Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Signatures Take Over SWCT

Although SWCT has been working with actor autographs since the first Lando Calrissian card during the lead up to Episode VII, its getting a big more focused on two specific actors now that Boyega and Ridley have signed deals that allow their likeness to be used. There are reasons why this is pretty awesome, and also reasons to pull back on the throttle, and I wanted to detail both sides.

Why the New Signatures are Awesome

I have already stated that for the most part, the new signature relic cards are pretty great looking. They have a high end looking design and offer some top cards in the signature area. They dont really compare in cool factor to the new splatter sigs, which are literally the best I have seen in the app – period. They use a card design that is already incredible looking in its own right and add the autograph in a way that adds to the look. Im really quite impressed.

Card Trader Signature Rey.JPG

Considering that the team already scored with the movie vision signatures, and the way those look, I think that overall Im a big proponent of the way the sig designs have played out. Sigs are the main factor for Huddle and Bunt too, and its only natural they do an intense focus now that they have some sweet material to play with.

What Doesnt Work

First off, we are getting nothing but Boyega and Ridley, which are good in spurts, but not as an entire focus for the app. There are other actors they have licensing rights to that I would love to see some movie vision and signature relics for. Ray Park, for example.

I also think that per usual, variants are out of control. I would love to see them use different stills for the different signature colors, or at least different material for the relics as the variants get rarer, but I dont see any of that.

Lastly, I dont like open edition anything. Im fine with it showing me how many are in circulation – even if that is above 10k. Low card counts are nice, but you dont need to completely hide the count on a white background. Its not worth the effort to me.

Suggestions for the Future

First off, I think its clear that as more actors sign physical autograph deals, more digital signature subjects will come. If that is the case, I hope the way the actors fall together will be reflected in a positive manner.

I would really like to see more focus on sets and less focus on variants, first off. Because the actors arent REALLY signing the cards, its shouldnt be a huge deal to pump up the number of looks that any given design is given. If open edition is the future, than run off a big set so that people will chase them.

Also, its time to move away from the original signature design 100%. Start fresh and do a weekly release similar to the other apps. Instead of a box or a bundle, release coin packs with a weekly chase that is similar to a marathon. Hell, make it a marathon if necessary.

I think it would also be cool to pack out pieces of a card in packs and have people shred the pieces for the finished product. Puzzle cards were supposed to come a long time ago, and I never saw them actually used.

Live signatures are probably coming too, and I support that 100%. Would be awesome to see the tickets for personalized cards be part of the deal, but at least some cool signatures that are inscribed with nice stuff.

Overall, I think that the content for autographs in the app is still something I welcome 100%. I like the relics and signatures, but I want to see them more readily available and with more of a long term structure and plan. It just has to be done with more purpose, and I feel it can be a popular element to the app.

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Upper Deck e-Pack and Changing the Digital Game: DCC Sits Down with President Jason Masherah

Based on my experience with Digital Cards, I always want to try out as many different applications as possible, as I think many have a unique take on trading cards that are different from some of the more established apps. When e-Pack was first announced, I have to admit, I was skeptical of its potential, if not only because the platform broke from what made digital so attractive in my mind.

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Its clear to me now that Upper Deck was just aiming to please the crowd in a way that was more adjacent to the space than I had intially believed. They wanted to find ways to deliver both digital and physical cards at the same time, and try to marry a collecting public that seems divided over its acceptance of the new trends.

I had the chance to talk with Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck, about e-Pack, and its potential for growth in the marketplace. After reading his responses to my questions, its pretty cool to see the direction they are going and the opportunities they see in the marketplace. Whether traditional collectors like it or not, it looks like more and more competition is entering into the digital card marketplace. If straight digital isnt really up your alley, e-Pack might be the way to go. Even more so if you collect hockey or are a fan of the physical products they have made for many years.

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A big thank you to Jason for taking the time to put this together, and also to Chris and team who were a big factor in helping me get access.

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Digital Card Central: Thanks for taking the time on this, I know things are busy. In your opinion, what makes Upper Deck e-Pack™ different in your mind from existing digital platforms?

