Culture Trading Cards

‘Data Debates’: Lionel Messi 2004 Panini Mega Cracks #71 vs. Wayne Gretzky 1979 O-Pee-Chee

In the third installment of our “Data Debates” series, in which we aim to help newcomers understand the process of evaluating supply and demand and identify which cards are overvalued vs. undervalued, we venture outside of America’s “big three” sports (baseball, football, basketball) and compare the Lionel Messi 2004 Panini Mega Cracks #71 vs. the Wayne Gretzky 1979 O’Pee Chee rookie cards. Remember that this is my point of view, and you should always do your research before investing.

The Case For Lionel Messi:
Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm

Lionel Messi has spent his entire 19-year career playing forward for La Liga club Barcelona as well as Argentina’s national team and is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Messi has won 6 Ballon d’Or Awards (the top individual award in soccer—the first player to win it four years in a row) and 6 European Gold Shoes (leading goal scorer). 

With Barcelona, he has won a club-record 33 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and 6 Copas del Rey. He is La Liga’s all-time top scorer and record holder for most goals scored in a season. His 169-lifetime assists are #1 all-time in La Liga with #2 (Xavi) far behind, tallying 43 less.  

As the Argentina national team’s captain, Messi led them to three consecutive finals (2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 & 2016 Copas America). He is their all-time leading goal scorer and led them to an Olympic gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics. After the 2014 World Cup, Messi took home the Golden Ball – presented to the best player in the tournament.

Off the pitch, Messi is amongst the most famous athletes in the world. In 2019, Forbes magazine ranked him the world’s highest-paid athlete, and Time Magazine ranked him amongst the 100 most influential people in the world for two consecutive years (2011 & 2012). He currently has 99.6 million Facebook followers (3rd highest for any athlete), 166 million Instagram followers (also 3rd highest). According to a 2014 survey by sports research firm Repucom in 15 international markets, Messi was familiar to 87% of respondents, making him the second-most recognized athlete globally.

The Case For Wayne Gretzky:
Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm

Wayne Gretzky (aka “The Great One”) is recognized as the greatest hockey player of all time, and there is no debating that fact. 

“The Great One” is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player. As a matter of fact, he has more assists than any other player has total points. He is the only player in history to score over 200 points in a season (and he did it FOUR times). He scored over 100 points in 16 seasons, including 14 in a row. Winner of 4 Stanley Cups as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Gretzky also made a Stanley Cup Finals appearance as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. He has an NHL record 9 Hart Trophies (MVP) and two Conn Smythe Trophies (playoff MVP),

At the time of his retirement, Gretzky held an absurd 61 NHL records, and his #99 was retired league-wide, the only player ever to receive that honor. He was immediately inducted into the Hall of Fame upon retirement, with the NHL waiving the customary waiting period in his honor. 

Off the ice, Gretzky was an endorsement machine and had a litany of deals in place with global brands like Coca-Cola, Dominos Pizza, Sharp Electronics, and Upper Deck Trading Cards. He is even well known in the card collecting industry for his $451,000 purchase (and a $1.27 million sale) of the infamous “Gretzky Wagner” card.

Examining the Data:
Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm

PSA Pop Report:

Lionel Messi: PSA 10 (20) 9 (34) 8 (45) 7 (21) 6 (34) 5 (9)

Wayne Gretzky: PSA 10 (2) 9 (88) 8 (735) 7 (1060) 6 (1070) 5 (815) 

Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm

BGS Pop Report:

Lionel Messi: BGS 10 (0) 9.5 (67) 9 (94) 8.5 (76) 8 (26) 7.5 (11) 7 (5)

Wayne Gretzky: BGS 10 (1) 9.5 (11) 9 (56) 8.5 (118) 8 (254) 7.5 (254) 7 (350)

Recent Sales:
Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm


Most recent PSA 10 sale: $21,500

Most recent PSA 9 sale: $12,000

Most recent PSA 8 sale: $7,200

Most recent BGS 9.5 sale: $40,401

Most recent BGS 9 sale: $14,099

Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm


Most recent PSA 10 sale (2012): $94,163

Most recent PSA 9 sale: $49,999

Most recent PSA 8 sale: $8,500

Most recent BGS 9.5 sale: $83,100


What I find most interesting in this debate is the discrepancy in prices between PSA 8s and PSA 9s when comparing the two cards. 

PSA 8 auctions are closing at around the same price, despite there being so many more Gretzky PSA 8s (735) in population compared to Messi’s PSA 8’s (45). The most recent sales at this grade for Gretzky was $8500 compared to Messi’s $7200. 

