Crazy for Collectables
Topps have been creating desirable trading card collections for over 60 years. Their name has become synonymous with collectors and fans worldwide. Over the years their portfolio has included licences such as UEFA Champions League, WWE, Star Wars, Pokémon, Premier League, Bundesliga and Disney. They’ve also developed their own IP brands such as Match Attax and the new ‘I Believe In…’ series.
The thrill of not knowing what you’ll get in a packet is universal. Kids love collecting and these pocket money collections have real playground appeal. “Will I be able to collect the whole series?” It fuels a swapping culture of duplicates at break times and a loyal following that is almost tribal. The swapping culture isn’t just limited to the playground, last year Topps ran Swap-Meets across Germany for their Bundesliga Collection – it was attended by thousands of collector card fans looking to complete their collections. Importantly though, the appeal for cards isn’t just limited to kids – big kids are getting the collection bug. Partly fueled by their own school day collecting, creating appeal for diehard fans includes limited edition memorabilia cards with actual pieces of their favourite players shirts embedded in them. Very rare items that can command high prices in the collector card market.
The real challenge every year is to make the collections more compelling than the last. Working closely with licensors to make sure that their brand’s integrity is maintained whilst always creating something new and fresh. It’s a huge global market with some collections selling millions of cards every season, so there’s no surprise that competitors are always trying nibble away at market share. Introducing new materials and print finishes is one way of maintaining that Topps stays at the top of the game but the bar is always rising. We are always challenged to stretch print finishes and production methods – recently swapping traditional card substraight to clear plastic with multiple varnishes and cold foiling to create the new UCL Crystal card collection.