Jason Masherah: Today there are a variety of digital platforms that offer that pack opening experience to collectors, but they fail to truly connect to our hobby because the experience is totally digital. You can’t own the cards you are opening and I feel that is a big problem. You can not duplicate a game-used memorabilia card or limited-edition autograph card in the digital world. Pulling these types of cards is the biggest thrill in the industry and to deprive fans of that experience by delivering these cards only in a digital format was a big miss for me and our team.

The beauty of Upper Deck e-Pack™ is you now have the best of both worlds where you can collect and trade digital cards, but many of them have physical counterparts and there are a variety of physical achievement cards. One of the coolest things about the platform is the image you are seeing of these memorabilia card and autograph cards are actually scans. The patch you see on your card is the actual patch you will receive. If you collect several autographs of the same player, you will notice the subtle differences in the signature on the cards because those are the true images of those cards. Being able to actually take ownership of these cards is the most important aspect of what makes Upper Deck e-Pack™ (www.UpperDeckePack.com) so enticing for collectors. You can actually own the cards you’ve been engaging with on the digital platform.

DCC: I think that’s an interesting perspective, and I dont think I disagree. On that note, give us a peak behind the curtain – what are some things coming down the road that we should be excited about?

JM: I’ve always felt our entertainment releases, particularly for Marvel movies, are incredibly strong and a lot of fun to open. The biggest problem is that not every shop carries them and most fans do not know where to get them. To offer more of these releases on the Upper Deck e-Pack platform is an incredible opportunity to expose these releases to a larger audience, many who do not have a hobby shop nearby or who may not have even realized some of these cards existed. So if you are a fan of non-sports trading card releases, the Upper Deck e-Pack platform is going to offer you a LOT of options very soon.

With regard to other things we will be releasing on the Upper Deck e-Pack platform this year, I can tell you that I don’t think anyone will be able to anticipate some of the other offerings we have coming up to the platform. The truth of the matter is that Upper Deck e-Pack™ isn’t a product and it is bigger than an app; it is a very robust online marketplace. We are going to use the power of this platform to deliver experiences that have never been offered in this hobby, or many others, before. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

DCC: What drew you to Check Out My Cards (COMC) and Dynamics as partners?

JM: One thing that our former owner and CEO Richard McWilliam taught me was to really focus on what Upper Deck does well which is being innovative, putting out quality products and delivering customers an authentic experience that brings them closer to what they love. He also taught me to understand and appreciate what your weaknesses are and not to be afraid to ask for help.

Upper Deck is not set up to warehouse trading cards, and scan them and ship them out to fans at the scale we knew we needed to for e-Pack to be successful. Check Out My Cards however is an established and recognized leader in that space. I had some preliminary conversations with the head of COMC; Tim Getsch about what we were looking to do. He was excited and nervous, but as we talked more, we were both confident that together we could deliver an incredible experience to our fans.

Then we looked to a partner to help us with much of the front-end experience that could also be a trusted and secure partner to ensure that the breaks are fair and accurate. We looked to partner with Dynamics Inc. who we had worked with previously on some of their credit card loyalty programs. They are innovating the banking industry and it was clear to us they would be an incredible partner in bringing the Upper Deck e-Pack platform to life, especially because their CEO Jeff Mullen is an avid card collector himself.

Bringing in these two great partners allowed us to do what we do best in producing the world’s best trading cards thus allowing them to focus on their strengths. The end result is an awesome platform and experience for collectors that will continue to evolve with exciting new functionality and offerings at www.UpperDeckePack.com.

DCC: I like that you are partnering with these types of companies, especially ones that are run by collectors themselves. Speaking of that, collectors seem to split on what digital brings to the hobby. What do you see as a challenge for the medium as a whole? What is Upper Deck doing to ensure that it won’t be an issue?

With digital trading card programs, the collector doesn’t truly own anything which is a major problem.  We recently saw this issue transpire on a massive level with the trading card game: Marvel War of Heroes. The company did not get their license renewed and the players lost the entire collections of trading cards overnight. This could happen on any of the digital only programs at any time because licenses change throughout time.

