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Treaticus Takes on Cardboard Collectors

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

@Treaticus shares his stories about meeting cardboard collectors and signing up some new users from the GG2 Sports Cards Show in Bentonville, AK.

In early February, I spent a couple of days at a card show in Bentonville, Arkansas promoting NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day. I was delighted to find folks very receptive to digital collectibles and even had one new collector pull a Scottie Barnes 4 badger!

I was nervous when my wife and I decorated our tablecloth, Nifty display, and free moment cards. Our table stood out next to the tables covered with physical trading cards and memorabilia that filled the hotel event space. We greeted our neighbors with a smile and some small talk. As the show began to fill up with visitors, I realized card show visitors make several rounds through the tables before they stop and talk. Once I got the hang of the rhythm, I waited until I saw the same faces a few times before saying hello before most collectors stopped by for a chat. Some people I met had heard of Top Shot and All Day, but many did not. Almost everyone I met responded positively to digital collectibles; a few even said they liked NFTs. The folks that took a card were impressed by the ease of setup and didn't seem afraid to give their email and set up a wallet. One old timer said he was too old for this new-fangled collectible but said, "I guess that's where everything is headed."

I met a few collectors who said they already had a Top Shot account but had not logged in since the boom two years ago. I encouraged them to jump on now and check out how much had changed. I had planned on filming some folks ripping a pack, but it didn't feel right until I met Mike. He came to the table and said his brother-in-law told him he had to check it out. He was enthusiastic about opening an account, so I asked if I could film him. It was a simple, quick process, and he pulled the Scottie B. He laughed and high-fived like old friends. He was the only person I filmed ripping packs all weekend. The good vibes always pay off.

Final Takeaway: The community and camaraderie of the cardboard collectors reminded me of our Top Shot fam. They have a shared language and help each other navigate all the tables to find the cards they hope to acquire. I didn't hear anyone talk about the state of the "market," past or future; their focus was collecting. I did see one whale make a purchase; the seller needed a cash-counting machine to count the stack! Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the physical card space. It could be that the TS/All Day space stays a small niche group, or it might go mainstream. Nobody knows, but I would like our space to have the same ethos I found in Bentonville, AR.

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