DIGITAL DABBLINGS #26 – The State of the App & Top 25 Cards

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist


The middle of July will mark the second anniversary of Topps WWE Slam, and we’ve seen a lot of changes since the beginning of the app.  We’re now on our third base set of cards, we’ve seen the advent of premium content along with premium currencies, and we’ve seen a lot of innovations within the app, but not a lot of truly new and creative content.

Many collectors have expressed that they feel like the app is dying lately, that the creation of the premium Diamond currency was a bad idea and that it’s forcing players to quit.  While it’s true that the sheer number of players is dropping most recently, I disagree wholeheartedly that the app is dying. So long as new content is being produced daily and that new content is selling out for the most part, the app won’t ever die completely.  If you want to take a look at what a dying Topps app looks like, check out their UFC offering, which barely has one or two new cards produced in a week. Their fan-feed looks to be nothing but cross-traders, and Topps cannot even get their contests to work properly.

I’ve personally seen dozens of players leave the game in the last couple of months though, and that is disturbing on any number of levels.  Fortunately though, most of those who have left have either “cashed out” by selling their entire collections, or given most of it away to keep the cards in circulation.  Attrition in these types of apps is a given and Topps is well aware that they have a shrinking player base. They’re also well aware that if they keep their paying customers happy then they have a continuing cash flow, and that’s certainly what we’ve seen lately.  The paying customers appear to be appeased, especially by the most recent big set drops which have super-low card count parallels.

 Topps made $10K off of this card alone.

Take a look at the most recent diamond bundles released for the NXT Takeover Chicago and Money in the Bank events from last weekend.  Just based on pure numbers alone, not taking into account fees that Apple/Google take from transactions, Topps made almost $43,500 in sales alone.   Choosing Ronda Rousey as their $100 bundle bonus was a super-smart move on their part and the card sold out at 100cc exactly. Right there, that’s $10,000.  It’s also an increase of over $4,000 in total sales over the bundles from Backlash just a month ago, which incidentally had more than 100 total bundles sold than MITB.

NXT Takeover Chicago II Diamond Bundle Sales:

Name
Bundle
CC
Total $
Tomasso Ciampa
$3
465
$1,395
Velveteen Dream
$10
228
$2,280
Shayna Baszler
$20
111
$2,220
Adam Cole
$50
30
$1,500
Aleister Black
$100
16
$1,600
TOTALS
850
$8,995

Money in the Bank 2018 Diamond Bundle Sales

Name
Bundle
CC
Total $
AJ Style
$3
1142
$3,426
Asuka
$10
873
$8,730
Carmella
$20
427
$8,540
Daniel Bryan
$50
76
$3,800
Ronda Rousey
$100
100
$10,000
TOTALS
2618
$34,496

Besides raking it in on diamond bundles, Topps continues to do well with certain premium releases that are available for diamonds only.  Kiss/Signature cards continue to be extremely popular and still sell out in minutes, and of course are diamond only. The most recent release of Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Becky Lynch practically broke the game for several days even though all three are repeats from the 2017 series.  The Alexa sold for as much as $35 on release though has settled in at right about $20. Asuka goes for between $8 and $15, while Becky sells between $12 and $25. Trade value wise though, these cards can command huge offers, especially the Alexa. I managed to spend 550 diamonds on the release (I had never actually been able to buy Kiss packs before because they always sold out before I had a chance) and pulled an Alexa, which I traded for no less than $70 worth of cards, on the low end.  I saw several other high dollar trades complete for these as well.

The only way you’re probably going to get a kiss from Becky Lynch.

On the flip side though, several of the premium weekly diamond only releases have languished without selling out their allotment of cards for weeks.  Split-Vision is a set that has struggled to find it’s niche with the last several weeks of cards still available. Sunday Showcase is another set that has difficulty selling out depending on the performers.

The most recent couple of PPV releases have overwhelmed players with a huge base checklist (39 base and 4 signatures for Backlash, 62/6 for Money in the Bank and 18/2 for NXT Takeover Chicago II).  The new paradigm in base variants seems to be two lower tier, the first being “open” with CC obscured, the second having a visible CC, and the high tier being limited. Backlash had a blue tier limited to 500cc, while the same tier for NXT Takeover and MITB being 650 cc.  The variants for signatures are now four levels deep, with a 1500cc, 750, 250 and 100 for Backlash, and 1500, 750, 250 and 35 for MITB/NXT. All the signature content is now behind the paywall as it has been for quite some time.

