Earlier this year, we reported that Topps, the company that popularized trading cards, had come out with an app that let users collect and trade digital Star Wars trading cards. They even have digital replicas of the licensed paper trading cards of yore. But, as with all worthy hobbies, you need to invest the time and money to expand your card collection. Mostly money. A lot of it.
A recent eBay listing showed a vintage Han Solo card with a maximum print of 1,500 offered for $225 a pop. That's what you'd make working two full days at minimum wage in California. But the price of this card also brings up a crucial difference between digital trading card games, like this one, and the physical trading card games you may remember from your childhood. In the image, the card looks worn out and crumpled. If you were playing with physical trading cards, these qualities would make the card significantly less valuable. But because the cards are all digital, the primary factor determining their value is not their appearance, but their availability.
In the app, card packs cost credits. Credits can either be bought with real money — $5 will get you 20,000 credits — or earned by completing collections and other tasks. Card pack prices vary ranging from a few pennies to $50 for some of the rarer premium collector packs. And while there are some card collections out there that go for a couple hundred dollars, the Han Solo card is one of the highest prices seen yet for a single card. Except for this super limited edition Pink Yoda card. There were only ever 10 copies, and they were only available for one hour. It costs $900 — that's as much as a seven-night Caribbean cruise.
Once you’ve won the lottery, or inherited from that estranged aunt who finally kicked the bucket, you can download Star Wars Card Trader for free from the App Store.