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Style

Reebok CEO Todd Krinsky and ABG’s Nick Woodhouse on A.I., Taking Risks and More

“Don’t be nervous. And don’t be afraid to fail,” Nick Woodhouse smiles to me as he recounts the advice he would offer his 20 year old self. Woodhouse is the President and CMO of ABG, which owns a wide swath of brands from Reebok to Brooks Brothers, Nautica and more. After acquiring Reebok earlier this year, Nick appointed a new CEO of Reebok: Todd Krinsky. The two have formed a partnership intended to ignite a renaissance for the brand and a return to its heyday. I had the opportunity to speak with Nick and Todd to hear about both of their entrepreneurial trajectories and plans for the future of Reebok.

Who is Todd Krinsky?

Todd’s journey to becoming CEO of Reebok seems like it came straight out of a movie script. He began his career as a kid who loved sneakers, selling shoes on the floor of a FootLocker. “Selling Jordans,” he tells me, and then with a little glint in his eye: “And then I think ‘89, I sold my first pump shoe.”

He fires off the rest of the story too quickly: “And then I parlay that into a job working in the mail room at Reebok, which my parents were thrilled about outta college. So I worked in the mailroom for almost 15 months. And yeah… now I’m CEO of Reebok.”

Immediately, Nick jumps in: “He’s selling himself short. This is the guy that had his picture on pieces of paper, slid it under executives doors and said, I’ll work for free, and I’ll do this and I’ll do that. He was that guy. He was that guy that hustled for that. Like, you don’t have to pay me. I want to work at Reebok and I want to do this.”

With a little coaxing, Todd relents:

“Yeah. I hustled. I made these coupons. I figured out how long I could work without getting paid during the day. And I made these coupons and I put ’em in everyone’s mailbox. The coupons said I’d work four weeks for free. There’s a picture of me, I still have the coupon.

Todd Krinsky

“Nobody really took… Well, first of all I got in trouble with the mailroom head. No one took me up on that specific thing, but I got awareness and I got known and eventually led to a role.

“I was kind of in because I was delivering mail, and I was gonna take advantage of it every day with the hustle.”

“It was his destiny,” Nick interjects, smirking.

Todd would go on to play an integral role in bringing on some of Reebok’s most iconic partnerships over the years. He encouraged the signing of A.I., helmed their introduction of Jay-Z’s sneaker (a then-novel idea to have a rapper with a signature shoe) and then drove their music partnerships for year before moving into product and design.

Who is Nick Woodhouse?

Similar to Todd, Nick got his start working retail for a sneaker and tee shirt store called Forzani Locker Room. 

Nick Woodhouse

“That allowed me to grow my love of consumer connectivity. So that was that was the beginning of my love of working retail. To me, [retail] allows you to build confidence, right? You have to go approach people. You learn numbers, you learn, you learn everything. And you learn product. It’s a foundation for what you do. So that was beginning.”

Nick initially got his job at Forzani’s so he could buy a coveted pair of shoes there on the shelf, but would go on to rise through the ranks of the Forzani Group to become a VP. He eventually joined ABG in 2012, where he has been instrumental in expanding the company’s roster and cementing themselves as the second biggest licenser in the word behind Disney, with a $24 billion portfolio of global brands.

“So it’s been an interesting trajectory. As I look back, on the way to get here, every decision was filled with anxiety. Now when I look back on that path, I see the path was crystal clear for me to get here. Looking back, there was a time I would cry about those decisions.

“Now I’m like, well that worked out okay, didn’t it?” he chuckles to me, buttoning up a 40 year career.

Allen Iverson Joins Reebok
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Eventually, we turn to Reebok itself. As a perpetual fanboy, I had to hear a bit about how Todd brought A.I. to the brand back in the 90s:

“So basically it was myself and a friend of mine Que Gaskins. We were watching Georgetown play. It was his sophomore year and I think it was the Sweet 16 where he had this dunk on Marcus Camby. We had already been talking about him and we were like, ‘Oh my god.’ 

“It was the swagger he had, you know. I mean, he didn’t have the corn rows or the tattoos yet, but he had the swagger. He had this incredibly brash attitude on the court. He was obviously a football player playing basketball.

“And so we started to kind of talk internally. And then there was this guy named Howard Smith, who was running marketing at the time. And we were like, ‘We gotta sign ’em we gotta sign ’em.’

Getty Images

“He said, ‘Listen, I don’t make the call. Paul Fireman [Then CEO of Reebok] makes the call. Come to the boardroom.’ So we go to the boardroom and there’s like, I don’t know, 15 executives in that huge boardroom, and it’s me and Que. And I’m like 25 or whatever. And Paul says the famous quote. He goes, ‘Listen, if we don’t get ’em, there’ll be another Allen Iverson.’

“And this is one of those risk taking moments where Que and I stood up and unplanned, almost in unison. We were like, ‘No there won’t!’ And Paul was like, ‘Who are these guys? How did they get in there?’ But then he listened: ‘Well, tell me why.’

“We were so nervous. We were like ‘There won’t be someone like him. He’s off the court, incredible. He’s got this brash attitude. He relates to kids. He’s six foot, dunking in traffic, blah, blah.’ We’re going crazy. And, you know, talking over each other.

“And then Paul’s like, ‘All right, alright, alright. We’re gonna shoot for it, we’re gonna shoot for it.’

“The one other thing that was going on at the time is we started to create a shoe for him while he was at Georgetown, at our designer’s apartment.

“And so by the time we got a chance to meet Allen, we actually had the shoe almost done. The Question. We were designing the question in a little apartment in Quincy, Mass, off campus. Because we didn’t wanna get in trouble. And this is before social media. 

Todd Krinsky

We were designing The Question in a little apartment in Quincy, Mass.

“So Que and I were cutting out pictures in USA Today and the Georgetown paper and putting ’em up in the designer’s room. Because the designer wasn’t a basketball guy, just a great designer, Scott Hewitt. So we had to bring him into the culture of what this guy represented, and he created The Question.

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“And then we went down to Washington DC and David Falk’s office, and in walks Allen Iverson for the first time. It was really surreal for us, because we had been obsessing over him for like a year and a half. And then here’s the shoe and here’s the guy and the whole thing, it was really surreal. 

“I think it was just that he didn’t have any desire to conform. Like people say, ‘Oh, he doesn’t care what people think.’ And I think nine out 10 people do care. He just didn’t care. He really marched to his own drum and he was gonna dress and talk how he wanted it, and I think young people started to relate to him.” 

Todd Krinsky on A.I.

The NBA is an expression of everyone today, because he gave people permission to do that.

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What makes Reebok, Reebok?

As a 30-year vet of the brand, there is perhaps no one alive better poised to summarize the ethos of the sportswear brand than Todd himself. He explains the spirit of the brand in detail:

“I think Reebok has always kind of zigged when everyone else is zagging. You know, what really has made Reebok work over the years is just running a different playbook, bold innovation. Incredible heritage. And then combining that with a lot of risk taking, with signing irreverent personalities that you didn’t know if it was gonna work.

“Like you know, an Allen Iverson. Like an unprecedented deal with the NFL to be the first brand to take the entire NFL, even though we had no idea how we were gonna do it. To a watershed deal with Jay-Z. Where we asked, could a music person actually sell a shoe like a basketball player?

“These were a lot of risks that were taken. So I think intrinsic to Reebok is a really strong risk taking brand that just has a different lens on culture. And I think the market needs it because I think that so many brands talk and launch and do things the same way.

“So I think the ethos of Reebok is this irreverence that appeals to so many people.”

The Reebok Jay-Z Partnership
Reebok

In 98/99, there was an NBA strike. During a period where basketball product was imbued at the center of all style, this left a pretty big chasm. Todd tells me that Paul Fireman had just returned to Reebok in this time, and was trying to figure out what the “kids were into” that could help fill the void. It pretty quickly became clear that music was the next best place to look:

“Literally what happened was Paul looked at a couple of us and said, ‘Well, who’s the guy?’”

The next day, they were in a meeting with HOV. 

“I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities and people, but it was a little surreal,” Todd recounts, explaining:

“Jay and I have this sneaker conversation for like two hours. We’re the same age. I grew up a sneaker kid, he loved sneakers. It centered around the Gucci tennis shoe and what it meant to him. And obviously I knew that shoe and it just went from two guys talking about their passion for sneakers.

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“A couple weeks later, we did the deal and we did the first shoe, inspired by Gucci. And everyone was like, ‘Probably won’t work. It’s not basketball, it’s not the formula.’ And Jay wasn’t even a hundred percent sure. 

I’ll never forget, we used to have a store in Philly, a Reebok store in Philly. I think we had like 10,000 pairs of the shoe in the two stores. We drive up, and it’s pandemonium. We’re in this Sprinter and I’ll never forget, I don’t know, 8,000 people shut the whole street down. And Jay looks back at me and says, ‘I think this is gonna work.’

Todd Krinsky

8,000 people shut the whole street down. And Jay looks back at me and says, ‘I think this is gonna work.’

“Then it was like one of the fastest selling sneakers we ever had, and it birthed this whole generation of music and sneakers.” 

The Future of Reebok
Reebok

As we turn to the future, Nick and Todd are both optimistic about bring Reebok back to existing at the apex of sports, music and culture. “Our mantra is: Let Reebok be Reebok. And the exciting thing about that is that we’re re-unleashing Reebok on the world,” Nick dives in:

“That could be anything from retros and the archive that Todd is bringing to the world, new shoes, new technology.

“We wouldn’t be winning those shoe shelves if we didn’t win the hearts and minds of the buyers and the consumers to earn those shoe shelves too. So this whole idea of letting Reebok be Reebok is, to me, is the most exciting thing that’s happening in our brand these days.” 

Todd, personally at the helm of the brand, adds:

“I think that there’s a real strong space for Reebok in the market. Maybe over the last decade we’ve kind of pulled back and allowed others to come in. And that space is being one of the strongest brands that can do heritage, can do performance. It kind of has this irreverent attitude to how we approach the market, the people we signed, how we launch products. This has been really an intrinsic part of Reebok, and I think I was fortunate enough to be around and see and experience and feel a lot of what we meant to consumers around the world before.

“And so my excitement and motivation every day is to get us back to that place, to be that meaningful brand in the market again. Really what we say is, to get back to our rightful place.”

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Being two men who built careers around their nascent love of retail and sneaker culture, it was a great opportunity to get some advice. So I asked the two to reflect back on the beginning of their careers.

Todd: “Mine’s gonna sound a little bit cliche, but it’s really true. You just can’t let the highs get you too high and you can’t low get you too low. You’re gonna get there, but you gotta stay even keel. You gotta take risks. You gotta enjoy the process, but it’s never gonna be as good as when you’re up here. It’s never gonna be as bad as when you’re in your ultimate despair. You gotta keep moving, learn from it.”

Nick: “I would say don’t be nervous and don’t be afraid to fail. It took me a long, long time to realize it’s okay to take these big risks and you’re never gonna get anywhere without this unwavering conviction that it’s okay if you’re not doing what everyone else is doing.”

Todd: “The only last thing I would say, especially in this career, is you gotta be open minded to opportunities. You don’t know at 20 what you really like or what you really want. I had the opportunity to work in a lot of different areas, but I had a chance to live in South Korea for three years. I didn’t really want to be a developer, but I took the opportunity to learn. I look back and in my thirty years, some of the most valuable time was living in a factory.”

Todd Krinsky

Whatever option you take, it’s not forever. Just use it as a tool to learn.

As we conclude our conversation, Nick turns to the importance of gratitude and remembering those who help you along the way: 

“I still reach out to people that did things for me at the time that I probably dismissed. Now as I look back, that was a crucial moment in my life. That could be everything from the guy who sold me my first house when I was 25. I didn’t realize what he did for me. I shouldn’t have been able to afford that house and it changed my life. I didn’t appreciate it at the time. So I reach out to him and I’ll text him on his birthday. His name is Tommy Forzani.

“All these people that touch me in my life. And for the same reason, I hope that one day I have those moments with other individuals, right? I’m sure there’s all these moments, seminal moments in your life that, if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be where I am.

“We’re all connected somehow, right? The thread. The thread hums amongst all of us. And the thread with those people hums a little bit louder when you go back to them.”

Categories
Sports

Who Has The Most World Series Wins?

Dubbed ‘Americas pastime’, baseball holds a special place in the culture and history of the United States. For nearly 120 years (barring two seasons in 1904 and 1994) the best baseball players on the planet have duked it out for the right to hoist the Commissioners Trophy.

RELATED: How Many World Series Have The Yankees Won?

With well over a century of play, some teams have been more successful than others. In fact, the top five winningest teams in World Series history hold 54% of the total championships ever won. On the other side of the spectrum, there are seven teams that have never won the World Series, with one of those teams never even reaching the final game. Here is the list of the teams with the most world series wins.

