DIGITAL DABBLINGS #31 – The Fourth Base Set Has Arrived

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist


Topps WWE Slam continues to chug along with new cards added to the platform each day. January was a fairly big month for the app because not only did we get a ‘tent-pole’ PPV box set in The Royal Rumble, but we were surprised with the release of an all new base set of cards. Given that the last base set was released around this time in 2018, it seems appropriate. The big difference this time around though is that the set is much smaller, only 73 cards to collect, as opposed to the 100+ monstrosities in the past Most likely this means that a second decent size wave will happen at some point down the road, especially since entire rosters were left out the mix this time.

Yes, that’s right there are basically only a couple NXT performers in the 2019 base set thus far, and there are more announcers in the set than 205 Live performers. Several major superstars don’t even have cards yet, like there’s no Finn Balor in this set. Also there’s no legends either. So it’s not a complete release, but it does have first base cards of Ronda Rousey, so there’s that.

Ronda Rousey’s Lime Green Base – Still available in packs!

The color tiers pretty much have stayed constant; in order of most common to most rare, you have White, Green, Teal, Orange Black and Marble in standard packs. There’s also been purple “challenge” releases like in the past, as well as the odd Gold Rush here and there. The Bronze “Week 1” sets returned and were briefly important, at least until the awards were dropped. Lime Green base were issued as a full set all at once this time, with a CC limit of 1000. They’re still on sale as of this writing because of Topps newest pack pricing scheme.

Yes, Topps has a new trick up their sleeves lately. For some sets they’ll put out a limited number of coin packs where you can get inserts, something between 25K and 50K packs usually, and then when they sell out the only way to get those cards is to use diamonds. The coin packs always sell out shortly after release, but the remaining diamond packs seem to sit there and wait. Most of the Limes are sitting at around 200cc currently, meaning they’re going to be in diamond packs for a long long time.

More recently Topps announced the return of “weekly” sets, first up is yet another NXT oriented set, which is fairly easy to collect, a guaranteed insert only costs 25K coins. This one will be 21 week “marathons” with awards after every 7 weeks, and an overall award.

Topps Now may be long gone from the app, but the concept of event cards that celebrate a specific moment have returned in “Raw Recap” and “Smackdown Recaps”. Each week 3-6 cards will be released that feature a performer’s previous week on their individual shows. They’re available in both diamond and coin packs, and are fairly reasonably priced (350 diamonds guaranteed). I would say that these cards have a more longer-term value, as the prices on weekly sets right now are fairly cheap on eBay. As the weeks progress and new player collectors come on the scene these lower CC cards should become more in demand.

Recap Cards have sort of replaced the popular Topps Nows, but not completely.

The Royal Rumble came and went and as usual Topps had a fairly robust release schedule, which started with a small set of 7 past Rumble Winners, that had a unique B&W design, but really poor player selection.  The main set of NXT Takeover/Rumble cards numbered 80 in size, and had the now standard tiers of base/signatures. Nothing really to write home about except for low CC Signatures of the main performers, most of which already had several sigs in the game.  Interestingly enough though even the lowest CC tier of base didn’t sell out and they were capped at 25cc!

Because fans were clamoring for yet another Hacksaw Jim Duggan card.

Several technical difficulties plagued the app during Rumble weekend, first of which was them announcing that a 2 card Poster Set was being dropped a full 48 hours ahead of schedule (and then not being sold until the actual drop), and then during the “in-app” Royal Rumble I heard there were issues with being able to actually log in.  Predictor Number sets were released as usual, but this year the reward was a coin bonus only. The in-app rumble gave a gold card of Becky Lynch for collecting the entire set. I missed it myself because I felt like I needed to sleep in, and the event wasn’t well publicized. I still managed to get the entire set of cards, but after the award was issued.  The fan feed wasn’t much help though, people wanted way too much for those cards prior to the award. The same paradigm existed for the 80 prize-wheel green base tier for which the award dropped earlier today.
The “Gold” Award card for collecting all 30 “In-App” Rumble Base cards

Rumble Poster, one of two.

 

A few new sets were released in the last month or so also.  We got a new version of “Primal”, a new “Voices of the WWE”, and a brand new “Strikers” set that just hit the app.  Same renders, different background designs. Nothing special to be honest. There’s a few new releases on tap for February as well, including yet another iteration of “Infinite”, as well as “Headlines” and a new set of Signatures.

Two of the new releases.

Superbowl Sunday’s Halftime Heat was celebrated with a really nice 8 card set featuring singles of each performer in the match, as well as two triple signatures.  The set itself was easy enough to collect, given that the base set was available with one diamond purchase that also got you one of the two triple sigs. There was no award.

One of the two Half-Time Heat Triple Signatures

The first “Topps Slam Classic” event finished last month and well, it was what it was.  This event was to choose the most popular NXT Champion ever, and pitted 8 former Champions against each other in a bracket style voting event.  Finn Balor won by a large margin. Basically you “voted” by opening up a free “button” pack of cards, and you could vote as many times as you wanted.  For every 50 buttons you acquired you could trade them in for an exchange card. After all was said and done a motion card of Finn was the ultimate prize and ended up exactly 1200cc.  You only got it for voting for the overall winner in each of the weekly rounds. The motion on the card however, is superficial at best. I really miss the video cards that had a few seconds of actual footage.

Finn’s Overall Award Winner

One trend that I’ve noticed lately is that older cards are getting some love with newer players, especially low CC inserts from 2016. Given that there are currently less than 10,000 active users currently, there has been an awful lot of attrition since 2016. Given that at one point in 2016 there were over 31,000 active users that means there are a LOT of cards sitting in dormant accounts. There might be as many as 50% or higher of a cards print run may never be available again because they’re sitting in dead accounts. For a card with a 1000cc print run that means over 500 of them you won’t be able to trade for, ever. Thus you’re seeing much higher prices on the rarest of the rare cards from the first year of the app. SO if you still have 2016 cards you’re looking to move, now is as good a time as any to do so. That’s not to say EVERY 2016 card has more value, most of the open edition and lowest tier/highest CC cards still won’t move.

For whatever reason it feels like the app is going through the doldrums at the moment. Maybe it’s post Rumble ennui, or maybe it’s the “greed feed” denizens who are always asking for more than their cards are worth, or maybe it’s the sheer lack of care that Topps seems to be placing in the product currently. Some days it’s harder to keep up with the apps than others.

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 #30 – State of the App & Top 25

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*