I love this concept, and have wondered how Topps Digital would find a way to number cards past 1/1 and still make them extremely attractive. We have seen a few examples of these sequentially numbered cards hit the sheet, both from two runs of Inception, a few live signatures, and the mammoth Brady Super Bowl MVP Signature Relic. I have yet to be disappointed with the execution of the design, even though I havent been all that happy with the way the pricing/odds have been set up on the packs.
The question I have seen people ask more and more frequently is the value of the cards themselves, and whether they should all be considered 1/1s in the grand scope of the game.
It has been about 4 years since the first 1/1 was released in Bunt, given to the champion of the postseason challenge. In the years since that first card, we have seen the designation run wild within almost all the Topps Digital apps, even given as rewards for diamond VIPs in Bunt and Kick.
In Huddle, where the designation has taken on a life of its own, the team has gotten pretty creative with the cards, offering them as contest rewards for Thursday Throwdowns or as pack pulled gems that crashed the app in 2014.
Every year, a new crop of users joins the fray, looking to complete their player collection and giving up anything and everything to get their hands on a card only they own. I have seen some users get taken to the cleaners because they want a 1/1 for their collection, and dont care what they have to give up to get it.
As someone who has played Huddle since day 1, I own more than I can recount clearly, without going back through all the years on my sheet. Like the rest of the community, my ears perk up every time a new batch of super premium 1/1s hit the sheet, and if there is a player I collect in the crop, look out.
Trading for the Cards
This is where things get dicey, as value is such a volatile thing in an app where more people play the contests than really collect on a hardcore level. Huddle went a bit nuts since thanksgiving, releasing Inception’s silver signature patch autos, Superfractor sigs, and a second batch of gold signature patch autos all within a month long period. Combine that with the platinum sigs and other 1/1 programs, and you can see how things got super saturated very, very quickly.
People have a history with Inception, and I think that is why the cards for players like Dak, Zeke, Brady and Rodgers are top valued cards and will likely remain as valuable as 1/1s released through other programs. The other players, all the way down to Demarco Murray and Adam Vinatieri, not as much.
Right now, the top card in the app is likely the 1/1 Super Bowl MVP signature relics, as they are the first sequentially numbered cards to have different patches in each one of the examples. Considering all 5 are on lockdown at the moment, its going to be tough to find one to even trade for. Even if you locate a user that has one, prying it away is going to be very, very difficult. I have seen offers floating around of some of the bigger cards available, and that’s just the start.
The worst part about trading for these cards is you cant see which are available unless you go one by one from the master sheet. Because each is technically a 1/1, you cant blind trade for all 10 copies or 5 copies at once. It makes it pretty difficult to find ones that arent locked at that point, and it only adds to the allure.
For cards like Inception, you are going to need some major firepower to get even close. We are talking about either 1/1s from other sets, below 10 count awards and limited, or things like Gold Sigs, or rare Dak/Zeke cards. Crazy rare Brady inserts go a long way in Huddle, and now without boosts being valuable at all, its even tougher to build a case that can give pause to a user that owns one of the cards.
Obviously eBay and cash offers are a great way to get ahold of any card in the game, but with these, its even more of an attractive offer. Because they have yet to be offered in any coin pack, the only way to get these cards is to spend real money and get really lucky. Trading normally available cards for ones of that nature can be awfully tricky, and cash is never a bad thing to use to your advantage.
Overall, TOPPSCOREY has done such an insanely awesome job with each one of these cards, that the value will never be nominal. Just expect the insanity to grow with each new release.
When you consider the things that Huddle has brought to the digital world this year, I think we can assume its only going to get bigger from here. There are so many different directions this can go, that I hope the delivery model changes so people dont get frustrated with the odd approaches on selling access to these cards.
I think that booklets are the next logical step for the sequential treatment, as the community reaction was overwhelmingly positive for the way it was done for the super bowl. Using booklets to deliver ultra premium content is a huge plus, and should create some great reactions as well.
We saw that Live Signatures got a nice little treatment during the big game, with players adding their own serial numbers to the signatures they were signing. If we could get a sequentially numbered inscription card, where each inscription was different, that would be pretty cool.
Sheild Logo patches are a big thing in physical, and I havent seen them used in digital since Triple Threads. The NFL might be wary of using their shield in this fashion, but to get a version /5 with one style of patches and a version /1 with the shield logo would be amazing.
Lastly, I hope there is a way with future versions of the apps to have sequentially numbered cards not show up as 1/1s within the app. If there was a way to layer the sheet so that the cards function as non unique examples, that would change the app dramatically. Right now, all the cards lay on the sheet as individual cards, and I understand why that is necessary. I want to see the product development go a much different way, with providing a way to serially number the different releases.
I have a feeling the other apps are going to join in on this craze, and I wouldnt be opposed at all. You never know what could be coming.