overused, and to see another set, this time as a marathon, use the design is something I might have gone a different direction with. Even so, this is going to be a good one.

Verdict: light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512

Fan’s Choice


This is going to be interesting, as the design looks very much upgraded over the last marathon, but all the characters have already been used that would ever be a fan’s choice. Obviously, Topps is planning on using those characters again, which is fine by me. This look reminds me of the resource design, but I absolutely love the stark change over the previous.

Verdict: light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512

Making of Mondays


Although I dont like that there is another set with the day of the week in the title, I love the theme and I love the deisgn. This is a great concept that could EASILY have been a solid replacement for Galactic Moments in the first marathon, and I am excited to see where this goes. Star Wars production photos are well documented, and I think that we are in for a treat here.

Verdict: light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512light_saber-512

Other Releases

Looks like Topps Classic is back with a black design, and as someone who loved series one, these variants look pretty freaking cool.

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The Droids Set is something that looks pretty awesome, and from what the release says, this should be a pretty limited set. We shall see how it plays out.

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Overall, I would guess this is far from the end of the new slate of inserts, but exciting that we get a sneak peak.

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Recapping the Huddle Thanksgiving Madness

Yesterday was a huge day in Huddle. So much so that I am curious how big things will get for the Super Bowl and other NFL events. Considering how incredible some of the cards were yesterday, I cannot put into words how excited I am for the rest of the season.

Huddle Thanksgiving Signature Series


Cards: 5
Difficulty: Extreme
Cool Factor: Long Touchdown

Topps released a variation of the base signatures for thanksgiving, with an updated stadium background. Although I love the original signature design, this new look made the cards look like ultra premium versions. They were extremely tough pulls, and the Dez Bryant rewards sure were rare as a result.

Huddle Legend Signatures – Deion Sanders


Cards: 5
Difficulty: Unprecedented
Cool Factor: Long Touchdown

There is no better person to start off this series than Deion, who is easily one of the best players in NFL history. Not only were these cards expensive to pull at 1mil per, but the four cards in the set added up to an award signature that might be one of the best Huddle has ever seen. Incredible set, cannot wait for more.

Huddle Thanksgiving Series


Cards: 30
Difficulty: Medium
Cool Factor: Field Goal

I really like the design of the set this year, and I like that they were guaranteed cards per pack format. It made them ultra accessible to everyone who wanted to try for the set, and the award dual signature was a great looking award for the effort. I think the coolness of the set was impacted by how many other amazing things hit the store, unfortunately.

Turkey Red


Cards: 1 Free, 4 for Set, 1 for Pack Journey
Difficulty: Hard
Cool Factor: 3rd Down Conversion

I love the look of Turkey Red as a modern take on the retro pre-war set that this program is based on for physical. The bundle buy pack format didnt really work well for the release, but that is just the nature of the beast. Using the Hopkins as the Thanksgiving Pack Journey was an interesting choice, as I would guess that the Sayers Limited would have probably been a much better choice.

Legend Limited – Gale Sayers


Cards: 1
Difficulty: Extreme
Cool Factor: Touchdown

I love this series, and Gayle Sayers is a great choice for the set. Walter Payton’s estate is notoriously hard to work with, so they might not have been able to secure rights for the cards. Either way, Sayers is awesome in his own right.

Jerry Rice Contract Relic


Cards: 1
Difficulty: Hard
Cool Factor: Touchdown

Although this SHOULD have been called a Cut Siganture, its still cool as a contract relic. Its kind of set up in a lenticular format, and I really think the card is really interesting as something for the digital format.

Topps Arcade


Cards: 5
Difficulty: Hard
Cool Factor: Long Touchdown

I love this set. Love, love, love, love, love. The design is done specifically for Huddle, and the packout format will keep the cards extremely limited. This should be a cool and valuable set that will hold up for the rest of the season.

There are so many more things that hit the store today and yesterday that it is just too much to handle in one post. Stay tuned for more as the releases continue.

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Topps Huddle Unveils MASSIVE Plans for Thanksgiving

Before I start, we knew Thanksgiving was going to be big. We knew Black Friday was going to be big. We had no clue that it was going to be THIS big.

Legends Cards

From what the app description says, there is a ton of legends stuff that is going to hit the app over the next few days and especially over the next few weeks. Not only will we be getting legend cards, but we will be getting Sigs, Relics and all sorts of other stuff.

