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Topps, the long-run collectibles giant, launched a large series of NFT sets dedicated to the iconic Mars Attacks trading cards from the ’60s. As Martians invade earth, non-fungible tokens rule over the collectors market and revive ‘The Hobby’, a name many give to the trading card collection industry.
Mars Attacks NFTs are powered by Curio, one of the most largely used non-fungible tokens platforms. Curio’s NFT cards have been around since 2017 and hit popularity 4 years later, turning their oldest cards into very valuable NFTs. Last August, they reported having sold 1 million NFTs in its marketplace. The company describes itself as “a new universe for fandom”.
Topps website shows the cards’ descriptions and condenses the whole feeling around it:
Are you tired of living on earth? Do you need a change in your life? Well you are in luck in 5.5 years Elon Musk says some of us will be living on Mars. According to Topps history taking over Mars won’t come easy.
The futuristic cards now meet their future. As some might remember, the original cards were very visual about the story’s violence, showing torture, slaughter, explicit gore, and implied sexual content.
This generated a huge backlash since the cards became most popular around children, who were naturally prohibited from owning them. Then, the production stopped. Nowadays, the most popular cards from the collection sell at $3,500 each.
Scholar Nathan Brownstone explained the card’s popularity back then:
The Mars Attacks cards achieved their popularity at the very time when the Cuban Missile Crisis captured the headlines, the moment when Cold War came closest to become radioactively hot. That was when that a brutal zero sum game scenario – for Humanity to survive the Martians must die – established a solid niche in American popular culture.
As the children who were not allowed to buy or collect these cards back in the ’60s are now well grown, NFTs create a space for nostalgic collectors to recapture The Hobby. The holders can easily trade on Curio’s Discord channel, participate in events, giveaways, and more.
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With a total of 27,510 cards, the NFT sets were designed in 3 pack options: Yellow (11 cards per pack and 549 in total), Red (25 cards per pack and 500 in total), and Green (55 cards per pack and 150 in total). The first two packs may include one of ten “redemption tickets” to retrieve one of the “rare cards” like the animated, gold, or x-ray.
NFT Sets Are The Trading Cards’ New Home
Collectibles Insurance Services takes us back to the origin of trading cards and the start of Topps as a leader in the industry:
In the 1930s, companies began to print biographies on baseball cards, and they came with packs of bubble gum. In 1950, Topps Chewing Gum Inc. began inserting trading cards into their packaging. These cards depicted TV and movie stars, football players, and big game hunters. In 1952, Topps began producing the sports trading cards that we know today, which included a player biography, records, and other statistics.
In this set, card #311 Mickey Mantle reached a value of $5,200,000, becoming one of the highest valued baseball cards and even a price movement indicator.
Nowadays, NFTs are unique, affordable, cannot be damaged or deleted, and are easily traded. This is many collectors’ dreams. Amidst the pandemic, the NFT ecosystem has played along with a resurrection of ‘The Hobby’ and managed to come up with many fandom-directed projects.
Ira Friedman, VP of Global Licensing at Topps, commented that the unexpected longevity of Marks Attacks cards “demonstrates that a classic story accompanied by extraordinary art can remain relevant while embracing advancements in technology and the new ways in which consumers experience content.”
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