Topps taking a swing at MLB NFTs — what you need to know

Topps NFT cards
(Image credit: Topps)

Trading card company Topps is jumping in on the NFT fervor thanks to a new partnership with Major League Baseball. Starting April 20, it will be possible to buy official MLB NFTs through the WAX blockchain. 

Per Daniel Roberts of Decrypt, these NFTs come via a partnership with the MLB and MLB Players Inc., the for-profit arm of the MLB Players Association. Over on the WAX website, it shows that 50,000 standard packs will be sold at $5 a piece, with 50,000 packs being made available. There will also be $100 premium packs, featuring exclusive cards and a higher number of rare cards with $24,090 being produced.  

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are blockchain-backed crypto assets that uniquely denote ownership, even though it's a digital good. Meaning that, just like a rare physical trading card, an NFT is also unique and cannot be duplicated. 

While a majority of MLB NFTs will be commons, there will be legendary and a very limited legendary limited-edition 1-of-1 platinum anniversary card. It's likely that this card will sell for inordinate amounts on the second-hand market.

Unlike physical cards, Topps will integrate motion graphics and other "digital flourishes" for an overall more compelling product. 

"As collectibles enjoy a breakout moment with NFTs and blockchain technology, we can’t think of a better way to honor the legendary players from years past and look forward to the incredible careers ahead of today’s stars and breakout rookies,” said Evan Kaplan, Managing Director of MLB Players, Inc, in a press release. “These Topps cards offer a new innovative way for today’s collectors and fans to connect with their favorite stars.”

Topps is also giving away 10,000 day-one opening day NFT packs for those that sign up for email alerts on its website. Unfortunately, as of publishing, it seems those slots have been filled.  

This isn't the first time Topps has experimented with NFTs. Last year, it launched a Garbage Pail Kids line that quickly sold out. On the aftermarket, some of these NFTs have asking prices of over $7,000

NBA Topshot is a similar NFT marketplace. Instead of strictly sticking to a trading-card format, the NBA has chosen to monetize highlights and other in-game moments through video. A LeBron James dunk sold for over $200,000 back in February. Another dunk is currently on sale for $250,000.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.