Candy is moving into the baseball NFT market at full force. While they have been quietly releasing baseball NFTs for about a year now, the Candy NFT 2021 MLB Icons release is their first traditional pack release. Therefore, it is high time for a Cardlines Candy 2021 MLB Icons Packs review.
Candy is essentially a Fanatics-backed NFT. Therefore, this is a significant release that can show how the sports apparel giant will manage its collectibles business.
Back in June, Major League Baseball announced a partnership with Candy Digital to issue its series of NFTs.
What is Candy? The three owners of the company are Michael Rubin, Mike Novogratz, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Michael Rubin is the chairman of Fanatics, the company poised to take over as the primary sports card producer in the United States. Novogratz is the CEO of Galaxy Digital, a major player in the cryptocurrency and NFT investment space. Finally, Gary Vaynerchuk is an all-around entrepreneur with an NFT presence. However, I best know him from Resy, the app I am forced to use to schedule hair cuts through nowadays.
The line uses the Ethereum blockchain. NBA Top Shot also launched on Ethereum but has since switched to Flow Blockchain.
As a statement of purpose, the first NFT it sold was one of the most iconic moments in the sport’s history. In 1939, Lou Gehrig was forced to retire, receiving a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He gave a speech at Yankee Stadium with the following quote: “For the past two weeks, you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
The NFT is a 1/1. The utilization of this specific moment shows a great deal of imagination and displays a sensitivity towards the rich history of baseball. Both of those are necessary to succeed in the tradition-laden world of baseball fandom.
The NFT sold to billionaire Tyler Winklevoss for $70,440. Though Candy may have hoped it would sell for more, it was an auspicious start for the line of NFTs. The money from the sale, which was held on July 4, went to ALS charities. That is undoubtedly a worthy and classy move.
I feel that the release of the Gehrig NFT is highly significant.
While Top Shot has only recently begun to mine the history of the NBA, Candy seems determined to leverage it right off the bat (pun somewhat intended). Considering the company owns the rights to every legend from Ty Cobb to Ken Griffey Jr., there is no end to the opportunities for NFT minting.
Imagine an NFT of Randy Johnson killing that poor bird, Hank Aaron hitting his 715, or that ridiculous Willie Mays catch. Yes, I want them all too.
The layout and feel of the MLB NFTs will be familiar to anyone who has engaged with NBA Top Shot NFTs. The Dapper Labs model has proven successful as the NBA has recently renewed them as their official NFT issue for the next season. Meanwhile, the NFL has jumped on board with Dapper Labs in late September.
Icons packs are the first traditional MLB trading NFTs released by Candy. They will feature the 81 All-Stars from the past season, alongside the top 30 prospects.
Here are the release specs:
Contents of each pack:
Uncut Diamonds Pack:
Here is the release schedule:
To be onsite for the drops, get there early and go here.
Baseball fans are highly invested in their ballparks, more than any other professional sport. Indeed, a trip to see a game in every MLB ballpark is a lifelong dream for many fans.
Candy has capitalized on this and released a line of the MLB Stadium Series on August 9. Each release is a tribute to one of baseball’s 30 professional league parks. Noted NFT-sports art specialist S. Preston designed the series. Preston has been contributing art to the MLB and the Baseball Hall Of Fame since 2014.
The stadium NFTs were released once a week throughout August and September. Each stadium also has a 1/1 gold edition, which grants the owner a VIP game day experience.
Each regular NFT cost $100 and was issued for a limited amount of time. Meanwhile, the gold editions were auctioned off. To no ones surprise, the Yankee Stadium gold went for the highest price, at $33,000.
Candy is currently issuing a play of the day NFT. It is essentially an NFT version of the Topps Now release. Candy will choose one outstanding play per day. It is then available for purchase from noon to midnight.
The Play Of The Day runs through the entire season, including the playoffs. However, these NFTs are not released during the offseason.
Candy CEO Scott Lawin explained, “Our approach to video here is a little bit different than some of the other video-based sports collectibles, where we’re not treating a video highlight as a series of collectibles. What we’re doing is we are taking the most significant, exciting, or important moment that day in the sport of baseball and minting that on a limited basis.”
The only NFT available when I signed in commemorates the Houston Astros return to the World Series. So, I held my nose (sorry, Astros fan) and went in to buy it.
Entering my credit card info and address was pretty easy. But then the trouble started. I was told that the website “could not remember my address.” I hadn’t heard that one before.
The cost was $25 for the NFT. Plus a fee of $1.06 for something or other. My NFT is #991 out of 1124. So that will give you an idea of the current circulation of these highlights.
The NFT was attractive. Especially if you are an Astros fan, it shows Ryan Pressley catching the final out and the team celebrating their victory over the Red Sox. I like the layout and the editing.
But some problems were immediately evident. The play was supposed to come with two bonus plays. That is a very cool idea, but the execution was fairly poor. One of the “bonus” highlights was identical to the main one. Meanwhile, the other didn’t work. I guess that this is a problem associated with the Beta status of the site. But either way, Candy should pay attention to details of that sort.
Sign up was incredibly easy; I just put in some basic details and was ready to go. The layout is intuitive and attractive. Considering they are in Beta, this is all highly promising. Top Shot was far less navigable or presentable at this stage of its development.
Purchases are only available in the United States and Canada.
As far as I can tell, the only method of payment currently available is credit cards. So it is really surprising to see an NFT that isn’t cryptocurrency-friendly. However, the website is in Beta. So other options may be supported later.
Most of the MLB NFTs issued by the company has sold out. So, can you get them on the secondary market?
While Candy does have a link to a marketplace, it is currently not operational. However, when you click on it, Candy tells you the feature is “launching soon.”
I could not find any on eBay, which had a good amount of the Topps NFT and Top Shot available.
But of course, the real NFT secondary market is not on eBay. So let’s see how the prices on OpenSea compare with the original price.
|NFT||Original Price||Secondary Market Price|
|Dodger Stadium Steel||$100||$305|
|Dodgers World Series Ring||$22.20||$162|
|Angel Stadium Steel||$100||$108|
We can see that Candy NFTs generally retain their market value at a minimum. In other cases, we can see an increased value of almost 800%. All this before the hype has really set in for Candy. These are promising signs.
Quite simply, yes. Candy Digital has recently announced it has raised $100 million in its latest round of funding. One of the high-profile investors in the company is legendary quarterback Peyton Manning. Correspondingly, the company is evaluated at $1.5 billion.
The use of the successful Top Shot format, while showing due deference to baseball tradition, is likely to see Candy become the premier baseball NFT for the foreseeable future.
Their main rival is Topps, which has been issuing a line of NFTs for a few months now. However, I believe that their releases show a lack of imagination and are unlikely to succeed long-term.