DIGITAL DABBLINGS #20 – October Review: Yet another huge month in Topps WWE, including not one but two new PPV sets

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist

Yet another huge month in Topps WWE, including not one but two new PPV sets. Here’s the breakdown:

New Sets:
Boom Comics Wave 4
Infinite (2 series)
Hell in a Cell (HIAC) PPV
Off the Panels
Charisma 2017 Series 1
Zombies (2 series)
Heritage 2017
Stadium (2 series)
Supreme Series 2
TLC PPV & Topps Now, Poster
Women’s Division Wave 2
2017 Undisputed Signatures Wave 2
WWE Pumpkins

Live Signatures:
Stephanie McMahon
Alexa Bliss Reprint (3x)
Braun Strowman Reprint (3x)
Big Cass Reprint (3x)

VIP Signatures:
AJ Styles

Limited – Asuka (523cc)

Base Variants:
Standard base spectrum of Kurt Angle (white, green, teal, orange & black)

WCW #8,9, Award 3 & 4 – Syxx, Vincent, Scott Hall, Ric Flair (set complete)
PPV Logos #10-14 Vengeance, TLC, Over the Limit, Payback, Elimination Chamber
Triptychs #8 & 9, Award 3 – The Miz, Dean Ambrose, Sasha Banks (set complete)
Taglines #2, 3, Award, 4, 5  Braun Strowman, Elias, Macho Man Randy Savage, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens
Headlines #1& 2 – Adam Cole, Paige (new set)
Fuel #1 & 2 – Sting, Aleister Black (new set)

Boom Wave 4 “WWE #10”:
Roman Reigns
Mr. Perfect
British Bulldog Action figure
Royal Rumble

New Insert Set – Infinite Series (2 variants):
Ric Flair
Mickie James
Roman Reigns
Aiden English
Nikki Bella
Bo Dallas
Award – Asuka

Series 2:
Sasha Banks
Corey Graves
Baron Corbin
Drew McIntyre
Chad Gable
Gran Metalik
Matt Hardy
Cedric Alexander
Award – Daniel Bryan

New Insert Set – Off the Panels (2 variants):
Alexa Bliss
Jeff Hardy
AJ Styles
Award – Finn Balor

New Insert Set – Charisma 2017 Series 1 (2 variants):
Chris Jericho
Rich Swann
Nikki Cross
Titus O’Neil
Tye Dillinger
Xavier Woods
Award – Stone Cold Steve Austin

New Insert Set – Zombies (1 variant):
AJ Styles Figure
Seth Rollins Figure
Kevin Owens Figure
Brock Lesnar Figure
Stone Cold Steve Austin Figure
Sasha Banks Figure
Becky Lynch
Dean Ambrose
Enzo Amore
John Cena
Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns
Sasha Banks
Tyler Breeze
Xavier Woods
Award – Bray Wyatt

Series 2:
Jinder Mahal
Alexa Bliss
Braun Strowman
The Hardy Boyz
Award – AJ Styles

New Insert Set – Stadium
Wave 1:
#1-3 – Alexa Bliss
#4-6 – Braun Strowman
#7-9 – Big Cass
Award – Braun Strowman

Alexa Bliss
Braun Strowman
Big Cass

Wave 2:
#1, 2 Curt Hawkins
#2, 4 Carmella
#5 Jeff Hardy
#6 Matt Hardy
Award – The Hardy Boyz

Curt Hawkins
Jeff Hardy
Matt Hardy

New Insert Set – Supreme Series 2 (2 variants):
Matt Hardy
Mickie James
The Iron Sheik
Enzo Amore
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Kelly Kelly
The Miz
Award – Bobby Roode

New Insert Set – Pumpkins:
Smackdown Live
Award – Legends

New Insert Set – Contagion:
Shelton Benjamin
Dean Ambrose
Randy Orton
Papa Shango
Jake the Snake roberts
Kurt Angle
Award – all 8 in “clean” versions

Boy when you catalog an entire month’s worth of releases it really shows how much content Topps pumps into the game.  This month’s cards, as lackluster as some of them were, really didn’t set the game on fire too much.  No, this month Topps made a couple of huge errors that affected a lot of players.  That doesn’t take away from the sheer amount of content the game saw being introduced in October.

First and foremost was the snafu with the Green Mickie James Supreme Series 2 card.  Normally the two variants of Supreme are available in both coin and diamond packs, however, for Mickie the green variant was only available in diamond packs, and thus free-to-play players didn’t get the card.  It sold out at 1394 cc after its initial 24 hours.  To compare, the next lowest CC of the green set is The Miz at over 3200.  So basically half of the people who tried to collect the green set will go without the award.  Interestingly enough, there are still more Green Supreme Awards than Black, by over 100.  Just prior to the award being released the Mickie sold for as much as $10, though by that time trading her became problematic if you were holding out for a great trade.  There are still two singles listed on ebay at $10, but I doubt they’ll sell for even half of that.

