topps-set-to-drop-newest-series-of-mlb-nfts-–-mlb.com

October 1st, 2021

As the company continues to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the release of its first set of baseball cards, Topps announced on Thursday morning that it will be releasing the 2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball NFT Collection on Monday at 1 p.m. ET.

Following in the footsteps of Topps’ Series 1 NFT Collection release in April and the Inception NFT Collection released on Sept. 9, Series 2 “includes thousands of unique NFTs in both classic and modern Topps designs featuring baseball’s biggest names, upcoming stars and more to celebrate an unforgettable 2021 season.”

“Our Topps MLB NFT products have created a fun, easy-to-use collecting experience for many who have collected NFTs before as well as those looking to make their first purchase,” Tobin Lent, vice president and global general manager of Topps Digital Sports & Entertainment at The Topps Company, said in a release. “Series 2 Baseball provides a yearly snapshot of many of the twists and turns of an MLB Season and this release offers collectors a chance to collect those memorable moments in a unique new way.”

The Series 2 release will include both standard and premium packs, with card rarities ranging from Common to Legendary. Standard packs will feature eight cards per pack with one Rare card guaranteed, while premium packs will include 10 cards per pack, three Epic cards guaranteed and All-Star and 70th anniversary platinum facsimile signatures exclusive to premium packs.

Like Inception, Series 2 will hit the market on ToppsNFTs.com. Series 1 was released on the WAX blockchain, but Topps realized prior to Inception’s drop that there were benefits to having consumers buy packs on its own website.

“What we found is that, because we had a bit more of an aggressive release schedule and we wanted more of an aggressive cadence to release new content, it made sense to eventually move to our own platform,” director of marketing for Topps Digital Gino Ferrazzano told MLB.com. “[Topps is] also allowing credit card transactions versus converting money to WAX and then buying the packs. So, I think this will definitely be a different experience, for sure, just because it is on our own platform.”

Also new to Series 2 are different card templates that weren’t available in Series 1. That includes the All-Star variant, which according to Hera Andre-Bergmann, the sports content product manager for the blockchain, will be used “to show who did well this season” and “keep it timely as opposed to just doing players for the sake of doing players.” There is also the vintage stock variant, which works as an homage to past cards and features “really cool digital enhancements with sort of an old timey feel” to help celebrate the 70th anniversary.

Topps will continue to build the experience that comes with opening a physical pack of baseball cards into the NFT release, while also incorporating motion designs and other digital “twists” one can’t get with the physical product. The tiered card rarity system is also still in play, and Topps hopes that it will keep educating collectors throughout their NFT-buying experience.

“That’s really why we put that system in, just to educate people so that they don’t need a lot of previous hobby knowledge to understand what they’re getting out of the pack,” director of content Alex Chen said. “The average collector, they understand the players and they understand the teams, but we’ve built in a lot of different looks, a lot of different things here. We just want to make sure that they do have those guideposts to understand what the collectibles are, because then they add more value to the collector themselves, right?

“If I pull something super rare, I’m gonna like that because it feels like I’ve gotten something that is more exclusive that other people don’t necessarily have.”

The digital market has allowed Topps more creative freedom in how it designs baseball cards. Ferrazzano believes that has helped the market hit something like a “second renaissance” in collecting, and Topps’ work will continue to cater to all kinds of collectors.

“I think if you would’ve asked about card collecting five, 10 years ago, you would just think it’s someone that’s either middle aged or getting a bit older,” he said. “Hera saw it at the National [Sports Collectors Convention from July 28-Aug. 1] as well, but it was probably the most popular I’ve ever seen that show since I’ve been with Topps for over six years. That used to be a very comfortable guy sitting at a table selling his cards in slabs and frames and calling it a day, but it was so much more energy and so many more different people from different walks of life and ages.

“And so, I think card collecting is here to stay. Whether it’s baseball cards or something else, I just think collecting as a hobby has really exploded.”