Before you read this article, watch the new trailer for the upcoming Episode VII. Not only should those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it should help you to understand a bit about some of the characters we have been seeing in the app these last few weeks.
To provide a little context, the Force Awakens, and more importantly Force Friday was one of the biggest days in the history of movie marketing. The coordinated effort across the globe was unlike anything I have ever seen. Though my statement is only in reference to the personal context I have, it seemed to be a very big deal.
Not only was it a big deal for the different retailers out there, but a big deal for Topps and SWCT to boot. The traffic spike was palpable on the app, and from what it looks like according to sites that track app earnings online, it was a big month for them all around. Maybe the biggest.
With a new trailer debuting last night during Monday Night Football, I would guess the app will get some extra attention today, just like it has each time big news about the movie hits the community. The Force Awakens is easily one of the most important films of the year in terms of revenue generating power, and Topps is banking on it being one for the ages. If the trailer is any indication, they put their money on the right horse.
I believe that we could see renewed interest in the new stuff flowing into the store, as people have gotten a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of FA sets / cards released since Force Friday. Although each set has been cooler than the next, it just gets to a point where the publicity shots start to blur together.
The reason I feel the cards have lost some steam is that people are banking on characters they relatively know NOTHING about. We know Kylo Ren is the villain, we know Rey is a scavenger, we know Finn wields a blue Lightsaber at some point in the movie. There will be massive battles and Han/Chewy will be a back for a major part in the narrative. That being said, we only have bits and pieces of the movie at this point, and it COULD still flop beyond belief (JJ Abrams is awesome, so my confidence in this being bad is tiny).
With a trailer providing a bit more clarity to the extremely blurry picture we are calling Episode VII, we could see that the value on the cards might pick up. Users will become more confident that Kylo Ren will be as cool as he looks. They will also start to be more willing to trade cards that are directly tied to their youthful nostalgia for ones that are still relatively mysterious.
There are still two big events that are going to determine impact on ongoing value for some of these sets. The first is when reviews for the completed film start to hit. If critics pan this movie, people are going to be a bit more wary of investing big in the sets. We all experienced Episode I, and we all know that it had its moments, but was relatively a bust. A poor showing for FA will not cripple SWCT by a long shot, but it wont help either. We want the reviews to be positive, and we want the critics to say that this is the Star Wars movie we have been waiting for.
The second event is the actual release, and actual fans seeing the film. When that happens, we will truly be able to see what our investment payout is going to look like. Star Wars is a franchise based on a “where were you when you saw it for the first time/100th time/last time” mentality, and I can assure you that will come into play again. I hated Episode I, but I still remember sitting in the theater and seeing the opening crawl. It was an event, and I loved every minute of it. That feeling makes me want to chase cards, and that is why SWCT will continue to be successful.
Bottom line, the most important thing to do is have fun. This is one of the best times to be a part of the Topps Digital user base, and with the movie mere months away, this is going to be a big, big deal.