Topps launched their second attempt at baseball NFTs this month, but on a different platform. The initial launch, 2021 Topps Series 1, was launched via the WAX platform. I documented the launch from the view of a consumer here and here. Once you understood the nuances of the platform, it was not actually that bad. The problem was simply communication (lack of it).
Enter Toppsnfts.com, their own platform, built on Avalanche. The launch was not super smooth but it was still successful. I will walk you through the launch from the view of a consumer and then offer my feedback as a whole.
I received an email from Topps that Inception was being launched in a week. I went to their new site and registered an account in hopes this would make the following week’s launch smoother for me. On the day and time of launch, I went to the site around 30 minutes early to get my bearings. On the site, I saw that the launch had been pushed back to 1:15 pm EST, a few minutes later than planned, but I could enter a queue. This was great to see, something that NBA Top Shot had implemented in their drops and had seemed like a good idea. Around 8 minutes before the queue was supposed to start, I was placed in the queue.
Similar to their original drop, there were 2 pack options, standard ($15) and premium ($100) packs. However, it did not say what the limits were. I patiently waited for around 20 minutes, watching my place in line get closer and closer to the front. Then this happened:
What?!?! Frustrated, I quickly got a new place in line. This time, when it was my turn, I was redirected to a page to purchase Premium packs with a limit of 3. I was unable to purchase any Standard packs. I purchased my 3 Premium packs and was then able to go to the Standard pack’s page and purchase the limit of 10. I then went back to the Premium pack page and tried to purchase again. I received a message stating I had to wait 2 minutes before purchasing additional packs. I was able to eventually purchase an additional 3 Premium packs and 10 Standard packs. After the second round of purchases, I went to purchase more, but the time to wait had increased, and they were completely sold out before my timer allowed more purchases. 6 Premium packs and 20 Standard packs were purchased in total after-tax costing me $982.80. After following Topps NFT’s Twitter account and Discord page, I understood that the plan was for the NFT packs to be delivered the following day.
As planned, I did receive the NFT packs the next day, just a few hours after the planned time. Once received, I jumped onto the new platform to navigate and try to recoup my initial investment. The platform was not very smooth and seemed glitchy, a problem they have since fixed. I am not sure if the platform was simply dealing with more traffic than it could handle or if there were some issues, but again, as of today, the platform seems smooth.
I ended up selling 4 of my Premium packs and 14 of my Standard packs for $1,743. Withdrawing was very smooth, similar to NBA Top Shot. I simply connected a checking account and was able to process a withdrawal. I had the money deposited into my checking account 3 days later. I did only withdrawal a little bit more than my initial investment. I kept the rest in my Topps NFT account and have been purchasing specific NFTs of rookie players. I did open a few Standard packs and that experience was amazing. Again, very similar to the NBA Top Shot experience of opening up a pack. I am excited to see future drops using this new platform.
So what happens to our Topps Series 1 NFTs on the WAX platform? When I saw that the new platform was launching, I sold the NFTs I still owned almost immediately. They had already tanked in value compared to their value when WAX was considered the home for Topps NFTs. I think the communication by Topps here was amateur. They should have communicated to their customer base that they were switching platforms and the reasons for this decision.
I love that you were able to sell packs right away. Panini launched their NFT Packs in June/July and they still have NOT allowed selling of the packs, a feature they said would be available a couple of weeks after launch.
Come up with some sort of ‘burn’ or trade or bundle sell program. Much like Panini’s platform, I have several base cards that will not sell at the $2 minimum price point. Another option would be to incentivize people to collect a team or set, creating demand for the base card commons.
Challenges. NBA Top Shot has done an OK job at challenges. Panini has done a subpar job at challenges. There is room for improvement here. Coming up with some creative challenges could separate Topps from the other two.