Mandatory Trends: NBA Top Shot Trading Cards Sets Record, Here’s How to Play the Exclusive Game
Photo: Tim Nwachukwu (Getty Images)
When we were kids, we collected baseball, football, basketball, even European soccer cards. Baseball cards were the best for two reasons: they always seemed like they’d be worth the most money and they came with a stale piece of chewing gum. Sadly, we were wrong about the appeal of both. That rookie card you held onto for all these years ended up being worth less than a Chipotle burrito bowl and the chewing gum was never as good as we thought it would be. Still, those days are filled with nostalgia.
And while you can still collect cards, if you really want to do it the 2021 way, you’ll get in on the hottest collecting trend in the world: NBA Top Shot. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
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What is NBA Top Shot?
This online, card-free company was created by a Vancouver blockchain company called Dapper Labs. It’s a big deal because it has the backing of the NBA. In the simplest terms, instead of the classic tradable card, you collect digital basketball highlights.
How does it work?
These digital highlights are designated as “moments.” You collect them, and some rare highlights, by buying digital packs filled with random highlights similar to when you’d open a back of Skybox cards as a kid and find a Lafayette “Fat” Lever card and other randoms in every package.
Why do some 'moments' cost money?
“Moments” have a range of rarity. This makes some of them more scarce than others. This is also similar to the pack of cards you bought as a kid and lucked out when you found a Michael Jordan or Gary Payton card.
What's the 'Rarity Scale'?
The lowest level is “Common.” These highlights can have over 1,000 digital copies. They’re purchased in Common Packs for as low as $9 for nine moments. The next level is “Rare.” There are between 150-999 copies of these highlights. Rare Packs start at $22. The next level is “Legendary.” There are between 25-99 digital copies. These packs start at $230. The last two levels are “Platinum Ultimate” and “Genesis Ultimate.” Both are only available through auctions.
How do you purchase 'moments'?
Since everything is digital, it’s pretty easy for anyone to start collecting. To buy a “moment” or a pack of “moments” you simply reserve a spot in a digital line and if those highlights are still available when your spot in the line comes up, you can buy them. If they’re sold out, they’re gone.
Why would anyone want to do this?
If you’re like us, you have your doubts about this. We never understood paying money for something that’s digital that you can’t even actually hold in your hands. But, if you’re the type of person who misses collecting cards and you don’t really want to fill your apartment with new cards that might never have any value, this is for you.
Are people actually using Top Shot?
As of the beginning of March, NBA Top Shot has over 80,000 buyers and more than $278 million in sales. To say that people are collecting these “moments” is an extreme understatement. People are crazy for them.
Is there still time to get in on it?
The NBA has been around since 1949 so there’s obviously a ridiculous amount of “moments” yet to be purchased. If you want to get in on this contemporary, digital card collecting platform, now is the time.
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