Teams With The Most World Series Wins

Although an overwhelming majority of MLB teams have won at least one World Series, there are a few teams that have distanced themselves as the best of the best. We are starting with the teams that have won more than one World Series over the course of their history. Here are the franchises that have won multiple World Series.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WnW-fl0mNwo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed1.) New York Yankees: 27</code>
1.) New York Yankees: 27
  • Most Recent: 2009
  • Total Appearances: 40

Without a doubt there is no team more synonymous with winning in baseball than the Yankees. Love’m or hate’m, the Yanks will probably always be relevant. Throughout their illustrious history as a franchise, the Yankees have reached the World Series 40 times, winning the big series 27 times. The Yankees were one series away from reaching their 41st World Series but fell short to the eventual champions in the Houston Astros.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PZVCrKcOl78" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed2.) St.Louis Cardinals: 11</code>
2.) St.Louis Cardinals: 11
  • Most Recent: 2011
  • Total Appearances: 19

Despite being fourth on the all-time list of World Series appearances, the St. Louis Cardinals hold the second most championships. They enjoyed their best stint in the 40s, reaching the World Series four times throughout the decade and winning three times. The Cardinals most recent World Series appearance came in a loss to the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sOl4vwrTBxs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed3.) Oakland Athletics: 9</code>
3.) Oakland Athletics: 9
  • Most Recent: 1989
  • Total Appearances: 14

Before the days of ‘moneyball’, the Oakland Athletics were a powerhouse in baseball. The A’s won three consecutive World Series from 1972-1974. Oakland reached the World Series in 1990 but unfortunately lost, marking the last time we’ve seen the franchise in the championship game. The franchise today has become known for keeping a tight checkbook and rely on building prospects up instead of signing high-profile players.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KCBFjmtLgSI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4.) Boston Red Sox: 9</code>
4.) Boston Red Sox: 9
  • Most Recent: 2018
  • Total Appearances: 13

If it wasn’t for the ‘curse of the Bambino’, maybe the Red Sox would be higher on this list, but fourth place isn’t too bad. After going 86 years without winning a World Series, the Boston Red Sox reclaimed their spot upon the mountaintop in 2004 with the help of all-time great David Ortiz.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wGPf-1MCua8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5.) San Francisco Giants: 8</code>
5.) San Francisco Giants: 8
  • Most Recent: 2014
  • Total Appearances: 20

The San Francisco Giants have had a pretty illustrious run as a franchise. They won one of the first World Series in 1905 and would win a couple more throughout the 20’s and 30’s. There best run came in the early 2010s, winning three championships from 2010-2014 backed by sensational pitching from Madison Bumgarner.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H3LlT8bxvIs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6.) Los Angeles Dodgers: 7</code>
6.) Los Angeles Dodgers: 7
  • Most Recent: 2020
  • Total Appearances: 21

For how much money the Los Angeles Dodgers put into their time, it’s honestly surprising to see them this low on the list. The Dodgers have remained competitive for virtually their entire life as a franchise, but hold a mere 33.3% win rate in the World Series. They most recently won the 2020 World Series that saw no fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VCMfmaNDBAQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed7.) Cincinnati Reds: 5</code>
7.) Cincinnati Reds: 5
  • Most Recent: 1990
  • Total Appearances: 9

The Cincinnati Reds were an absolute powerhouse in the 70’s, reaching four World Series across the decade and winning two. What’s most impressive of their 1976 run is that they didn’t lose a single game, becoming the first and only team to go unbeaten in the postseason. The Big Red Machine era was truly something to marvel at.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YIjHo4xwyr4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed8.) Pittsburgh Pirates: 5</code>
8.) Pittsburgh Pirates: 5
  • Most Recent: 1979
  • Total Appearances: 7

The Pittsburgh Pirates may live in infamy now, but there was a time when they were oh so great. Although they haven’t won since 1979, the Pirates claim one of the greatest World Series moments of all-time. In game seven of the 1960 World Series the Pirates were tied with the Yankees 9-9 heading into the bottom of the ninth. With one ball and no strikes, Pirates legend Bill Mazeroski blasted a walk-off home run to win the title.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PWW1ppNBs7A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9.) Detroit Tigers: 4</code>
9.) Detroit Tigers: 4
  • Most Recent: 1984
  • Total Appearances: 11

The Detroit Tigers came painstakingly close to reclaiming their spot as World Series champions in 2012 but fell short to the Giants. They have no won a World Series since the great Kirk Gibson was donning a Tigers jersey in 1984. It’s been a rough run for Detroit sports fans but hopefully someday soon the Tigers can add another championship to the city.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X8XLvEsgmy4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed10.) Atlanta Braves: 4</code>
10.) Atlanta Braves: 4
  • Most Recent: 2021
  • Total Appearances: 10

The city of Atlanta and professional sports have a complicated history. A city that has become known for choking actually boasts one of the winningest baseball teams, and even won a championship in 2021. The Braves reached the World Series five times throughout the 90’s, only winning one of those times in 1995.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/g5Z4mamvBHg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed11.) Chicago Cubs: 3</code>
11.) Chicago Cubs: 3
  • Most Recent: 2016
  • Total Appearances: 11

The lovable losers of the MLB earned their nickname after going more than a century without winning a World Series. Dubbed the “Billy Goat Curse”, the Cubs did not win a championship from 1908 all the way to 2016. That 2016 championship was oh so special however. After being down 3-1, the Cubs clawed their way back and defeated the Cleveland Guardians in extra innings of game 7. As a Chicago native who grew up post-Michael Jordan, the Cubs winning in 2016 was unequivocally the greatest moment of my life (so far).

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1O5DH8I2IyI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed12.) Baltimore Orioles: 3</code>
12.) Baltimore Orioles: 3
  • Most Recent: 1983
  • Total Appearances: 7

The Baltimore Orioles may be viewed as a not great franchise today, but there was a time when they were one of the best. They reached the World Series six times throughout 1966-1983, winning three championships. They have no reached the World Series since their last title win in 1983.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QYuWVArJbBM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed13.) Minnesota Twins: 3</code>
13.) Minnesota Twins: 3
  • Most Recent: 1991
  • Total Appearances: 6

The Minnesota Twins may have not reached the World Series since 1991, but they sure left their mark that year. In the bottom of the 10th inning in a tied game 7, Gene Larkin rattled off a single that would drive in the winning run. What’s most electric about this game was that both team’s were scoreless heading into the 10th, marking one of the greatest pitched game seven’s by both sides.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EpF-Pg8kN5k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed14.) Chicago White Sox: 3</code>
14.) Chicago White Sox: 3
  • Most Recent: 2005
  • Total Appearances: 5

The White Sox may be most well-known for their 1919 ‘Black Sox’ scandal that saw eight players permanently banned from playing baseball again for trying to rig the World Series, but there is plenty of more history. The White Sox last appearance in a World Series came in 2005.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ny8__taCZqk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed15.) Philadelphia Phillies: 2</code>
15.) Philadelphia Phillies: 2
  • Most Recent: 2008
  • Total Appearances: 8

The Phillies were oh so close of claiming their third franchise championship last postseason, but fell short to the Houston Astros in the World Series. They reached the final series in back-to-back years from 2008-2009, only winning the 2008 series.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7IEkCukmXsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed16.) Cleveland Guardians: 2</code>
16.) Cleveland Guardians: 2
  • Most Recent: 1948
  • Total Appearances: 6

It has been a rough couple of decades for the Cleveland Guardians to say the least. The franchise currently holds the longest championship drought in baseball, having not won a World Series in over 70 years. They held a 3-1 lead over the Chicago Cubs in 2016 but would choke that lead and the series away. One day the city of Cleveland will be World Series champions again… hopefully?

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ot6ptCYT5oU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed17.) Houston Astros: 2</code>
17.) Houston Astros: 2
  • Most Recent: 2022
  • Total Appearances: 5

Fresh off the heels of a World Series victory overshadowed by allegations of cheating, the Astros silenced all the critics by winning the championship again in 2022. The Astros have seen a huge wave of success in the 2010’s and 2020’s, reaching the World Series four times and winning twice.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ox07Hcb6SYk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed18.) New York Mets: 2</code>
18.) New York Mets: 2
  • Most Recent: 1986
  • Total Appearances: 5

The New York Mets may have only 2/27th the World Series their neighborly rival Yankees have, but their 1986 championship may outrank all those. Being down two runs in the bottom of the 10th with two outs in game six, the Mets made a miraculous comeback to push the series to seven games. They would close out the series and the Miracle Mets were history.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RS4cyDLYmG0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed19.) Kansas City Royals: 2</code>
19.) Kansas City Royals: 2
  • Most Recent: 2015
  • Total Appearances: 4

The Kansas City Royals currently boast two World Series championships, with the most recent coming in 2015. They reached the World Series twice throughout the 80’s and twice throughout the 2010’s, winning once in both those decades.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-F5HwiGm7lg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed20.) Toronto Blue Jays: 2</code>
20.) Toronto Blue Jays: 2
  • Most Recent: 1993
  • Total Appearances: 2

Oh what an era it was to be a Toronto Blue Jays fan in 90’s. The team reached back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993, winning both. Being down 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning of game six, Joe Carter smashed a game-winning three-run home run to seal the Blue Jay’s a second World Series.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ri5AynHlPn4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed21.) Florida Marlins: 2</code>
21.) Florida Marlins: 2
  • Most Recent: 2003
  • Total Appearances: 2

In one of the most unexpected World Series victories ever, the Marlins last claimed the title in 1997. In just their fifth season as a franchise the team won the big game and would enter a rebuild. Surprisingly, they would return and win the World Series six years later in 2003.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9eGuP-uUZMQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedTeams With Won One World Series Win</code>
Teams With Won One World Series Win
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: 2001
  • Los Angeles Angels: 2002
  • Washington Nationals: 2019

There are three teams currently in the MLB with one World Series to their name. The Diamondbacks won their first title in 2001, with the Angels following that up with their first in 2002. The Nationals claimed the title in 2019, marking their first title. All three teams have only reached the World Series once, giving them a 100% win rate in the series.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ubSz-okL7Yg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedTeams That Have Never Won A World Series</code>
Teams That Have Never Won A World Series
  • San Diego Padres: 2
  • Texas Rangers: 2
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 2
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 1
  • Colorado Rockies: 1
  • Seattle Mariners: 0

There are six teams that have never won a World Series in their franchises history. The Padres, Rangers, and Rays have all reached the World Series on multiple occasions, falling short both times. The Seattle Mariners remain the only MLB to have never played a World Series game. The Rays were the closest to making it off this list but fell short in 2020 World Series.

Categories
Collectibles

SlabStox Card Market Report: November 2022

Welcome to the SlabStox Card Market Report for November of 2022!

November put soccer into daily feeds with the World Cup kicking off in Qatar. The tournament has been quite the spectator event and shout out to the US Men’s National Team for making the knockout rounds for the first time since 2014. This monthly market report will look at the World Cup’s impact on the soccer card market. Spoiler Alert—Chirstian Pulisic’s body-blow goal for the US against Iran brought the buzz back to his card market.

Taking a 30,000 foot view, a down card market makes this potentially a “buying” opportunity with deals at card shows (see show listings below) and in secondary marketplaces. Stay diligent and do your homework, then negotiate. The card market is a supply- and demand-driven marketplace, and right now, increased supply is there to find some serious deals for all budgets.

Here’s a quick rundown of SlabStox’s November Card Market Report:

  • Take 1: Has World Cup frenzy fueled soccer card prices?
  • Take 2: Power to collectors and local card shops
  • Take 3: International prospects in 2022 Bowman Chrome 
  • Take 4: Glance at the Markets
  • Take 5: Who’s Hot / Who’s Not
  • Looking ahead: Shows, product releases and a Final Word

Join the ONE37pm CardTalk/SlabStox Pod as @SlabStoxAaron and Card Talk’s @LouGeneux discuss, debate and dissect the monthly Card Market Report. Stay tuned to social media for updates. 

If you want to receive this SlabStox Card Market Report every month to your inbox, subscribe to SlabStox’s FREE Daily Slab newsletter.

DISCLOSURES: 

  1. All market data in this report is from Card Ladder. Card Ladder is an independent, third-party partner of SlabStox, providing card collectors and investors insights to make informed, data-driven decisions. Every investment and trading move involves risk. Do your research before making any decision. 
  2. The only cards owned by SlabStox of players in this SlabStox Card Market Report report are Christian Pulisic, Jackson Chourio and Gunnar Henderson.
5 Takes from the November Sports Card Market
TAKE 1: World Cup sparks soccer card market

WOW! What a World Cup it’s been so far. We’ve had everything from upsets (Saudi Arabia over Argentina) to annihilations (Spain over Costa Rica 7-0), cards exploding (Mohammed Kudus Obsidian RC +231%) to cards cratering (Gio Reyna Refractor RC -45%). Many collectors coming into this World Cup all had the same question: Would this make the soccer card market explode? While there’s definitely excitement compared to a month or two ago, if you purchased cards over 6 months ago, the returns are… let’s just say not awesome. To read about why we thought this would be the case, make sure to read our August market report.