Because our products are tied to physical cards, we protect our collectors by making Upper Deck e-Pack a platform where fans could buy, trade and store their trading cards. When a collector buys a pack, box or case on e-Pack, they own those physical cards.  Should any licensing changes occur, our fans will be able to retain their collections and cards on the e-Pack platform. With other digital-only products, the collector could lose their entire collection based on a licensing change or a company’s decision to no longer support an app.

DCC: Losing a collection is something that has been brought up on twitter a few times, and I know that there are people out there concerned with that aspect – especially with how volatile the licensing market is today. Speaking of licensing, the NHL is an exclusive partner of Upper Deck, what have been their feelings on e-Pack as a delivery method of physical cards and new way to collect?

JM: I think it would be better if you heard from the NHL® on this. Here’s what Dave McCarthy, the vice-president of Consumer Products Marketing for the NHL had to say about Upper Deck e-Pack:

”We applaud Upper Deck’s vision to create this innovative new way for fans and collectors to buy, collect and trade NHL® hockey trading cards. This complimentary channel is serving the digital age consumer who is tech savvy and enjoys the thrill of opening a pack of cards in this new and exciting way.”

DCC: Upper Deck has stated that they feel hobby shops can benefit from e-Pack. I’m among the people who see this as more of a threat. Talk about how you feel hobby shops should look at the new platform.

JM: I totally understand how hobby shops can feel threatened by these digital platforms. Whenever a new initiative comes down the pipe from manufacturers in particular, especially in the digital realm, it is scary for shops. I remember when e-Bay came out and shop owners saw it as a sign of the apocalypse. In time however, many learned how to use e-Bay as a tool to help their business and to quickly realize the true value of collectibles.

The bottom line is that no company is as focused on seeing our hobby shop partners succeed like Upper Deck. I owned a hobby shop. Our Vice-President of Sales owned a hobby shop. We see and value the service they provide and their role in this industry. That being said, there is not a hobby shop in every town, especially in Canada and Europe. As I heard stories about collectors driving an hour or more to get free hockey packs on National Hockey Card Day, I realized more than ever that we need a platform like Upper Deck e-Pack to reach more fans and expose them to the hobby.

Additionally, hobby shops are not open 24-hours a day. Right now we are seeing the peak times on e-Pack are from 8:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. We live in a world today when consumers want something, they want it now. To meet the needs of our customers and today’s consumer landscape, it was critical to develop a platform like Upper Deck e-Pack™ and we are seeing the value in it by the high engagement rates of users.

Our goal is to primarily reach fans that do not have a hobby shop nearby with e-Pack, but to also serve as a complimentary option to fans who want to open packs of cards anytime, anywhere. If you are looking to open a few packs to decompress before bed, Upper Deck e-Pack is there. If you are on a long flight for work or pleasure, it’s awesome to be able to make trades at 20,000 feet from your Wi-Fi enabled device.

There are several things we are doing to protect our hobby shops and make them the first options for collectors to think of when it comes to purchasing Upper Deck products that are also offered on e-Pack.

  • We have staggered the release date to allow hobby shops that window of having the product first for at least two weeks and oftentimes much longer.
  • We are being true to pricing on the front end and charging a pulling fee on the back end to make sure shop prices are very competitive.
  • There is a dealer locator on the Upper Deck e-Pack
  • We have issued e-mail blasts about hobby exclusive products to this audience.
  • We have shared news information about what’s new in the shop to help drive traffic there.
  • We have ramped up the exclusive hobby content where in 2015-16 NHL® Ultimate Collection for example, the rookie autograph shield cards are exclusively in the physical hobby release.
  • We have started a hobby shop advisory board to work with shops on options for them to share what will help them with this platform.
  • We will be debuting two new programs this year that will also help shops leverage the power of Upper Deck e-Pack to drive traffic and awareness to their business.

Additionally, it is not just about what we are doing to help shops, it is about what we are NOT doing that will help them as well. Upper Deck does not advertise the e-Pack platform in any of our physical releases. We do not advertise the e-Pack platform at hobby-focused shows like the Nationals Sports Collectors Convention or the Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo. Additionally, many of our advertising efforts target areas that do not have shops nearby.

