Posted by Karl March 30, 2016

I've been addicted to Topps Star Wars Card Trading app since day two.  It was the first place where The Force Awakens 'merchandise' was available and the app has just celebrated its first anniversary.  The real challenge is collecting the limited insert sets and receiving awards for collecting the full set.  Inserts have a variety of odds, from 1:10 packs to the ridiculous of 1:1000!  With card counts of 20,000 down to 10, tracking that certain card down may be easy or the challenge of a lifetime. 

The app using community trade their digital cards to complete sets or hold you to ransom for your first born child. But the latest changes to the app are bizarre! 

The newest card series to drop, including 'Crests' and 'Navy' are now limited to one per user,  embargoed from trading until the full set has been released and awards issued.  Whilst in theory this may be seen as Topps tackling the greedy opportunistic black market traders (yes people actually buy and sell these digital cards on eBay) in support of fair play collectors, it's creating a new counter culture, pulling for spite.  If you miss a card and you can't trade for it what's the point?  So instead users try and get a card that someone else might want just to screw up their chances of completing the set and out of frustration at the rule restrictions. 

Navy Boba.jpg
Navy Boba.jpg, by Karl

I now find myself with a deck starting to fill up with random cards from series I would love to have collected. By missing one in the set the completist collector desire is rendered impotent. However the desirability of the cards would rather see me have it than someone else and in turn ruining their completist dreams!

This failure to collect is fuelled by card drop times.  As a US developed app, without server locale providing relevant time drops for non US users it is UScentric and biased in its card drop times!  This has resulted in many sleepless nights waiting by the phone or iPad for a card to drop and then chasing it down before finally getting some sleep. The comments on their in app news feeds show disgruntled non US users apply a constant rule of thumb for card drops only to be kept waiting at the bar for another 30 minutes.

fan feed.jpg
fan feed.jpg, by Karl

The app is called Star Wars Card Trader but it now appears to be in name only with Empire like sanctions on its resources.   Equal parts addictive, equal parts rage inducing!


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