As of the morning of December 1, just over half of the groups have completed play. So, what has REALLY happened to the soccer card market? There’s no doubt some cards have increased in price. To say otherwise would just be false. HOWEVER. It does have to be a perfect storm:

  • The player has to be performing well. And not just performing well, but scoring goals and/or dishing assists. 
  •  The “increases” are often 1-day, 1-week or 1-month increases. The odds a card has increased over the last six months or one year are isolated cases. Two years? That’s more feasible. Here’s some examples.
1. The BIG performance, short-term increase
SlabStox
  • Gakpo’s World Cup moment
    • How about a goal a game for your World Cup debut? Cody Gakpo is one of the top players in the world outside of the top five European leagues (plays in the Dutch league), and he is proving it with a goal in each group stage match. Let’s see what he does against the US.
    • 2022 Prizm RC Auto: $200 on 11/29/22. $126 on 11/24/22. (+59%)
  • Kudus’ World Cup moment
    • 2-goal performance to propel Ghana (#61) to a win over South Korea (#28) to pull off the second biggest upset of the World Cup.
    • 2020 Obsidian RC /195: $96 on 11/28/22. $29 on 11/17/22. (+231%)
  • Al-Dawsari’s World Cup moment
    • Match winning goal in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, as Saudi Arabia (#51) beat the almighty Messi-led Argentina (#3) 2-1. He also scored in the group stage finale to ensure Mexico was sent home.
    • 2022 Prizm National Landmarks: $126 on 11/22/22. $70 on 11/21/22. (+231%)

If you were looking to make flips in the World Cup, you had to be GLUED to the matches and box scores. Example: Al-Dawsari’s National Landmarks is back to $73 just one week after it was selling for $126.

2. The 2-year reward
SlabStox
  • Richarlison’s World Cup moment
    • In the 72nd minute of Brazil’s opening match, Vini Jr. had an absurd pass through two defenders to the waiting Richarlison who popped the ball into the air and performed a scissor kick to knock the ball into the back of the net. It was a goal so outrageous that it can only be described as a Golazo.
    • 2019 Prizm EPL Kaboom!: $198 on 11/24/22. $81 on 2/13/21. (+144%)
  • Messi’s World Cup moment
    • A converted penalty to open the tournament against Saudi Arabia was wasted, but his decisive goal against Mexico was not. In a near do-or-die situation, Messi kept his promise and pulled through for his nation with his sublime strike in the 2-0 win over Mexico. In the final group stage match, Messi did have a penalty saved by Polish keeper Wojciech Szczęsny, but Messi’s supporting cast locked up Argentina’s knockout round spot.
    • 2015 Select National Pride Blue /299 PSA 9: $200 on 11/26/22. $51 on 11/21/20. (+290%)
  • Pulisic’s World Cup moment
    • While Tyler Adams is the glue for the USMNT, Pulisic put in multiple Man of the Match performances in the group stages and clearly was the best player on the pitch. When Pulisic is on the ball, good things happen for the US. The team only scored two goals in their first three matches, but Pulisic contributed to both (scored the match winning goal against Iran). 300+ different Christian Pulisic cards sold between 11/29/22 and 11/30/22.
    • 2016 Select Emerging Stars Copper RC Auto /49: $850 on 11/30/22. $213 on 1/4/20. (+299%)

Making a play on soccer cards in 2020 or before was the way to just about guarantee you’d be in for a treat come the 2022 World Cup. If you bought in 2021 or 2022, making the right call on a player or specific card was generally the only way profit would be seen in November.

3. The reality
SlabStox
  • Cristiano Ronaldo 2003 Panini Mega Craques RC PSA 8: $8,000 on 10/29/22. $12,120 on 6/4/22. (-34%)
  • Kylian Mbappé 2018 Prizm Silver PSA 10: $1,300 on 11/29/22. $2,397 on 6/3/22. (-46%)
  • Neymar Jr 2018 Immaculate Prizm On-Card Auto /99 BGS 9.5/10: $930 on 11/27/22. $1,324 on 3/12/22. (-30%)

Most cards purchased in 2021 or 2022 (aside from the last month or two) did not lead to profit. The three cards above would’ve been classified by many as “good purchases” to sell during the 2022 World Cup, but timing is everything. And 2021 or 2022 was not the right time to buy them. Each of these cards have decreased over the last 6 months or more.

SlabStox Bottom Line: Let’s bring it back to our August SlabStox Card Market Report. For the World Cup highlight in that report, our SlabStox Bottom Line read: “Opportunity is in the air. When the World Cup wraps up, it just may lead to the best buyer’s market in the past 3 years. If the soccer floodgates open with cards collectors have been sitting on, supply will far outpace demand, and prices could drop further.” We are already starting to see that. Plenty of soccer cards are selling for the lowest they have since 2020. If you’re trying to time the market, our best recommendation is to NOT buy the cards of players that have increased due to their World Cup performances. Any increases in November will most likely evaporate by early 2023. If you are passionate about soccer and buy within your means at the end of this year during the holiday season, it could pay off if you’re willing to hold until increased performance triggers a sale.

TAKE 2: Power to collectors and local card shops
SlabStox

Topps pulled off something unique and dare we say NEW in the sports card hobby. They launched a huge Topps MVP Buyback program bringing collectors to local card shops (LCS), exchanging 2022 Topps Chrome MVP baseball cards for in-store credit.

The program started November 26 on #SmallBusinessSaturday and will run through March 31, 2023, so there is still time to join the hunt for this year’s MLB MVPs, Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt. The cards must be from the 2022 Topps Chrome baseball set. When returned to participating card shops, collectors will receive credit. More than 350 local card shops have signed up for the program and are listed on www.toppsmvpbuybackoffer.com along with the list of eligible cards.

The Topps MVP Buyback program is simple and has created quite the card-hunting buzz during the baseball offseason. Here’s how it works:

  • Collectors bring 2022 Topps Chrome cards of Judge and Goldschmidt, ranging from base to numbered cards, to participating local card shops and exchange them for in-store credit.
  • In-store credit breakdowns for both Judge and Goldschmidt cards:
    • Base = $20
    • Refractor = $40
    • Numbered cards greater than 100 = $100
    • Numbered cards less than 100 = $200

In a SlabStox Instagram post prior to the launch, we broke the program down this way: 

“This will allow you, the collector, to keep your journey going even if you only have a $10 Aaron Judge refractor. Currently, if you were to buy a Judge and Goldschmidt Refractor, it’d be around $20 combined. That’d instantly turn into $80 of store credit with your local hobby shop.” 

After the official announcement from Topps (and SlabStox post shortly after), the Topps MVP Buyback program lit up secondary markets. Here’s a quick breakdown of Judge and Goldschmidt values since the program launched:

Total Volume (via Card Ladder Sales History combining 14+ marketplaces)
SlabStox

Aaron Judge Refractor Movement
SlabStox

Early reports from local cards shops participating in the Topps buyback program have been positive:

SlabStox

Brew Town Trading (Greenfield, WI)

Brew Town in Greenfield, WI, issued nearly $2,000 of in store credit the first weekend, buying back more than 70 MVP cards. 

“This is a great opportunity for both collectors and the LCS community,” said Rory Wagner, Brew Town Trading manager. “Collectors love turning five base cards into $100 store credit and use it on the hottest new products. In our store, we have no limits on the redemption amount. We view this promotion as an overwhelming positive for everyone.”

Other shops posted on social media that card collectors are going all in.

SlabStox

Rbicru7 (St. Peters, MO)

“Safe to say @topps MVP Buyback was a huge success for local collectors today on #SmallBusinessSaturday ! RbiCru7 issued $3220 in store credit out to collectors today who turned in these cards for the #ToppsMVPBuyback program.”

SlabStox

Louisvillesportscardsshop (Louisville, KY)

“Not a bad start to the #new @topps MVP buyback program during the first two days!”

SlabStox

Li.sportscards (Albertson, NY)

“One of (the) customers turned these cards into $640 today – thanks @topps for this incredible promotion!”

Ryan Johnson (@CardCollector2), co-host of ONE37pm’s Card Talk and owner of a card shop in Grove City, Ohio, discussed the Topps MVP Buyback program on this week’s ONE37pm Card Talk Pod.

“Is Fanatics committed to the long term health of local card shops?” Johnson asked on this week’s ONE37pm Card Talk Pod. ”This is a big deal if you’re a card store owner. Fanatics/Topps is incentivizing people to go to your local card shop. That’s pretty cool.”

SlabStox Bottom Line: Score two for Fanatics/Topps on creativity and commitment to the card market. One of the big questions when Fanatics acquired Topps was if the company would get behind local card shops. The Topps MVP Buyback program appears to go a long way in cementing three things: 

  • Keeping card collectors excited about the hobby 
  • Building lasting connections between collectors and local card shops
  • Creating direct relationships between Topps and local cards shops  
TAKE 3: International prospects standout in 2022 Bowman Chrome

The Bowman Chrome market has been elevated in recent years by the international side of baseball (Soto 2016, Acuna 2017, Dominguez 2020, etc). This year’s 2022 Bowman Chrome release is no different, though it has an added benefit—extreme youth. Of the 110 prospect autos in the release, 44 are of players in their teens. Of those 44, 37 are international signees which are some of the biggest names on the checklist. This makes for a high-upside product; it also makes it a risky proposition. 

One thing modern day prospect collectors like is youth. Prospects appearing in Bowman Chrome as 17 and 18-year-olds, many of whom haven’t played stateside baseball yet, are bought at astronomical prices relative to current competition and skill levels. It has potentially become the riskiest bet in sports cards. 

Top-5 Baseball Prospects (Left) vs. Top-5 ‘22 Bowman Chrome Intl. Prospects (Right)
SlabStox

Top-5 Baseball Prospects (as of 11/30/22)

Anthony Volpe, USA, $315

Corbin Carroll, USA, $185

Gunnar Henderson, USA, $160

Francisco Alvarez, Venezuela, $145

Grayson Rodriguez, USA, $75

Total: $880

2022 Bowman Chrome Top-5 International Teen Prospects (as of 11/30/22)

Jackson Chourio, Venezuela, $495 

Roderick Arias, Dominican Republic, $255

Samuel Zavala, Venezuela, $165

Cristhian Vaquero, Cuba, $155

Jaison Chourio, Venezuela, $85

Total: $1,155

SlabStox Bottom Line: Of the five international players listed, only one has played beyond Single-A and three have not made it to stateside ball yet. Buying players at these prices, years away from contributing to a major league team (outside of Jackson Chourio), is why baseball prospecting has become the biggest gamble in sports. Read SlabStox Blog for a full breakdown of these 2022 Bowman Chrome top-5 international prospects and a 2022 Bowman Chrome Guide.

TAKE 4: Card Category Updates

Here’s the big-picture look back at the card market for November 2022, comparing the CL50 card market index (provided by Card Ladder) to other market indexes, and a comparison of card categories:

SlabStox

What does this mean? The Card Ladder 50 (CL50) saw little change month-over-month, down less than 1% in November. Stocks continue to trend up as they did last month prior to the national and state elections. Cryptocurrencies were hammered by the FTX fallout.

SlabStox

In the card market, high-end cards dropped 11% month-over-month. Best illustrating this was the Luka Doncic 2018 National Treasures RC Logoman Patch Auto 1/1 that sold for $3,120,000 on 11/17/22. The $3,120,000 sale was the first time it ever sold publicly (via the PWCC Premier Auction), but it did sell previously in a Card Ladder verified private sale for $4,600,000 (3/1/21). Note: This sale does NOT affect the Card Ladder High-End Index and is not included in the 11% drop due to it not selling multiple times in the last year.

SlabStox

Looking at sports card categories, every one decreased in November, indicating a soft market in a down economy, and especially with holiday season here.

  • Hockey: Enthusiasm for hockey remains strong, even with the season well underway. SlabStox saw it first hand when the team attended the Toronto Sports Card Expo on November 10-13. Huge crowds were at this event, with the line wrapping around the building on opening day. (Check out SlabStox’s Coast to Coast Cards video from the Toronto card show.)
  • Soccer: The overall World Cup bounce never came in November. There might be opportunities, but it takes work to find them. Check out TAKE 1 (above), which goes deep into the World Cup soccer market. 
  • Baseball: Compared to other sports card categories, a 4% drop in the off-season looks like a win.
  • Double digit losers:  Football, F1 and Basketball have all declined double digits for the month. For football, veteran quarterbacks are taking their lumps and new players are emerging in a cautious market. F1 ended with another Max Verstappen win in an utterly dominant season. Basketball has struggled for the entirety of 2022, with many collectors pointing to it being overpriced in the first place.
TAKE 5: Who’s Hot / Who’s Not
SlabStox

Justin Jefferson’s huge month of November (480 yards, 3 TD) was highlighted by game saving/winning catches against the Buffalo Bills in an absolute thriller.