DCC: If there is one thing you want physical collectors to know about e-Pack, what would it be?

JM: I think the coolest things about Upper Deck e-Pack is that it really solves the issue of storage for your collection in many cases. To be able to store thousands of physical cards at COMC and be able to see them and show them off from your phone is really awesome. One of the biggest complaints I hear from collectors is how they just have no more room to store their collections. Upper Deck e-Pack really solves those concerns.

DCC: For those newbies out there, what suggestions would you have about getting involved with e-Pack on a beginner level? 

JM: I would recommend with just getting started opening some of the daily free packs. There are different digital packs available every day for FREE at www.UpperDeckePack.com. As you get your feet wet with that, check out the forums and make some trades. Once you get confidence in navigating the platform, you’ll be ready to make a purchase on a product you are most interested in.

One thing that really is great is how friendly many collectors are. We run a #TradingTuesdays promotion on our @UpperDeckHockey Twitter page and it’s fun to see Upper Deck e-Pack users help each other out with regard to getting items for their personal collections. The support from fans in the community is really strong.

DCC: Any parting thoughts for the readers of this post?

JM: Consumers in general are changing. We all expect to do just about everything from our computer or from our phone. The world is quickly evolving and our industry needs to evolve as well.

The biggest challenge the trading card industry faces is bringing back lapsed collectors or creating new collectors. Digital trading card products are creating new collectors but unlike what our competitors are doing, we are focused on teaching these collectors how to collect physical cards, educating them on the nuances of our hobby and then graduating them to brick and mortar only products like SP Authentic, UD Premier and The Cup.

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As mentioned above, big thanks to the e-Pack and Upper Deck team for the time spent on this interview. More content to come on e-Pack in the future, as I feel like they are poised to do some really good things in the trading card and digital card market.

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How Will Rogue One Play Into SWCT?

With a steady diet of Star Wars movies coming over the next few years, the first non-trilogy movie will be released in December. Its an interesting prospect for SWCT, if not only because it breeds more content related material for them to use. Because it isnt a specific movie related to the sequel trilogy, im still mulling over its impact on the app.

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The reason I am mulling it over mostly has to do with two things, one being the quality of the film itself. We got a lot of reports over the summer about how reshoots were needed for so much of the film, something that can foreshadow issue swith the script or the cohesiveness of the final product. Although most movies have a reshoot schedule, this one seemed like it was a lot more than the normal slate.

If the movie ends up being bad, or even just mediocre, could that mean that SWCT will feel the impact of underperforming content derived from a movie that didnt really live up to expectations?

The second piece of this has to do with the content itself, as there were some complaints that the FA content from Episode VII was just too cookie cutter. Although there were some AWESOME sets, publicity stills only go so far in building out new cards. We really didnt see relevant action content from the movie until a few months ago.

I have been talking with a number of users lately, and the prevailing question is whether or not Topps would be able to reclaim even part of the success with Rogue One that they had with FA, as its clear that the release of the first sequel trilogy movie will be on a different level than a non-trilogy story.

A similar question is whether or not the lost crowd from the days of SWCT past are gone for good, or if a new movie with compelling content to could bring some of them back. Its clear that sales strategy has clearly backfired in a lot of different ways, especially with such a huge focus of putting stuff on sale. If a great Rogue One strategy was put into place, would the app get some of that traffic to come back? Questionable.

Here is the thing. Rogue One has a strong female lead. We know how the male dominated app community responds to female characters. Its possible that the new base of characters will give a lift to the app that has been brewing for a while, and hopefully that means some new fun is on the way. Hell, if they can replicate the success of Force Friday again, all bets are off. A new Premiere set might go a long way to doing that.

Overall, strategy is the name of the game, and creating a positive user experience is almost MORE important than ever before. The new movie cant be looked at with $$$$ signs in their eyes. It has to be seen as way to bring the community back to a shell of its former self. I remain optimistic that this is still possible. Only time will tell.

