The Newest Trading Card Trend & Logan Paul’s New Venture
Hint: it's a 90s classic, and Logan Paul's fractionalized collectibles platform
Cultured is a newsletter that gets readers up to speed on the most interesting things going on at the intersection of finance, art, collectibles, NFTs, and more. Cultured is produced by Otis, an alternative investment platform that was recently acquired by Public.com.
Love Cultured? Spread the word and share this newsletter with a friend!
🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
Trading cards from Sports Illustrated For Kids are attracting the attention of collectors. The cards, which were sent out as an insert in SI For Kids editions, have gone for upwards of $100,000 this year.
Unlike many other cards from the 90s, which were mass-produced and often homogenous, cards in SI For Kids were diverse. The magazine featured athletes outside of the “big four” leagues that are popular with trading card manufacturers.
The result: many of the cards featured rookie athletes from less-popular sports who would later become famous. A 1999 Serena Williams card sold for a record $117,000 in January, while a 1996 Tiger Woods sold for almost $42,000.
Our Take: The popularity of SI For Kids shows that distribution strategy matters for future collectors.
The trading card boom in the 1990s led to a flood in the market as companies churned out cards to meet demand. With the market heating up yet again, the diversity of SI For Kids cards have made them popular with collectors. For younger collectors looking to acquire new cards, or brands looking to launch new lines, SI For Kids is a good reminder that going for the underdog can be a good strategy for creating a valuable collection.
Logan Paul is known for his love of collectibles. He’s now turning that into a business opportunity with the launch of Liquid Marketplace. The platform fractionalizes collectible objects and sells shares to its users, keeping the originals safe in its vault.
Shares of Liquid Marketplace are available as tokens, which are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. This is different from most major fractionalized marketplaces, which securitize the asset and sell shares much like a company sells stock.
Paul said that Liquid Marketplace will be responsible for authenticating and appraising the items, and that users will be co-owners of the assets. However, some observers are skeptical, given that possessing a token doesn’t actually confer legal ownership.
Our Take: Liquid Marketplace will likely appeal to collectors with a high risk tolerance and who are less concerned with physical ownership.
While Paul’s celebrity status will likely help Liquid Marketplace find an audience, its approach is inherently risky. That will probably appeal to collectors who are well-versed in more speculative investments like NFTs. These collectors will likely also be comfortable with non-tangible investments — the combination of fractionalization and tokenization means that items on Liquid Marketplace are separated by several degrees from their physical counterparts. Still, the fact that Paul took the jump and launched his own marketplace is one of the latest signs that alternative assets are going mainstream.
✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
Steve Aoki dropped more than $200,000 on a 2015 Marvel Red PMG set, a new record for the franchise’s trading cards.
The UK has asked its Royal Mint, an institution that is more than 1,000 years old, to create an NFT. It’s part of the country’s push to be at the forefront of crypto tech.
Virgil Abloh was remembered at the 2022 Grammys as a “hip hop fashion designer,” a lackluster description that didn’t sit well with fans.
Joseph Lau, the fugitive billionaire collector, will sell off parts of his art and wine collections to make up for massive stock market losses.
Two of Charles Darwin’s notebooks that were stolen from Cambridge’s library were suddenly returned with a note that said: “Happy Easter X.”
A bizarre one for you Americana collectors: a small section of a blood-stained dress from Abraham Lincoln’s assassination is up for sale.