SlabStox

What’s worse than getting relegated to the bench when your team was 6-4? Watching the next man up (Mike White) lead your team to a 31-10 win over the Bears while having a 149.3 passer rating in the game. It’s not looking good for Zach Wilson (at least for 2022).

Looking Ahead:

The next time you’re reading a SlabStox Monthly Report, it’ll be the final report of 2022. We’ll put a bow on a wild year in the sports card market. One that really tested the strength of collectors and one which many collectors had to learn the hard way that cards don’t only increase in price. Exciting news: Next month, we will be launching the prototype version of our SlabStox 100 Index (SX100). We created this index to be more representative of the general card collecting and investing market. This index will be used to gauge the health of the market in these monthly card market reports. We hope you find value in tracking it along with us!

Sports Card Shows Worth Checking Out

Dec. 2-4: 

  • (Dec. 2-3) GG2 Sportscards Show, Springdal, AR
  • (Dec. 2-4) Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show, King of Prussia, PA
  • (Dec. 3-4) A-Z Cards and Collectibles, Clovis, CA
  • (Dec. 3) Hartville Marketplace Sports Card Show, Hartville, OH
  • (Dec. 4) West Palm Beach Sports Cards & Collectibles Show, Greenacres, FL

Dec. 9-11

  • (Dec 10) Northern Illinois Card Show, Rockford, Illinois
  • (Dec. 10) J&J All Star Sportscards Shows,Louisville, KY
  • (Dec. 10) Kokomo Card Show, Kokomo, IN
  • (Dec. 10) North Metro Card Show, St. Francis, MN
  • (Dec. 10) Bat City Sports Card Show, Austin, TX
  • (Dec. 10-11) Schenectady Sports Card Show, Schenectady, NY
  • (Dec. 11) Ramada Hotel & Convention Center Sports Card Show, Cedar Rapids, IA

Dec. 16-18

  • (Dec. 16-17) Tampa Bay Sports Card Show, Tampa, FL
  • (Dec. 16-17) Winston-Salem Toy, Hobby, Sportscard & Comic Book Mega Show, Winston-Salem, NC
  • (Dec. 17) Stevens Point Card Show, Stevens Point, WI
  • (Dec. 17) Northwest Valley Coin & Card Show, Phoenix, AZ
  • (Dec. 17) Jackson Sports Collectibles Show, Jackson, MI
  • (Dec. 17) Machinists Hall Sports Cards & Collectibles Show. Bridgeton, MO
  • (Dec. 18) Primetime Card Show, New Britain, CT
  • (Dec. 18) East Cobb Sports Collectibles Show, Atlanta, GA
December: Important Product Releases

Many product releases have been delayed by manufacturers due to supply chain issues. The release dates below are subject to change by the manufacturer. Dates provided by Cardboard Connection.

Dec 2: 2022 Topps F1

2022 Topps Stadium Club

2022 Panini Absolute Football

Dec 7: 2022 Topps Heritage High Number

Dec 14: 2021 Panini Optic Contenders Basketball 

2022 Topps Chrome Update Baseball

2022 Rittenhouse Game of Thrones Complete Series: Volume 2

Dec 16: 2022 Topps Chrome Black Baseball

Dec 17: 2022 Bowman Nippon Professional Baseball 

Dec 21: 2022 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy

Dec 23: 2022 Panini Eminence World Cup Soccer

2022 Topps Chrome Garbage Pail Kids: Series 5

Dec 28: 2022 Topps Chrome F1

Dec 30: 2022 Panini Mosaic Football

Categories
Money Popular Culture

The 35 Best Gift Cards for College Students

Ah, college. I miss almost everything about it…except being broke.  That part was less enjoyable, but one thing that got me through was gift cards. My mom always threw a bunch of them in my stocking for Christmas and that helped tremendously through the ensuing months of having no money. There’s a gift card for almost everything these days, and most can be found on Amazon (making being considerate even more convenient!) so scroll down and bless some of the college kids in your life. These are without a doubt the best gift cards for college students.

1. Amazon
Amazon

What can’t you get from Amazon? Let your recipient decide what they need, from a NutriBullet to a couch to a projector screen for their dorm room (or parent’s house because of COVID). Possibly the best, easiest gift card to give anyone. It doesn’t get any more clutch than this when you’re on the lookout for the best gift cards for college students.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3ERVyge
2. Starbucks
Starbucks

Every college kid survives on coffee and Red Bull (is Red Bull still a thing? It’s been a while since I’ve been in college.) A Starbucks gift card is perfect for all-nighters or just to jump-start their morning before an 8 am class. 

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3uhNIHS
3. Domino’s
Domino’s

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or all three), pizza is truly an anytime meal. With endless combinations and the $5.99 Mix & Match Deal, this gift card will keep its young, broke recipient from going hungry.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3XKbSbs
4. Best Buy
Best Buy

Whether the money will go to a new laptop, a big-screen TV, or the new PS5, the Best Buy gift card is perfect for aiding someone to study or to avoid studying.  It’s really either/or at this point. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Best-Buy-Gift-Cards-Delivery/dp/B07RTN4C77/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3DZ3W550KW86C&keywords=best+buy+gift+card&qid=1670002328&sprefix=best+buy+gift+card%2Caps%2C193&sr=8-2
5. Uber
Uber

While you may have seen prices drop during the pandemic, one thing that seems to be as costly as ever is Uber rides, something that feels necessary if you’re still not comfortable with riding the train. With the Uber gift card, you can help ease the cost of transportation and a stressed college kid mentally at the same time.  

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Uber-Gift-Card-Email-Delivery/dp/B079YMX2J6/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=uber+gift+card&qid=1670002411&sr=8-2
6. Doordash
Doordash

Who has the time or energy to cook now, much less when you’re in college and already strapped for cash and time? This eases the mental burden of “What should I make tonight for dinner?” and as a bonus, it can help support small businesses and the economy.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/DoorDash-Gift-Card-50/dp/B084RC3QCZ/ref=sr_1_4?crid=19NZSDYV8S8XZ&keywords=seamless+gift+card&qid=1670002431&sprefix=seamless+g%2Caps%2C113&sr=8-4
7. GrubHub
GrubHub

For the person whose favorite takeout spot isn’t available on Seamless, give them a GrubHub gift card. No one will ever tire of lazily ordering food through an app. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Grubhub-Gift-Cards-Email-Delivery/dp/B0817KVYD2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grubhub+gift+card&qid=1670003906&sr=8-1
8. Audible
Audible

I always wish I had more time to read, but with Audible, catching up on the newest books (and podcasts!) has never been so easy.  There are thousands of options and audiobooks are perfect for when you want to change up your commutes, workouts, or boring laundry sessions.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3ulL9EC
9. Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bed, Bath & Beyond

There’s always something a dorm room is missing…and if not a dorm room, then the basement of your parent’s house. I recently copped a Keurig coffee maker from my local BBB and it was a game-changer for my mornings. This is a great gift to help young adults buy all the things they need as they transition to adulthood. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Bed-Bath-Beyond-Gift-Card/dp/B08YNW9F8F/ref=sr_1_1?crid=23K4GFOZYW6SV&keywords=bed+bath+and+beyond+gift+card&qid=1670003998&sprefix=bed+bath%2Caps%2C294&sr=8-1
10. ClassPass
ClassPass

Gyms have been in the state of shutting down-opening back up-then shutting back down again for the past few months so they might want to hold off on using this gift card, but ClassPass allows them to try out different workout classes until they find the one they love. If you have someone in mind who hasn’t found their perfect fitness routine or get bored quickly, this gift card might do the trick.

BUY NOW
https://classpass.com/gifts
11. Spotify Premium
Spotify

The gift of music is always a great idea. Whether it’s for workouts, cleaning, studying, relaxing, or a million other activities, having access to your favorite songs and artists always makes tasks better, and the premium service allows you to listen commercial-free. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Spotify-Annual-Gift-Card-99/dp/B07MZS4F18/ref=sr_1_2?crid=34E4GIMOTN18T&keywords=spotify+gift+card&qid=1670004049&sprefix=spotify+gift+card%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-2
12. Netflix
Netflix

Everyone found themselves spending a lot more time indoors in 2020 and there’s only so long a person can be productive before they are completely exhausted.  If they already don’t have a Netflix account, quickly purchase and send it their way because sometimes the only road to feeling better is to sit on your couch and watch 100 hours of TV and movies.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Netflix-Gift-Card-100/dp/B08ZT1DW6N/ref=sr_1_2?crid=8IIZHRGO5QNU&keywords=netflix+gift+card&qid=1670004076&sprefix=netflix+gift+card%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-2
13. Hulu Plus
Hulu

Not everything you want to stream is available on Netflix and for that, you need Hulu Plus. This is especially helpful for shows that are still on the air and for some of the harder-to-stream movies (I’m looking at you, Halloweentown.) 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Hulu-25-Gift-Card-Delivery/dp/B08NTQWTWN/ref=sr_1_2?crid=29VDIHRUFUP9C&keywords=hulu+gift+card&qid=1670004283&sprefix=hulu+gift+card%2Caps%2C173&sr=8-2
14. Michaels
Michaels

If the person you have in mind is more of a creative soul (or maybe they are tired of doing 10,000-piece puzzles), a gift card to Michaels will allow them to unleash all of their artsy dreams!  Whether they like drawing, painting, scrapbooking, building, or creating anything at all, Michaels has all the things. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Michaels-Gift-Card-25-500/dp/B07ZR27G3Y/ref=sr_1_2?crid=17LEHOQ4YBDHN&keywords=michaels+gift+card&qid=1670004307&sprefix=michaels%2Caps%2C113&sr=8-2
15. Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Groceries are already so expensive and eating healthy is usually the last thing on a college kid’s mind. A gift card to Whole Foods makes being mindful of what you’re eating so much easier and they might even be inspired to buy a vegetable or two.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Whole-Foods-Market-50/dp/B00NM3LQYG/ref=sr_1_35?dchild=1&keywords=seamless+gift+card&qid=1606670784&sr=8-35
16. Lyft
Lyft

If they’re one of those oddballs that actually doesn’t use Uber and instead relies on Lyft, throw this gift card their way. Shout out to the college student in your life that goes against the grain and uses the other car service.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Lyft-Birthday-Card-Email-Delivery-Birthday/dp/B09QGYJTVQ/ref=sr_1_29_sspa?keywords=kindle+gift+card&qid=1670004372&s=gift-cards&sr=1-29-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWDVJQlRNWE80NEtDJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzgwMzgzSFFMOEExWUVFV1RLJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjA2MjMzSkhONE5PUExQM1hBJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYnRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
17. Adidas
Adidas

The Adidas gift card makes a great gift for the college kid in your life, whether they’re an athlete or just really enjoy fitness. They can pick up a new pair of sneakers or workout gear and can save their money for other more important things, like books. Or drinks.  

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/adidas-Gift-Card-Email-Delivery/dp/B07XMVMLVK/ref=sr_1_28?dchild=1&keywords=gift+card&qid=1606678397&sr=8-28
18. GameStop
GameStop

If they’re trying to get the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X (because who isn’t? My brother has been trying for weeks!), this GameStop gift card can help them offset the hefty price tag. Even if they aren’t trying to get a new console, this card is a win for any gamer. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Gamestop-Gift-Cards-Configuration-mail/dp/B00NBL2JBS/ref=pd_sim_228_14?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00MV9FALW&pd_rd_r=4e56ce2a-82e8-4460-9516-b8a5e7b57830&pd_rd_w=c3OUD&pd_rd_wg=XgIEH&pf_rd_p=8958999c-906e-4b6b-80aa-4bc1f740ed92&pf_rd_r=
19. H&M
H&M

It doesn’t matter how many clothes someone has, they can always buy more. Consumerism, amiright? H&M has tons of affordable options, whether someone needs “interviewing-for-an-internship” slacks or “living-on-the-couch” sweatpants.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/H-M-Gift-Card-100/dp/B07V3GS9F9/ref=sr_1_1?crid=CD3Y15PO9M87&keywords=h%26m+gift+card&qid=1670004724&sprefix=h%26m%2Caps%2C97&sr=8-1
20. The Container Store
The Container Store

There’s something so magical about seeing an organized closet.  I personally follow tons of organizational IG accounts so whether they have Home Edit goals (or maybe you just want to be able to find all your sweatshirts), The Container Store has endless options for decluttering their clutter. 

