Trump’s trading cards got us thinking: Is it sad? Desperate? Or a time to be selfless?

Americans learned Thursday that Donald Trump is going into the digital trading card business, an announcement that had the internet laughing and even some ardent Trump supporters shaking their heads.

Three members of the USA TODAY Opinion team had some thoughts on this bizarre development:

Digital trading cards for people who love losers and losing!

Have you ever wanted to throw $99 in a fire, just to watch it burn?

Well you’re in luck. Former President Donald Trump, a leading candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination (and for federal indictment), made what he called a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” Thursday: He’s selling cartoonish $99 digital trading cards that show him in various states of ludicrousness.

The cards all feature a noticeably trimmer version of Trump, with the exception of his hands, which appear larger than his actual mouse-paw-like mitts. One has the man who somehow was president of the United States of America in superhero regalia with lasers shooting from his eyes. Another shows him wearing a cowboy hat and what looks like military fatigues. And one that should carry a “may spark gag reflex” warning shows him winking.

Trump is clearly playing off the “Dark Brandon” superhero meme liberals have used to joke about President Joe Biden’s successes. But Biden’s team didn’t create that meme, and they certainly didn’t try to monetize it.

Having already declared his candidacy for president, Trump’s much-trumpeted (by him) announcement had supporters and critics alike curious. When we learned it was simply the announcement of Trump’s latest money-making gambit, the reaction was, for supporters, a bit of a sad trombone, and for critics, approximately 20 minutes of nonstop laughter.

Trump and his MAGA movement are done: Republicans need their version of Biden.

Computer screen displaying former President Donald Trump’s newly released digital trading card collection as revealed in an online announcement on his platform on Dec. 15, 2022.

This is what it’s come to? A twice-impeached former president who incited an attack on our nation’s Capitol and refused to participate in the peaceful transfer of power, a man facing multiple state and federal investigations, has been reduced to hocking self-aggrandizing NFTs. (I wish that stood for No Further Trumps.)

It’s funny unless you think about the thousands of Trump loyalists who will buy up these soon-to-be worthless digital thingies for Christmas gifts, giving more of their hard-earned money to a man who … well, a man who thinks he’s worthy of being on overpriced digital trading cards.

– Rex Huppke

Trump takes a bad week and makes himself a superhero

If most of us had the kind of month former President Donald Trump has had, we may consider hiding in bed or sticking our head in the sand.

Not Trump. He’s taken some lackluster events and poll numbers … and turned himself into a superhero with laser eyes.

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Trump’s latest “major announcement” that most people had ignored turned out to be the release of some “must-have” digital trading cards that picture the former president as a cowboy and astronaut, among other things.

And obviously, these cards aren’t cheap at $99 a pop. The more you buy, the better your chances of other “prizes,” like dinner with Trump himself.

I’ll admit it’s funny, but this all sounds desperate to me. Trump is already behind in fundraising, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis outperforming with some of the big donors who used to back Trump.

And several polls this week – including one from USA TODAY – show Trump lagging in support, with two-thirds of GOP and GOP-leaning voters lining up behind DeSantis in a hypothetical 2024 match.

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On Nov. 15, 2022, Donald Trump announces his third attempt to become president of the United States at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

On Nov. 15, 2022, Donald Trump announces his third attempt to become president of the United States at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump must also still be recovering from how horribly his anointed candidates did in the recent midterm elections. Even ardent Trump supporters have realized it’s time for him to go away.

All this news must drive Trump crazy. But no matter how much he wants to be the superhero, it doesn’t seem like the American people are buying it.

– Ingrid Jacques 

How about giving your money to me instead of Trump?

So you want to spend $100 for obviously top-notch digital images of a person you super admire and wish would take control of things?

Good news, I’m that person. For $100 dollars you could be the proud owner of two self-portraits I created with the help of a random program that took my selfie and spit out this art. Here’s a taste of the quality you can expect:

That’s right. I’m giving you two for the price of one because in this economy who in their right mind would spend $100 for a poor Photoshop attempt when they could have two masterpieces.

Can we just be honest? It’s time to ghost social media and the billionaires who run it.

And, honestly, what’s the difference? My way you get to send $100 to somebody whose job is to at least pretend to care about our democracy and do stuff that could help it along.

The other way you get to send $100 to somebody who recently suggested doing away with the Constitution and did his level best to incite a riot in the hopes of overturning an election.

Tough call, I know.

Louie Villalobos

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump digital trading card NFTs feature himself as the hero. Literally

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