You know when it comes to collecting that I am always willing to try anything at least once or twice and I am also a huge fan of oddball cards. Platinum League Self Made packs (which are sold in places like K-Mart) really peaked my interest with their interactive music trading cards and I honestly think Topps, Upper Deck and Panini can learn a thing or two.
First off here are the cards.
What really separates them from say a pack of Topps baseball cards is the amount of content in a single pack. With a pack of Topps cards you get a bunch of base that you probably just going to store away and if you lucky you get an autograph or a relic card. But with the QR codes and app technology, a pack of Platinum League cards gives you access to 5 videos you can view on your phone with their app. The short videos are pretty much rappers saying hello to their fans and a few verses. The brilliant part of the business model is that is a great vehicle to market themselves as after the videos there are a few call to actions like buying their single or liking them on Facebook so it is a win- win for everyone. Also every pack is an instant win card. I won a wallpaper but I think you can win prizes like gift cards. In addition, with the instant win card you are entered in a sweepstakes. Platinum League must be well funded because there are a bunch of prizes ranging from a car to a Rolex and from personal concerts to brand new kicks. All in all, you just get more value from the pack.
Sure Topps, Upper Deck and Panini has played around with interactive cards in the past but in my opinion with always have been two separate experiences. You collect cards and you maybe have a website with some content with the only connection between the two is codes you have input to unlock items which to me is like actually cannibalizing collecting of the cards themselves. For example, say Topps do a great job with virtual cards. Don’t they make the actual cards useless/ worthless?? All you want is the code card and can basically toss your base cards away, right? Eventually people are going to realize it is just not worth it. But I really think now that since almost everyone has a smartphone that QR technology is something worth exploring and maybe even instant win cards for small things like say mp3s or wallpaper for your phone. It is a much better way to merge the collecting of physical cards and some kind of online content compared to things done before.