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Container-Store-Cards-Configuration-mail/dp/B00NBL2NEQ/ref=pd_sim_397_46?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00MV9FHBA&pd_rd_r=0b8e9fb6-fcc3-4935-84b2-2606bb40538a&pd_rd_w=HdVtw&pd_rd_wg=wyPS0&pf_rd_p=8958999c-906e-4b6b-80aa-4bc1f740ed92&pf_rd_
21. Macy’s
Macy’s

If the college student in question is about to graduate, giving a gift card from a retailer can help them furnish their new apartment. Macy’s has a variety of items for every aspect of their post-collegiate life from plates for their new kitchen to towels for their new bathroom. 

BUY NOW
https://www.macys.com/shop/gift-cards/all-occasions?id=30668&cm_sp=c2_1111US_catsplash_gift-cards-_-row1-_-imagemap_choose-one-now
22. Nordstrom
Nordstrom

Another great retailer option! Not only is Nordstrom stocked with home furnishings, but they have a great assortment of clothing, shoes, travel, and grooming items from top brands.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Nordstrom-Gift-Cards-Configuration-mail/dp/B01M7X0LWX/ref=pd_sim_397_4/138-0053026-0647478?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01M3XER4Y&pd_rd_r=6a0d2e2a-5e5b-41c2-98e2-edd78e56d5c0&pd_rd_w=uYJkm&pd_rd_wg=fqXiX&pf_rd_p=8958999c-906e-4b6b-80aa-4
23. Target
Target

Target owns the market on “Things You May Need and Things You Didn’t Know You Needed Until Right This Very Second.” From electronics to furniture to toiletries to food, a Target gift card will be a favorite for any college kid. 

BUY NOW
https://www.target.com/c/gift-cards/-/N-5xsxu
24. Visa
Visa

The best thing about a Visa gift card is that it’s just like giving cash, but it allows the recipient to feel like they can put it towards something more expensive. It’s practically accepted everywhere so there’s no danger in someone struggling to figure out where to use it. You can’t go wrong with this card that’s available for use anywhere and everywhere, which is why we placed it here on this lineup of the best gift cards for college students.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3XSElMd
25. Shell
Shell

One thing I remember very vividly from my college days is always having to spend money on gas. Even when all my friends threw in, it felt like we were always having to stop somewhere to refill the tank because anywhere we really wanted to go was always the exact furthest point from where we were. This gift card allows there to be at least one less, “So who’s throwing in for gas?” round of collections.

BUY NOW
https://buyshellgiftcards.com/
26. Sephora Gift Card
Sephora
Sephora Gift Card

Every girl needs instant access to Sephora as the brand offers tons of valuable beauty products that you’ll benefit from daily. Whether it’s makeup or skincare, a gift card from Sephora will come in extremely handy. Looking one’s very best during the next on/off-campus meetup is the right move to make. You definitely have to consider this card for that exact situation when it comes time to consider the best gift cards for college students.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3W3Tgll
27. Finish Line
Finish Line
Finish Line Gift Card

Athletic gear and college campuses go hand-in-hand. If you need some comfy yet stylish outfits for class, then look no further than Finish Line. There’s a variety of brands available in their online category, and the prices are reasonable.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Finish-Line-Gift-Card-50/dp/B015722MKG/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1NS6387GYXPJJ&keywords=finish+line+gift+cards&qid=1670004960&sprefix=finish%2Caps%2C110&sr=8-2
28. Little Caesars
Walmart
Little Caesars Gift Card

Please don’t pretend these don’t come in handy. Sometimes in college, you get into a jam and when that happens, a $5 pizza (that is also very good) is the way to go. With many convenient locations across the U.S., a Little Caesars gift card is a very thoughtful gift for a college student.

BUY NOW
https://littlecaesars.ca/en-ca/gift-cards
29. Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster

This is often an overlooked gift. With concerts, games, and plenty of other live events back in action, a Ticketmaster gift card would be a college student’s dream. Just make sure you put enough on there for a plus one!

BUY NOW
https://www.ticketmaster.com/giftcards
30. Guitar Center
Guitar Center
Best Buy

I know a few band geeks that usually have to make the hard decision between buying another batch of Arizona Ice Tea cans or the gear they need for their next musical performances on/off the field. Make their life that much easier by setting them up with a Guitar Center gift card and making sure they have the best drumsticks or whatever else possible. The young musicians in your life would be very thankful for this pick on this list of the best gift cards for college students.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Center-Gift-Card-100/dp/B01572337M/ref=sr_1_2?crid=9A0UHBCJJVH3&keywords=guitar%2Bcenter%2Bgift%2Bcard&qid=1669834496&sprefix=GUITAR%2BCE%2Caps%2C135&sr=8-2&th=1
31. PlayStation Store
PlayStation

Once all those papers are written up, all those assignments have been handed in, and there’s a ton of free time to kill, chances are the college student you know reverts to video games to keep them busy. If that college gamer has a PS4 or PS5 (lucky them!) in their possession, this PlayStation Store gift card will greatly satisfy them.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3ERnAsd
32. Xbox
Xbox

Now if that college gamer you know is a full-fledged Xbox fanboy that owns either an Xbox One, Xbox One X, or Xbox Series X|S, then make sure to send this one their way.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3Ffal5U
33. Nintendo eShop
Nintendo

And finally, blessing the Nintendo Switch owner in your life that’s dividing their time between going to class and getting a 100% completion rate in Breath of the Wild, then make sure you supply them with this gift card. You can’t go wrong with this or the other gaming-themed gift cards in this collection of the best gift cards for college students.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3ETUF73
34. Taco Bell
Taco Bell

The munchies always kick in no matter the time or place. It tends to hit pretty hard when it’s evening time and college students are starving for something more than another bag of stale chips. This Taco Bell gift card should do a lot to satiate a college student’s insatiable hunger.

BUY NOW
https://www.amazon.com/Taco-Bell-Gift-Card-25/dp/B015WZDBPS/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=YPz4h&content-id=amzn1.sym.03bef33a-a357-4fe3-9505-7fd4d6236957&pf_rd_p=03bef33a-a357-4fe3-9505-7fd4d6236957&pf_rd_r=JX432TMAE16P27ZWDPD7&pd_rd_wg=7W29s&pd_rd_r=7202f113-7bfb-48b7-845f-cc5b6d669996&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d&th=1
35. Old Navy
Old Navy

Picking up a few sets of jeans and graphic tees when the weather’s a bit warmer on campus is definitely the move if the college student you know has an Old Navy Gift card in their possession. It’s definitely worth getting some winter gear with this card if the college students you know are set up somewhere in the northeast.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/3ubaQaY

ONE37pm may receive affiliate revenue from some of the links in this article.

Categories
Style

Here Are the 11 Best Dressed NFL Players From The Tunnel to the Runway

As you all know, the NFL stands for National Football League.”Today, however, the NFL stands for National Fashion League. Here us out, we already know that when it comes to the topic of the best dressed athletes, most agree that the NBA is the sports league that gets the most attention, with perhaps Proper Futbol running a close second place. How about the NFL though? The style of the players gets talked about sometimes, but you don’t really see on-going watch lists and dedicated Instagram accounts closely following the players and their daily/weekly outfits the way that you do with the NBA.

There are some very stylish NFL players who make it a point to be dripped out for their tunnel fits and IG pics as well, and today we are taking a look at some of the best. We rounded up eleven players that we feel best encompasses the current landscape of NFL fashion, and we’re going to be taking on the task of ranking them. 

Want to see who makes the cut? Check out the list below. 

RELATED: Drip Check Week 4: Steph Curry, LeBron’s Tribute to Takeoff, and More NBA Fashion

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/reel/CkVgIjytn9n/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
1. Russell Wilson
Team: Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson has been one of the most stylish players in the NFL for the past several years, and we’ll argue that his better have, Ciara, probably has a little something to do with that. While Wilson’s tunnel fits tend to be a little more on the casual laid back side, we’ve seen him up the ante for plenty of red carpet and entertainment events with a number of luxury suits and fits. Keep listening to your wife Russell!

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Cjpswnfs4Ju/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
2. Tom Brady
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady might seem like an obvious choice because, well, he is an obvious choice. Brady’s fashion reign in the NFL dates back almost as long as his championship dominance, as the quarterback has had a number of notable tunnel fits and industry event outfits since the mid-2000s. So it was only right that the GOAT start his own fashion line (aptly titled BRADY) for young men and athletes, which at the moment is primarily centered around technical athletic apparel. That said, the BRADY brand is rapidly expanding, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing some more streetwear and formal products in the near future.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CVbBV1GvrDM/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
3. Deandre Hopkins
Team: Arizona Cardinals

Deandre Hopkins actually considers him to be not just the best dressed player in the NFL, but the best dressed athlete in all of sports. Some of his fellow contemporaries might debate on him that, but looking at his catalog of style moments, he does present a solid case. Hopkins is very much active in the street couture scene, keeps up with the latest trends, regularly documents his fits on Instagram, and isn’t afraid to take fashion risks. A true fashion king.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/ClKuK4ErPhT/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
4. Travis Kelce
Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Speaking of players that aren’t afraid of taking style risks, Travis Kelce has established himself as another arguable case for best dressed in the league. From his interesting suit designs to his colorful dress shirts and jumpsuits, Kelce could very well have a full time career in the modeling and fashion world after he retires seeing as though he already has the endorsements from the industry and runway experience.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CktZ-IzO9rY/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
5. Odell Beckham Jr.
Team: TBA

We’re still waiting to see which team Odell Beckham Jr. ends up signing with, but in the meantime we can appreciate the many noteworthy style statements he’s given us over the seasons. Odell’s pre-game fits are in many ways a fashion show itself, and of course we can’t forget his Met Gala appearances. This past year’s event saw Beckham sporting a $650,000 chain made by the homie Gabriel The Jeweler, which accompanied a velvet green hoodie. One thing’s for sure, Odell’s reign in fashion is just beginning.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CitYtUHu9Gm/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
6. Jamal Adams
Team: Seattle Seahawks

Jamal Adams is quite underrated when it comes to the world of stylish athletes, and that needs to change ASAP. Adams has a way of blending together casual athletic pieces with high fashion in a way that is still very much attainable for those that may not be able to get their hands on those couture pieces. Adams’ style is very much what we call “dupeable,” and we appreciate him for that.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CjV26WqOM2B/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
7. Cam Newton
Team: TBA

Cam Newton is another player who we’re still waiting to see which team he ends up signing with in the future, but there is no denying the fact that Newton’s style has been one that has had people talking. And at the end of the day, if your style can cause commotion, then you need a round of applause because not everybody has the power to do that.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/reel/ClKgqspp7ft/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
8. Patrick Mahomes
Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes is still very much a youngblood when it comes to NFL style, but he has already produced some commendable fashion moments that could make a contender for the best dressed list in the coming years. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/BzweT6wAnxD/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
9. Saquon Barkley
Team: New York Giants

Don’t get it twisted, Saquon is very much a future contender for the best dressed department as well. In fact, he might just have the streetwear game on lock because we’ll make the argument that he’s one of the best in the NFL at pulling off street looks. And while street is his thing, he can do the upscale red carpet outfits pretty well too. Don’t sleep on Saquon.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CjQeOetLFMW/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
10. Von Miller
Team: Buffalo Bills

Von Miller is our country style NFL icon, always bringing the flavor whether it’s pre-game, via Instagram, or the red carpet. Never stop being you Von Miller. Never Stop being you.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CXAFprAjKG-/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
11. Kyler Murray
Team: Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray is another 25-year-old that has to pay his due amongst the NFL’s most stylish before he can be considered for the best dressed crown, but he is definitely on his way. His green ensemble that he wore pre-game against the Philadelphia Eagles may not have been appreciated amongst the masses, but we rocked with it. It’s called high fashion people! Keep doing you Kyler Murray.

So what do you guys think of this list? Who else is killing it in the NFL fashion game? Let us know and be sure to keep up with us for more style articles and content. 

Categories
Collectibles

The Top Trading Card Grading Companies

What are the top trading card grading companies?

Card collecting is in perhaps its most eventful and promising era to date. With Fanatics on track to acquire the rights to all three major American sports – football, basketball and baseball – our favorite hobby could be heading to new heights. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to analyze the companies and industry leaders that keep cards thriving. 

Related: The Most Valuable Sports Cards Ever Sold

In the last 20 years, the hobby has become increasingly more centered towards grading and its benefits. The premise is simple: you send your card(s) to a nationally recognized company, they examine the card for its authenticity and condition, they secure it into a plastic holder, and they assign it a grade (typically 1-10). When a higher grade is issued on a card, its value can grow exponentially.

There is no shortage of companies that offer this service. However, we will be breaking down the best of the best when it comes to grading. We will showcase the pros of each company, whether it be from a price, aesthetics, or resell value standpoint.

Without further ado, let’s begin: here are the top trading card grading companies you should know about!

1. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
PSA

In the current state of the hobby, PSA is undoubtedly number one on the list of the top trading card grading companies. They slab over 2 million cards a year, which is more than any other company. Furthermore, when the three Gem Mint grades (PSA 10, BGS 9.5, and SGC 9.5) of a given card are compared, the PSA 10 is consistently traded at a higher value.

