There are some long lines up at subway stations, and hugely inflated prices on eBay, for a special limited edition Metro Card. Transit reporter Jose Martinez spoke to some of the buyers —to learn what all the excitement is about.
In the long history of the subway, there has never been anything like it. Long lines of people desperate to buy MetroCards.
Not just any MetroCards, but cards branded with the logo of a popular clothing line.
"It has to have red on it — Supreme," said one excited buyer. "That's where the money's at, see that?"
Supreme is a hugely popular street wear brand. It is famous for limited releases of its products, fueling demand, and hype.
Teaming up with the MTA, they brought the concept to MetroCards. The result: Collectors and entrepreneurs descended on select subway stations hoping to score one.
"I figured if I need a MetroCard anyway, I can go here and get it at a machine," said one woman. "But I can't figure out which machine it is."
The specially branded cards were randomly inserted in MetroCard vending machines in eight stations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan — including the Broadway-Lafayette stop around the corner from Supreme's flagship store.
The alternative was lining up at that store, where the cards were selling for $5.50 each, the cost of two subway rides.
Not that anyone seemed interested in actually using them to get around.
"I have my own card with money on it, so I don't need that one," said one buyer.
The cards quickly were offered for resale on eBay at hugely inflated prices.
"We buy it for whatever they want to sell it to us and then people always want to buy it for more because not everyone can get it," said one. "Demand is always higher than supply."
One card listed at $999 had no takers, but the bidding for another one had climbed to $61 by Tuesday evening.
The MTA declined to say how many Supreme MetroCards were made — or how much the company paid the MTA, which has had a branding program with businesses for years.
When NY1 told some of the people on line for a Supreme card that they could buy a MetroCard with a Brooklyn Nets logo, they didn't seem all that interested. They only wanted the Supreme MetroCard.
"People just follow the hype and what sells for the most," said one.
Even if the hype is for a MetroCard.