jackass trading cards, and why they exist.

By zerocool


Apr 22, 2022

Nrrn-Nrrn-Nrrn. Those are the cords to the jackass theme song. When you hear them, you know you’re in for some fun. And if you were lucky enough to win a box (or ten) of zerocool jackass cards in our recent auction, I hope that theme song is going through your head right now, because you are definitely in for some fun.

Before you start worrying that our definitions of fun don’t align, if you read our VeeFriends auction recap and are excited for another 45-page dissertation… I’m sorry to disappoint you, because this ain’t that. That’s Josh. He writes books disguised as footnote jokes disguised as a blog post. The rest of us write much more normal recaps of product launches. For this one, the jackass release, we’ve broken it down into five sections:

Section I
Section II
Section III
Section IV
Section V

Section I

The Product

Why jackass?

The short answer is: why not jackass? jackass is legendary. jackass is awesome. The longer answer is…well…longer.

At zerocool, we want to make cards that are truly collectible and provide a best-in-class experience that collectors deserve and expect. This is about building a holistic experience for collectors to enhance access to the culture and stars they care about. This is why Fanatics Collectibles partnered with the leagues and PAs, and it is why we partnered with the jackass team here.

The jackass team was 100% committed to this project and aligned with the vision. They were first-class partners and did everything from designing the cards to selecting the images and writing the copy. Big shoutout to their entire team, especially Jeff & Johnny for their direction, Sean Cliver for leading creative with our crew and Atiba and Sean again for supplying many of the cool images, and Shanna, Slater and The Bleecker Trading Crew for overall creative and coordination support. As you probably noticed, the jackass crew also heavily promoted the product and jumped on breaker channels so fans could experience the project and hear about it firsthand. Expect more of that to come. This kind of enthusiasm and commitment is also why we partnered with Gary Vee - another partner who was fully invested and passionate about his set.

Not only did we want great partners and a great experience, we also wanted the cards themselves to be fun as hell. That’s what card collecting is supposed to be about: fun. The jackass set fit that bill perfectly, while also providing plenty of value (more on that later). I mean, where else do cards this ridiculous exist?! Did it take some work to clear it through legal? Sure LOL - but we’re happy to spend extra time with counsel to make sure you can collect cards of every nut shot.

Last but not least, we want to make items relevant to culture. VeeFriends and NFTs met that standard in a highly topical way (whether you like NFTs or care about VeeFriends, no one can deny their relevance). With jackass, we saw a franchise that is singularly unique and indisputably influential - a franchise that has been shocking, thrilling, and entertaining multiple generations. Their cultural legacy is undeniable: millions of people have seen their work, and millions more have seen the work of their imitators. They are, quite simply, the godfathers of the YouTube generation. They’re the Three Stooges of the digital age - but with more flatulence and nut-punching. At zerocool we are committed to commemorating and celebrating cultural influence and while jackass might not be for everyone, there is absolutely no denying its impact.

Section II

The Quantity

As you may have noticed, we made a LOT more cards this time around. With VeeFriends, we made 1,000 boxes (each with 10 cards) and sold 800 of them through our BLIND DUTCH AUCTION process. For jackass we produced 10,000 boxes (each with 50 cards) and sold 9,500 through the same process. That’s 10K cards compared to 500K cards!

Why such a big difference?

Well for starters, we are still experimenting with the right quantity for each type of release we make. This will be a constant trial and error process as we try to appropriately balance supply and demand in the market, while ensuring that products hold their value (more on that later).

Second, we wanted this set to be more affordable, so we printed more and took card thickness down a bit. Generally speaking, we think we got this mostly right. The clearing price was in the range we expected (although, admittedly, on the lower end of that range - which is even more evidence that the winners got tremendous value).

Section III

The Value

No guaranteed hits?! No guaranteed autos?! Not all chrome cards?! No relics at all?! But a collectible box with hits?!

It wasn’t the most conventional product, was it?