However, when moving up to PSA 9’s, there are more than twice as many Gretzky’s in the population (88) compared to Messi (34), yet the most recent PSA 9 Gretzky to sell at auction closed at $49,999 on 7/31/2020 compared to $12,000 on 6/3/20 for a PSA 9 Messi. 

When breaking down the two athletes in terms of global collectibility and name recognition, there is not much of a comparison. Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time, and this is no slight to him. Still, as we pointed out earlier, Messi is the #3 athlete on the planet in terms of name recognition, and he has a much lower population of PSA 9 cards in the market compared to Gretzky. The number of hockey fans pales in comparison to the number of soccer fans globally. While card collecting has mostly been dominant in the United States, which is where Gretzky played, the rise of soccer in the US could create a spike in the value of soccer cards in the coming years. 

The fact that PSA 8 Gretzky cards are selling for slightly more than Messi’s despite a population over 16x the size makes very little sense, so PSA 8’s Messi would seem to make a fantastic investment. However, the real chase here would be getting your hands on a PSA 9 Messi, as there are less than half as many of them in the population than the Gretzkys and are selling at less than 1/4 the price. 

If I’m investing in one of these cards, the choice would seem to be an obvious one. Give me Messi in a landslide. Now you may be thinking, “what about the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate?”. That’s for an entirely different day!

Grind Money

How to Make Money as a Teenager

Being a teenager is pretty hard work. But whether the allowance your parents give you just isn’t cutting it anymore, or you’re just looking for a way to help out around the house, a job is a next step in your financial security. While the process can seem daunting at first, especially since people are sometimes hesitant to hire teenagers, there are still plenty of ways to make cold hard cash and even leave room for fun. As long as your parents permit you, here are a couple of ways to make bank as a teen.

1. Turn Your Hobbies Into Your Job

Have you noticed that you’re really good at a specific thing? Whether that’s playing the guitar or making fun bracelets, your next job might be closer than you think. Not only is turning your hobbies into a paying gig extremely easy but if it’s something that already brings you joy, then you’re sure to have a great time.

2. Do Odd jobs

Regardless of where you live, there are so many kinds of jobs that need to be done. The smartest thing to do is take the initiative. See a yard that needs to be raked? Why not ask your neighbor if you can do it for a small fee. Do your parents have a friend who needs help with chores? While these are all short term gigs, they can lead to some great money and, best of all, a new friendship!

3. Write articles

If your schedule looks anything like mine did in high school, you’re probably overloaded with essay after essay. Have one you feel incredibly proud of writing? If it’s about a current event, chances are you can get it published in a local or even national newspaper. Just google an opinion editor, and send it over. One caveat: make sure to give editors time to respond. Only send one article to one editor at a time, to make sure that you don’t end up promising original work to two separate papers.

4. Start an Etsy

Really love crafting? Even if you just have a printer, starting an Etsy account is an excellent way to turn your niche interest into cash. If you’re really good at capitalizing on popular trends like celebs or funny memes, you can add that to the products in your incredible shop. If you advertise on TikTok, you can also get a ton of young shoppers.

5. Walk Dogs
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Dogs aren’t just man’s best friend. They could be your best friend too! If you love running around with Fido, why not get paid for it. Starting a small dog walking business is perfect if you have a wide-open schedule and have no problem exercising day after day.

6. Start a Garden

Have a green thumb? Starting a garden could be a fun way to hone your craft and make money off it. Choosing high yield fruits and vegetables that can handle wear and tear are perfect for first-time gardeners and provide so much produce that they’ll be selling off you in droves. No one can resist a freshly grown treat.

7. Start A Youtube Channel

TikTok famous or not, your YouTube channel might make you more money than you think. Even if you’re not an influencer, YouTube’s algorithm rewards creators with dedicated views and consistent posting. Whether you’re reviewing albums or streaming your video games, you never know what might make your channel bigger than ever. Even better, many YouTube stars credit their success to the channels they started as teenagers.

8. Sell Your Old Clothes

If you’re known for taking frequent trips to the mall, selling your old clothes is a great way to keep the cash in your wallet and clear out more room in your closet for amazing finds. Rather than throwing all of your clothes straight to the thrift shop, do a little research to find yourself the best price. Finding the best consignment shops in the wealthiest areas will give the most significant yield, especially for clothes that cost you big in the first place. Most resale shops will provide you with cash for your old threads, especially if they’re great name brands or have very little wear.

