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Rookie Revelations - My quest to complete my first Legendary set

Written by SDANFT (TS: WizKidz2021) - My journey into NBA Top Shot occurred at the peak of the hype and FOMO in February 2021. I fell in love with the idea of being able to buy, sell, and build a collection of my favorite players. Looking at the early adopters that owned Legendary Cosmic and Holo MMXX sets, I always had a sense of envy and a realization I would never be in a place to own such a set of collectability importance. Fast forward to 2023, and those February 2021 and on bags are not great. The state of the market caused me to collect at a much smaller scale this year and focus more on connecting with the incredible group in the space. As I have enjoyed the space more this year than any prior year, I also did not want to put a lot of new money into the platform, until I learned more about the Rookie Revelation drop. This is the story of my quest to complete my first NBA Top Shot Legendary Set and recommended improvements for the future.

The Moments

When I first heard about the Rookie Revelation drop, I loved the concept of the moment. It began by showing the Rookie being called up at the draft, walking across the stage to shake the Commissioner's hand, accompanied by a play of significance in their Rookie Year. The ability to better curate these stories in Series 4 than any previous Series has been one of the most significant upgrades to the platform.


However, as a Wizards fan, I was surprised that Johnny Davis made the cut into this set. While he struggled early in the season and spent most of his time in the G-League, he exhibited some flashes of why the Wizards took him in the lottery in 2022 at the end of the season during our "tankathon." This inclusion seemed peculiar until you look at the history of the NBA Draft, where stars like Giannis, Dirk, and Jimmy Butler took time to develop in the league. Badge County, one of the best podcasts in the Top Shot space, really spent time dissecting this aspect that this is a set to collect vs. flip, as you don't know where these players will be in 5, 10, or 15 years from now. This discussion stuck with me as I looked more into the set.


A physical collectible's first run or Rookie moments generally demand a market premium over time. So getting the chance to have these Rookie's first-ever Legendary moments became more appealing. Especially with the rumblings of the pack price and inclusion of certain players, I felt that many people would look at unloading "less desirable" Rookies below pack price, along with those getting a Dapper rake back on their purchase. With the initial pack drop delayed, Top Shot offered an olive branch of sorts for those who joined at the peak of FOMO with the Rookie Revelation leaderboard burn competition.


The Rookie Revelation Leaderboard (Mass Burn)

Top Shot users could burn their Rookie Badged moments for the Top Shot Score (TSS) associated with their moments for a chance to compete on the Leaderboard for the Top 350 to secure a "Free" Rookie Revelation pack. For many that locked early or spent large bucks, this meant a chance to trade "bad trading decisions" into an opportunity to pull potentially better moments. This created a lot of excitement in the space, with over 36,000 moments being burned. It also created demand prior to the snapshot that the servers were overloaded with last-minute burn submissions. This was an excellent opportunity for people to depart with moments they no longer wanted. Still, I quickly realized I would have to burn moments I enjoy (Zion TSD, Ja TSD, and Otto Porter RIB) to compete in the 300-400th place range, which was too much of a risk for me. Seeing Top Shot leverage a premiere airdrop creatively to reduce supply was exciting.

Moments

Tier Burned

Moments

Tier Minted

Delta

​34,269

Common Rookie

9,450

Common

-24,819

1,174

Fandom Rookie

0

Fandom

-1,174

1,014

Rare Rookie

1,350

Rare

336

7

Legendary Rookie

1,454*

Legendary

1,447*

36,464

12,254*

-24,210*

Numbers based on Top Shot blog. Rookie Revelation set consists of two rewards. 1,350 Legendary packs were minted. The first reward consisted of 52 moments for Keegan Murray. *Assumed 52 moments for the second reward (Jabari Smith).


Collector Access

With this being a drop in Series 4, access became more open than in previous years. Yes, the Whales got airdrops for locking Legendary sets, but this also meant they would most likely have to spend or be content with only owning 1 of each moment in the set. This could lead to more limited supply on the market after the one-year locking for rewards but also contributed to fewer completed sets by holders after one week. This was a significant contrast to S1, S2, and S3, when many early adopters had a large handle on the supply, allowing them to stack at much lower prices. According to the Top Shot Blog, there were 1,350 total Legendary Packs, with 650 available in Early Access, 390 available in a Burn Leaderboard, 169 available in General Admission, 121 available in Priority Access, and 20 reserved for Support/Marketing.


Limited Supply

The Rookie Revelation Leaderboard did a great job burning moments and setting this drop up for an overall platform moment reduction of over 24,000 total moments. While this added some positive sentiment in the community that the calls for supply reduction are being listened to, what most excited me was the mint count of only 75 moments. Additionally, only 18 moments +2 rewards are included in this set, making it one of the smaller Legendary sets on the platform, with only 20 unique moments required to complete it.


Again, these are players' first Legendary moments. For some, they may have multiple Legendary moments in the future, like Lebron, Giannis, Ja, etc. However, these moments will stand out because they will be their first with the only cross comparison an NBA Finals Legendary. For others, this may be their only moment Legendary moment on the platform.