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Making the Most of New Huddle Boosts

For the last few years, boosted cards are the name of the game for success in Huddle. These cards can be some of the most popular types of releases to chase, and a lot of it has to do with how much emphasis is put on contests within the app. There are a few things to consider now that boosts are here, and I wanted to get it out while people are figuring it out.

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Before I dive in, let me say that with GO Boosts always one step ahead, and released for many of the top players, you will NOT need boosts to win. As I have come to find out, very few people actually understand how to play the game and score the most points, and that means that having golds and blues for the right players will still get you near the top if played correctly.

Setup

When boosts were most successful in 2014, users were able to collect a group of cards and get a larger boost for their effort. In 2015, the boosts were more one off releases, and I dont think had the chase that we saw in the previous year. This year seems to be approaching the setup with a combination of 2014 and 2015, with a group of boosts released and a chase for a similar level boost. This chase doesnt produce the level of urgency that we would see with a larger boost attached, but bringing back sets (if that continues), is a good call.

Valuing Boosts

First off, people arent good at chasing the right players, so if you plan your points out, you can make BANK on this for upcoming contests. First off, QB boosts are erroneously determined to be the most valuable of any bunch. Personally, this is a really good thing for people who are lucky and pull them from packs. Not because the QBs are better, but because they have extra value. You might be able to trade them 2 for 1, and that means when you accurately chase top WR and RBs, you can get ahead pretty easily.

Most importantly, dont just give up your boosts for nothing. They do have really good trade value, and if you are not a contest player, you can get good stuff if you play your cards right.

Future Plans

If you think 2.2x is the end of the boost levels, you are sadly mistaken. If I had to guess, there will be MANY different levels, and they will go up higher and higher as the season rolls on. They will also get more expensive, so you might want to take advantage when they go on sale or are cheap to acquire en masse.

Playing Boosts

As mentioned before, your top targets should be WR, RB, TE and LBs that get a lot of tackles. If you play a lot of fantasy contests, then go for the QBs. Otherwise, a white card of a WR will outscore your 2.2x (or higher) QB on every play that both cards score. The more WR and RBs you can get, the better. There are a QBs that run for TDs or score points at a large clip thanks to rushing yards, but that’s the only reason to chase them. Cam Newton and Marcus Mariotacome to mind.

In the end, this is just when Huddle starts to get fun, and I am a big fan of rocking the contests like a boss. Boosts are polarizing around the app, but they are worth picking up for any number of reasons. Not only are they good cards for the contests, but if you dont play, they are some of the best trade bait there is.

 

 

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Looking Back at the Top Cards for Huddle’s Launch

This past week has been a fun one in Huddle, as we are finally getting a look at the main cards for the season. We got introduced to all the marathons, and as expected, the designs are quite impressive. I want to take a minute and go through the first of the top cards to be released and offer some thoughts.

Limited Marathon

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Design129384206412938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: 12938420641293842064129384206412938420641293842064
Collectiblility: 12938420641293842064129384206412938420641293842064

I really like the look this year, even though the color is kind of monotone by design. It was an obvious choice to choose the cover athlete and should be pretty sought after considering the way it was packed out. The paywall in front of the release was not a popular packout scheme, and probably priced 95% of the community out of the chase. That being said, Limited is a popular set, and hopefully they make it more accessible as the year goes on. They did add a new type of variant to the mix this year, which was a bit easier to chase down, and should be a focus for those people who dont want to buy in with real money.

Signature Series Marathon

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Design129384206412938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: 129384206412938420641293842064
Collectiblility: 1293842064129384206412938420641293842064

I think its awesome that signature series fits in so nicely with the design of the base set, and even more when the structure mirrors that of the offseason signatures. 250 makes the lowest variant a premium card, and the golds could end up being the top cards in the game all year long. Cam as the first subject is awesome in its own right, and of all the marathons, this was the best execution in my opinion.

