Over the last few months, we have seen our fair share of inserts released in a “timer” format instead of card count format that limits circulation. Because of certain elements involved, these types of things can have a very large impact on value, and I want to talk about what that might mean.
Timer Insert Pack Format
Here is how it works, although there may be variations along the way. Basically, there is a pack available for only a certain amount of time. The card counts on the inserts in the packs have no limits, but the timer can definitely keep things contained, or blow it up depending on time released, character popularity, and word of mouth.
So far, we have seen the timer format with the Force Awakens cards, Green base parallel inserts, commemorative cards, and classic art cards. They have also used the timer format for the recently released Mint Press cards, but there are card counts that present a limit in those situations.
Timer Insert Value
Here is where things can get dicey. The longer the cards are available with no count, the more the card count will increase. Because people tend to want to get in as early and often as they can, the packs will sell very quickly.
The higher the card count gets, the more availability will be able to meet the demand in the trade economy. I have seen the commemorative cards get so inflated that they dont justify the investment in pulling them from packs, but I have also seen how the demand can increase regardless of count.
Its easy for me to say that the best strategy is avoiding these cards until you know the value. I know its not that simple. If you wait, its entirely possible that the value will skyrocket to the point where you missed out on a great card.
Instead, I would pay close attention to the article. If you see that a set will have multiple bursts in the store, like we saw with Commemorative, see what happens in the first grouping before diving in. If you see that the card has a huge card count, its probably better just to pick one up through trades. This goes doubly so if the pack odds are really low. Many of the commemorative cards, classic art cards and the like are very easy to obtain via trade, as long as you have a nice insert to give. Some of them have a count close to 10k, which is very high.
If the first burst does not give much of a card count, you might want to jump in on a few packs, depending on the time when the packs hit the store. If something is released late at night, its going to have a lower count than during dinner time. Not as many people are on at that point.
With Greens, look at the character and the time in which it is released. Because you usually have 2 hours to gauge value, check the card count after the first 30 mins and the first 60 minutes. At that point, you should have a good idea what the count looks like.
For any card, counts over 5000 is really high. Anything below 2000 is right in that solid value range. If it is a popular character, that might have a different effect on the value too.
Bottom line, be strategic with your coin spending. Dont just buy packs just to buy, as that will get you in trouble with how much you have available when something really nice comes out.