Founded in 1991, Professional Sports Authority was one of the earliest groups to grade sports cards. Although it faced some strenuous years in the mid 1990s, the company has since evolved into a household name. 

Now owned by Collectors Universe Incorporated, PSA offers services at the $18, $30, $50, $100, $150, $300 and $600 levels. These newly refreshed levels are promising to see in the hobby, especially when grading had been halted for almost 18 months.

<code><p class = "twitter-tweet">https://twitter.com/PSAcard/status/1597739588554207233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></code>

2. Beckett Grading Service (BGS)
BGS

Beckett Grading Services (BGS) is another prominent name in card grading. Unlike PSA, Beckett uses intervals of .5 to pinpoint a card’s condition. Furthermore, BGS is the first grading company to integrate subgrades – centering, edges, corners, and surface – onto their label. This offers an additional level of transparency and objectivity for the buyer.

Beckett is also among the first to offer an autograph grade on the card as well. This provides an aesthetically pleasing look for signed cards like Bowman 1st Autos and National Treasures RPAs.

Lastly, Beckett is widely known for their BGS 10 “Black Label,” which occurs when all four subgrades receive a perfect 10 grade. This will make a card’s value jump astronomically, as they are seldom seen out in the wild.

While Beckett may not have the ubiquity of PSA right now, they are still a viable and reliable option in the grading world.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CkOKV5qs0st/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

3. Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC)
SGC

To round off the Big 3, we have SGC, a group that has shown significant growth in the last 3 years. In addition to implementing affordable pricing during the pandemic, SGC’s label can be seen on the two most valuable cards ever sold. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle SGC 9.5 and the 1909 Sweet Caporal T206 Honus Wagner SGC 3 are worth $12 million and $7 million respectively. 

Part of SGC’s success can be attributed to the rebranding of their slabs. Dubbed the “Black Tuxedo,” these new holders are much more sleek and modern than their previous ones. In turn, we have seen an influx of vintage and modern cards being graded by SGC.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CkMVkyJs6DC/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

Other Names to Keep an Eye On

While PSA, BGS, and SGC are definitely the big players in grading, there are some other names worth mentioning. They are as follows:

4. CSG
CSG

While new to sports card grading, CSG is part of a conglomerate that has been pivotal in alternative asset certification. Certified Collectibles Group currently grades video games, coins, paper money, comics, stamps, and of course, cards. 

The current CSG slab is an improved model of the first holder, and it utilizes rigid plastic to secure the card inside. They also integrate AI technology into their grading system, which takes human error and subjectivity out of the equation. While they may not have the prowess of the Big 3 quite yet, it will be interesting to see if they catch up in the future.

5. HGA
HGA

Hybrid Grading Approach (HGA) is another newcomer onto the grading scene, but they’ve introduced some unique concepts already. The group offers a level of personalization with each slab, as many of the labels are printed on a colorful and intricate background. They also tested a horizontal slab to accompany horizontal patch autographs. We will be on the lookout for more creativity from them in the coming years.

6. ISA
ISA

Next is ISA, a group that specializes in quick and efficient turnaround times. They also work to offer affordable rates for grading, which is a practical option for those looking to get a card slabbed without hurting their wallet.

7. GMA
GMA

Finally, we have GMA, another inexpensive alternative in the grading market. They offer fast turnaround times and substantial bulk rates, so it’s a useful option if you want to get your cards slabbed for cheap, but it won’t add much value to your cards.

Which grading company is your go-to? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!

Categories
Collectibles

The Top Sports Card Grading Companies

What are the top sports card grading companies?

Card collecting is in perhaps its most eventful and promising era to date. With Fanatics on track to acquire the rights to all three major American sports – football, basketball and baseball – our favorite hobby could be heading to new heights. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to analyze the companies and industry leaders that keep cards thriving. 

RELATED: The Most Valuable Sports Cards Ever Sold

In the last 20 years, the hobby has become increasingly more centered towards grading and its benefits. The premise is simple: you send your card(s) to a nationally recognized company, they examine the card for its authenticity and condition, they secure it into a plastic holder, and they assign it a grade (typically 1-10). When a higher grade is issued on a card, its value can grow exponentially.

There is no shortage of companies that offer this service. However, we will be breaking down the best of the best when it comes to grading. We will showcase the pros of each company, whether it be from a price, aesthetics, or resell value standpoint.

Without further ado, let’s begin: here are the top sports card grading companies you should know about!

1. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
PSA

In the current state of the hobby, PSA is undoubtedly number one on the list of the top trading card grading companies. They slab over 2 million cards a year, which is more than any other company. Furthermore, when the three Gem Mint grades (PSA 10, BGS 9.5, and SGC 9.5) of a given card are compared, the PSA 10 is consistently traded at a higher value.

Founded in 1991, Professional Sports Authority was one of the earliest groups to grade sports cards. Although it faced some strenuous years in the mid 1990s, the company has since evolved into a household name. 

Now owned by Collectors Universe Incorporated, PSA offers services at the $18, $30, $50, $100, $150, $300 and $600 levels. These newly refreshed levels are promising to see in the hobby, especially when grading had been halted for almost 18 months.

<code><p class = "twitter-tweet">https://twitter.com/PSAcard/status/1597739588554207233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></code>

2. Beckett Grading Service (BGS)
BGS

Beckett Grading Services (BGS) is another prominent name in card grading. Unlike PSA, Beckett uses intervals of .5 to pinpoint a card’s condition. Furthermore, BGS is the first grading company to integrate subgrades – centering, edges, corners, and surface – onto their label. This offers an additional level of transparency and objectivity for the buyer.

Beckett is also among the first to offer an autograph grade on the card as well. This provides an aesthetically pleasing look for signed cards like Bowman 1st Autos and National Treasures RPAs.

Lastly, Beckett is widely known for their BGS 10 “Black Label,” which occurs when all four subgrades receive a perfect 10 grade. This will make a card’s value jump astronomically, as they are seldom seen out in the wild.

While Beckett may not have the ubiquity of PSA right now, they are still a viable and reliable option in the grading world.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CkOKV5qs0st/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

3. Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC)
SGC

To round off the Big 3, we have SGC, a group that has shown significant growth in the last 3 years. In addition to implementing affordable pricing during the pandemic, SGC’s label can be seen on the two most valuable cards ever sold. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle SGC 9.5 and the 1909 Sweet Caporal T206 Honus Wagner SGC 3 are worth $12 million and $7 million respectively. 

Part of SGC’s success can be attributed to the rebranding of their slabs. Dubbed the “Black Tuxedo,” these new holders are much more sleek and modern than their previous ones. In turn, we have seen an influx of vintage and modern cards being graded by SGC.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CkMVkyJs6DC/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

Other Names to Keep an Eye On

While PSA, BGS, and SGC are definitely the big players in grading, there are some other names worth mentioning. They are as follows:

4. CSG
CSG

While new to sports card grading, CSG is part of a conglomerate that has been pivotal in alternative asset certification. Certified Collectibles Group currently grades video games, coins, paper money, comics, stamps, and of course, cards. 

The current CSG slab is an improved model of the first holder, and it utilizes rigid plastic to secure the card inside. They also integrate AI technology into their grading system, which takes human error and subjectivity out of the equation. While they may not have the prowess of the Big 3 quite yet, it will be interesting to see if they catch up in the future.

5. HGA
HGA

Hybrid Grading Approach (HGA) is another newcomer onto the grading scene, but they’ve introduced some unique concepts already. The group offers a level of personalization with each slab, as many of the labels are printed on a colorful and intricate background. They also tested a horizontal slab to accompany horizontal patch autographs. We will be on the lookout for more creativity from them in the coming years.

6. ISA
ISA

Next is ISA, a group that specializes in quick and efficient turnaround times. They also work to offer affordable rates for grading, which is a practical option for those looking to get a card slabbed without hurting their wallet.

7. GMA
GMA

Finally, we have GMA, another inexpensive alternative in the grading market. They offer fast turnaround times and substantial bulk rates, so it’s a useful option if you want to get your cards slabbed for cheap, but it won’t add much value to your cards.

Which grading company is your go-to? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!

Categories
Gaming

The Biggest December 2022 Video Game Releases

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, GOOD PEOPLE! As we’ve now reached the final month of the year, a final batch of dope games is set to release and make some viable stocking stuffers. December is coming through with one of the most terrifying horror games of the year, a Marvel Comics take on the strategy RPG trappings of XCOM, and the much-anticipated return of Need for Speed. Besides all the amazing gifts we’ve previously recommended for the gamers in your life, here is a lineup of the biggest December 2022 video game releases.

RELATED: The Biggest November 2022 Video Game Releases

December 2022 Video Game Releases
Krafton

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uwE7mP_e374" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered’ - December 1 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered’ – December 1 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

One of Square Enix’s lesser-known JRPG releases is the SNES’ Romancing SaGa, which surprisingly got a PS2 remake in 2005. Now that game is making yet another return in remastered form with all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from games of its ilk. Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered will arrive with improved visuals, a new playable party member named Aldora, a collection of even more recruitable characters, and quality-of-life improvements that make playing it way less of a chore. The game’s original free scenario storyline system remains intact and gives first-time players a fun way toward experiencing the story of one of eight unique protagonists.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gghRJv_tdb0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘The Callisto Protocol’ - December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
‘The Callisto Protocol’ – December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

For fans of Dead Space, this spiritual successor has all the markings of the next great video game sci-fi thriller. Glen Schofield, who is actually the creator and executive producer behind that Necromorph-filled franchise, is one of the directors behind this new outer space horror romp. What lies at the heart of The Callisto Protocol is one man’s fight for survival while trapped within a prison colony set up on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. That hellish mission puts the main character (named Jason Lee) against hideous terrors that are capable of ripping him apart in the most gruesome ways. You’ll need to bludgeon and blast those alien threats to bloody bits as you try to escape the Black Iron prison and get to the bottom of the warden’s role in everything at hand.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kTHMbNo4-n8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Marvel's Midnight Suns’ - December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ – December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC – Steam)

Marvel Comics meets XCOM? Yep, it’s totally a real thing! And it’s arriving in the form of this tactical strategy RPG full of iconic and underrated superhero banding together to fight an otherworldly evil. You’ll need to lead them all with your custom warrior known simply as “The Hunter,” who is actually the offspring of the game’s main protagonist known as Lilith, Mother of Demons. Marvel’s Midnight Suns feature a combat system governed by collectible cards, proper battlefield spacing, and the usage of powerful abilities from Marvel’s best. The game’s relationship-building mechanics and upgradable hub (“The Abbey”) also provide players with more to do once all the Hydra army busting wraps up.

Here’s everything else you need to know about Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CBPZapIh4MQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Need for Speed Unbound’ - December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Need for Speed Unbound’ – December 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC – Steam)

Anyone who’s played any of the Need for Speed: Underground games knows just how much of an amazing racing gameplay formula that sub-series is known for. Need for Speed Unbound looks to be a welcome return to form for the series that goes all-in on the street racing subculture. What sticks out the most here is the game’s cel-shading and graffiti art style, which affords it a dope visual palette all its own. The fictional city of Lakeshore City will be your playground here as you engage in some hype street racing where big bets can be made, new rides can be acquired, and your reputation (which marks the return of the “Heat” system) grows over time. Since Criterion Games (the development studio behind the Burnout series) is working on this one, our hopes are very high for this new NFS being awesome.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iDy5PGNvbU4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Hello Neighbor 2’ - December 6 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Hello Neighbor 2’ – December 6 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

The original Hello Neighbor caught everyone’s attention as it played upon that one fear of being followed by an unrelenting neighbor whose house you happen to be trapped in. The long-awaited sequel makes the return of that creep pursuer with newly improved AI behaviors that change up over time to keep you guessing all the while. Hello Neighbor 2 expands upon the house-exploring formula of the original with a whole town to explore, multiple characters to steer clear of, and a whole new mystery to uncover within the seemingly harmless locale of Raven Brooks. This one’s coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one for Cloud, Console, and PC.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PsUDbI8Fi8s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Samurai Maiden’ - December 8 (PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Samurai Maiden’ – December 8 (PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

D3 Publisher’s games embrace the best parts of Otaku culture – we’re talkin’ rampaging kaiju’s, sword-wielding zombie killers, and even costumed martial-arts heroes/heroines. Their next release goes the sword-wielding route once again. But this time, the young lady going on a trek here is a modern-day hero who’s been taken back to the Sengoku period to defeat undead minions. With her katana in hand and a whole host of ladies armed with their own weaponry, Samurai Maiden’s main protagonist should have everything she needs to defeat the Demon Lord of the Sengoku period. This is one of those December 2022 video game releases that cater to fans of melee-focused action/adventure games.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pHeN0uAY-8E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Choo-Choo Charles’ - December 9 (PC - Steam)</code>
‘Choo-Choo Charles’ – December 9 (PC – Steam)

Choo-Choo Charles looks to be one of those end-of-year game releases that could become the next big horror game everyone wants to stream. Based on the simple concept of this game, it’s easy to see why. This single-player experience challenges you to navigate a huge island on an old train, upgrade it as much as possible, summon a demonic spider train, and take the fight to it with your powered-up train right alongside you. Find those scraps, turn your train into a formidable opponent for Choo-Choo Charles, and shoot it right to where it came from with your devastating machine gun!

