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The sales of sports collection cards once dropped by nearly 80%, from 1 billion yuan in annual sales to about 200 million yuan. However, in recent years, the sales have risen rapidly, and sales have risen again to 1 billion yuan.
Popular rapper Logic recently bought a new version of the first version of the holographic fire-breathing dragon Pokemon card for about $220,000.
Companies like Dapper Labs are observing the market to understand whether people’s demand for physical collections can be transformed into demand for digital collections.
Nowadays, some investors are spending thousands of dollars to buy encrypted collectibles, and these encrypted collectibles are actually pixels and bytes.
If you want to find a group of people who may identify with these NFT buyers outside of the encryption field, that group of people will definitely be card collectors. The reason is: they know that the value of a card does not depend on the material of the card, but on the history, scarcity and nostalgia of the card.
Card collection was only regarded as a hobby in the past, but in recent years, the Internet has made it more valuable to the younger generation.
Sports media agency The Athletic pointed out in May that in the 1990s, sports collectible cards were a multi-billion dollar industry. But not long after, sales of sports cards dropped by nearly 80%, from annual sales of US$1 billion to approximately US$200 million in 2012, and have remained within this range for many years.
With the rapid development of the Internet and blockchain technology, this industry is also undergoing a renaissance, with annual sales returning to 1 billion US dollars again.
Why is the card collection “revived”
Social media, YouTube, streaming media platforms, forums, and secondary markets on the Internet are all helping the once troubled collectible card industry revive.
From a quick search on YouTube, you can find a card collection channel with millions of subscribers. Their videos about opening packages and revealing the contents of rare card packages have attracted countless people to watch. In addition, the popularity of secondary markets such as eBay, Amazon, and recently StockX has also made it easier for collectors to contact and find potential buyers or sellers.
ESPN pointed out that in 2019, eBay recorded more than $600 million in card sales on the platform, an increase of 40% since 2016. Executives from Upper Deck, Panini America, Topps and Leaf also told the ESPN that the past few years have been the best period in the history of the collectible card industry.
Card value skyrocketing
The continuous heating up of card collection is not limited to sports collection cards.
The demand for card games such as “Pokemon” and “Magic” has exploded. The famous “Black Lotus” card in “Magic: The Gathering” can be sold for US$100,000 to US$250,000.
“Pokemon” is a popular video game series that debuted in the 1990s. Since 2018, its related trading card games have experienced substantial appreciation. The early unopened card packs when the card game first appeared on the market have been sought after by collectors due to the rarity of its “first edition”, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
At an auction in September this year, a collection of 36 such first-version card packs was sold for nearly $200,000. Last year, the transaction price of these card package sets was between 50,000 and 80,000 US dollars. Previously, at an auction in 2019, the highest transaction price was 78,000 US dollars.
At present, celebrities from all walks of life have also joined the ranks of Pokemon card investment.
The popular rapper Logic last week bought a new version of the original holographic fire-breathing dragon Pokemon card for about $220,000. Logan Paul, a popular YouTuber, recently revealed his purchase of Pokemon cards: He bought an equally rare fire-breathing dragon card last week for $150,000.
When card collection meets NFT
NFT and collectible cards have many of the same characteristics-they have proven to be unique and indivisible. Therefore, a number of digital card collection games have emerged on the blockchain to explore whether people’s demand for physical collections can be transformed into the digital world.
When it comes to blockchain games, there may be no company more senior than Dapper Labs, which is the production team for games such as CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot.
The Vancouver-based game studio has raised about $50 million in funding from more than 40 investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, Google’s venture department, Union Square Venture, Warner Music Group and other well-known companies.
Its latest game “NBA Top Shot” (authorized by the NBA) has attracted the interest and investment of many NBA players, including Andre Iguodala (Miami Heat), Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple (Brooklyn Nets), JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers), and Allen Gordon (Orlando Magic).
This game combines the popularity of card collection with its Flow blockchain. Users can purchase digital card packs. The card content is a variety of exciting moments in the NBA regular season and playoffs.
For the NBA Finals, the company released a limited number of card packs related to the NBA Finals. A total of 711 NBA Finals legendary attribute card packs were sold this time, which sold out at a price of $230 per pack within a few minutes, and the company netted about $200,000. NBA Top Shot also released the NBA Finals card packs with common attributes, priced at $29. A total of 6,750 card packs were sold, with an income of approximately $160,000.
At present, players’ demand for these cards and card packs is still fierce, because rare card packs have been sold out. It is foreseeable that the next time NBA Top Shot releases new card packs, players will be caught in a short period of time. Sold out.
In September, when NBA Top Shot released a new rare card pack, a total of 1,350 packs were on the shelves. The cost of each pack was $230. It was sold out in just 5 minutes, and the company’s revenue was approximately $310,000.
The craze for card collection continues to heat up, and the price of rare cards has exploded. It remains to be seen whether this craze will continue. Whether it is digital kitties, “money of the future”, “cars of the future” or collection cards, there will be fanaticism and bubbles.
In any case, the current demand for card collection still exists, and whether the encryption field will use this demand to launch more related services or projects is worth looking forward to.