DIGITAL DABBLINGS #18 – September Review & Top 25 Most Valuable Cards

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist



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September was a fairly large month in terms of in-game content, here’s the breakdown:

New Sets:
  • Victory Wave 4
  • Rob Schamberger Art Series 2
  • Boom Comics Wave 2
  • Primal
  • Superstar Logos Series 2
  • Boom Comics Wave 3
  • Taglines (Marathon)
  • Women’s’ Division/Undisputed
  • No Mercy PPV
Signature Series
  • VIP Only Ted Dibiase Red
Inserts
  • Sunday Showcase Mickie James
  • Live Signatures AJ Styles (5 variants), Kevin Owens (5 variants)
Base Variants
  • Purple Brock Lesnar, Asuka, Maryse
  • Gold Rush Razor Ramon, Mandy Rose, Triple H
  • Maroon Card Exchange – Ember Moon, Eric Young, Diamond Dallas Page, Jim Ross, Brock Lesnar, Matt Hardy, Sasha Banks, Shane McMahon, Fandango & Becky Lynch
Marathons
  • WCW #4-7, Award 2 – Ultimate Warrior, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page (award), The Giant
  • PPV Logos #6-9 No Way Out, Money in the Bank, No Mercy, Great Balls of Fire
  • Triptychs #4-8, Award 2 – Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Edge (award), Ember Moon, Jeff Hardy
  • Taglines #1 – Asuka
New Insert Set – Victory Wave 4 (one variation)
  1. Rowdy Roddy Piper
  2. Alexa Bliss
  3. Undertaker
  4. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
  5. Roderick Strong
  6. Eve
  7. Booker T
  8. Dean Malenko
        Award – Macho Man Randy Savage

        Overall Award – The Rock

New Insert Set – Rob Schamberger Art Series 2
Level 1
  1. Sasha Banks
  2. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  3. Tye Dillinger
  4. Asuka
  5. Aleister Black
  6. Roman Reigns
Level 2
  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Charlotte Flair
  3. Sting
  4. AJ Styles

        AWARD – Ultimate Warrior Signed

New Insert Set – Boom Studios Comic Covers Wave 2 – WWE #1 (1 Variant, no award)
  1. The Shield
  2. The New Day
  3. Razor Ramon
  4. Macho Man Randy Savage
  5. Seth Rollins
  6. AJ Styles/Shawn Michaels
  7. Universal Championship
New Insert Set – Primal (2 variants, regular and VIP)
  1. Braun Strowman
  2. Sting
  3. Elias
  4. Finn Balor
  5. Roman Reigns
  6. Aleister Black
  7. Killian Dane
  8. Samoa Joe
  9. Brock Lesnar
  10. Drew McIntyre


        Award – Batista

New Insert Set – Superstar Logos Series 2 (2 variants, both needed for award)
  1. Becky Lynch
  2. The New Day
  3. Roman Reigns
  4. Natalya
  5. AJ Styles
  6. Finn Balor
  7. Seth Rollins
Award – Jeff Hardy
New Insert Set – Boom Comics Wave 3 – WWE #9 (1 variant, no ward)
  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Sgt. Slaughter
  3. Wyatt Family
  4. Cesaro
  5. American Alpha
Women’s Division
  • Roster Set of 21 (4 variants)
  • Matches & Moments set of 20 (4 variants)
  • Rivalries set of 11 (1 variant)
  • Undisputed Signatures (10 single, 2 triple)
  • Awards for each section listed above
No Mercy
  • Base set of 19 (3 Variants)
  • Signature set of 3 (3 Variants)
  • Bundle Incentive Base Set of 5 (Gold)
  • Awards for each base, each signature, all 5 bundles
  • Predictors
  • Poster (3 variants)
  • Topps Now

So to recap, that’s six daily sets, one new weekly marathon to go with the other three, one huge release, one PPV release, two live signatures and over a dozen new base variants.  That’s an awful lot of content for one month and with that much available it’s really hard to collect everything available.

Victory rounded out it’s final wave this month with a whimper more than a bang.  Though the Alexa Bliss single sent her fanboys scrambling.  The heretofore unannounced overall award of The Rock sent a few folks searching for previous cards they’d missed from waves 1-3, but overall the set still ended up being more of a budget issue rather than premium.  Most cards run $1-2.  The overall 32 card plus 5 awards master set sold for about $15, and that’s only slightly more than the VIP Green Wave 3 complete set.

