Every year Time Magazine names a person or group of people as their “Person of the Year”, the title is given to the person who has influenced the world the most over the previous 12 months. Their big caveat is that the title is not an honour and is given to the person with the biggest influence regardless of whether that influence was good or bad. Alongside popes and scientists, you will also find this title given to people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Bono. If this title were presented in the Pokemon community, the title for 2020 would go to Logan Paul.
So, do I think that Logan Paul has been a positive or negative influence on the Pokemon Community? Well, I’m not going to answer that. Partially because I have a maximum word count, but mostly because like everything in life it isn’t that black and white. There have been both positive and negative effects on the community which has stemmed from the involvement of Logan. So, let’s take a look at Logan, and some of his biggest events within Pokemon, and how I felt about them as a long-time collector.
Let’s start with Logan himself, “Hey Dan, did you know Logan went to Japan and…” Yes. I’ve been a viewer of the YouTube scene for about a decade. While I didn’t watch Logan during that time, I was of course aware of what happened in Japan. Do I think that’s something that just needs to be forgotten? No. Do I think that because of it we should never have a constructive conversation regarding him? Also no. Viewing any of Logan’s current content will clearly show that he has matured in leaps and bounds since Japan. “But Dan, he isn’t a real fan, he didn’t do anything with Pokemon in the past and…” He has a Squirtle tattoo. Stop being a weird gatekeeper. Now that we have that all cleared up, let’s look at his big moments.
October 2020 – 1st Edition Box Break
Logan’s first jump into the Pokemon TCG scene was with the opening of a 1st Edition Base Set Box. Packs were sold in advance, and all opened on camera. The packs were sold at $11,111, which was way above market price at the time but did come with a personal shout-out of your business or content. At the time of writing, the video of the box opening sits at 11.8 million views, not a bad reach for promoting yourself. While watching this stream live, I overall felt it was a good stream the production value was a lot higher than any box break we had seen before being streamed within the studio used for the Impulsive podcast. The biggest negative to this stream was it made me learn who CollectiblesGuru (CG) was, and I could have died happy never having to learn that. For those of you lucky enough to have avoided his existence so far, CollectiblesGuru is a crypto pump-and-dump specialist with a small man complex that would match Napoleon himself, and a knowledge of the Pokemon TCG that would match Napoleon himself.
CG has been credited as being the original inspiration for Logan to run this event to help bring eyes to the TCG. This is a nice way of saying he bought a lot of Pokemon and then manipulated someone in the public eye to try and run up some values to flip what he had bought. Logan had CG on-site to provide “expert” analysis on the values of cards, although if he had simply had Mike pick numbers from a bingo machine it would have had similar accuracy. His valuation of $30,000 on a Bulbasaur quickly became a meme which CG responded to in the very mature fashion of calling people fat and blocking them. But this article isn’t about CG, it’s about Logan Paul. Knowing that Logan was being fed bad information throughout the entire process, actually makes me respect how the event turned out even more. For someone breaking a box for the first time, Logan handled it fairly well and professionally. Some hiccups such as gripping the cards a bit too tight, and a butt-clenching moment where a person was given one pack instead of two which had to be quickly rectified. What Logan lacked in knowledge, he made up for in personality, using his experience as a content creator to still keep the stream interesting.
February 2021 – 1st Edition Box Break
For me, the second stream took a huge dive in quality compared to the first. It came during the first initial explosion of the NFT craze, coming only a few days after the NFT for the original Nyan Cat gif was sold for close to $600,000. So of course, being an online event there were NFTs. Buyers of packs received an NFT of Logan as a Pokemon card, the holo pull moments were made into NFTs, etc. Without wanting to comment on NFTs as a whole, they certainly muddied the water and drew some focus away from the unboxing. It also seemed that people had caught onto how great of a deal the “shoutout” was that was attached to your pack.
While the packs from the first break seemed to have been almost exclusively bought by big names in the Pokemon community and the YouTube community, this second break featured Logan giving shoutouts to a large number of cryptocurrency sites. You have to wonder how many buyers wanted the cards they were buying, and how many viewed them as something that came along with the Logan Paul shoutout they were buying. All of this, plus the fact that the box being opened was the same box we had seen a few months prior, combined to make the event just feel way less special. It seems that I’m not the only one with this opinion as this live stream sits at less than half of the views of the first.
June 2021 – Boxing Match vs Floyd Mayweather
Why is a boxing match on the list of Logan’s notable moments in the hobby? Well, he came out to the ring with a BGS 10 1st Edition Charizard, covered in diamonds on a chain around his neck. I honestly don’t have a lot to say on this one, except it would have looked a lot less tacky if he just mounted it on a chain and didn’t bother with the diamonds.
So, why is Logan the most influential person in Pokemon for 2020? 11.8 million views. 23.2 million subscribers. This is a reach that blows any other Pokemon content creator out of the water. Logan has introduced the hobby to more new people in one go than most people could dream of doing in a lifetime. Go to any Pokemon-based Facebook group, search “Logan Paul”. Between fans and haters, his name is on everyone’s lips.
So, is it all great? Is everything Logan does amazing for the hobby?
For years most Pokemon collectors have had one uniting dream. For Pokemon collecting to be taken seriously in the wider collecting world, for it to stand alongside sports card collecting, or Magic card collecting and be recognised as a mature pastime for adults. Sadly, being mature doesn’t get views. Being mature doesn’t go viral. With having a friend smash up a fake box on the first live stream, and blinging out a Charizard in diamonds, Logan got a ton of new eyes into the hobby, but probably set us back five years in being taken seriously.
Dan Norton – DJGigabyte
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