9. Tutor

Have a pretty good handle on a specific subject. Parents will pay big money for you to tutor their children, especially in difficult subjects like Chemistry or math. With most schools having some or all remote options, you can charge for zoom sessions for your best subject. Not only do you get to help a kid or fellow student, but every session means a helpful refresher for you as well.

10. Babysit
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Yes, babysitting might be the quintessential teenage job, but it’s always included for a reason. Parents young and old are always looking for ways to foist their children off on responsible caretakers for the night. It honestly might be as well be you. Babysitting is a high energy job, but it also has high rewards. The more children you watch, the more you make. Plus, if your school schedule is too hectic for a retail job, babysitting always has the perfect hours.

11. Start A Paper Route

If you have a bike and are an early riser, a paper route could be the best way for you to make cash. Finding the number for your local newspaper’s circulation department will get the inside info on the open routes available. Once you outfit your bike with the necessary safety equipment and basket, you’ll be on your way. Just make sure that a route is something you can make time for, since days off are hard to come by.

12. Pet Sit

If you’re great at dog walking, pet sitting could be the natural next step in saving more money. Most pet sitting gigs require a trustworthy teen capable of keeping a steady schedule. Some owners pay hundreds of dollars to pet sit. You have to stop in at least twice a day, but your visits don’t have to be very long and can be fun stress relievers for both you and the dog.

13. Mow Lawns

Hard work aside, mowing lawns is a great way to get paid for a sweaty job. If you’re fine with mowing out in the heat, homeowners will pay big bucks to avoid the annoying job. You can either use your parents’ lawnmower or use the owners, just make sure you budget in gas money and you should be ready to mow!

14. Take Online Surveys

While making money online doesn’t always seem legit, there are plenty of safe ways to make cash while you surf the web. Taking Online surveys might not make you as much money as a full retail job, but persistence can slowly grow your bank. Websites like SurveyJunkie, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks all pay users to fill out online surveys; just make sure to check the age requirements.

15. Create A Depop

Feel too precious about your clothes to drop them off at any old consignment shop? If you’re great at curating a vibe, creating a Depop might be the perfect way to get more money for some of your best pieces. If you have clothes that are vintage or Y2K dubes, Depop could give you a huge payout, especially if you style your clothes with special photoshoots.

16. Become a photographer

Do you or your parents own a pretty great camera? Selling amateur photos could make you extra funds and help you add a line to your college resume. Even without editing, offering portrait sessions could make you hundreds of dollars for an hour of work. If you work during the school year as a yearbook photographer, your yearbook photos could act as incredible ads for your business.

17. Sell your Social Media Savvy

Whether you’re great at social media, or just pretty good, small local organizations like shelters or churches are always looking for social media assistants. If you know how to schedule posts, make ads, and keep a pretty good profile, selling your social media smarts might be the best way to keep it up. Even if you just sell lessons to your friends and family not on social media, the job can land you a pretty heavy payday.

18. Work Retail

Yes, it’s not the most glamorous job. But working in a retail position is an excellent way to hone your skills, learn patience, and make some serious dough. If you’re not concerned about getting too busy for homework, a retail job will most likely take anyone over the age of 15, and give you more experience in case you want to work your way up to a higher position later in life.

19. Work as a Host

If you’re over 16, working as a server or hostess could be your way into the restaurant business. While most hosts work for tips, working in the position for a year gives you a chance to move up in the industry. The hours are more in-depth than other jobs, but being on your feet allows you to learn about all the positions in a restaurant without doing too much work.

20. Work Fast Food
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If you’re not opposed to smelling french fries during your work hours, getting a job at a fast-food gig might make the most sense for getting rich. Fast Food restaurants are always hiring, and more than willing to take any teenagers without experience.

21. Sell Your Old Devices

Really love iPhones? If you have a ton of old devices, selling the ones laying around your house could get you the funds you need. If your old phones work, posting them on eBay could net you some cold hard cash. Just make sure to turn off all tracking on the phones, so buyers don’t get any of your personal information.

22. Camp Counselor

Loved your experience as a camper? Plenty of summer camps hire young teenagers as either assistant or full-time counselors. You can spend your days splashing in the pool, creating in the arts and crafts cabin, owning the zip line, and leading your own set of youngsters around the block. Most camps have short and long sessions, so you’re guaranteed to have at least part of your summer all to yourself. Best of all, camps are some of the greatest ways to make friends.

23. Bake Sales

School isn’t the only time bake sales bring in the cash. If you’re a pretty good home baker, selling your goods around is like a fundraiser. Just for, you know, yourself. Make brownies, cookies, cupcakes, anything you’re good at and sell it in your neighborhood. If your parents have good connections at work, or clubs, ask them to share your business around. You can also use social media to promote your work, which could help you get more clients and raise your follower count.

