There’s a new entry to the red-hot collectibles market.
Brent Montgomery is teaming with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to launch Mantel, a content platform created specifically for collectors of sports cards and memorabilia, comics, cars, watches and more.
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Wheelhouse, the media and marketing company founded by Montgomery (Pawn Stars, King of Collectibles), and Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six tech and venture capital firm, launched the platform Tuesday in beta. The site will serve as a social media platform that will focus first on sports cards and memorabilia as well as trading card games (like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering, for example) before expanding to other facets of the collectibles industry. The site will also feature real-time discussion and connectivity with experts in the collecting space as well as original content, creating a one-stop shop for collectors, investors and more.
Evan Parker, the former GM at The Athletic, serves as CEO of Mantel. The name of the platform is a play on the name of one of Major League Baseball’s greatest and most-collected players, Mickey Mantle.
“I love telling stories about collectibles and the characters behind them, so the opportunity to partner with Alexis and Evan, a couple of kings in community and content, was a no-brainer,” Montgomery said. “Collecting touches every demographic and unites people in a nostalgic way that little else can, and I’m excited as well to help promote what is an alternative asset class where people can have incredible fun investing.”
Mantel has secured investors including Steve Aoki’s Aoki Labs and Gary Vaynerchuk (VaynerFund), as well as Courtside Ventures, Switch Ventures, Cosmic Venture Partners and co-founder of The Athletic, Adam Hansmann. WNBA legend and broadcaster Candace Parker and founder of Hodinkee and Fairgame Golf Benjamin Clymer are also among the investors. Patrick Keane, the former CEO of sports betting media and tech company Action Network, serves as an adviser to Mantel.
“Mantel combines two of my greatest passions in business and in life: community and collecting,” said Ohanian. “The fulfillment and joy people can experience through social engagement, especially around heartfelt hobbies, can’t be overstated; and with our current and planned features, Mantel goes even further than that, helping collectors broaden their world as much as they want. There’s nothing out there like it.”
Mantel was developed to focus on collectors and building a community that, in success, covers everything from major auctions to industry news. The plan is to expand quickly to include comics, stamps, watches, coins, toys, cars, art, NFTs and everything in between. The collectibles market was valued at nearly $500 billion in 2022 and is forecast to grow to a $1 trillion industry by 2033. Sixty-one percent of Americans consider themselves collectors, including 76 percent of Gen Z and 72 percent of millennials.
“Like Brent and Alexis, I’m a lifelong collector, and the existing social networks have never felt like fun, safe or even very helpful environments for what I do, so it’s been a dream to be able to build something better with our stellar team,” Parker said. “We created Mantel to be a welcoming and vibrant home for collectors of all stripes, and we are committed to taking feedback and ideas from our community members as we continue to build out functionality and features that make Mantel a true home for all collectors.”
Mantel expands Montgomery’s previous forays into the collectibles space. Last year, Montgomery’s Wheelhouse teamed with auction ace Ken Goldin for Netflix’s King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch, which featured some of the biggest cards in the hobby changing hands. The series has already been renewed for a second season.
King of Collectibles is part of a wave of so-called “transactional” television shows akin to Montgomery’s mega-hit, Pawn Stars. The genre has seen a resurgence in the past few years as former collectors returned to the hobby during the quarantine period of the pandemic after discovering long-lost jewels amid their free time.
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