I don’t know when it happened, although I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to pinpoint, but sometime in the last couple of years, there was a conscious push toward digital cards in the hobby. Why not really, at least from the card companies perspective, it’s easy. I’m not fully aware of the P’s and Q’s, but the cost associated with the digital card has to be a fraction of the physical card. So, from a money making standpoint I can understand the allure to the platform. But from the collector’s standpoint, I’m not sure I get it. Far be it from me to act as if I’m the end all be all of the collecting world, but I can’t be the only one, right?
If I am being completely honest, I tried, I really tried, to get in on movement, but I just don’t see the appeal. The effort that is needed to compile the cards is just daunting to me. I fully understand that there is the possibility of some of the cards turning to physical examples but in the long run, that aspect doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not a collector in that sense of the word. I, on the other hand, want to flip it as fast as possible for as much of a return as possible. I’m not the guy who thinks he has to make his box back, still, a little something would be nice. So, last year in the office when we caught wind of the prices of Topps Bunt cards on the secondary market I was shocked.
Our collective jaws dropped when we saw the realized prices on a digital autograph. It was beyond me, but time after time these cards would sell for just stupid prices for something that was intangible. Though Topps was the first ones we noticed in the office, with Bunt, Kick, and Star Wars, it wasn’t long before Upper Deck and Panini got in on the digital collecting craze.
If you listen to my podcast you are aware of the love-hate relationship I have with Upper Deck e-Pack. My friend Mr. Kinsely will stand by his convictions as he tries to build cards from the achievements list, but I don’t have the patience to do such a thing and keeping up with the checklist is my biggest hassle. With that being said, the hockey programs that UD has rolled out for e-Pack are so tempting, but I’m not crazy about the turn around time on the shipping from Seattle, and the Young Guns that end up on COMC kill the market, in my opinion. I fully understand how and why it’s fun for the collector, but it’s just not for me. So good luck to all you Sainted chasers out there trying for the silver and gold foils.
Still being honest, it was Panini that drew me in the most. I actually spent money there and considering the NFL seasons of one Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott who could blame me. It was the mystery of what was behind that $9.99 paywall that was tempting. It could be anything, it could even be a boat (10 pts if you get the reference). The money I spent paid off in a big way, or at least I thought, but here I am some 9 months later with screen shot after screen shot of digital autographs, mem cards, inserts, and parallels and I can’t seem to move a single one of them on the secondary market. I will leave a few examples below in case you are interested. If you care to make me an offer there, or on e-Pack, you can find me by searching my username EricN116.
The fact of the matter is I knew better. It’s like when I fell from the top of that bounce house ladder back around Easter. I knew I shouldn’t have been in that contraption. There was nothing in there for me, but my pride and my curiosity got the better of me. Next thing I know I’m laying at the foot of said ladder, writhing in pain, praying to God that I did not crush a child on my fall from the top. A few codeine, a walking brace, and some crutches that were testing their weight limits later, I had learned my lesson. I hope you digital collectors out there are having fun, but you can have it. I will stick to getting my disappointment in a box from the LCS, the way God intended.
…….also, I’m sorry for the very punny Olivia Newton-John title of this entry.