The Playoff Packs

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On June 11, NBA Top Shot released the first of what will be a four-part set of Playoff Packs, and I must say, the First Round set was perhaps one of the best, non-Base Set packs I’ve ever purchased in terms of ROI. Because everyone is a little more tuned into the league with the playoffs in full swing there’s been a nice uptick in demand for these Moments, which has resulted in solid paydays for strategic buyers, and I’ve seen big-time performances influence the market in ways I didn’t quite notice during the regular season.

As an example, I’ve watched Trae Young’s Reward Moment of him shushing the crowd in New York after hitting an ice-cold, game-winner spike from a lowest ask of $150 all the way up to $250 as his postseason heroics have continued. As I’m writing this column, his lowest ask is currently at $225.

Playoff Beast
Playoff Beast

Another example involving a Moment that wasn’t in the playoff set (because he didn’t have one), was Terance Mann’s only Top Shot Moment spiking from a lowest ask of $10 to $50 with a top sale of $450 after he went off for a career-high 39 points in the Clippers’ Game 6 win over Utah.

Mann's Wall of Prosperity
Mann's Wall of Prosperity

It seems there’s been a nice uptick in the market as of late, with these Playoff Moments being particularly popular, so the best way to take advantage of that is by selling during Challenges and buying outside of them. Even if you’re not able to secure a pack, you should still be able to make a profit buying the dip on Moments that aren’t a part of the initial Challenge, because they tend to spike in value once it’s their turn as a required Challenge Moment.

Release 1 (First Round) – Edition Size 12,000

Release Date: Friday, June 11

Cost: $14

The First Round Pack was accessible to anyone who preordered one, and they came with one First Round Moment and two Base Set Moments. In total, 32 Moments were released in the set, with 24 coming in packs and the other eight being offered as the Rewards in Challenges.

It’s worth noting that Top Shot held back 4,500 (out of the total supply of 12K) from each of those 24 First Round Moments because they intend to slowly disperse them with each Playoff Pack drop, meaning that the supply for these Moments is currently artificially low – which may be impacting their pricing. For that reason, I’d hold off on buying some of these Moments until Friday, when an additional 2,500 will be added to the supply, bringing the circulating count to 10K out of the total 12K that will be released.

Now let’s review how I did buying and selling around the First Round Challenges:

Received Deandre Ayton in pack ($14) – sold for $53

Bought Robert Williams III for $28 – sold for $40

Bought Bam Adebayo for $34 – sold for $47

Bought Marcus Smart for $38 – sold for $50

Bought Tobias Harris for $38 – sold for $33

Total profit: $71

As you can see, I made a profit on everyone except for Tobias Harris, and the loss on Harris was marginal. I suspect the reason that Harris didn’t receive much of a bump during his time as a required Challenge Moment was because the Reward was Ben Simmons, who has been egregiously slandered since Philly was upset by Atlanta in the Semis, and is currently the worst-selling Reward Moment from the First Round set with a lowest ask of $63. I also could have made slightly more on The Time Lord and Bam had I been more patient, but I did a good job of getting close to the maximum value out of Smart. I may have taken an L with Harris, but I came up overall, and I think I’ve identified an important strategy for buying on the dip: target Moments that are not in the initial Challenge.

Top Shot could always change their strategy, but to this point, every non-Base Set Moment that has ever been released has eventually been included in a Challenge for that set, and as previously stated, Moments tend to spike in value once it’s their turn as a required Challenge Moment. You can see how the Challenge Moments bump when they initially hit the market, and that can give you a good comparison point to see where the highs are for the Moments yet to be included. From there, you can decide how much you’re willing to pay for a Moment based on how much profit you could make at a realistic selling price during the Challenge.

Release 2 (Second Round) – Edition Size 11,500

Release Date: Friday, June 25 @ 11 AM PDT

185K total packs available

Cost: $19

Collector Score Requirement: 100

The Second Round pack will feature a total of 32 Moments from Round 2, with 24 being released in packs and the other eight being Reward Moments. Your pack will include one First Round Moment, one Second Round Moment and 3 Base Set Moments. Top Shot will also be releasing an additional 12 previously unseen Moments from the First Round in this second drop, bringing the total count of non-Reward First Round Playoff Moments to 36. When all is said and done, Top Shot will release a total of 46 non-Reward Moments from the First Round, but they won’t be fully distributed until the final drop. It’s also worth noting that the Finals Challenge will involve collecting all the available, non-Reward playoff Moments from the players of either team in the Finals, so you might want to focus your attention on guys from the Bucks, Hawks, Clippers or Suns when buying the dip.