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DncSvDnGGrc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘Dragon Quest Treasures’ - December 9 (Nintendo Switch)</code>
‘Dragon Quest Treasures’ – December 9 (Nintendo Switch)

Any of you guys and gals reading this list play Dragon Quest XI? Then you obviously know who Erik is. He makes his return here in chibi-sized form in a fun spinoff adventure that brings his sister Mia to the forefront. Their dual adventure comes in the form of this Nintendo Switch exclusive called Dragon Quest Treasures, which is a spirited treasure-hunting romp that lets you call on the aid of assorted Dragon Quest monsters. It’s on you to find plenty of loot, fend off encroaching monsters, and peruse through each and every hidden corner of the vast locale of Draconia.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/65lCz22aopY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed'Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion' - December 13 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam)</code>
‘Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion’ – December 13 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

Square Enix’s dedication to remaking Final Fantasy VII and dedicating new projects to the game continues! One of the more shocking releases coming from that nostalgia-fueled effort is a complete remaster of the PSP spinoff game that focuses on the prequel exploits of Zack Fair. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion brings the former handheld exclusive to current-gen consoles with a stronger visual presentation, gameplay changes that make combat scenarios way more enjoyable, and crispier-looking cutscenes. Now you’ll get to revisit Zack’s pre-FF VII adventures and see his interactions with the likes of Sephiroth and more.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nCk1__TYksU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed‘High on Life’ - December 13 (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC - Steam)</code>
‘High on Life’ – December 13 (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

The name Justin Roiland should pique the interest of fans that adore Rick and Morty. Squanch Games, a development/publishing studio started by him and Tanya Watson, have a new game coming out that’s sure to deliver moments of twisted humor and wild gunfights with talking guns. That trippy title is called High on Life, which features a mind-bending storyline centered on a bounty hunter fighting to save humanity from aliens that only use them as drugs. Taking that extraterrestrial foe down means you’ll need to shoot them down with guns that chat with you as you go to work. Those guns feature the voice talents of JB Smoove, Justin Roiland, and more. High on Life is surely the weirdest selection in this collection of December 2022 video game releases. This one’s also coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one for Cloud, Console, and PC.

Console Ports

‘Eastward’ – December 1 (Xbox One)

‘Inscryption’ – December 1 (Nintendo Switch)

‘The Outbound Ghost’ – December 1 (Nintendo Switch)

‘Shirone: The Dragon Girl’ – December 1 (PS4)

‘Hindsight’ – December 6 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One)

‘Shredders’ – December 6 (PS5)

‘Sky: Children of Light’ – December 6 (PS4)

‘The Rumble Fish Original Arcade’ – December 8 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

‘The Rumble Fish 2’ – December 8 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

‘Cyber Hook’ – December 9 (PS4)

‘Jitsu Squad’ – December 9 (PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch)

‘Neon White’ – December 13 (PS5, PS4)

‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition’ – December 14 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

‘Azure Striker Gunvolt 3’ – December 15 (PS5, PS4)

‘GRIME’ – December 15 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One)

‘Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth’ – December 22 (PS5, PS4)

Categories
NFT

Custodial vs Non-Custodial Wallets – Here’s the Difference

Custodial and non-custodial wallets are the two main options for storing crypto and other digital assets. That said, both of these types of wallets have their fair share of pros and cons. So, how do you know which is right for you?

Below you’ll learn what a custodial and non-custodial wallet is, how they differ, and how to choose the right one for you.

What Is a Custodial Wallet?

A custodial wallet stores your private key for you. Hence, the wallet provider is in complete control of your wallet and any asset within. Most custodial wallets are provided to users by centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, which are often web-based.

These exchanges make it easy for users to interact with blockchain technology by managing the private key for you. Hence, if you forget your password you can easily reset it by answering some basic security questions—similar to any other online account you might have, such as social media.

With a custodial wallet, the exchange is tasked with signing blockchain transactions initiated by the user to ensure it’s completed successfully. With that, custodial wallets can easily connect to decentralized applications (dapps) along with staking and yield farming platforms.

To be fair, there are some cons to custodial wallets though. Since these wallets live online via a centralized entity, they’re often targeted by hackers. That’s one reason why billions of dollars have been stolen from such exchanges.

And it gets even worse. If the exchange that controls your wallet goes bankrupt, all of your funds could be instantly frozen leaving you empty-handed. This is exactly what happened with the popular cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Using a custodial wallet without doing your homework first is like lending money to someone you just met—hoping they’ll return it to you the moment you ask.

A trusted and reliable exchange is generally federally regulated, meaning they adhere to numerous laws, and may even offer insurance coverage to protect its users.

Additionally, many custodial wallets require ‘know your customer’ (KYC) and ‘anti-money laundering’ (AML) verification. Although this is in place to keep the company and its users safe, it lengthens the time it takes to create a new wallet.

Pros:

  • Great for beginners who don’t want to manage their private keys.
  • Low barrier to entry for crypto for those new to crypto.
  • You can easily recover your password if you lose or forget it.

Cons:

  • Custodial wallets are often targeted by hackers.
  • Your private key and assets are controlled by a third party.
  • Requires KYC and AML verification prior to use.

What Is a Non-Custodial Wallet?

A non-custodial wallet enables the user full control of their private key and any assets within the wallet. Hence the saying, “not your keys, not your crypto”, meaning if you don’t own your private key, you don’t actually own your assets.

With this ownership comes more responsibility and technical know-how. That’s why non-custodial wallets are preferred by those with a deeper understanding and a greater curiosity about blockchain technology.

In addition to this increased responsibility, there are several types of non-custodial wallets, each with its own level of technical know-how required to use it. 

Browser and app-based wallets (aka software wallets) are in their own category and are often thought to be the least secure type of non-custodial wallet. The reason being is that the software is connected to the internet 24/7, making it more prone to hackers and various scams.

On the other hand, a physical device (aka a hardware wallet) is another kind of non-custodial wallet that’s known as the most secure wallet you can get. Since your private key is stored on the device itself and not online, it’s virtually impossible to hack.

Nonetheless, a non-custodial wallet’s greatest upside just happens to be its biggest downfall. That is, if you lose your private key, you lose access to your wallet and everything in it. There’s no recovery method and no one to reach out to for help. You’re on your own.

However,  every non-custodial wallet automatically generates 12-24 random words to create a secret recovery phrase. This phrase is used to restore your wallet, and anyone who knows your phrase has complete access to your wallet.

Of course, this phrase is equally as important as your private key considering it’s technically the same thing. So if you lose your private key and your recovery phrase, you lose your wallet and your funds.

Pros:

  • You control your keys and assets.
  • Funds remain secure even if an exchange is hacked.
  • No KYC or AML verification is required to create a wallet.

Cons:

  • No way to recover your wallet if you lose your private key.
  • There’s a greater learning curve to using a non-custodial wallet.
  • Non-custodial wallets may not be suitable for those new to crypto.
Custodial vs Non-Custodial Wallets: Which Is Right For You?

Now that you’re equipped with knowledge of both custodial and non-custodial wallets, you’re probably wondering which one is right for you. No worries, I’ve been in this same predicament myself. Here’s what you should consider. 

If you’re someone who is hesitant to get started and you’re just seeing if this is right for you, look to see if you check off all the boxes below. If you do, a custodial wallet is likely right for you.

  • I just want to buy some crypto to see what it’s like.
  • I want the ability to recover my wallet and assets if I lose my password.
  • I don’t mind trusting a third-party exchange with my funds.
  • I’m okay waiting for KYC and AML verification before being able to use my wallet.

If you’re looking for complete control over your wallet, you’re technically inclined, and you’re passionate about blockchain technology, see if you check off all the boxes below. If you do, a non-custodial wallet is likely the best choice for you.

  • I’m interested in investing more funds and time into crypto and blockchain technology.
  • I want complete control over my wallet and funds.
  • I’m willing to accept full responsibility for keeping my private key safe.
  • I don’t trust a third-party exchange to store my funds.
  • I want to create my wallet quickly, and use it instantly.

If you’re on the fence about both, then try both. There’s no harm in trying each one to see which experience better fits your needs.

3 Custodial Wallets to Know
  1. Coinbase

Coinbase is the largest centralized cryptocurrency exchange in the world with over 100 million active users. Moreover, Coinbase offers over 170 different cryptocurrencies for trade across 100 countries. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use wallet that’s trusted by millions of other beginners, it doesn’t get much better than Coinbase.

  1. Binance

Binance is another popular exchange founded in 2017 that quickly grew to become the largest crypto exchange in the world before Coinbase took the lead. As well, Binance.US is one of the highest-ranked exchanges for staking and holds high-security rankings, in addition to super low fees. If you’re looking for a trustworthy wallet that’s even backed by Forbes, Binance is it.

  1. KraKen

Although Kraken might not be as popular as other exchanges, they’ve upheld a strong reputation in the industry. With over 9 million active users, support for over 190 countries, and $207 billion of quarterly trading volume, Kraken is a superb option for anyone looking for a trustworthy custodial wallet.

3 Non-Custodial Wallets to Know
  1. MetaMask

MetaMask is by far the most popular and trusted non-custodial wallet available. With over 30 million active users and growing, MetaMask enables you to easily manage your crypto and NFTs using their browser extension or mobile app. Plus, MetaMask is easy to set up and free to download and use. 

So whether you’re a beginner or a pro, MetaMask is suited for everyone. The only downside is that MetaMask only supports blockchains compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), including Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, and BNB Smart Chain.

  1. Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase Wallet is separate from the custodial exchange mentioned previously. Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial wallet that gives users complete control over their private key, crypto, and NFTs, plus it serves as a Web3 browser.

That means you can use Coinbase Wallet to easily surf the decentralized web and connect to various dapps. Coinbase has already managed to gain the trust of millions via their exchange, so when they released their self-custody wallet, it became an instant no-brainer.

  1. Ledger

Perhaps the best wallet of them all is Ledger. This hardware wallet is recognized as the leading non-custodial hardware wallet in the industry. Ledger has sold over 3 million wallets worldwide and is a household name amongst blockchain enthusiasts and serious investors.

Not only is Ledger the most secure option for storing your digital assets, but it’s fairly affordable and is compatible with most software wallets such as MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet. 

Furthermore, Ledger supports more blockchains than any other wallet including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), LINK Chainlink (LINK), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Stellar (XLM), Polkadot (DOT), along with ERC20 and ERC721 NFT standards.

Although there’s a slight learning curve to setting up a Ledger hardware wallet, it’s more than worth the added security and compatibility in my experience.

Categories
Popular Culture

The 26 Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time, Ranked

Being exposed to anime means you’ve also been exposed to some of the most dominant characters in all of media. If you’ve gotten sucked into the many action-focused anime series that populate the genre, then you already have a ton of names on the tip of your tongue for the list focused on the most powerful anime character. There are just so many options to choose from whenever you get the courage to answer this tough question – there are superpowers aliens, master psychokineses users, ninjitsu-powered individuals, overpowered pirates, etc. to choose from. The 26 anime icons we’ve placed onto this list are all viable picks when it’s time to crown one of them as the most unstoppable anime character there ever was and ever will be.

