DIGITAL DABBLINGS #19 – Top Stars’ Top Cards: Brock & Alexa

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist


I thought that I might take a look at the top cards of the top stars in the WWE today, and since we’re just a few days away from the Raw exclusive TLC, let’s take a look at the Raw Men’s and Women’s champions, Brock Lesnar and Alexa Bliss.
 
Brock is undoubtedly the biggest star in the WWE today, working a part-time schedule, he’s been the WWE Universal Champion now since he took the belt from Goldberg at Wrestlemania, while this is his first Universal Championship he’s had the WWE Heavyweight championship on four other occasions.  
 
Brock might put butts in seats but are his Slam cards a driving force in the game?  Let’s take a look at his highest selling cards as reported on eBay.
 
Brock Lesnar’s Top 10 Slam Cards as of 10-16-2017
Card
CC
HI
Lo
2017 Summerslam Dual Sig w/The Rock Gold
50
80
50
2017 Summerslam Now Mat Relic
25
75
42
2016 Survivor Series Dual Sig w/Goldberg Gold Award
22
65
50
2016 Shorts & Sig Relic
50
40
35
2017 Summerslam Dual Sig w/The Rock Green
250
25
10
2016 Gold Rush
50
23
14
2016 Shorts Relic
100
20
10
2017 Summerslam Quad Sig Gold Award
120
12
10
2016 Heritage Signature (One-Off)
250
12
5
2017 Lime Green Base
68
10
9
 
 [Brock’s 3rd best card – last year’s Survivor Series Dual Gold]
 

The key to pick up here is that Brock’s cards do really well if they’re limited to 50 or under, and if they feature someone else, either the Rock or Goldberg, or the SummerSlam Quad.  His other top cards include the Blue Wrestlemania Dual Sig with Goldberg which was limited to 33cc, the Orange 2016 SummerSlam Dual signature with Randy Orton (50cc), and both his 2016 and 2017 Lime Green Base Variants (10 and 68cc respectively).  You can’t forget, of course, the one-of-one SummerSlam Mat Relic.  All of those cards have quite a bit of value to them but due to a lack of actual sales data don’t appear on the top 10 list above.

No doubt about it, Brock’s cards are the highest selling male cards in the game, currently; but his popularity pales in comparison to that of the reigning and defending two-time Raw Women’s Champion, and the only woman to hold both the Raw and Smackdown Live Women’s titles, Alexa Bliss.

Printing Alexa Bliss cards right now is a license to make money.  EVERY single release that she’s on spikes in popularity.  She’s featured in almost every major set, and a lot of the minor ones too.  If her card is the award you can forget about obtaining that set’s cards at a reasonable price.  Her fans (who have a less than “nice” nickname, which I won’t repeat, but rhymes with Bliss-yards) drive up the trading cost, and the eBay value to the point where any of her cards will trade for a premium.
 
Alexa Bliss’ Top 10 Slam Cards as of 10-16-2017
Card
CC
HI
Lo
2017 Off the Panel NYCC Variant
45
125
50
2016 TLC Dual Sig w/Becky Lynch Gold Award
30
83
50
2016 Backlash Six Women Signature
50
72
60
2017 No Mercy Gold Variant
60
75
50
2017 Live Signature Orange
100
65
36
2016 Black Base NXT Variant
88
50
25
2017 Women’s Division Gold Award
254
50
25
2017 Gold Signature Series
250
25
15
2017 Wrestlemania Gold
193
25
15
2017 Fire Red Base Variant
64
21
15
 
[Number One with a bullet, the NYCC White Variant Off the Panels card, has sold for over $100 more than once]
 
The big difference here is that unlike Brock, Alexa cards stand on their own.  If there’s a hotter woman in the game I haven’t seen her yet.  Paige was the hottest female in the game until basically the brand split in 2016 and her disappearance from WWE TV.  Once Alexa took over around Fall of last year she never looked back.  She’s had arguably the best year in WWE of any “rookie” female ever, winning both Women’s titles twice each, and having appeared in 13 WWE PPVs since her debut on the main roster, many of which she entered as champion.
 
