If you havent been around Card Trader lately, you have missed the barrage of sets that have been released over the last few weeks. Great part about the sets is that they look really cool, but it also poses a unique question in value. What is going to happen to all these sets when they expire and the award is given out?
I have done a few posts before on the way insert values change over the course of the release schedule, and that still holds true. The insert’s value is highest at release, decreases as more time passes, and then increases as the reward comes due. After that reward, its dicey, because some of the sets can remain valuable (Nightbrothers is a great example), but others will completely tank.
Predicting this dropoff is more of a guess than it has been in weeks past. There are a few reliable factors that can help to make your guess into more of estimation, but those even get cloudy with more sets on the market. More than ever, its about collecting what you like, rather than just collecting what you think will be valuable. At some point those will intersect.
Low count inserts will almost always have more value than cards with higher counts. Its common sense – although not always the only contributing factor. Cards like Reflections have a relatively higher count, but because of lack of parallels, they retain value post award better than any other insert of comparable count.
Here is where things get a bit subjective. Cool factor is not absolute, but if the app “believes” the card to be cool, it will maintain value better than a card that the app doesnt like. This is groupthink at its finest, especially with sets that people feel are done in a way that doesnt make sense. Look at Manga for example. It had some REALLY cool cards in it. The evil Vader cards are just menacing, and those still have value to this day. People think evil Vader is cool, so they want the card. Now that the award has expired, other cards in the set can be had for yellows and golds. Pretty crazy, as some of them are pretty low count.
If the card’s subject has to do with the original trilogy, or even the prequel trilogy, its likely to have more value than any card related to the cartoons. The cartoons have fans that will pay for low count inserts, but as a whole, cartoon cards usually have less value than movie cards.
Like with any character/item based insert set, the subject of the card could influence the staying power of the card. If you have an obscure character on the card, the chances that the card will continue to have value is much smaller than if Darth Maul is the character on the front.
If a set has a ton of Parallels, like we saw with Shadowbox, there is going to be more availability for people who want them. More parallels dilute the value of the overall set, as its not just the amount listed on the back. Its the amount listed on the back of every single card.
Overall, the more sets that are available at any given time, the fewer people that will be interested in collecting any given set. Right now, there are a load of sets out. Street Art, Icons, Posters of the Rebellion, 1977 Remasters, and Classic Art just to name a few. There just isnt enough coinage floating around to collect all the cards, so they lose value when the individual cards sit in packs.
As mentioned above, its hard to say that its in anyone’s best interest to try to collect every set. Try to find what you like and worry about the value later. Pick your targets, and use your own judgment to decide how you want to proceed with a set collection.