Dual Signature Series

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Design12938420641293842064129384206412938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: 129384206412938420641293842064
Collectiblility: 129384206412938420641293842064

This is the best looking design I have seen in the app in a LONGGGGG time. Starting off with Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck is even more perfect, as both are two of the more highly collectible young QBs in the app. My only complaint is that the variant structure does not match the main sigs, as golds are 100 instead of 10, but it is what it is. I wold have put the golds at 10 and the platinums at 5, but that’s just me. Would have kept things consistent and easy to follow.

Relic Marathon

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Design12938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: 12938420641293842064
Collectiblility: 12938420641293842064

I was hoping for a dynamic design that was similar to the offseason version, but we didnt get that unfortunately. I think the card is a bit played out, even though they look much better than last year. The paywall around this card was really disappointing too, as there was literally no reason to do so. I would have just stuck with the 10k packs for the base and team color with the card exchange for gold. Would have been fine.

Brave the Elements

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Design12938420641293842064129384206412938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: 1293842064
Collectiblility: 12938420641293842064

This looks like 2016’s version of Rain and Ice, two sets that were really popular last year. The design is especially cool, portraying the four main elements in a Topps Fire sort of look. The Adrian Peterson purple rain card was a fitting way to start the set, and that’s not just because im a Vikings fan. Looks like there will be legend versions as well, as we saw Barry Sanders get a card yesterday.

Contest Prize Cards

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Design12938420641293842064129384206412938420641293842064
Difficulty to acquire: N/A – Won through contests
Collectiblility: 129384206412938420641293842064

This was the real shocker of the week, and boy was it a big one. Walter Payton signature and 3 sigs for Winning the all day Sunday contest? Im in. Huddle has always been about contests and these cards are definitely worth the effort. If you havent been a spender, these are enough to get into the mix. Absolutely love the silhouetted players and the gold signatures, hopefully this continues for the entire season. Great looking stuff.

Again, there were definitely ups and downs with delivery, but I think we can all agree how sweet the cards look this year. Great job all around, and hopefully the execution will change where people have expressed their disapproval.

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Valuing Contest Prize Cards in Topps Huddle

The contests this year are taking an interesting approach from day one, and I am on board 100%, plus some. Not only are there the standard fantasy contest and daily contests, but there is now a week long contest as well. The unlimited play contests have contest cards as prizes, and they are easily some of the best looking prizes I have seen in any of the apps. We havent gotten a look at the Legend ones, but I would guess they wont be any less insanely awesome than the others.

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For whatever stupid reason, history hasnt been kind to contest cards. Even going back to the best of Huddle days, many of the prize releases didnt carry half the value that a pack pulled card had. To be fair, the community was never really treated to designs that they enjoyed, even though I thought last year’s were cool in their simplicity.

The one exception to the rule was the playoff signature ones from 2015, where many of the rewards had some serious trade potential, especially for top players. The signature versions of Tom Brady, Cam Newton (SB50), and Aaron Rodgers were easily 40 dollar cards, and still remain highly  collectible pieces. Other than that, good luck.

Hopefully this year will change, as the cards literally look incredible. I love the silhouetted player images and the sleek design is really something to behold. Par for the course for Huddle’s design team, as they have done some seriously amazing work.

Then to find out that for the week long contest, there will be a legend variant and a signature for the premium contest is something that takes this to another level. With the first Huddle card of Walter Payton on the way, im starting to wonder who else might be on their list of legends coming up. We have been getting the same 9 or 10 guys all offseason, hopefully this new list brings more epic names like Sweetness to digital for their initial offerings.

Contests are already hotly contested, and remain difficult to do well in, unless you have the goods. With boosted cards probably in the plans, this is only going to get more and more competitive. Thankfully the prizes look like they are going to reflect the effort that is required to do well in these day long grinds, and I hope the community will put these on a much higher value pedestal. These cards look good and are exclusive, but its up to the community to set value where they belong.

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Valuing Late Offseason Inserts vs New Inserts in Huddle

During the offseason last year, things got a little crazy with the low count stuff. With Supreme, Museum and Fire churning out gold in huge numbers, the way the community valued the cards was already interesting to begin with. Now that the season has changed over, the same people that were unsure of how to treat the situation last year, seem to be carrying that over into the new build. Im actually kind of surprised, and wanted to put down a few thoughts as we get going into the main marathons for the 2016 season.

