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As promised last time, this next series of articles will focus on a chronological review of each of the insert sets released in the game thus far. I’ll examine the design, performer selection, variants and look at the economics associated with each set Topps has provided thus far. First though, let’s take a quick tour around the newest content available in Topps WWE Slam!
WrestleMania has come and gone, and while there was an abundance of content, none of it really overwhelmed the collectors. The base set as expected ended up being three variants, a “monochrome”, red and blue. The reds and blues were entirely behind a paywall. Each variant had a five card signature set, with the red capped at 250cc and the blue at 33cc. Naturally only those variants have any real value. Awards will be issued on Friday, April 14.
The big news in app is the Raw/Smackdown Live Shakeup which will see various superstars moving shows. As of this writing we’ve had eleven moves from Smackdown Live to Raw, including former champions Alexa Bliss, Dean Ambrose, Mickie James and The Miz. During Raw on Monday night each star changing shows got a new base variant release with the color of their new show (Raw is red, SDL is blue). Obviously the four previously mentioned stars are the most in demand, with Alexa being the top value. Still they’re under $4 apiece right now.
The most recently announced releases are additions to the 2017 base set of Matt and Jeff Hardy as individual cards. Packs are available now that feature the former Broken Matt and Brother Nero in all the typical variants. They’ll be available in all base packs shortly.
Two new “mini-marathon” sets were released last week, one devoted to 205 Live coming in two variants (open edition purple and limited edition orange) and another NXT set with a single variant. These are half the size of the previous marathons at only 15 weeks, with awards coming every five weeks.
The new Fantastic Finishers set which was teased in a video card just before WrestleMania has hit the app in two variants, a silver open and a gold limited. These are not video card releases, and there will be a total of 17 inserts which if you collect each card in a given variant will gain you a Ric Flair award. They are issuing two cards per day and the odds on the silver are pretty easy, 1:3 for regular packs and guaranteed in super-packs which are only available with master-pack access. The golds are 1:20 in regular packs, 1:10 in supers.
The last original marathon Masters on the Microphone had it’s final release last Monday with Ted DiBiase. None of the original marathons have had their award deadlines announced yet.
Finally Wednesday April 12 will see the release of the first Rob Schamberger artwork set, and the cards we’ve seen so far have been awesome. I predict this set will be as popular or more popular than the “Personified” set from the past, which still holds its value today.
As for what’s hot and not in game, anything required for the WrestleMania awards are trading at a premium this week and will continue to do until the award deadline. Obviously the signature cards are the hottest they’ll ever be, though the blue at 33cc will continue to hold and gain value going forward. I can see the blue Quad Women signature moving much higher than it’s current $70 price tag.
Insert Set Focus Part 1
- Week One
Starting things off on day one we got the first ever parallel set with Week One or “Launch Week”, wherein we got 20 of the hottest stars in the base set released in a bronze colored base variant with a “Week 1” logo on the front on top of the superstar’s name. Each day for the first week of the game (July 15 to the 21st in 2016) we were gifted one star from the set, everyone got one (they are denoted with an asterisk below). These seven cards are virtually worthless at this point except to a specific performer collector as there are over 35,000 of each in the game compared to the remainder of the set that hover between 5K and 6K cc. The other 13 cards in the set were available in packs each containing one guaranteed insert. Unfortunately the packs also included the free cards.
Two different awards were issued, gold colored Stone Cold Steve Austin and Warrior. Austin was given for collecting the 7 free cards, while Warrior was for the entire 20 card set. The Stone Cold Award is quite possibly the worst award in the game, with only the Hell In A Cell base set awards having a higher CC. The Warrior is much more scarce with 1302 CC, he sells for about $5 fairly regularly. The rest of the set are dollar cards with the usual suspects (Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte and Finn) selling for slightly higher. The newer version of this set is in fairly high demand currently as the 2017 sets’ award is just about to drop, but the 2016 set is so old that demand is non-existent except to individual performer collectors.