How and why did we make these choices?

Believe it not, we actually think about these things very carefully. When creating a set, there are many factors to balance. But our goal with each release is to put out the best product possible within the constraints of the available printing capacity (hardly any right now), partner requirements, and expected market demand.

Let’s start with the fact that there were no guaranteed hits or autos. Internally we’ve debated whether collectors a) noticed this or b) cared. Regardless of the answers, this was a conscious and considered choice. We strongly believe that autos and hits should be limited to protect the long-term value of trading cards and ensure sustainability as the overall category grows. Some of you might be rolling your eyes at this last point. Long-term value? For jackass cards? The guys who make fart masks? That’s a fair reaction but if you don’t think physical comedy translates into long-term card value, do some research into Three Stooges cards. Beyond that, doubters are also missing a few key points.

First, most of the stars and cameos here have absolutely massive followings and virtually no existing cards. Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville have over 10 million combined followers, yet each only signed 192 cards. It doesn’t take many of those 10M fans wanting a card to push up the value, and since there aren’t any other jackass releases planned, this is the only chance to get an officially licensed on-card autograph from any cast member.

Second, although autos were limited, they were ALL on-card. We understand why sticker autos are sometimes necessary (and encourage you to, as well) but we are fully committed to getting on-card autos now and forever, no matter the cost. We’d rather reduce quantity to focus on quality, and this is a strategy that you might see more of moving forward. Actors, celebrities and musicians aren’t routinely in the same place at the same time like athletes are, so the work to negotiate autograph deals and coordinate logistics is significantly harder, so you need participants who really want to participate - especially the high profile ones. To that point, HUGE thank you to the jackass team and the celebrity cameos: everyone participated enthusiastically and all promptly returned their signed cards! As a result, not only were they all on-card autos, there wasn’t one redemption!

So what about the relics ? Unfortunately, the jackass team did not keep most items from the TV and movie sets, and we could not locate enough in time to make quality items. Which isn’t to say we didn’t try and hunt them down - everything from the rubber testicles Knoxville wore in Bad Grandpa, the Kite Zach “flew” on, the cups from Ehren (he wouldn’t give those keepsakes up!), and even the famed jackass pubes (legal nixed that one, but we really did try and make RPAs – Rookie Pube Autos). We hope to be able to bring exciting items like these in the future, but only if they’re truly special and culturally significant (and FDA approved!).

But the boxes ?!?! Like VeeFriends, this was a super-premium box - but we took it to another level! We made BOX PARALLELS!

Wait, what?!

Box parallels?

Is this the first time that’s ever been done? We did no research at all so that way we can say with full plausible deniability that this is the only box parallel that we have ever heard of!

Here’s how it worked. We foil-stamped the jackass logo such that we could add hits by changing the foil color. The end result was 4979 silver boxes, 2480 red, 1490 green, 890 purple, 50 black, 10 gold, and 1 cracked ice box. That’s right - there’s a 1/1 cracked ice box out there! If anyone pulls it, please let us know!

The Value. There were no guaranteed hits but the autos that we did include are extremely rare. We were fully transparent about the print run and odds (as always) and we actually think the odds of hitting a valuable card are pretty solid. Given the size of their followings and their cultural impact, the most valuable autos in this set are probably going to be Knoxville, Steve-O, Spike Jonze, Jeff Tremaine, Tony Hawk, Francis Ngannou, MGK, Eric Andre, & Rob Dyrdek. Each signed 192 cards, except for MGK who signed 42. Of those cards, each talent signed five which are what we call "Player Parallels”* - five autograph parallels that were given directly to participants to keep and did not go into any of the packs. That means each of the biggest nine cast members have 187 auto cards available in packs, while MGK has 37 total. In total, there are 1,533 valuable autos available to pull in 10,000 boxes, equaling a ~15% chance of getting one in each box. That seems pretty great relative to odds in other mass-produced sets that guarantee multiple autos per box

*As was noted on the website (on the checklist) and above, we created what we call ‘Players Parallels’ which is where we gave each participant all five of their /5 autograph parallels. We are going to continue including Players Parallels in other (hopefully all) zerocool sets, as we think set participants should own some of their most valuable cards.

