Roundup: What the $700 Million Collectors Universe Deal Means for Cards
Rupa Bhattacharya

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What the $700 Million Collectors Universe Deal Means for Cards

Every week, it seems like there’s a new landmark sale in trading cards. Earlier this week, a Michael Jordan rookie card from the ‘86-87 Fleer Set set a record, selling for $150,000 at auction, while another seems poised to break that record mere days later

Now, billionaire Steve Cohen’s Cohen Private Ventures, plus card collector Nat Turner and Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital partners, just announced a $700m deal in which they’ll be taking grading company Collectors Universe private

The industry as a whole has seen major growth in the last bit; the last 3 years saw eBay card sales rise by 40% into a over-$600-million business

The Collectors Universe deal seems to suggest that these folks anticipate continued growth for the field -- not just for collectibles themselves, but also for the mechanisms that provide market legitimacy to this relatively new asset class. 

The company itself, even before this announcement, said they’ve seen a big rise in authentication requests (and record backlogs) and will be increasing their operational capacity to meet demand

This Week in Otis

Michael Jordan led one of the most mythic careers in sports history, and frankly, an architecture-sundering superdunk feels like a natural piece of the legendarium. 

But when you zoom out, and focus on the boring, imagination-neutering laws of nature… how did this happen? Michael Jordan is an outlier athlete with boundless athleticism, but as far as measurables go, he was never that different from the many other shooting guards in his class, none of whom have a backboard to their name. So how did Jordan manage it? How is he the exception?

In honor of Otis’s upcoming ”Shattered Backboard” AJ1 drop, we asked Luke Winkie to dig into the science behind how (and why) this happened at all. 

Read: How Michael Jordan Actually Shattered That Backboard

Of Interest

• What are the rarest Dragon Ball Super Trading Cards?

• A pair of hand-painted leather-and-porcelain Adidas ZX 8000 may fetch $1m at auction

• ...as may a 1979 Wayne Gretzky rookie card.

• How do collectors end up with fake/looted antiquities -- and how do countries get them back?

• The 25-year-old curator shaking up the art world.

• The best Batman artists of the Bronze Age...

• And the best Dunks of 2020.

• The joy of art sneakers

News From the Otis Collection

• Our upcoming “Shattered Backboard” AJ1 drop got pickup in Hypebeast, DL Magazine, Input, and GQ Germany

• Meanwhile, the jersey Michael Jordan held up at his signing to the Bulls just sold for $300,000.

• Banksy and Tracey Emin will be sharing a stage at the upcoming Moments exhibition in the UK.

• The arresting energy of Emin’s new Munch exhibition.

• Felipe Pantone and J Balvin released a pajama collab

• Watch KAWS turn London into art

• You can now smell like Travis Scott

• This week’s Phillips auction set records for a number of Black artists, including Kehinde Wiley and Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald.

• A signed set of KAWS x Supreme skate decks are up for auction at Christie’s

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