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How Trading Cards Can Help DC Turn the Tables on Marvel

Last Updated: July 5, 2023
The trading card hobby gives DC Comics a golden opportunity to flex its muscles against Marvel by leveraging the energy around NFTs.

Marvel has overshadowed DC in almost every medium for the last two decades, but there’s one place where DC can show off its power.

Over the last year, Marvel cards have exploded in popularity, with no better example than the Fleer Precious Metal Gems variations from 2013. The 2013 Marvel Fleer Retro Spider-Man PMG Blue /50 in a BGS 9 grade sold in May of 2021 for $12,000. Then in January 2022 it went for $132,000 via Goldin Auctions That wasn’t the only PMG from the set that sold for record amounts, either.

Thanks to that Spider-Man sale, other Precious Metal Gems from the same set exploded in value, going from under $100 to a couple thousand in raw condition. If graded, they sold for almost six figures, depending on the superhero. The 2013 Captain America PMG Blue /50 in a PSA 8 grade sold for almost $90,000 in February. Unfortunately, that same card sold again in early April for $22,200.

What does this have to do with DC?

DC has been on nowhere near the same level as Marvel in anything in the last two decades. Marvel has been able to create a media empire consisting of a coherent cinematic universe, new comic stories, new heroes, and more. Meanwhile DC can’t even decide who it wants to play Batman.

Don’t worry, though, DC fans. There’s hope.

DC recently released a new set of trading cards through HRO. HRO produced officially licensed hybrid NFT trading cards — physical trading cards that have a digital NFL counterpart. Their first set was released in late March and has received great praise from fans and resellers alike, selling out at retailers online and in-store almost instantly:

Sold-out stock of DC Comics HRO Hybrid NFT Trading Cards

Due to the NFT aspect of the trading card set, it is assumed that there is a limited number of digital and physical cards, with the physical cards each having a code to redeem the digital copy. The hobby has taken notice and boxes of this set are selling for easily three times the value and sometimes as high as five times.

With Discovery recently acquiring Warner Brothers and thinking the DC Universe “lacks a coherent creative and brand strategy,” it wouldn’t be a surprise for them to invest resources into the ever-expanding trading card hobby. The HRO DC trading cards can put DC ahead of Marvel in a popular category for the first time in many years, leveraging physical card collectors and NFT enthusiasts alike.

The trading cards include not only moments from movies, but also comic pages that highlight iconic moments from DC’s 85-plus-year history. That’s appealing to younger fans who cannot afford first issues of heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others. This gives them an opportunity to at least own a piece of comic history.

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