Something also worth pointing out, when Top Shot announced their plans for these Playoff Pack drops, they bolded the following sentence when discussing Challenges for the Second Round drop: “Heads up - some of the Moments that debuted in Release 1 [First Round Pack] will be required to complete these challenges.”

If we take that literally, and perhaps somewhat conspiratorially, they could be hinting that Ben McLemore’s First Round Moment may show up in the Second Round Challenges since his Top Shot “debut” came in the First Round Playoff Pack. However, it can’t only be McLemore since they use the word “some,” so it might make sense to buy some cheap First Round Moments on the dip with the hope of them eventually going into a Challenge. Personally, I bought a few McLemores in addition to Marcus Smart, Bam Adebayo and RJ Barrett.

The Collector Score of 100 is very low, so pretty much everyone who wants to will be able to qualify, but that will not guarantee you a pack – you still have to show up for the queue to join the virtual line on Friday at 11 AM PDT. That said, with 185K packs being made available, a good amount of people should be able to secure a pack.

If you need a reminder on how your Collector Score is calculated, it is as follows:

Series 1 Moments

Common (Base Set only): 25 points

Common (Non-Base Set): 40 points

Rare: 100 points

Legendary: 2000 points

Series 1 Challenge Rewards

Common (Base Set only): 37 points

Common (Non-Base Set): 60 points

Rare: 150 points

Legendary: 3000 points

Series 1 – Challenge Completion + Reward Owned

Common (Non-Base Set) = 20 points

Rare = 50 points

Legendary = 1000 points

Series 2 Moments

‍Common (Base Set only): 12 points

Common (Promo): 10 points

Common (Non-Base Set): 20 points

Rare: 80 points

Legendary: 1000 points

Series 2 Challenge Rewards

Common (Base Set only): 18 points

Common (Promo) Challenge Reward: 15 points

Common (Non-Base Set) Challenge Reward: 30 points

Rare: 120 points

Legendary: 1500 points

Series 2 – Challenge Completion + Reward Owned

Common (Non-Base Set) = 70 points

Common (Promo) = 35 points

Rare = 280 points

Legendary = 3,500 points

Conference Finals – Edition Size 11,250

Release Date: early July

166K total packs

Cost: TBA

Collector Score Requirement: TBA

The Conference Finals set will include 12 Moments from the Conference Finals, with eight being released in packs and four coming as Challenge Rewards. Your pack, if you’re able to secure one, will include one First Round Moment and one Moment from the Conference Semis or the Conference Finals, meaning you could purchase one of these packs without receiving an actual Conference Finals Moment. That gives me some pause, but perhaps they’ll rethink that idea by the time we get to the actual release date. However, if this turns out to be a relatively expensive pack, I may consider sitting it out if I’m not guaranteed a Conference Finals Moment.

Top Shot will also be releasing their final 10 First Round Moments in this drop, bringing the total to 46, but those Moments won’t hit full circulation (12K) until the final drop.

Finals – Edition Size 10,500

Release Date: shortly after Finals conclude

42K total packs

Cost: TBA

Collector Score Requirement: TBA

The Finals pack is expected to feature four Finals Moments, so likely two from each team, and an additional two will be released as Reward Moments. As previously stated, to complete the Finals Challenges you will need to collect all of the non-Reward Playoff Moments from the respective Finals teams. As an example, if the Finals is a matchup between Phoenix and Atlanta, you would need to collect all of the Hawks’ Playoff Moments (not including Trae’s Reward Moment) to unlock the Hawks Finals’ Reward Moment; or all of the Suns’ Playoff Moments (not including Rewards) to secure the Suns' Finals’ Reward Moment. This drop will also finish the distribution of all the remaining First Round Moments, bringing the total circulating count to its intended 12K.