Collectible card giant Topps launches first NFT sale on blockchain platform WAX. The classic trading card series Garbage Pail Kids was the first title to be re-launched as NFTs on the blockchain, selling out after only 28 hours. “We believe blockchain has tremendous potential”, says Topps Digital VP Tobin Lent.
Topps just started their NFT journey
Earlier this year, Topps announced their partnership with Worldwide Asset Exchange, also known as WAX – bringing collectible cards to the blockchain. Topps is the world’s leading manufacturer of trading cards and collectibles, having official licenses with sports leagues such as Major League Baseball, NHL, UEFA Champions League, WWE and many more.
Garbage Pail Kids, a trading card series first introduced in 1985, was the first franchise to re-launch through WAX. The series was chosen as the first to be released, due to its 35th anniversary. The sale started on May 11th, and all 12,000 GPK packs available was sold out during the first 28 hours, later trading on the open market for higher prices. Within the first week, GBK cards were traded for over $280,000 on the WAX marketplace SimpleMarket.
Topps’ choice of partnering up with WAX does not come out of the blue – as the WAX developers has plenty of experience from creating marketplaces for digital items since their previous venture, OPSkins. In an interview with GPKNews, Topps Digital VP Tobin Lent had the following to say about their choice of blockchain protocol to build on:
“We liked WAX for two main reasons. First, they’ve had years of experience operating a robust platform for buying, selling and trading digital items. Second, the team at Wax really cares about the user experience. It’s not about the blockchain technology. They are focused on creating a platform for fans to find and collect the things they love, and connect with each other. That’s also our mission in the digital group at Topps.”
“Blockchain has tremendous potential”
Tobbs says they believe blockchain has tremendous potential and that they will continue to explore and innovate within the field, as the company has a long history with trading cards.
He also says that even though you can’t physically open the pack yourself, tokenized cards will bring a new type of joy due to its characteristics and accessibility to trade with other collectors around the world.
By bringing trading cards and other forms of collectible items to the blockchain, users can ensure actual scarcity of the particular asset. This means that digital items and collectables can share similar principles with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Naturally, it is up to the NFT developers to determine how the token economics in their project will work, but the core ideas about scarcity, transparency, accessibility and free trade is what they have in common.
This phenomenon has sparked a lot of interest within the community of crypto investors. Naspers Ventures-backed company Immutable sold trading cards for approximately $6.2 million during the genesis sale for their card game God’s Unchained. The game is currently the most popular trading card game on Ethereum.
Separating from centralization
WAX was created with the sole intention to separate ownership of digital assets free from centralization, and that came from experience. The founders, William Quigley and Jonathan Yantis launched OPSkins in 2015, which became the largest second-hand marketplace for games such as Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG) and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). However, Steam revoked OPSkins access to their services in 2018 – which led to a more innovative idea. WAX was launched on October 5th, 2017.
The core focus of the project is to serve the videogame market’s need for free trade and true ownership of assets, but it is built to be useful for any type of business that wants to tokenize any type of digital asset. Following the rapid growth of tokenized assets and applications the last year, demand for blockchain developers has increased exponentially.
Video game giant Steam, which recently grew to over 20 million concurrent users during the coronavirus pandemic, has not yet made any signs that they want to adopt WAX or any other blockchain protocol for their game and asset market. It will obviously take some time for Steam to feel the pressure of having to give users more custody of their own funds and assets. The online game service did accept Bitcoin as type of payment, but discontinued the support in late 2017, due to high fees and price volatility.