Upper Deck shut out from Baseball card market

Wow, the baseball card business is dog eat dog. 

In a blow to Upper Deck and other competitors, MLB has signed a multi-year deal with The Topps Company to become the exclusive trading card maker for baseball.   The former CEO of Disney, Michael Eisner, is heading up Topps now.

This is the business double-speak that Eisner is spewing:

“This is redirecting the entire category toward kids.  Topps has been making cards for 60 years, the last 30 in a nonexclusive world that has caused confusion to the kid who walks into a Walmart or a hobby store. It’s also been difficult to promote cards as unique and original.”

Okay, did he really say that? Kids are “confused” because of a little market competition?

This deal leaves competitor trading card company Upper Deck out in the cold.  The upshot is this:  Upper Deck is allowed to use the “likeness of players” but no team logos and no trademarks. 

It’s an obvious coup for Topps that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

4 Responses to “Upper Deck shut out from Baseball card market”

  1. Well, at least Upper Deck has the World of Warcraft Collectable Card Game Going for it. It has a pretty strong following, and perhaps things will eventually change back.

  2. hehe, I didnt know that.

    and yeah, I’ll bet that’s a pretty big market.

  3. I wish they’d require them to go back to the cardboard of the old days. Cards in the 1970s were nice. Now they all look like they were made from space shuttle tiles and they cost about $5 for a pack of 10 cards. Back in my day it was a quarter, and we walked uphill through the snow both ways to get them, and they were worth it. Cards just haven’t been the same since the mid-80s or so.

  4. I had fond memories as a kid of those 70s cards too. I would shuffle them up and separate them into two piles and “play” them against each other.

    I had some formula which i can’t remember now but involved adding up the rbis, homeruns and BA.

    It’s no wonder I ended up playing APBA. :)

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