When I was a kid, I used to collect Star Wars cards. Nearly every one of my friends did. I would get 50 cents allowance and that was enough for two packs a week. My sister, Karen, is the thrifty one and she would pocket her money for a future date. I think she ended up buying a car. Still, I looked forward to opening those two packs every week. There was something mesmerizing about the crinkle of the wrapper as I pulled it open, looking at each card one by one, and just being happy with whatever I got.
Today, card collecting is a little different. While you can still buy traditional packs of cards, Topps has introduced a digital card trading app. The same company that brought you those first packs of Star Wars cards, introduced a new app earlier this year called Star Wars Card Trader and you guessed it – you can buy packs of Star Wars cards through the app. Not only that, but you can trade them online with people from all over the world. The cards are creative and beautiful, appealing to different tastes and different interests in the Star Wars universe.
Topps does a great job of keeping things interesting. In every pack you get a number of base cards – standard cards found in every pack with different color borders depending on their rarity. But in each designated series, you also have the chance to get a limited edition card with special artwork and these limited edition cards also have different rarity levels. Many cards have edition sizes in the thousands (still really hard to get sometimes depending on the number of people collecting), but some have edition sizes as low as 10. That’s right, 10.
The nice thing is that Topps GIVES YOU FOR FREE 25,000 credits a day which on average lets you open 5 packs of cards (each pack is on average 5,000 credits per pack). And if you log in 7 days in a row, they give you an extra 25,000 credits. But if you’re serious about collecting an entire series, even that is not enough. Often times, the odds of pulling a card are 1:10 (meaning 1 in every 10 packs you might pull a limited edition card), but more often it’s 1:30 or 1:50 or even 1:75. You can imagine some series are very hard to collect.
Difficulty in pulling the cards you want is only one drawback to the app. It often has technical glitches, sometimes creating huge problems for both collectors and the company. The app once released a card to the entire population of collectors for free that was meant to only go to those who purchased additional credits. Topps did correct this very quickly and offered a new and special card to those collectors who were meant to get the original card. This was not the only time this happened. Recently, Topps announced the release of a card, only to not actually release the card. Many people were given a partial credit refund for this error. But Topps is horrible in customer service. I was one of the ones affected and they promised to give me a 35,000 credit return (after I spent 125,000 credits for a card that didn’t exist). I never received the refund. When I contacted them about it, they claimed to have sent it – although I never got it. After MANY back and forth emails which took up precious time, they still haven’t given me the credits they claim to have sent me – even though I could prove them wrong. The company’s communication is poor and their service is cold and unfriendly. The app also has a weird glitch where a person is suddenly unable to trade with people on their friend list. The app has to be uninstalled completely and reinstalled again. The designers are often slow to issue awards, leaving certain sets completed for weeks before award cards became available.
However, the app is truly innovative and has made card collecting not only fun but a 21st century hobby. People even sell their digital cards on eBay! If you like Star Wars, collecting trading cards, or just want to have some fun with friends, this is a good app. Just be aware of the glitches in the app and expect a certain amount of frustration.