Art director

San Diego Comic Con Spotlight: Brandon Bernard, Topps Star Wars Card Trader Art Director

For Star Wars fans of a certain age, trading cards have played a big part in how they’ve celebrated the galaxy, and Topps has been around since the very beginning. Several years ago, they created a digital app for trading and collecting cards across multiple IP addresses, with Star Wars being one of the most popular. The app is easy to use and free to download, although some paid features are available.

Once again, Topps had a presence at SDCC, with a fan meet-and-greet and special perks for fans who interacted with booth staff. I had the opportunity to speak with Brandon Bernard, Art Director at Topps Digital Star Wars Card Trader.

Fantha Tracks: For those who don’t know the Star Wars card dealer app, give us a description of what the app offers

Brandon Bernard: They’re largely digital collectibles right now, trading cards, but they’re all on the app. There is a really dynamic community where people interact with each other. We have special watch parties, pod races, an asteroid race where you try to beat the odds, lots of fun things like that.

FT: Initially, the app was just a free game, although now there is an additional paid feature. How did it work for you?

BB: It really helps fans get the cards they really want. We’re trying to strike that balance between being free to play for anyone who just wants to play casually, so it’s still very much possible. Hardened collectors who want to spend a little more real money, this reduces the chances of getting certain cards if you pay real money.

FT: For convention lovers, you always have amazing posters like posters based on images from the digital maps. Have you ever considered doing this as a paid option, an opportunity for fans to purchase physical copies of their favorite cards?

BB: It’s an interesting problem in that when you’re digital we’re using a much lower resolution, which doesn’t translate so easily to a physical map. Because of that, we unfortunately haven’t quite cracked the code on how to easily go from digital to print.

FT: You have a variety of different sets in the app, many of which are based on star wars books and comics. What determines the type of sets you create? Is it based on what’s popular?

BB: We pretty much make cards out of whatever we can. Whatever assets we have and whatever favorite thing there is, whether people are interested and whether we have the rights to it. It’s important for fans to check the app every day, but you know, if you missed something, chances are we’ll do it again.

Check out this great app and get access to great maps in the palm of your hands! You can find my collection and contact a possible exchange on behalf of the Kaonda fan.

Thanks to our journalist Fantha Tracks @YogiKai for all SDCC news, and be sure to look back to the #FTSDCC hashtag for more from the show.

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