DIGITAL DABBLINGS #29 – Personal Favorites and Trading

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist

Some time ago I put out the call for story ideas, not something I do often since the calling-card of a good journalist is one who can create their own stories.  Sometimes though you need a bit of help, and one of our readers Luke S. came up with what I think is a great idea and one that I’m going to touch upon today: “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?”
Individual fan-favorite superstars definitely play a part in the ease or difficulty in obtaining their cards in the app via trading or the secondary markets.  Collectors who specialize in obtaining master-sets of their favorite performers will often not even consider trades for those cards simply because that’s their collection!  For example, I now collect cards of six superstars, Finn Balor, Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, Asuka, Chris Jericho and Bret The Hitman Hart. These performers represent my all-time favorite WWE Superstars, past and present and as such I really am trying to get all of their cards in the game.  That said, I also realize there’s no way I’ll ever obtain every single card of each of them, it’s just too daunting of a task, especially when Topps keeps releasing new cards of each of them on a regular basis.

Now if you ask me to trade a single of any of those six performers I’ll outright refuse.  But here’s the thing, if you ask me to trade a dupe of those I’ll often turn it down as well, unless I’m getting a need from one of my other “hoards” (though this is technically the wrong term, and I’ll explain a bit more later.)  Player collections are one thing, but what about those cards in your collection that you worked tirelessly to acquire? Maybe you gave a bit too much, maybe they’re your “white whale”.
One of the members of the Facebook Group “The Syndicate”, Jeff F. says one of his favorite cards is a Kane Orange Heatwave award from 2016.  In order to get one of the 289cc cards you had to collect 8 daily Orange Heatwaves at an insert rate of 1:60 for a 5,000 coin pack. Or basically spend about 2.4 million coins.  Remember, this was back in 2016, about 6 weeks after the app started, so to be able to spend that many coins that early either you had to do a lot of Tapjoy offers, OR you had to spend real cash to buy coins.  Jeff says “I’m not a Kane fan, but I remember how many Tapjoy Surveys I had to take to pull the Orange everyday. I bet at least half are in dead accounts and it’s just a cool looking card, Kane with the fire background.”  At the time of my Heatwave Set review way back in Digital Dabblings #12 I mentioned that the Kane award went for about $4. It might be a bit higher these days, but it’s hard to really gauge value since there are absolutely no sales or listings for it on ebay in the last 90 days.  So while it’s a card that really isn’t worth much monetarily, it means a ton to Jeff and he’ll never trade it, or he’ll wait until he gets an offer he can’t refuse.
Really that’s the key as well, everything’s available for a price right?  Personally I remember the hassle I went through to obtain the Finn Balor Demon King Signatures, and what I had to give both in cash and in trade to get them.  They’ve both been locked up for a long time, and I will never, ever trade either one of them…unless I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. It’d have to be a really good offer though, with cash as a part of it, and no, this is not me soliciting offers for my Demon Kings, I really do not want to trade them.  Nor do I want to trade any of my low CC awards, many of which I obtained by collecting them all and earning the award.
Putting together the Bret Hart Excellence of Execution set wasn’t easy I’ll say that, and it was one of the few sets where I had to trade for the award.  When the app was brand new and the EoE set was released I was newly unemployed and not in any place to spend cash on the app. I did as many Tapjoy offers as I could but I still could barely pull one of the elusive Pink themed Bret cards.  Over the next several months as my fortunes increased and I was able to pull better cards I managed to trade for all of them, including the award. That set is not going anywhere. Really none of my Bret singles are.
Another example for me is the Finn Balor Pixel Art award cards, those ugly little things.  I hated the design when I saw it first, and I am still not a fan today, but even still the amount of coins and cash I had to put into the app to get the entire set so I could earn the awards makes it such that I won’t break the set nor would I ever trade the singles.
So what’s your story?  Do you have a specific card or several that you wouldn’t trade because you spent time, energy, effort and money to obtain them?  Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

What’s the difference between a “hoard” and a “player collection”?

Hoards originally began over on the Star Wars Trading Card App, though I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that people were hoarding cards on Bunt and Huddle first (Star Wars was the 3rd app from Topps).  Basically it’s trying to amass a large number of a single card, typically a white base card. Star Wars collectors started doing this because after a few weeks of collecting typically they had tons and tons of white base dupes just sitting there, and by starting a “hoard” they were at least getting some good trades to happen.  You’d give someone their hoard for 9 of your hoard. Topps even aided and abetted this endeavor by offering “monument” cards of specific white base, where you could either trade in a massive amount (in the thousands) of a card for a special variant, OR they’d just award a card to the collectors who had the most copies of a specific card.  This translates well into the Slam app where you can easily get hundreds of white base of your favorite performer and boost your trader rating at the same time.

A Player Collection is when a collector decides they want every card of a specific performer, as I detailed above, I’m endeavoring six Player Collections currently, though only one of the six has any actual chance of ever being complete (if I ever get a hold of that 2016 Lime Green Bret Hart that only has 10cc out there).  Sometimes collectors will do both, player collect and hoard certain performers, and want to get as many dupes as possible of every card possible. To me that’s a bit extreme, but even I dabble in it occasionally. Besides having ALMOST every Bret Hart card in the game I also own over 700 of his 2016 white base, and almost 700 of his 2017 white base.  They haven’t been so kind on Slam as to offer monuments or rewards for hoarding cards, though when they do the Maroon base card exchange it does help to have multiples of at least the teal and green base.
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.

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