RELATED: The 11 Most Stylish Anime Characters of All Time

26. Kenshiro
‘Fist of the North Star’
Toei Animation

“Omae wa mō shinde iru.” That translates to “You are already dead.” And whenever Kenshiro uttered that awesome phrase, you already knew his latest victim was about to explode into bloody bits. The First of the North Star is defined by the furious fisticuffs and nasty footwork of this post-apocalyptic hero. As the master of the ancient art of assassination called Hokuto Shinken, Kenshiro went full Bruce Lee on a multitude of weak and super-strong rivals (Shin, for instance). Kenshiro’s the type of guy that’d hold his own against the other anime martial artists on this list. – Elton Jones

25. Muzan Kibutsuji
‘Demon Slayer’
Aniplex of America

Tanjiro’s whole reason for joining the Demon Slayer Corps is that he wants to end this man. It’s certainly not going to be an easy mission to see through to a successful end – Muzan Kibutsuji’s immense blood-focused energy, his status as the “King of the Demons,” and his menacing stature paint him as Demon Slayer’s terrifying final boss. When he managed to disappear into the crowd so quickly after turning an innocent bystander into a demon, it became clear that Kibutsuji is nothing to play with. – Elton Jones

24. Straw Hat Luffy
‘One Piece’
Toei Animation

Straw Hat Luffy isn’t even one of the top five strongest characters in One Piece. That said, he had to get a spot on this list because of his untapped potential. The show is still going on, so by the end, who knows? If this was a list of the anime characters with the most heart, he’d be right at the top. He’s certainly gotten exceptionally stronger throughout the run of the anime, and has taken down some foes much stronger than him on paper. For all that and being the future King of the Pirates, he’s gotta be on the list. – Charlie Kolbrener

23. All Might
‘My Hero Academia’
Crunchyroll

All Might’s glory days may be far behind him, but no one will forget the heroic exploits of the former #1 hero in the world. From his young days right up until his final clash with his greatest rival All for One. As the eighth recipient of the One For All Quirk, All Might pulled off some inspiring feats of strength and superheroism that made him appear to be damn near unstoppable. His fists do immeasurable damage via special moves such as the cleverly named New Hampshire Smash, Oklahoma Smash, and United States of Smash. – Elton Jones

22. Tanjiro Kamado
‘Demon Slayer’
Aniplex of America

Tanjiro Kamado went from a weak and timid forest dweller to one of the most fearsome members of the Demon Slayer Corps. The tumultuous event that led to him and his sister embarking on a journey of revenge has turned Kamado into a highly-effective sword wielder. Since picking up his signature weapon, Kamado has showcased some staggering feats of skill – his enemies have been on the receiving end of his decapitating Water Form attacks and have paid the ultimate price for it. It’s going to be fun to see where Kamado’s power level goes by the time he reaches the end of his journey. – Elton Jones

21. Kaido
‘One Piece’
Toei Animation

Beastmaster Kaido has to find his place on this list simply because he’s one of the only ultra-powerful One Piece characters that we’ve actually witnessed. He is an immensely powerful Haki user with an incredible Devil Fruit power, in addition to his enormous stature and prowess as one of the Four Emperors. Rocks D. Xebec has been becoming a growing part of the lore in recent chapters and episodes, but when it comes to characters we’ve actually seen in combat, Kaido has to be the strongest. Nonetheless, compared to some of the planet-demolishing characters on this list, even the strongest One Piece characters pale in comparison. – Charlie Kolbrener

20. Yusuke Urameshi
‘YuYu Hakusho’
Crunchyroll

Yusuke Urameshi not only has some of the best drip we’ve seen in an anime, but he also has access to spiritual capabilities that kept him alive during some death-defying scraps. This famed Spirit Detective blows the opposition away with his Spirit Gun, does even more ranged damage with his Spirit Shotgun, and can rip them apart as efficiently as possible via his Mazoku Form transformation. By the time Yu Yu Hakusho finally came to an end, Yusuke emerged as a true force to be reckoned with. – Elton Jones

19. Izuku Midoriya
‘My Hero Academia’
Crunchyroll

The prospect of just how uber-powerful Izuku Midoriya could be by the end of My Hero Academia is so hype! In his current state, the current wielder of the One for All Quirk has grown into a fine young superhero. And thanks to an abundance of school training and life-or-death situations that have pushed him to his limit, young Midoriya has figured out new ways to fully tap into this super moveset. The immense power that he put on display at his 100% form against Kai Chisaki’s full form shows just how badass Midoriya can be. – Elton Jones

18. Shanks
‘One Piece’
Toei Animation

Similar to Gold D. Roger, we have to rely on hearsay a lot when it comes to Shanks. The recent film One Piece: Red provides a little more information about the enigmatic character, but if we’re sticking strictly to the anime, he’s still shrouded in a lot of mystery. We mostly know that he possesses some of the most powerful Haki in One Piece, is one of the Four Emperors, and boasts a $4 billion berry bounty. He—like Gold D. Roger—does not possess a Devil Fruit ability, making his strength all the more impressive. – Charlie Kolbrener

17. Gon Freecss
‘Hunter x Hunter’
Madhouse

Spoiler warning: Gon is a pretty special case on this list. By the end of the show, he no longer possesses the ability to use Nen, making him a pretty weak character. That said, at his peak, when he manages to imbue himself with all of the power he would ever possess in order to defeat Neferpitou, he becomes—for a brief moment—potentially the strongest character in all of Hunter x Hunter. There’s a moment where Pitou seems fearful that he could even defeat Meruem in such a state. For that, he’s got to nab a spot on this list. – Charlie Kolbrener

16. Enki
‘Yu Yu Hakusho’
Pierrot

We honestly don’t know a ton about Enki. That said, Yu Yu Hakusho’s final arc gets rushed and cut pretty short, with Yusuke abruptly waking up to find out that Enki has won the Demon World Tournament. And with our knowledge of the other participants in the (most notably, Yomi), it is clear that he is an unimaginable force to be reckoned with. Yomi was able to defeat an Upper S class Yusuke in his Mazukou Form (if you recall, Toguro is deemed B-class at the end of the Dark Tournament Arc), meaning that Enki’s power must be truly inconceivable. – Charlie Kolbrener

15. Light Yagami
‘Death Note’
Madhouse

Including Light Yagami on the list is sort of cheating. He, without the Death Note, is by no means “powerful.” That said, armed with the show’s eponymous book, he is essentially able to kill or manipulate anyone at his whim. So although he doesn’t possess the power to defeat any of the other members of this list in a true duel, his power is pretty boundless when it comes to the rules set up by the Death Note. – Charlie Kolbrener

14. Gol D. Roger
‘One Piece’
Toei Animation

Because of the expansive nature of the One Piece universe, a lot of the characters that we know to be the most powerful are actually those we’ve seen the least. So we’re left to trust the lore and the descriptions left by the contemporary characters who knew them. When it comes to raw power, Gol D. Roger was certainly an unmatched combatant, but his “power” grows even more in light of the fact that he spurred the Great Pirate Era. Thus, he can be credited with catalyzing the power of a myriad of other earth-shattering characters across the Grand Line. Although we may have seen some pretty incredibly powerful characters in the show’s 1,000 episode run, Gol D. Roger is probably still the most powerful character, both physically and culturally. – Charlie Kolbrener

13. Chairman Netero
Madhouse

Until the Chimera Ant arc, Chairman Netero was firmly cemented as the strongest character in the Hunter x Hunter universe (excluding anyone on the Dark Continent). His incredible work ethic and training made him the strongest Nen-user on the planet, but even his power paled in comparison to Meruem. He boasts the coolest Nen ability of any character in the entire show—and potentially one of the coolest powers in all anime writ large. – Charlie Kolbrener

12. Naruto Uzumaki
‘Naruto’
Pierrot

As is the case with a lot of Shonen anime, often our beloved protagonist is one of the strongest characters in the lore. The Hero of the Hidden Leaf’s ability to create gigantic Chakra creatures often means he can punch a bit above his weight class. So while Kaguya may be the definitive most powerful character in the universe, Naruto’s confidence and techniques (which develop throughout the show) make him a force to be reckoned with. – Charlie Kolbrener

11. Tetsuo Shima
‘Akira’
Streamline Pictures

The destructive power that Tetsuo Shima holds within his average frame was put on display in the most fascinating fashion in the genre-defining anime film, Akira. His psychic abilities led to untold levels of carnage that had an entire military, the Espers, and his own friend Shotaro Kaneda trying everything to stop him. When Shima loses full control over his powers at the end of Akira, it’s hard to imagine him losing to some of the other characters on this list. – Elton Jones

10. Kaguya Otsutsuki
‘Naruto’
Pierrot

Kaguya Otsutsuki is one of those classic Shonen anime characters whose power is fully boundless. It’s the kind of character that Saitama and One Punch Man was created in response to. A member of the all-powerful Ōtsutsuki clan and the first wielder of chakra on earth, it’s sort of just accepted knowledge now that Kaguya is the most powerful character in the Narutoverse. – Charlie Kolbrener

9. Yhwach
‘Bleach’
TV Tokyo / Hulu

Yhwach is another classic “you can’t believe how strong this dude is” type of character. The son of the Soul King, Yhwach boasts a pretty wide range of unique abilities, including the ability to impart pieces of his soul to other living beings. I won’t lie, I have yet to finish Bleach. But when I asked my friends who have watched it who the most powerful character was, I received a scoff, and then: “Yhwach.” – Charlie Kolbrener

8. Gojo
MAPPA

Jujutsu Kaisen is still just getting started, but they’ve managed to do a pretty good job demonstrating just how powerful Gojo is in a short amount of time. We’ve yet to see him face any foe that can even make him sweat, so we barely know the true extent of his power. He’s also one of the sauciest dudes in all of anime, so we might be putting him a little too high on this list for cool factor alone. – Charlie Kolbrener

7. Meruem
Madhouse

Meruem is the most powerful character in Hunter x Hunter. And while a lot of HxH characters rank lower on this list because of how seemingly low their power scaling seems compared to Dragon Ball and other worlds, Meruem earns this ranking because of how untapped his power is by the conclusion of the show. By the conclusion of the Chimera Ant arc, he isn’t even a few months old yet and has yet to develop a Nen ability, but he’s already unthinkably powerful, only able to be defeated by something as seemingly mundane as vicious radiation poisoning. If he had spent years training like Meruem, he very well could have become a planet-destroying power fit for the pages of Dragon Ball. – Charlie Kolbrener

6. Beerus
‘Dragon Ball Super’
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Goku couldn’t even defeat this dude by the time Battle of the Gods came to a close. Even with his new Super Saiyan God form pushing him past his limits, Goku still couldn’t definitively finish off the famed God of Destruction known as Beerus. This fearsome feline gets a nod on this list of picks for the most powerful anime character since no one can seemingly defeat someone who’s capable of destroying planets in a split second. – Elton Jones

5. Shigeo Kageyama
‘Mob Psycho 100’
Crunchyroll

Tapping into one’s latent psychokinetic powers is the best method toward becoming one of the scariest beings on Earth. In the case of Shigeo Kageyama, he’s just scratching the surface of his power and is already known for defeating his foes with relative ease. All the proof you need of Shigo’s frightening esper abilities is via his epic battle with Hanazawa Teruki. As Mob Psycho 100 keeps rolling along, we’re all gonna be treated to even more devastating displays of power from this superpowered Esper. – Elton Jones

4. Whis
‘Dragon Ball Super’
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Anyone that’s formidable enough to train both Goku and Vegeta without catching a landing blow from either Saiyan warrior has to be considered among the candidates for the most powerful anime character. Beerus even gets the fear of god put into him whenever Whis make some sort of idle threat toward him! His unassuming appearance led many to believe Whis was nothing more than a lowly handler for the God of Destruction. But once avid Dragon Ball Super viewers saw how easily he knocked Beerus out and how he didn’t even break a sweat during a sparring session with Goku, they were convinced of Whis’ shockingly high power level. – Elton Jones

3. Vegeta
‘Dragon Ball Z’
Bandai Namco Entertainment

It’s hard being a Vegeta fan – for as many triumphs the so-called “Prince of All Saiyans” has experienced, he’s also been dealt some devastating losses. Even still, he’s always managed to keep up with his rival Go…well, Kakaraot. Vegeta’s power is scary as hell in action – he’s consistently upgraded himself to insane levels of Super Saiyandom. He can definitely get the nod as someone who could be labeled as the most powerful anime character due to his amazing abilities (that Final Flash of his has always been mean!) and penchant for fighting to his very last breath. – Elton Jones

2. Goku
‘Dragon Ball’
Toei Animation

Goku’s Saiyan strength has ascended to the point where he’s going toe to toe with his universe’s God of Destruction and sparring with its Guide Angel Attendant. Ever since he made his grand debut in the original Dragon Ball, Goku has mastered Master Roshi’s Turtle School teachings, tapped into the Kaio-ken technique, gone crazy as a Super Saiyan with multiple forms, and even upgraded to the ultimate level with his Ultra Instinct formation. It’s easy to bring up Goku as the most powerful anime character since he’s defeated so many friends and foes with the strongest abilities possible (that Dragon Fist of his is especially deadly!). – Elton Jones

1. Saitama
‘One Punch Man’
Viz Media

Whenever people get into arguments about power scaling and Saitma, they’re missing the point. The very logic of One Punch Man is simple: he can defeat any enemy in one punch. There is no amount of strength another character could possess to defeat him; there is no list of accolades or enemies befallen that comprise a prerequisite to his defeat. It’s a running gag in the show. They will present an otherworldly being with a resumé that rivals Goku or any other galaxy-crushing level threat. The episode builds up the villain’s immense power with a history of battles, their incomprehensible abilities and their unquenchable bloodlust. Then, with the strength it takes for an adult to defeat a gnat, Saitama—glistening from his daily 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 air squats, and a 10-km run—defeats the titan in a single punch.

He is the most powerful anime character of all time simply because that is the very premise of the show. – Charlie Kolbrener