This makes me extremely happy, considering I just posted how much more of an impact the legends should be able to have on Huddle.

Tyson Beck Exclusive Set

Starting on Cyber Monday, Topps Arcade will be making its debut. This set is designed exclusively for Huddle, and it looks like it might be one of the more unique looking and awesome designs we have seen.


Chris Vaccaro posted a preview of Adrian Peterson, and I could not be more pumped for this set to get going!

Allen and Ginter

After much of the community chased the Ginter cards last year during the season and the Richard Sherman parallax sig during the super bowl, we are going to see what the set can bring now that everything is fully licensed. The die cut cards are awesome looking on the physical side, and they should be insanely cool on the digital side too.


Parallax Sig – Tom Brady

This is where things are going to get crazy, and I cannot even put into words how much potential to blow the roof off of things with the Brady sig. Last year’s Brady parallax sig is still one of the most sought after cards of the year, and it should be the same thing once again this year.

Other Sets

From the description, it definitely looks like all the things mentioned above are only the beginning. Valor Relics, Patch cards, 1952 baseball fusion, it goes on and on. I hope you have your coins saved up because this is going to be a thunderdome of huddle greatness.

Ill post more previews as things become available. May god have mercy on our souls, survive if you can!

Here is the official write up:


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Topps Digital Predictions for Thanksgiving and Black Friday Madness

I love Thanksgiving. Its my favorite holiday, if not only because of the food and family. It also helps that Sports has been woven into the fabric of the goings on, and Topps Digital has always made it fun. This is a guide to what I would expect coming up this week, over the next few days.

Topps Huddle

We already see that contests have been posted, including a premium contest with one of the best prizes I have seen outside of the 1/1s given during the boost contests.

Not only will the top 25 be given a Tom Brady 3x boost as their main reward, but they will also get the standard 2 contest cards as well. This is a HUGE prize considering how many Patriots collectors there are, and it doesnt stop there.


I also expect a bunch of releases to happen over the course of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with a potential to see the return of the fabled Black Friday Marathon set. Last year’s marathon was seriously one of my favorite things, and I hope we get something similar again.

Being that Huddle is NFL licensed for the first time, could we also see some Thanksgiving classics make an appearance? I would go freaking nuts if that happened. I cannot wait to see what happens, as football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand.

Topps Bunt

We already see that Bunt has a new Black splash screen, which I am wondering how it relates to the upcoming Black Friday plans I just mentioned for Huddle.

Last year, the Bunt version of the Black Friday Marathon showcased the first ever Babe Ruth signature card, and boy did people freak out chasing down all the cards.


I would guess there will be a commemorative Thanksgiving set, which if it looks half as good as some of the other cards we have seen this year, should be amazing.

This is offseason territory for Bunt, unfortunately, so the users that are still hanging around are less than we would normally see. Its really too bad, because some tremendous stuff has been going down lately.

Star Wars Card Trader

This is where things could get interesting. Star Wars wasnt around during last thanksgiving, so there isnt a precedent of what might happen. With the movie coming out, and variant-palooza still running strong, I would guess there could be some sort of FA tie in, with a variant set of special characters on the way.

Because of the subject matter of the app, I sincerely hope they find a way to keep this awesome, and not go down a path that is more corny than anything. Although Star Wars always had a schlocky element to the franchise, I dont want to see something that goofy.

Being that Star Wars and merchandising have gone together like Lightsabers and Blaster Pistols in the past, I am really expecting some cool fireworks leading into the after-thanksgiving weekend. This could be a time to re-energize things in an app where releases havent been as frequent as of late. Being that this is also a Marathon-free “offseason” period for the app, this is a huge opportunity to get people going again.

Im going to be heading back to Minnesota to spend time with my family, but you can be rest assured that I will be keeping a close eye on what is going on. As mentioned multiple times, I am beyond excited to see what goes down in all the apps.

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Will Legends Make More of a Huddle Impact?

Since a few months ago, one type of card has dominated the value spectrum on the Huddle stage. Unlike other rare inserts, the Gold Legends cards have been so valuable in the game, that there is almost no way to trade for them unless you have other legends in tow. For the top guys like Rice, Staubach and company, the cost of obtaining a copy is beyond almost any other insert in the game.

Phil Simms Legend Huddle

Today, Huddle released a Bo Jackson Limted Legends card, which plays to two different groups of collectors within the game. The Limited series is already a highly sought after group of cards, and to add Hall of Fame players to the mix takes it to a different level of cool.