Now the PPVs are now combined Raw/Smackdown Live shows, the bloated checklists seem to be the new norm, but it’s not like they’re taking care to actually add performers to the checklist that actually appear on the PPV, out of 62 performers in the MITB set, fully 28 of them didn’t even appear on the show, and 5 appeared but didn’t wrestle.  Meanwhile they left off Harper, Rowan, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson who DID appear on the show, albeit on the pre-show.

I understand that Topps has a lead time for these events, but it makes no sense for almost HALF of the set to not appear on the show itself.  Its unnecessary and makes it that much harder to collect a full set of cards. Topps needs to do much better in their selection for PPVs going forward.

The Return of the Top 25 Single Card Sales

It’s been a couple months since I last looked at the top 25 card sales in the game, and since it’s not been a full 90 days, you’ll see some of the same single sales as the last time.  However it’s interesting to note that overall the top 25 cards generated about $1000 less in sales than the previous version. There’s also a few more cards that have more than 5cc this time around, rather than last version which had only 1 card higher than 5cc.

Apparently Topps only has one photo of Ronda they can use.
Would you spend over $200 for this? People have.

Rank
Year
Set
Performer
Variant
CC
Hi
Lo
1
2018
Wrestlemania 34 Topps Now
Undertaker
Gold Relic
1
$849
2
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
Purple Signature
5
$375
3
2018
Wrestlemania 34 Topps Now
Brock Lesnar
Gold Relic
1
$328
4
2018
Wrestlemania 34 Topps Now
Daniel Bryan
Gold Relic
1
$320
5
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Purple Signature
5
$319
6
2018
Signature Series
Ronda Rousey
Gold
34
$275
$150
7
2017
High Caliber
Sasha Banks
Gold Signature
5
$225
8
2016
Backlash
Women’s Six Pack
6 Signature
50
$200
9
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, The Miz
Purple Signature
5
$180
10
2018
Base Variant
Nikki Cross
Superstar Shakeup
9
$175
11
2018
NXT Takeover New Orleans
Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano
Purple Signature
5
$170
12
2018
NXT Takeover New Orleans
Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Purple Signature
5
$160
13
2018
Excellence
Paige
Gold Signature
5
$156
$150
14
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Purple Signature
5
$150
15
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Gold Signature
34
$146
$60
16
2016
TLC
Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch
Gold Signature Award
30
$145
17
2018
Wrestlemania 34
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Purple Signature
5
$135
18
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
Purple Signature
5
$130
$103
19
2018
Wrestlemania 34
Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal
Purple Signature
5
$130
20
2017
High Caliber
The Rock
Gold Signature
5
$125
21
2017
High Caliber
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Gold Signature
5
$107
22
2017
High Caliber
Ultimate Warrior
Gold Signature
5
$101
23
2018
Royal Rumble
Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Kane
Green Signature Award
5
$100
24
2018
Excellence
Kairi Sane
Gold Signature
5
$100
25
2017
High Caliber
Chris Jericho
Gold Signature
5
$100

Clearly low cc signatures from the Wrestlemania 34 set have taken over this list with no less than 7 cards charting.  The same three 1/1 mat relics from last time remain on the chart, but the 2016 six woman signature card from Backlash returned to the forefront.  That card is often treated as a player’s holy grail. The other notable card to spotlight here is the Gold Ronda Rousey signature which was her first in the game.  This card didn’t sell out as quickly as one would have expected and actually appeared in the most recent signature catch-up packs. It’s secondary market value is quite high, and demand is constant.  Even the 100cc gold version is in high demand, though doesn’t sell for quite enough to make the top 25.

Also interesting to see that some of the 5cc Gold Signatures from High Caliber had some big sales this month, though curiously they were mostly legends or veterans.  One odd outlier is the 9cc Nikki Cross Superstar Shakeup base variant, which had a verified sale, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why it went for so much.

This card sold for $175. Believe it or not.

If you have any verified sales of $100 or more to report, please do send those to me, as I’d love to feature them here.  I’ll try to get these top 25s out every couple of months so that we can all chart the high end of the card spectrum.

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 #25 – The Dreaded Paywall

1 Comment on DIGITAL DABBLINGS #26 – The State of the App & Top 25 Cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*