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TOPPS Loses MLB/Goes Public
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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted
A lot is going on over at TOPPS that will have a major impact on trading cards when it goes into effect. Corporate wise the big news is that TOPPS is going public again with a SPAC merger with some company called Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. You can read that "merger" as being sold. TOPPS went public before, but reverted to private ownership again in 2007 when all the stock was bought back. Now it will be trading and that leaves open a host of possibilities that can go in any direction for future TOPPS products, both good and bad.

Here's what looks really bad. After more than 70 years, TOPPS is losing the license to make Major League Baseball cards. No more baseball cards from TOPPS and I would assume no more putting baseball stars in uniform in other products. That is their main card business.

Now its unclear when they have to stop. I read one article that says that the license runs until 2025. However MLB has already partnered with some sporting goods outfit called Fanatics to carry the card license whenever the TOPPS deal ends.

This is a major blow to TOPPS as a card maker. With the corporate restructuring its impossible to tell what they will do. It could mean a whole new avenue for non-sport card collectors, or it could mean the end of TOPPS as we know it, or it could mean literally the end of TOPPS.

What ever happens it's bound to significantly effect the card collecting market going forward.
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The SPAC merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation isn't happening:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/2...ading-card-deal.html

From what I've read over at Blowout, the big question is what happens to Topps in 2022 when its licensing agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) ends. They'll still have the agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) but without the MLBPA on board, nobody knows what kind of cards they'll be able to produce.
 
Posts: 59 | Location: The World | Registered: August 03, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Neither MLB or the MLBPA will be renewing their licenses with TOPPS, but they come up in different years. MLB is up in 2025, MLBPA is up in 2022. So long as they have MLB it means they can use team uniforms, logos and names. They need the MLBPA collectively or would have to sign players to contracts individually if they could.

Easy to see why the merger fell apart once news broke that they will lose the crown jewels in their sports cards. Not surprisingly this is all about MLB and the players getting more money. The deal with Fanatics doesn't just pay more for licensing, it cuts the league in on the revenue stream. They are getting a piece of the action. Fanatics has been around for awhile and apparently does direct sales without distributors. The reviews I've read have been pretty mixed.

But hey, Alex Rodriguez couldn't buy into the Mets, so he's getting into a piece of Panini. Sports cards are making enough money to attract big corporate interest. Once one pro league muscles in on it beyond licensing fees, they all will follow suit and want more revenue.

TOPPS could try to continue with non-sport like Star Wars, GPK etc. or it could sell off the titles to someone else. I'm sure they don't even know what they will do right now since the merger fell through.
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Good Morning

Topps is going in other directions as we speak! Se link below:_

Topps and Megomuseum

regards

John

____________________
 
Posts: 1980 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: October 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by JOHN LEVITT:
Good Morning

Topps is going in other directions as we speak! Se link below:_

Topps and Megomuseum

regards

John


They are all working off the same business models. Branching out into models/figures, bobble heads, toys and other small semi-collectible merchandise is what CZE has done and what Breygent claimed it was going to do when they shied away from their trading card divisions.
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Raj
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The Mego figures don't seem to be available on Topps UK. They've put an Allen & Ginster box on there, though.
 
Posts: 3211 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just an opinion but I think Fanatics will buy Topps at some point and continue the brand. With 70 years behind them why wouldn’t you? Fanatics is also going after the NBA and NFL so I would expect Topps would be the brand for those as well. Couldn’t see them being able to purchase Panini as the bulk of their business is worldwide stickers and those two licenses are probably chump change to them. Leaf owns Pro Set, Upper Deck owns Fleer and OPC, Panini owns Donruss, Topps Owns Bowman and A&G, etc. So there is a long history behind these types of movements. What that does for Topps Non Sports is anyone’s guess. Fanatics is a machine worth billions so if they see money in it with cards and exclusive autograph deals with major Movie and TV Stars they will jump in and wipe all the little guys out.
 
