Predicting Holo Icon Value

Making the most of a limited sample size

The most anticipated drop in the last two months is upon us — the 2nd release of the Legendary Holo Icon set. With a $999 sticker price and some considerable eligibility requirements, this one’s certainly not for the casual collector.

So if we’re lucky enough to land a Holo Icon pack this time, is it a safe bet? All signs point to yes: the value inside the pack should outweigh the price tag given current market conditions. But by how much? Are we barely scraping by, or is this pack an absolute no brainer? Secondly, of the more than 80,000 collectors eligible for this pack, more than 96% will likely be going home without one. For these collectors with Dapper dollars ready to fire, how much can we expect each Legendary Moment to be in the marketplace? I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but I’ll walk you through my personal approach to answering these questions. Let’s dive in.

Modeling Holo Icon Value

As is always the case, the first step in making any reasonably accurate prediction is studying what we’ve seen in the past. Fortunately for us, we’ve seen how the market has responded to the first set of Holo Icon Moments. At a high level, we’ll look for a relationship between the value of a player’s Series 2 Base Set Common Moment and their Holo Icon counterpart.

To kick things off, we’ll do our best to approximate the fair market value of every Holo Icon Moment not currently involved in a Challenge. As we’ve seen before, Challenges can introduce additional utility that drives up a Moment’s price, and we don’t want this interfering with our model. Next, to estimate each Moment’s fair market value, we’ll take:

  • The average sale price over the last 5 days OR

  • 95% of the current lowest ask on the marketplace

With such a limited supply of Legendary Moments (only 99 of each), we can’t fully trust the current lowest ask, and these two values above should give us a reasonable estimate of a Moment’s fair market value. Next, we can multiply these values by 99 (the circulation count of each Moment) to calculate the market cap value.

For the independent variable in our model, we can reference each player’s 15k LE or 35k CC Base Set moment from Series 2. Using these Moments’ current marketplace lowest ask, we can calculate their market cap values, and create a scatter plot to see the relationship.

The first thing to note is that we unfortunately have a very small sample size. Because of this, we can’t quite place as much confidence in our model, and we’ll address that shortly. We can also see that there’s a somewhat consistent trend between the two market cap values. To understand this relationship, we can draw a best fit line through our points:

The best fit line represents a function that best describes the relationship between a player’s Base Set and Holo Icon market cap values, resulting in the least amount of error. Some of our Moments are closer to the line, while some sit further away. As a point of reference, I’ve included a shaded grey region that represents a +/- 20% error from the best fit line, and this captures just about all of our Moments. This gives us some reference lines, and tells us that we shouldn’t be extremely surprised if one of the new Holo Icon moments falls 20% below or 20% above our prediction.

Making Predictions

With our model built, all that’s left is to reverse the process, and predict the valuations for the new Holo Icon Moments from their Series 2 Base Set Commons. For 25 of the 27 Holo Icon Moments included in the upcoming pack drop, we have a “clean” 15k LE or 35kCC Base Set Moment that we can use. Unfortunately for Josh Jackson and Keldon Johnson, we won’t be able to make a prediction with our model — they either don’t have a Series 2 Common Moment, or they do, but it’s also their first Top Shot Moment.

Taking a look at the current market cap values for our newest Holo Icon Moments, we can apply our best fit line from above and project their valuation:

As we saw earlier, we shouldn’t be terribly surprised if a Holo Icon moment is listed for 20% above or below these projections. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the price we pay for having a small sample size. We’d be foolish to treat these projections as the gospel, and so it’s important to understand the amount of error that we can likely expect.

To see this, I’ve made a quick plot of each moment’s projection, plus an error bar that represents the +/- 20% uncertainty:

Even on a logarithmic scale, we can see just how far ahead LeBron sits from the rest of the pack. And in my mind the projection for LeBron is likely very low. First, the model was created based on market cap data from middling NBA players with far lower valuations than LeBron. Secondly, the model is linear, and the error will drastically increase as we pressure-test it with the most valuable player on Top Shot. That being said, we have to leave LeBron in a class of his own, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see LeBron Holo Icon 2’s selling in the $40k+ range. In this very special scenario, I recommend sitting back and watching how the market reacts to his latest Legendary Moment.

Bonus: Expected Value

If you’re lucky enough to score a Holo Icon pack, how much value can you expect from the Holo Icon Moment (not to mention the three MGLE’s)? To answer this question, all we have to do is find the average value from our 25 projections above. This works out to be $4,250. Despite only three players having a projected value above $4,250, we can see just how much of a Lottery ticket LeBron James represents. In 26 out of 27 cases, you’ll be left with a Holo Icon Moment from a player not named LeBron with an average projected value of $3,166. While you can only expect to pull a LeBron James Holo Icon 3.7% of the time, this one Moment alone increases the expected value of the pack by over one thousand dollars. Remarkable.

That’s all for this week - I hope you enjoyed this article! Enjoying this content? The best way you can help out is by sharing it with a friend.

Share Minted Moment

Disclaimer: None of the above constitutes professional and/or financial advice. All opinions expressed on Minted Moment are from the personal research and experience of author, and are intended for educational purposes only.