Topps really went whole hog on Halloween sets giving fans two waves of “Zombies”, a 4 card “Halloween” set, an 8 card “Contagion” set and a 4 card “Pumpkin” set.  Personally I didn’t care for the Zombies, well part of them anyway.  The first wave was made up of 6 “Action Figure” cards which featured portraits of the Mattel WWE Zombie figures, those were available in coin and diamond packs.  The remainder of the set were cgi versions of zombified super-stars, 11 in all, and they were only available for diamond purchase.  You had to have all 17 to get the award.  The action figure cards are all over 10K cc each, which the paywall cgi cards are around 1500cc.  Wave two was six more CGI cards and they weren’t 100% behind the paywall.

Speaking of the paywall, it looks like Topps has finally stabilized how they release PPV cards.  They’re now doing three full base and signature sets per PPV.  The lowest two tiers of base cards are available for coin purchase, while the signature cards and the highest tier (lowest cc, usually 500cc) are in diamond packs only.   Not only that but the 500cc base seem to sell out within the first hour of release, as do the highest tier of signatures which has lately been 250cc.

Both PPV sets this month had decent base sets and mediocre signature sets.  For TLC Topps mistakenly put in packs the triple Shield Autograph cards which were supposed to be awards, thus giving those that pulled them a nice bonus, but screwing up the awards, which ended up being single sigs instead of triples.  The sig set itself ended up being singles of Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus plus two duals of Asuka/Emma and Enzo/Kalisto.  These were all repeat sigs, and as it turns out, were Emma’s last cards since she has recently been released from WWE.

Hell in a Cell (or HIAC since you can’t say Hell in the App) had a 3 card sig set in three tiers, the subjects being Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Becky Lynch.  The award was a single Charlotte Flair sig.  Nothing to really write home about here this set similar to the actual show, was just ‘meh’.

Heritage made it’s 2017 return with a first wave of base cards, “30 years of Summerslam” inserts and signatures.  Once again base on the physical set, this one surprised as there was only one variation of the base set (as opposed to five variants last yet).  The sig set was robust but again featured repeats and nothing new.  A couple of dual sigs rounded out the offering.  Sigs were once again behind the paywall only.  A true “workmanlike effort as it did well initially but didn’t set the game aflame.  There will be an award for the Summerslam inserts after Wave 2 is released in November.

The second wave of Women’s Division and Undisputed Signatures hit during the last week of the month, like a boxer getting hit by an uppercut in the late rounds.  Seemed like more insult after injuries to weary collectors.  The release was once again made up of a base set of 20 in four colors, 20 matches and moments in four colors, 11 rivalries in one variant, 10 single signatures limited to 1500cc and 2 triple signatures limited to 250cc.  Awards will be given for completing wave 2 sets and overall wave 1 and 2 sets.  Remember my article about a month ago when I said that Topps had the opportunity to add some great first time sigs into the game?  Yeah, we got exactly one of those that I mentioned, TJ Perkins.  The rest were all repeats.  No wonder they can be found for about $2 apiece.  The triple sigs are going for between $30 and $40.

Charisma, the very first Slam “single noun” set, returned for 2017 and everyone yawned.  Supreme and Infinite came back for a second release.  New mini-marathons called “Headlines” and “Fuel” debuted with little fanfare.  Limited finally returned with a third card in only one variant with a limited of 523 cc, the number of days its subject Asuka held the NXT Women’s title.  It quickly shot up to a $7-10 value.  Nostalgia set WCW ended it’s mini-marathon run, as did the well received “Triptychs”.  The rest of the marathons chugged along with their easy-to-collect paradigm.

Finally let’s talk about Off the Panels which was a four-card daily release based on new Boom Comic Book imagery.  The subjects were all popular, including Alexa Bliss, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Naomi with Finn Balor being the award.  The regular insert set was easy enough to put together and singles didn’t really go beyond $1 apiece.  The variant set though, that was an entirely different story.

Topps, if you didn’t know, is famously located on Manhattan in New York City, having been in Brooklyn for decades.  They had a presence at the New York Comic Con which is the 2nd largest in the country, and as they have at other conventions, they did a convention exclusive card set.  This is fairly common in the other apps, but it was the first in Slam, and this time they really meant exclusive.  If you went to their booth you could trade to them a card and get a convention exclusive Off-the-Panels card.

These exclusives ended up being under 50cc each and highly sought after.  Several Alexa singles sold for $100 or more.  The full set commanded several hundred dollars.  Naturally players outside of the NYC area who didn’t go to the con were completely shut out of this chase, but as anyone who’s ever gotten a convention exclusive piece of merchandise knows, that’s the name of the game.  In any case, Topps instantly boosted their presence and created a few more holy grails in the game.

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

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