24. Garage Sale

Garage sales aren’t just for culdesac moms looking to downsize. If your parents are fine with it, setting up a garage sale with donated items could yield super high results. Go through your house with your parents or ask your friends for tips, and you could have a master garage sale instantly. Make sure to advertise way in advance, and to know the worth of the items you have. Then set up, and get ready to let the good cash roll.

25. Transcriber
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Really great at doing mindless tasks for a short period of time? Becoming a part-time transcriber is the perfect job for busy teenagers. All you have to do is listen to audio files, and write down a transcript of what it says. Most sites, like Rev or Transcribe Me, either pay by the hour or minute, which makes completing requests incredibly easy.

26. Lifeguard

If it’s during the summer months, there’s no better teen gig than a lifeguard position. As long as you’re over 15 and have excellent swimming skills, becoming a lifeguard is the perfect way to work on your skills and still have a pretty fun summer. The best way to snag a gig is to visit your local pool or waterpark early. Just make sure to give the owner or manager your resume and call back close to opening.

27. Small Landscaping Businesses

Think lawn mowing might be a little too involved for you? That’s what small landscaping is for. If you offer services like gardening and weed pulling, you can get paid the same amount of money for half the work. If you buy a small pressure washer, you can add pressure washing to your resume, and charge double. Best of all, good work means you’ll keep getting referrals.

28. Car Detailing

If your car gets gross, just imagine what people would pay to get rid of their year-old fries and crumb filled interiors. That’s where you come in. Even if you’re just armed with a ton of baby wipes and a portable vacuum cleaner, you can do some real damage to a car at its worst. Add car washing, and you’ve got yourself a viable business plan.

29. Golf Caddy

Live near a golf course? Becoming a golf caddy is hard work, but a really good payday. Caddies are paid just like servers, but make most of their extra funds through tips. Most golfers are great tippers and are super willing to tip well for extremely good caddies. Best of all, you might learn some tips of the trade.

30. House Sit
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Want to get paid for doing homework? House sitting is the perfect side business for you. Most homeowners look for responsible teens (who won’t throw parties in their empty mansions) to help house sit. At most, you’ll probably be required to check the surroundings, water a few plants, and generally make sure everything is in place. For a job with such quick time schedules, house sitting has the biggest payout of all.

Whether you’re resigning yourself to a summer home alone or exhausted of doing chores for no cash, there are plenty of ways to make money before you turn 18. While it’s definitely advised that you check in with your parents before starting your own business, these jobs are foolproof ways to bring the cash in without breaking your back.

Gaming New Releases

‘Wasteland 3’ Takes Us On a Post-Apocalyptic Adventure

Welcome to the snowy apocalyptic hell known as Wasteland 3.

Set in the post-apocalyptic 22nd Century, the third installment of this popular series was released on August 28th, and gamers will certainly have their hands full with this one. In what’s being described as an old school version of Fallout, round 3 will have players battling some pretty intense and crazy stuff. 

The beginning of the game will find you in the snowy wasteland of Colorado encountering a pretty dangerous dictator known as the Patriarch, who you’ll, unfortunately, have to work for in order to provide for your fellow rangers back in base camp. In exchange for working, you’ll receive critical supplies and resources to send back home. This “partnership” also means that players will find themselves in the middle of a family feud between the Patriarch and his three kids (who have inherited his evil traits, to say the least).

One son is a drug lord who pretty much has a whole systematic operation going on in Colorado. The daughter is considered to be the most diabolical of all the kids, and the last son is a member of a Ronald Reagan cult worshipping group called the Gippers. The Gippers control the oil in the state of Colorado, so you’ll have to be nice (kind of).

In Wasteland 3, you’ll be battling some pretty messed up situations, but you don’t have to go through it alone as the game offers a special co-op mode where you can play with a friend. The cool thing about co-op mode is that it will expand your mission opportunities, as well as the overall storyline.

Den of Geek

Whether you ride solo or call shotgun, Wasteland 3 will provide an adventure with countless different directions the story can go in, and the decision is based on whatever choices you decide to make. This means that after you finish, you can start the game over and go in a completely different direction for a whole new experience.

So what’s the verdict on Wasteland 3

Our recommendation is to buy it. Just one playthrough alone gives you 55-60 hours worth of content, and while it won’t be the most diverse RPG game you’ll ever play, the game is still dynamic with a lot of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Perfect for still being stuck inside.