The super-popular Rob Schamberger art cards returned finally, and as with the first series, several of the more popular superstars ended up behind the paywall, and they weren’t cheap there either.   Those level 2 sets ran about $25-30.  The level 1 singles weren’t nearly as popular as the first wave due to their much higher CC, most singles sold for under $2.

Boom Comics Covers made a welcome return with two series in September, waves 2 and 3 respectively.  Neither wave have awards, so taking ones time in acquiring the set is probably prudent.  These end up with pretty high CC (2500 to almost 5700), so you shouldn’t have to shell out much.  Still there are some really nice cards in these two waves; I especially like the action figure covers and the title belt card.

I don’t have a lot of good to say about Primal, an unlimited set with two variants, a regular available in the store and a VIP variant that everyone who was a VIP got.  The regular run from just about 900cc to 1700cc, while the VIP are 3925cc.  At least there was a new Finn card to chase.

Women’s Division/Undisputed was a strange release, in that it encompasses elements from three different physical trading card sets.  Oh and it’s only a first wave, the second promises to come sooner rather than later.  These ladies came on strong as within moments of it’s release the 500cc gold variant base and Matches & Moments sets sold out.  Of course Topps being Topps had to screw up both the release timing, and left Emma’s silver variant base card out of packs for over a day, whether intentional or not, it created a short print that has only half of the CC that the rest of the silver variants have.  The award for the Blue roster variant didn’t release on time (in fact as of this writing still hasn’t been released).  Last time I went over some of the other shortcomings having to do with this release.

No Mercy was a traditional PPV set focusing on the Raw roster this year (for the record No Mercy was a SDL show last year).  A 19 card roster came with 3 variants, “black”, red and purple.  Purple were paywalled and limited to 500cc.  Naturally they sold out quickly.  The signature set was three cards and about as pedestrian as you can get, Nia Jax, Emma and John Cena.  None of these set the game on fire.  The only thing that was actually interesting is that if you collected all five of the card bundle incentive golds you were awarded with a gold Alexa Bliss base variant, which ended up with 60cc.  It is her 2nd shortest print single in the game (she’s on a dual sig with Becky Lynch from TLC that is 30cc).  Her shortest print is the 2016 lime green snafu card.

The rest of the release are the usual suspects, a predictor set, poster and Now.  The NOW set’s print run came in under the massively huge Summerslam/Takeover set from last month, the final CC ranged from just over 1000 (Enzo) to just under 1300 (Alexa).  These are still amongst the highest printed NOWs in the game though, and as such despite their popularity, they won’t be worth a whole lot going forward.  It did of course feature only the second Finn Balor Now in the game.

October is sure to be another huge month with not one but two PPV sets (Hell in a Cell and TLC), plus Wave 2 of Women’s Division, several new sets and more.  Plus Topps is at New York Comic Con this weekend and they’re hyping their appearance there with a special card you can trade to get at their booth.

One final note, it looks like Paige is about ready to make her return to the ring, and if she does you can expect a huge uptick in both her releases and her popularity so long as she doesn’t blow it up completely.  Add to that there are several women in NXT that are making huge waves, and Asuka is debuting on the main roster at TLC, and we could be looking at the next phase in the “Women’s Revolution”.  As the proud father of a daughter, I couldn’t be happier to see the WWE take the women’s division seriously.

