I have been on a soapbox lately, and I dont see any reason to step off quite yet. We have seen a SHARP decrease in limited content delivered in any reasonable sized manner, and when limited stuff does hit, its buried in sets that really dont have any other residual value.
Bunt has been hit especially hard, because so much focus was put on propping up marathons like Signature Series and Limited, even though counts werent as low as they had been in the past.
SWCT has routinely focused on delivering cool and well designed cards, even though the card count factor has sadly been relegated to an afterthought. Although variants have taken a back seat (and rightfully so), the delivery of super premium content also left alongside the unwanted bloat.
I have preached that limited content should never be phased out, especially with so little reason to continue spending outside of getting some of these major collection pieces. Obviously, using limited content as a crutch has worked some disastrous consequences too, which is why balance is so important.
Today, both SWCT and Bunt released the most expensive packs of the apps in the year, with SWCT creating the most expensive pack ever offered in any app. In both circumstances, the packs were poised to deliver in ways everyone was desperate for, and it drove some very good conversations on how these types of releases should be done in the future.
The Star Wars packs took a very specific approach to hunting whales today, and though it drew some venom from the community, Im not sure how many people saw that it was based on the Stellar Signatures format from SW physical. Insanely premium content delivered at a price that very few individuals can afford, or at least afford alone. Although I wasnt as impressed with the design of the cards, the format definitely perked up my SWCT antennae unlike anything this year.
Its too bad that the app has decided to make these types of releases basically unattainable for 99% of the app, but that doesnt mean a group of collectors cant band together to buy a box for themselves. This is the way things are done on the physical side, and when you see that Topps Transcendent baseball retails at about $25,000 a box, it becomes obvious that group breaks are the way to tackle a release like this. Multiple people putting down a 100 bucks is a lot easier to stomach than 1 person dropping the $1500 after tax.
The Bunt “Black Ice” packs brought back an old fan favorite, vastly improved with the new Motion effect that we saw with Huddle’s brave the elements. The Frozen Phenoms set was originally released in 2014, and instantly became one of the most highly collected sets on the app.
I absolutely hated the design back then, and I cant even put into words how cool the new ones are. Being that every team has a player and they are all 10 count, makes them just as attractive as anything I have seen in a long time. \
Bunt also brought Definitive Collection to the app, which are some of the best looking cards Topps Physical has made. These cards were all 35 count and under, and looked tremendous. Adding those to a pile of Heritage signatures and 1/1 gold signature variants of the original sigs from the season. Packs sold in crazy fashion, because as I have said, this type of content HAS NOT been available in a collected fashion like we saw today. We need more of these types of action packed releases, especially with great looking cards like we saw today.
Here is my call to action – which builds on the decisions here to bring this type of premium content to the apps:
THIS STUFF CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN. PERIOD.
If you arent going to support a more game like collecting atmosphere, you cant continue to bore the whales with so few sets that are offered like this. It helps every part of the app to bring cards that are sought after more than any other cards. It gives people reason to hop on the trade ticker, it gives people a reason to chase sets that they wouldnt normally chase, and it gives a lot of people a beacon that someone out there knows that playing to the lowest common denominator doesnt always work in an app where people are expected to spend real money for intangible digital collectibles.
I am NOT saying to ditch the ways of the past 12 months – just augment. Augment and create balance.