In what is hopefully a new annual tradition, Stardom has released a new set of their wrestling cards. Stardom does not participate with BBM True Heart, instead opting to release their own card set instead. The set includes just about every regular wrestler in Stardom, as they included not just their contracted stars but Freelancers and Gaijin as well.
The packs are sold in sets of five, so I opened five packs today to get a good sample of what the cards offer this year. First, the basics:
Card Set: Stardom Collection Card 2017
Cards per Pack: 10
Number of Cards in Set: 108
Cost per Pack: Sold at $50 for five packs, discounts for more packs purchased
Where to Purchase: No longer available
I am what I would consider a major card collector, I spend thousands of dollars a year on sports cards as it is my main hobby. Besides watching Joshi of course. So are the cards worth buying? Let’s take a look, a lot of my opinions are the same as their last set but a few minor things have changed.
- 10 cards per pack. A repeat from last year but still worth mentioning. Most ‘modern’ packs of cards average around five cards per pack, so ten cards per pack is at least a decent value for your money. There may not be an autograph, but at least you’ll get a variety of wrestlers.
- 22 different autograph cards. This is up from 15 last year, so they really raised the number of autographs. Naturally the stars are here, but the rookies signed autographs as well, as everyone is represented with the help of the higher count available.
- Only way to get Stardom wrestler cards. As I mentioned above, Stardom does not participate in BBM True Heart so this is the only way to get current Stardom wrestlers in card form, including their autographs.
- Gaijin and Freelancer base cards and autographs. Last year, Stardom focused more on contracted wrestlers for the autographs but this year there is more outsiders represented. Shayna Baszler, Konami, and Toni Storm all have autographs, giving the cards an extra level of interest for International fans. Even outside of the autograph cards, a lot of Gaijin were included in the base cards, including Tessa Blanchard, Taya, Santana Garrett, Leah Vaughan, and many more. For many of the wrestlers it is their first wrestling card, making them a fun collector’s item for fans.
- Higher autograph frequency. Stardom still doesn’t guarantee an autograph per pack, but with more autograph cards it does increase the chances of getting one. In the five packs I opened, I got six autographs, and while I can’t say that is normal is it a far better ratio than I got last year. With less base cards and more autograph cards, it makes sense that autographs will appear more frequently and from my limited sample that is the case.
- On card autographs. Only serious collectors will probably care about this, but the autographs are on-card and not stickers. Which is much more aesthetically pleasing.
- Can only purchase in bundles. I understand it from a business perspective, but the cheapest way to buy the Stardom cards is in a bundle of five packs for $50. The cheapest shipping option is $15, so if you want to check out the cards the lowest amount you will pay is $65. For someone that isn’t a serious card collector, that is a lot of money, especially for only five packs. It wasn’t an issue for me since I’ll buy a box of football cards for $200 that only has two packs, but for casual wrestling fans it may be a little tougher to pull the trigger for that minimum cost.
- Still no guaranteed hit. Even though my autograph ratio was awesome, it would still be nice if they just put one autograph in each pack. They package the packs themselves, they sign the cards right there, so it wouldn’t be an extra hassle to make sure each pack had an autograph. And maybe they did this year, I don’t know, but they haven’t said if that is the case. $13 a pack is just a fair amount to only get base cards, even if they are rather nice base cards.
- Lots of duplicates. Since you are forced to buy five packs, you will get a lot of duplicates as there are only 86 base cards and its completely random which base cards you will get. In the five packs I opened, there were several cards I got three of, and many more I got two of. Its not a big deal, but when you are looking at paying $13 a pack if you get five, it is a shame that so many of the cards will be duplications.
Card Set List:
Autograph Card Examples:
Base Card Examples:
All things considered, I think the Stardom Collection Card 2017 set is better than last year's offering. I like that they added more autograph cards, and I got a lot more signed cards this year than last year. My main negative is simply that the minimum investment is $65 for International fans, which is a bit expensive, it would be nice if they allowed buyers to just purchase one pack for $10 instead. Still, with signed cards by all their big stars (Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, etc.) and many others, its a quality card set and one I can recommend checking out if you are into wrestling cards.