- *AJ Styles
- *Becky Lynch
- Bret Hart
- Finn Balor
- John Cena
- Kevin Owens
- *Macho Man Randy Savage
- *Ric Flair
- Roman Reigns
- Samoa Joe
- Sasha Banks
- *Seth Rollins
- Shawn Michaels
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- *The Rock
- Triple H
- Stone Cold Steve Austin
Charisma is the first of “Noun” sets (the others are Speed, Flight and Power) and shared the insert spotlight during opening week of the game. The first release set the tone with The Boss Sasha Banks, and from there we got six more spirited individuals plus an award card of The Rock. The complete set of 8 cards has 5 current performers and 3 legends. Establishing a pattern that still comes into play today, Charisma came in three different color variations: a blue open edition, a pink variant limited to 1500 CC and a purple variant only available for 24 hours.
Currently the Blue variants are still available in any pack that has “open edition” cards in them, the pink and purple though are long sold out. Entire sets of the Blue variant including the award can be had for a couple bucks. Pink singles go for $1-2, while the pink Rock Award has sold for as much as $6 recently, but it’s more likely under $3 when available. Purple singles are also $1-2 and that includes the Award as well.
Personally I dislike the Noun sets, as they really don’t offer much except for a posed pic with a badly designed background and border. There’s nothing on the back except for the performer’s name, and the three variants don’t offer the collector much in terms of long-term value.
- Sasha Banks
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Big E
- Booker T
- Enzo Amore
Award – The Rock
Aerialists premiered on the same day as Charisma, and focuses entirely on high-flyers. The full set of 7 cards plus an Eddie Guerrero award comes in two varieties, an open edition green and a white variant that was only available for 24 hours. The card count on the white variants is fairly low as the odds to hit one were pretty high. Only the first Finn Balor card is over 1000 cc, the rest are 500 or under. The Eddie Guerrero award came in either silver or gold variant (confusing right?). The Gold can sell as high as $10, but the Silver hasn’t had any sales lately. Green open editions are once again still available in packs that offer open editions and are dollar cards. The Whites sell for $2-3 depending on performer.
This set at least featured in-ring action cards instead of static poses, and the border design is a bit better than the Noun sets. Otherwise unless you’re a high-flyer fan there’s not much here. The performer selection featuring one regular legend, four mid-carders, an (at the time) NXTer and only one top-tier guy doesn’t lend itself to a lot of collectors considering these must-haves.
- Finn Balor
- Rob Van Dam
- Kofi Kingston
- Sin Cara
- AJ Styles
Award – Eddie Guerrero
4. Excellence of Execution – Bret Hart Tribute
The first single performer tribute set from Slam features my all-time favorite wrestler, Bret The Hitman Hart, the best there is, the best there was and the best that ever will be. Featuring only one variant, and touching on several of Bret’s major achievements, this set had long odds and good trade value. Most of the singles run under 1100 cc, and still command at least a couple of bucks on the secondary market.
The pink and black border perfectly captures the Hitman’s in-ring style, though once again the backs could be a bit more detailed. In fact this seemed like the perfect opportunity for a write-up on the reverse side of the card, but alas, apparently Topps doesn’t pay anyone on the digital side to do setbacks (seriously, I think the only in-game cards that have text on the back are physical to digital cards). The Hall of Fame award is framed in Gold, has under 400cc and still sells for $8-10. A full set with award is available currently for $25 or best offer.
- Hart Foundation
- 1st Intercontinental Champ
- 1994 Royal Rumble Win
- WM 8 Intercontinental Champ
- WM 10 Heavyweight Champ
- WM 13 Stone Cold
Award – Hall of Fame
Next time, the next four sets in order.
Don’t forget you can find me in game at GRENDELSEN, and I’m always happy to trade or answer any questions you might have. Leave questions or concerns here and I’ll see you next time.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: DIGITAL DABBLINGS #7 – WrestleMania Week & Marathons End