History was made when the Topps trading card of American baseball player Mickey Mantle sold for $5.2 million. Setting a new standard for rare collectibles, traditional collectors quickly realized that this industry is far different from the days of older generations, with larger-ticket sales now commonplace.
Now, the world is quickly shifting into a digital era, meaning physical assets that once held millions in value are making their way to the virtual world through nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The result is that NFTs are now being offered as the next generation of collectibles.
Similar to a traditional trading card, users can experience the same rush of owning a piece of history. The major difference is that the digital nature of an NFT will enable fans to gain access to a new way to interact with collectibles. With the ability to verify their "rareness," assets like the Golden State Warriors Legacy Collection World Champion Ring NFT selling for over $950,000 during its initial release and the Erling Haaland 2020-21 now being worth an estimated $831,000.
To the delight of many in the trading card community, Topps Company, Inc. has continued to share the greatest moments in sports and entertainment since its humble beginnings in 1938. The Mona Lisa of trading cards, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle represents just one. Topps’s evolution into the digital collectible space has yielded many successes to date, namely their suite of digital collectible apps in 2012 and now the launch of their own NFT platform in 2021, toppsnfts.com, where they released a number of NFT collections for Major League Baseball, Bazooka Joe, Toho Godzilla, and Bundesliga, with more first-of-their kind releases in the works.
The next evolution of collectibles
Most recently, the team behind Topps NFTs has announced the release of a 1-of-1 Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle Card NFT as a part of their new Topps Timeless NFT Series. Unlike other releases, this collection calls attention to the company’s most iconic baseball cards through premium 1-of-1 digital offerings.
“Throughout Topps’ rich history, and especially over the last few years, several iconic baseball cards have been designated as holy grails to the collecting community. With our Topps Timeless Series, we now bring these history cards to the blockchain as NFTs that can be owned forever and passed down for generations,” shares the VP and general manager of Topps Digital Sports & Entertainment, Tobin Lent.
Topps will provide fans with the chance to own this highly sought-after collectible in the team’s first-ever NFT auction taking place on the OpenSea platform on Mar. 1, 2022, at 1 PM EST. The NFT will be minted as an ERC-721 token and is a recreation of the classic Topps baseball card, complete with video of historical imagery and memorabilia that showcase and celebrate Mickey Mantle’s legacy. Additionally, the auction winner will be given the opportunity to participate in a 30-minute video interview with Danny and David Mantle, sons of Mickey Mantle.
Tobin Lent goes on to share that “the Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle card continues to be one of the most coveted baseball cards of all time, and we’re excited for one passionate fan to be able to add this monumental piece of sports history to their digital collection.”
Preparing for future releases
With this auction being the first of its kind, the community is likely to expect high valued interest from both collectors and baseball fans alike. In part, this is because the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is more than a trading card. It is a story of classic sports memorabilia being transformed for the digital age, a new way to experience the thrill of owning a rare collection, opening up a dynamic world of possibilities in the digital collectibles space.
With more of these unique auction events expected in the future , NFTs will only continue to prove their position as the next generation of collecting.
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