Actually, the Bo Jackson card itself isnt really what intrigues me the most about the release. Its not the packout in the boost bundle packs either. Its the fact that there might be more ways Huddle is going to use these types of players, and I am ALL FOR IT.

Bo Jackson Limited Huddle

I understand why they might have held off going this direction at first. The Legends boxes are expensive. Really expensive. That means the cards contained in the boxes need to be representative of the cost of ownership. Now that they have established the main hits of those releases as the top cards in the game, its time to branch off and capitalize on the momentum.

Here are some auctions, just to show the asking prices:

Topps Huddle Jerry Rice Gold Legend Card

Topps Huddle Phil Simms Gold Legend Card

Even the less rare variants are going for a lot:

Topps Huddle Roger Staubach Legend Variant Card

Topps Huddle Howie Long Legend Variant Card

Obviously, huge value attribution isnt a pass to create sets that have no value what so ever, either. Guaranteed HOF insert packs are not something I would recommend. I have trumpeted frequently that novelty is one thing that the community DOES NOT understand. They want as much of something as they can get when its hot, and then complain that things are diluted when the market is over-saturated. Value is volatile and fleeting in any of the Topps Digital apps, which is why something like using Retired players should be coddled the way it has since the first Gold card dropped.

Here are some ideas:

Legend Sigs – this is an obvious progression of the concept, but it MUST be done the right way. It cant be 1000 count with a 250 count variant. Its almost worth just releasing them as 250 count cards with no variants.

Legendary Moments – The Hail Mary, the Immaculate Reception, the Monsters of the Midway, the Purple People Eaters, the Ice Bowl. Celebrate the best moments from the history of the game in a way that keeps the cards special. These are going to be some of the most sought after cards in Huddle history.

Ring of Honor – Each team has retired numbers, and all of those are retried for a reason. Celebrating the greatest from each team would fly high with team and player collectors. Topps physical has used a special design in each base set since the early 2000s, and that would work perfectly.

Hall of Fame Busts – This might not be possible with HOF licensing, but being able to release die cuts of the HOF busts for some of the game’s greatest players would be amazing.


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SWCT Force Tip of the Day: Breaking Down My Favorite Force Awakens Cards

The movie is nigh. If there is a way to put me into suspended animation until the middle of December, that would be awesome. I am beyond excited to see how the new trilogy starts and plays out, as it looks like it is full of moments that made the original trilogy so much fun. SWCT has had their fair share of cards that celebrate the movie, and here are some of my favorites.

Santa Cruz Set


Man do I love these cards. Each example brings me back to high school and the 80s skate culture we all looked to emulate. The artwork is incredible, the cards are rare, and sadly I dont have a single one. Of all the Force Awakens cards, I want a full set of these the most. Having no variants for a set is ALWAYS a big deal, and that is maybe why they are so tough to come by.

Die Cut Set


I love the silhouette style presentation they used in these cards, and the fact that they are the first die cut inserts makes them sought after. Each of the cards looks better than the next, and they look great on the card sheet when arranged as a set. Absolutely awesome.

Angles Set


Im not a huge fan of the name of the set, but the way the cards are designed showcases a dynamic action with each example. My favorite of the set is actually the most readily available, with the X Wing flying out of each side.  It can be a challenge to deliver a stunning card with SO MUCH white present, but these succeeded and then some. The packout format was pretty popular with these as well, making the set even more popular and hard to find.

Force Awakens Premiere


Ahhh yes, the set that started it all. When these hit the sheet on Force Friday, my jaw dropped. Easily one of the more beautiful looking sets of the entire SWCT run, and they were so popular that the app started crashing as people scrambled for their sets. The Den element for the awards was a huge curveball that kept the cards valuable, and they still are worth a lot this many weeks later.

Force Awakens Topps Classic


I dont usually go for the retro SW sets on the app, but these were an exception. I liked the way they look, and I liked that they were pretty easy to pull and collect. Some of them were only available for a short time because the app jumped all over the release structure, and that caused a major demand on the trade economy. So much so that a 7000 count card was being traded for much, much lower count inserts.

Im sure everyone has their favorites, and there are definitely more to come. I cant wait to see what happens when the movie eventually hits, as there are some huge opportunities to get more content we have yet to see into the app.

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