History

First, its worth discussing a bit about what happened, as it was clear that a LOT of people bought the cards, but few people really saw the true impact it had. When the 2015 season was still in progress, anything 15 was basically untouchable. Legends, Limited variants, Rain, and especially 1/1s all had so much value in trade that 99% of the user base had literally no access. When the playoffs hit, a lot of the count based value was skewed by some really crazy awesome releases, even more so by the Super Bowl.

When Fire dropped during the offseason, all bets were off. Hundreds of 10 count and 50 count cards were released almost weekly, and it really messed with everything. People no longer valued anything that wasnt below 10 in count, and even then it was spotty. Up until the offseason sets, it was rare to see a sub 25 count card of someone that wasnt a star. Now, players like Sean Mannion and Clive Wolford were getting into the game, and people didnt really see the value like they once did.

Topps Fire Rice Sig

When the new app build launched and people started getting into the game with Triple Threads, I saw impact like I hadnt seen in previous years. This new set was obviously based on the 2015 Topps Physical set, but was being branded as 2016 playable cards. I think that making them score for the new year was the right call, but it blurred the cutoff line that usually happens with each new season. It told the community that count issues created by the physical offseason sets may continue into 2016, and that doesnt seem to have had a good effect.

Setting Expectations

As with any 2015 card, it wont be the same value as a low count 2016 card. You cant just trade count for count in the game, and people really need to get used to that. As we have seen with Bunt, box purchased cards are not usually valued as high as pack pulled cards, either. These types of releases are so populous, that the “type” of card isnt rare like a marathon variant being rare. It boils down to a card about three to five times the count, minimum. So, if you have a 10 count card, it might be treated like a 50 count card if you are lucky and its a good player.

Rookie premiere stuff was a month worth of releases with INSANELY low counts because cost on the bundles to buy them was out of whack. These cards also have lower value, unless its the live sigs and minicamp cards for rookies that have no other scoring examples. Dak Prescott’s live sigs should be quite the hot ticket when the season starts.

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Just be prepared to be laughed out of the building if you offer a 10 count gold for the Gurley limited at 30. Its just not the way Huddle works. Now, dont go throwing your 10 count gold cards away either, as there will be inserts that will be coming where they will come in very handy.

The app’s size shrinks during the offseason, and all those people who missed the fun – and there was a lot of it – will want to catch up on their team and player collections. When they pull some of the inserts coming, they will maybe take a second look if you have some nice offseason physical cards to offer.

Trading For 2016 Cards

As mentioned above, because there were so many low count examples that flooded the market, you cant do a count for count swap with 2016 stuff. Top players like Newton and Brady will definitely carry bigger sticks in the trade economy, but dont think that someone is just going to hit accept because you throw a gold their way. There will be a lot of reasons why its almost better to hang onto your best cards than it would be to dump them now, and that’s just the way it is.

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As we saw last year, there was a large market that developed for previous year’s low count inserts. Even though there were fewer of them, people still saw them as cards worth acquiring. It might not happen right away, but if you have some of the more premium physical or low count inserts from last year, they wont be worthless.

The most important thing about all of this is recognizing what you gave up to get the cards in your collection, money or trades, before dumping them for pennies on the dollar. Just because 2015 is done and the cards dont score, is a license to cut bait unless you want to.

Huddle made its bed with the physical sets, and now needs to sleep in it, but that isnt the end of the cards in our collections. A low count card from last year is still going to be something worth having on lock, and dont feed into people who tell you otherwise. If you like it, dont let others influence you to devalue the cards. I had someone yesterday say their offer of 9 golds for one of my Supreme signatures was worth my time. I laughed. Early year hype for gold cards will be fleeting as always – especially once boosts hit. I dont believe that things have sunk that low, and I am not going to dump my cards unless someone has something I actually want more.

At the same time, dont be surprised if someone doesnt share that viewpoint – and that’s okay. Its one person of thousands. Things have a way of coming around. Trust me.

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