Section IV

The Auction

For an excessively thorough review of the theory and mechanics of Blind Dutch Auction, please direct your browser to our VeeFriends recap post , which tells you everything you need to know about how these auctions work and why they represent the most fair and efficient pricing model on offer. Here, let’s simply proceed directly to the actual jackass auction results.

Regular readers will recall the following graphic that we used for VeeFriends, which now includes all the key metrics from the jackass auction:

Over the course of the three-day auction we saw 16,815 bids on the 9,500 boxes for sale. These bids ranged from a low of $1 to a high of $5,000. In a BLIND DUTCH AUCTION, every winner pays the same amount - the clearing price - which is defined as the lowest winning bid. In this case, the 9500th bid was the clearing price - which was for $101 - and so everyone paid $101. This means that more than 95% of the winning bidders (9,070) paid less than what they bid. Collectively, winners saved a combined total of $1,518,564 compared to what they were willing to pay. The remaining 5% (430) who all bid $101 paid exactly what they bid and not a penny more.

Everyone paid the same amount, no one paid more than they wanted to, and nearly everyone (95%) actually paid less than what they wanted to (including the person who bid $5,000; they saved $4,899 per box!!). The BLIND DUTCH AUCTION is a beautiful thing.

Here’s a chart showing the distribution of bids across different price points:

You can see there was quite a bit of variation in bid amount. Many bids fell into the lower range, with 3,385 bids under $50 and another 2,826 between $50-$99. But there was also significant activity at the high end too: nearly 5,000 bids came in above $200, and nearly 1,000 bids were above $500. Clearly, there were plenty of bidders who saw significant value in this set, which will likely translate into strong upward pressure on the secondary market. And again, the great part of the BLIND DUTCH AUCTION is that you can have a wide range of demand and interest, yet at the end of the day, everyone pays the same amount.

Now, you might notice that the clearing price for the jackass auction ($101) was much, much lower than the clearing price for our inaugural VeeFriends auction ($2,150). Why such a big difference?

Well, it all comes back to supply and demand. Compared to VeeFriends, we released a much higher supply of jackass boxes (9,500 vs 800 - a 12x difference). There was also slightly less demand this time around, with 16,815 total bids for jackass vs 22,644 total bids for VeeFriends. So it’s hardly a surprise that the clearing price was a whole lot lower.

As a result, we believe that the winners of this auction got an absolute steal on the boxes. And the early activity on the secondary market suggests that this view is correct: the average resale price on StockX right now is $300, and eBay sales are all well above the clearing price. Further, because there were fewer bids and a lower clearing price, a significant portion of the stock (about 2/3) ended up in the hands of the largest breakers. They clearly saw the potential here. Fewer hobby shops and individual collectors than we expected participated in the auction, but we do imagine there will be a learning curve here. We understand it can be hard to first understand cards, and then try and estimate a value for the boxes. Going forward, we’ll continue to educate and explain as best we can, such that every stakeholder in the hobby feels confident participating.

Section V

The Feedback

We value the feedback of the community, and we’re 100% committed to improving every aspect of everything we do. We’re a company run by avid card collectors: the drive to create great products, build great experiences, and help bring the hobby forward - it’s both our duty and our passion.

Thank you for your feedback so far. Whether via email or text, social or DM, message board or forum, the posts or comments, in person or remote - we appreciate everyone who has taken even a minute of their day to share thoughts on jackass, VeeFriends or anything we’ve done. And we want more. The best way to reach us is info@zerocool.com - please send any comment, suggestion, question, advice, joke, meme - whatever. We want to hear it all.

Thank you all for your trust and support. Stay tuned to our socials for all things zerocool, including future drops.