I remember when Nightbrothers hit during last year’s launch of the SWCT app. It sold out so fast that there were two days where I got to open zero packs before it sold out and one day when I got to open 10. They were gone in less than 10 minutes back then, and have remained among the most valuable cards in the app to this day.
Although the lack of available sets, combined with a limited release may have contributed to their popularity back then, it doesnt change the fact that they are the SWCT equivalent of a cult classic. They had no marathon, they never returned until yesterday, and yet people still scour the fan feed for people trading the original examples. Its a phenomenon that is only eclipsed by the residual value of the Hoth set.
It was released yesterday in ALMOST the same exact format that it was released prior, and I loved every last minute of it. 5k coins per pack, with the same parallel structure that was used for the first go around. Not surprisingly they sold out in about 20 minutes. Not as fast as the first set, but that is still insanely fast by today’s standards.
Like the originals, the new version is selling VERY well:
There was a giant negative reaction to the reservation packs that were made available, but the complaints were laughable at best. I still dont understand why people take pack prices so personally, especially in a situation like this. Topps knew these cards were going to be big, and no one should fault them for trying to hook some big savers or big spenders with the reservation packs. There are a LOT of coins floating around these days, and there was at least one person who took a dive on the 15,000,000 black reservation pack. That is pretty much the end of the discussion. It literally takes no effort for them to try this approach, and even less cost to try it, so as a business it makes sense. It makes more sense when they have a buyer as we saw.
Either way, this set is a great example of why absence makes the heart grow fonder. Nightbrothers is one of those sets that Topps saved in their back pocket for close to a year. They knew they could go back to the well, and they knew that people would freak. I sure did. This isnt the only set that has this affection, and I would love to see how they could make more of the sets work in the same way. Think about finding source material for a new Reflections set? I would be on board.
I think this set also speaks to simplicity, and the attractiveness of a low count set. I have been waiting a long time for the SWCT team to use the historic and iconic Topps Sports designs to make cards for a long time, and I could see it being as popular as this is. We need a 1952 Topps Darth Vader card. We need a 1986 Topps Luke Skywalker. It cant be complicated, and it has to be limited. Variant free sets tend to have a big appeal, as we saw with the aforementioned Reflections, and also sets like Del Rey. People like simple. People also want to use their coins.
Nightbrothers has a status that will likely be unable to be replicated in a lot of ways, but the set has legs because people continue to remember its impact on the game. It was the first real limited set, and Im starting to wonder if that type of approach has been lost with the new direction of the game. I fully support and understand the usage of bundle purchase cards, and dont fault Topps for using that format. At the same time, there needs to be a balance in a lot of ways.
With such a big splash made with the new set, and a great idea to do a legacy award, I have to hope that this is the beginning of a renaissance of sorts. Lets hope more stuff like this comes down the pike.