Posts: 70 | Location: New York | Registered: September 18, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Just had a look at the Mego figure line. Sideshow its not. MacFarlane its not. Mattel it's not. Hasbro its not. No wonder I don't own any Megos, even though I will buy the occasional figure or model of a favorite character with a good likeness.

I think TOPPS is in trouble if it expects this to bring in enough business to help make up for losing baseball cards.
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Being out of the sports cards racket for so long, I had no idea of what's been going on with this Fanatics Sports Apparel and how they have been maneuvering themselves into MLB and baseball cards. It looks like they really sandbagged TOPPS and blew up their plans when they didn't even know it was coming.

The end game might be a takeover of TOPPS, but of course that's just reading posts on Blowout, and you never know how much of what is written are facts, opinions, or plain guesses. Big Grin

Anyway its an interesting read, but since I don't do links, you'll have to go to the Baseball forum on Blowout to find the thread.

The main issue here is what will happen to its non-sport titles if TOPPS can't go public and loses too much business? The simple answer will be that I suspect someone else will do them. Wink
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Scifi Cards
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quote:
The main issue here is what will happen to its non-sport titles if TOPPS can't go public and loses too much business? The simple answer will be that I suspect someone else will do them.


Actually, there will probably be a Star Wars a month and more Wackys and GPKs too if Topps needs to make a revenue stream.

Though I think the safe bet is a Topps buyout by Fanatics. With that they would have history and tradition as well as brand names and trade dress.

If Fanatics goes for it without buying a card company, then they have to tiptoe around previous IP rights and trademarks.

But, I read somewhere online when this broke that one of the EVP's of Fanatics was from Press Pass, and if so that means they already have some background in cards on staff.

Will be interesting to see how this unfolds, especially the 2 years where Topps has the MLB license but not the MLBPA license. I don't want to think what those cards might look like.

Ed

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Posts: 4944 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
Actually, there will probably be a Star Wars a month and more Wackys and GPKs too if Topps needs to make a revenue stream.

Ed


Haha, didn't think about that. A wounded, but alive TOPPS will have nothing to do in Spring Training. We'll be drowning in Star Wars and Disney cards. Big Grin

But they can get around the collective player's union by signing individual star contracts. I don't know if that would be cost effective or even possible by today's rules, but Upper Deck did just that when they wrapped up Michael Jordan back in the day. They also signed a few other star players to exclusives.

Fanatics is a multi-billion dollar company with connections to MLB executives for awhile and I never heard of them. Jay-Z has something to do with them too. Strange world we live in. Everything's falling apart and everybody's making money. Well, almost everybody. Wink
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Heroes For Hire
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That collaboration with Mego figures are for probably mainly directed towards collectors that have nostalgia for that 1970’s style of action figure that Mego made back then. Topps tends to lean heavily on nostalgic designs for their cards, guess someone thought those figures might resonate some found memories with some of their online buying fan base. Seems like a sketch but Topps have been doing quite of few collaborative products the last few years.

But The Topps website isn’t the only place that Mego figures can be found. Even Target had Mego figures recently.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Just had a look at the Mego figure line. Sideshow its not. MacFarlane its not. Mattel it's not. Hasbro its not. No wonder I don't own any Megos, even though I will buy the occasional figure or model of a favorite character with a good likeness.

I think TOPPS is in trouble if it expects this to bring in enough business to help make up for losing baseball cards.
 
Posts: 647 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Heroes For Hire:
That collaboration with Mego figures are for probably mainly directed towards collectors that have nostalgia for that 1970’s style of action figure that Mego made back then. Topps tends to lean heavily on nostalgic designs for their cards, guess someone thought those figures might resonate some found memories with some of their online buying fan base.
[/QUOTE]

That's as good a theory as any, but I don't know if classic is the majority of figure collectors now or not. For myself, once the small scale figure designs really improved and comic characters began to look like the actors playing them in movies and TV shows, I lost my taste for generic classics. I really go for the facial resemblance, even in things like sketch cards.