Part II – Top 25 Most Valuable Slam Cards Based on Actual Public Sales

#
Set
Performer
Variant
CC
HI
Lo
1
Topps Now
Sasha Banks
Mat Relic
25
120
75
2
Extreme Rules
Finn Balor
Gold Bundle Incentive
20
100
80
3
SummerSlam 2017
Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock
Gold Signature
50
80
50
4
Topps Now
Brock Lesnar
Mat Relic
25
75
42
5
Backlash 2016
Six Women
Signature
50
72
60
6
Live Signature
Charlotte Flair
Signature Relic
50
70
60
7
5 Star
Finn Balor
Gold Signature
150
70
35
8
Survivor Series
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Gold Award Signature
22
65
50
9
Topps Now
Dean Ambrose
Mat Relic
25
60
50
10
Signature Series
Finn Balor
Demon King Red
100
60
45
11
Battleground 2016
The Shield
Triple Signature
75
60
40
12
Anniversary
Stone Cold Steve Austin
White Signature
50
60
35
13
Base 2016
Paige
Gold
50
50
40
14
Allegiance 2016
Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
Signature Award
100
50
40
15
Live Signature
Alexa Bliss
Orange Live Signature
100
50
37
16
Royal Rumble
AJ Styles & John Cena
Gold Award Signature
30
40
30
17
Heritage 2016
Asuka
Gold Signature
50
40
30
18
Battleground 2017
Becky Lynch
Blue Signature
150
40
30
19
Heritage 2016
Brie Bella
Silver Signature
50
40
30
20
Heritage 2016
Brock Lesnar
Signature Shorts Relic
50
40
30
21
Extreme Rules
Jeff Hardy
Gold Bundle Incentive
14
40
30
22
5 Star
Peyton Royce
Gold Signature
150
40
30
23
Base 2016
Shinsuke Nakamura
Gold
50
40
30
24
Undisputed 2017
AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, John Cena
Triple Signature
250
40
15
25
Undisputed 2017
Bayley, Asuka, Ember Moon
Triple Signature
250
40
15

I took this particular Top 25 survey on Sunday, September 24, the day of No Mercy.  My methodology was simply to find the highest selling single cards on eBay.  The “Hi” column represents the highest that this particular single sold for.  If there were multiple sales the “Lo” column indicates the lowest sale price.  If there was only one sale it’s automatically $10 less than the high just based on the law of averages.  For the most part there were only one or two sale on each of these cards, though the higher the CC the more sales (obviously).  Pretty much anything under 50cc had only one sale.  Also there are plenty of sales that are private or less than public, as in they are conducted on Facebook Groups or elsewhere.  In fact there is an entire FB group that is dedicated to just selling cards, there’s no trading allowed!  I have taken anecdotal evidence from that group as I am a member and incorporated it into the table as well.

Obviously if it hasn’t sold in the last 90 days there won’t be any data listed, so this isn’t necessarily the most accurate listing of the most valuable cards in the game.  Remember there are plenty of cards under 10cc in the game that almost never sell or trade, and yet their value is much higher than what is listed here.  Many of the TapJoy 10cc Lime Green base from 2016 could easily sell for more than $100 if their owners decided to sell.

Take into consideration that the older the card is the less likely it is to become available in the wild as well.  MANY of the 2016 gold and silver signature cards that are 50cc are stuck in abandoned or banned accounts.  For example, over half of the 2016 Heritage Gold Signature Becky Lynch cards are in a banned account, and thus will never be available again.  Topps has stated unequivocally that they will never mine abandoned/banned accounts to recover those cards, so they are lost to us.

The reason that the Sasha Banks Now Mat Relic is so expensive is because there is one player in the game who snatched up almost 80% of the entire print run, leaving only a few available to the general populace.  Since it was a paywall card with a high initial cost anyway, that’s certainly his prerogative and the player is an awesome guy anyway who helps a lot of other players with their collections asking very little in return.

Then there are occasions where Topps makes a huge error and it’s to the detriment of all the players.  I speak of the Alexa Bliss 2016 Lime Green Tapjoy award which was supposed to be 10cc and released to the players with the most Tapjoy coins obtained over a given weekend last year before Alexa’s cards skyrocketed in demand.  Instead of 10cc Topps screwed the pooch and accidentally released 20 copies, though to be honest I’m not sure who they released them to or what the criteria was.  In any case, most of those 20cc are in abandoned accounts or banned accounts to the point where there is only ONE person listed when you try to blind-trade for it.  To say it’s impossible to get at this point would be an understatement.  If one ever does come up for sale you can bet it would break the record held by a certain 3cc card which I shall not name.

Special thanks to Marc K. for the article suggestion.

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.

My Collecting Blog – The Budget Collector

The Daily WiLL – http://willaday.blogspot.com/

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: DIGITAL DABBLINGS #17 – Women’s Division Brings the Heat

 

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