Gamification / Rewards (Not Financial Advice)

While we generally think of gamification with flash challenges, there was an underlying element of it when looking at the rewards of this set. The Paolo Banchero held a low ask price, around $2,000. However, the challenges in this set only required 6 of 9 moments. So those who didn't pull a Paolo or didn't want to spring for the moment initially could lock six other moments (~$1,700) to acquire the Keegan. The first sale of a Keegan reward sold for over $1,000. The popularity of the first challenge has caused a spike in prices to complete the second for Jabari Smith (~2,300).


This is where things get interesting. In Series 2 and 3, many people completed challenges and dumped moments they didn't want. Due to locking, the 52 collectors that completed the Keegan challenge had to lock 6 of their moments, which is essential to the price stability as only 75 moments exist for each player. But on top of this, Top Shot mentioned earlier in the year there would be Player Leaderboards for Rookie First Team and Rookie of the Year. In the May mailbag, Top Shot articulated what these rewards are.

As of May 31st, 2023, collectors who locked their Legendary Rookie Revelation moments are easily in the Top 150 Player Leaderboards for the All-Rookie First Team Rare rewards. A "Complete Set" of the All-Rookie First Team will be airdropped if a collector locks those moments. The exciting chase is for the top 50 for the Paolo Rookie of the Year Legendary reward. The 50th place on the Leaderboard currently sits at approximately 25,000 Top Shot score. While the final TSS score is bound to go up, it is worth knowing Paolo Banchero's low ask is $2,599, or approximately 26,000 TSS. (Again, not Financial Advice). Additionally, Paolo has two other moments on the platform that users have been stacking.


Cheat codes: One final dimension of this set is the potential for cheat code exposure. While we don't know what flash challenges will look like in Series 5. If they follow a similar template as flash challenges in Series 4, then this set could have potential 20 cheat codes and would be the only Legendary moments for each player (except the Paolo ROY award) that satisfy the requirement.


My Strategy

When I first heard of the drop, I planned to wait until people were "disappointed" with a Johnny Davis Legendary. While the moment didn't drop as much as I initially expected, I noticed a #5 serial near the Floor at $225. I jumped on this immediately. This caused a light bulb in my head to go off. Many people who burned moments were happy to receive Dapper and could care less about their serial numbers.


My second purchase of the set was from Jaden Ivey. His Mom, Niele Ivey, was a Legendary Player at the University of Notre Dame and is the current women's basketball coach. I grew up cheering for her as a kid and was instantly a big fan of Jaden's game at Purdue. Initially, I put out offers and quickly learned no one accepted them on lower serials. So, I decided to shift strategies. But, again, I felt like I lucked out and got his #7 serial slightly above the low ask at the time for $477.


Next, I saw a Bennedict Mathurin (#33) moment listed with a thin wall. Knowing that this moment would get me on his Leaderboard and 2/6 of the way to the Keegan challenge reward, I decided it made sense to grab it and go after the first challenge.


After that, I was hooked. When I joined in 2021, I was jealous of the low serial moments in the early adopter collections. My next purchase was the Shaedon Sharpe #6. Knowing that this set is one that I will look back on and plan to hold long-term, paying a premium for lower serials made sense, especially with the thin walls. With the ACH ramping back up, Top Shot has zero fees on Credit Card purchases. This is a lifesaver when pulling the trigger on a low serial moment, as it didn't require loading and transferring through USDC. Also, the reward points are nice!


Additionally, I was able to snag Jalen Williams #2 and #3 moments. At the time of writing I have three moments (including the Jabari Smith reward) left to complete the set and hope to do it in the coming weeks/months. As I look to complete the set, it is fun looking back on the collection, as I feel I got lucky with the serial numbers. Currently, I have nine single-digit serials and all but four moments under serial #25. Hopefully, someone will list the last two under #25 in the coming weeks/ months.


Improvements

Overall this is my favorite set, overtaking the Series 1 Finals Rare set (Lakers vs. Heat in the bubble and potentially Lebron's last Championship). However, I would like to see two improvements to help with the collectability of the moments in the future.

  1. Include more of a description of draft night, including pick selection or trades. For example, Jaden Hardy walks across the screen with the King's background, but is subsequently traded to the Mavericks, which the moment represents.

  2. Include a Ticket or Hat next to their draft pick number. While hitting the marketplace, some of these moments were listed and, I believe, will add to the collectability (much like a jersey serial) of the moment and help tell the player's story and the uniqueness of the set.

Speculation time: Putting my tinfoil hat on with the hype surrounding next year's draft class. Will locking this set put collectors in a better position to grab a pack next year?


Final Thoughts

If you've read this far, thank you. I hope how the Top Shot team executed this set becomes a part of the roadmap for future drops. My positive takeaways from the set and drop:

  1. Quality moments and storyline

  2. Reduction in supply, while allowing people to trade in their moments for a chance to upgrade

  3. Gamification / Rewards utility, I believe, is unprecedented with this set. At the same time, the position on the Leaderboards for the Rookie All-First Team might not last. Owning this set puts you in an excellent position to be competitive.

  4. Zero Credit card fees. Having no credit card fees enabled while Top Shot works out ACH was a massive benefit when seeing low serial numbers listed or thin walls.

I'm excited to see what the future holds for these players and if there are any breakouts in the coming years that we weren't expecting.

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1 comentário


Michael Whalley
Michael Whalley
02 de jun. de 2023

Love you sharing the insights and thoughts you put into these collecting decisions!

Curtir
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