I have few "action" figures, but the resin and polystone models can be very attractive. I have to stop myself from getting too many of them. I guess I don't like my toys to look like toys. Big Grin
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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I won't pretend to have any clue what the fallout will be, but given the difficulty in finding product -- especially at retail it seems to me that there does appear to be ways to increase trading card revenue.

I was always surprised when there were major shortages -- especially of retail products that didn't require huge numbers of assets like memorabilia or autographs. Increasing the print runs to better balance supply and demand seems so obvious.

Probably unlikely it would have made a difference in terms of this deal.
 
Posts: 5205 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Electrawoman Cards f/k/a jane
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scifi Cards:
quote:
The main issue here is what will happen to its non-sport titles if TOPPS can't go public and loses too much business? The simple answer will be that I suspect someone else will do them.


Actually, there will probably be a Star Wars a month and more Wackys and GPKs too if Topps needs to make a revenue stream.

Though I think the safe bet is a Topps buyout by Fanatics. With that they would have history and tradition as well as brand names and trade dress.

If Fanatics goes for it without buying a card company, then they have to tiptoe around previous IP rights and trademarks.

But, I read somewhere online when this broke that one of the EVP's of Fanatics was from Press Pass, and if so that means they already have some background in cards on staff.

Will be interesting to see how this unfolds, especially the 2 years where Topps has the MLB license but not the MLBPA license. I don't want to think what those cards might look like.

Ed


I’ll still get allocated out, lol...

____________________
Anne Welles - "You've got to climb Mount Everest to reach the Valley of the Dolls."

 
Posts: 3117 | Location: Queens NYC | Registered: September 21, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of WOMBLE
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quote:
Originally posted by Raj:
The Mego figures don't seem to be available on Topps UK. They've put an Allen & Ginster box on there, though.


https://uk.topps.com/mego

I looked on Topps site yesterday, and there has not been many UK releases for the last 18 months. Releasing Cricket cards is something new though. I did laugh at the mego stuff, basically saying 'this toy is not for children'.
 
Posts: 1085 | Location: UNITED KINGDOM | Registered: December 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Raj
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by WOMBLE:
quote:
Originally posted by Raj:
The Mego figures don't seem to be available on Topps UK. They've put an Allen & Ginster box on there, though.


https://uk.topps.com/mego

I looked on Topps site yesterday, and there has not been many UK releases for the last 18 months. Releasing Cricket cards is something new though. I did laugh at the mego stuff, basically saying 'this toy is not for children'.


I noticed the mego option a couple of days ago but there weren't any products available.
You're misquoting them but I don't really blame you.
quote:
AGES 12+ This is not a toy. This is not intended for children.
 
Posts: 3211 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
So there may be some time lag on this as licenses expire, but as it stands, Fanatics will inherit the exclusive rights to produce trading cards in the 3 major sports, MLB. NFL and NBA. They will have both the leagues and their respective Players Associations on board. This is a major blow to TOPPS who had baseball, but just as bad if not worse for Panini who did hold MLBPA, NBA/NBPA and NFL/NFLPA card rights. Only Hockey isn't mentioned yet.

Fanatics will have a solid sports card monopoly in the future, even though it doesn't have a card division at the moment. Speculation is that it may just try to acquire either TOPPS or Panini. Alex Rodriquez is involved in buying into Panini after he and Jennifer Lopez lost a piece of Mets ownership, before he went and lost Lopez of course. Big Grin

Fanatics isn't mentioning non-sport merchandise yet, so how it effects the non-sport side of cards depends on what happens to TOPPS and Panini and the titles that Fanatics may not be interested in. This will be a very big deal for these card makers and for card collectors whenever the dust settles.
 
Posts: 9500 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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Topps is doing Mego figures but will there be Mego cards ?
 
Posts: 3341 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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