[Alexa’s 2nd most valuable card – last year’s TLC Award Dual Signature with Becky Lynch Gold Variant]

Of course all of the top cards here are under 100cc.  Cards which could have appeared but didn’t because of lack of sales data include her 20cc 2016 Lime Green error card, the 2016 No Mercy Blue Dual Signature with Becky Lynch (236cc), TLC Now #38 (410cc), 2017 Black Base SDL Variant (<593cc) and 2017 Lime Green (223cc).  I’ve mentioned the 2016 Lime Green card in previous columns, in short yes there are 20cc out there, but a majority of them are in dead accounts, so your chances of snagging one are very very slim.  About as good as getting a NYCC Off the Panel variant for under $100 at this point.
 
Next time I’ll do the Smackdown Live champions, whomever they might be at the time.  Currently it will be Jinder Mahal and Natalya, however, neither of them are shooting stars in the game (Jinder’s best card wouldn’t even make Brock’s top 10).  I’m hoping that there are title changes before my next column, but unfortunately since my next column will stuck looking at the “modern day maharajah” and the crazy cat lady of the WWE.
 
Before I sign off this week I want to touch on another subject that one of my readers said I should look at, and that is personal value and cards.  Luke S. wanted to know about the difference in actual value that one places on a card because they pulled it from a pack, versus trading or even buying it outright.
 
He writes: “Does the fact that some people pack cards or spend weeks/months trading for them mean that their perception of trade value is more based on the stress of getting the card which could cause it to rise?”
 
The answer to that question is of course subjective to the individual player I would think.  Sure some players are going to value the cards that take them longer to obtain at a higher rate than others.  Chances are though those players won’t actually keep that card in circulation, i.e. they’ll never trade it once they obtain it, effectively removing it from the market place.  I don’t think that has any impact on the overall value of the card however.  
 
Card value is made up of many factors as I’ve been saying from day one.  Once a card has been in the game for a while it has a tendency to lose value as newer cards supplant the older.  When this doesn’t come into play however, is when you’re talking about the ultra-limited elite cards (see my article #15 for more about elites).  If the player does decide to move the card and trade it, of course human nature is going to factor into play and they’re going to value that card a lot more than it’s objective cash value, simply because of the time and effort it took to obtain.
 
Luke’s second question is does this explain… “the initial peak in value as people may find it difficult to give up a card that they packed?”  The dynamic of the fan-feed is such that it caters to the lowest-common-denominator; by which I mean the fan-feed will always gravitate towards the latest and greatest card releases regardless of long-term value or collecting patterns.  On any given day you can view the feed and count the dozens of posts offering or looking for the latest card release, no matter what it is.  A great example is today’s release of 9 Live Signature “reprints” of Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman and Big Cass.  Each of the 9 has a CC of 1250, and they weren’t 100% paywalled away, meaning that players who had amassed coins could actually obtain them.  Looking at the fan feed you’d think those sigs were the only cards released in a long time.  Traders are whining about not getting “fair” trades for these cards and Alexa collectors are lamenting yet another release that will drain their pocketbooks or coin accounts.  
 
[One of the three simultaneously released “reprint” signatures for Alexa]
 
I think the real answer to the query is that of course the latest and greatest releases will always have the highest trade value in the day or two after release, and certainly just before any related awards are issued.  After a couple of days the market shakes itself out, the early ebayers will have gotten their initial sales and the initial high value will start to plateau and decline.  This holds true for most releases, but not for everything.  
 
Anything that sells out within a few minutes of being inserted into the game will have a different paradigm that is solely based on the card itself, what set it belongs to, who’s on it, how difficult it was to pull and how many of them are there.  
 
For example, the Taglines marathon set shot out of the gates with a gangbuster release of Asuka at 1000cc.  That card plateaued pretty quickly at about $4 in cash value, and probably double that in trade.  The other two releases since then have been nothing but lackluster (Braun Strowman and Elias), and while I’m sure each has their fans, they aren’t the Empress of Tomorrow who is about to make a huge debut on the main roster after dominating NXT for over a year.  Both cards are available for under $2 apiece.  Despite being the same CC and selling out virtually in the same amount of time, they’re just not that popular.  
 

My best advice is to keep track of the releases, when they’re scheduled and what their print runs are supposed to be.  Basically anything that’s 1000cc or less these days sells out within an hour of release.  For PPV sets that means the top tier of cards will be gone if you miss the release window (which for Topps can mean anywhere from being on time to several hours late).  Don’t rely on their popup notifications for when cards go on sale either, often times the cards will have sold out by the time you get a notice.  If you’re actively going after a set, make sure you’re on the app and in the store ready to buy when the set hits.

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/

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