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Topps Sports Cards

Topps Sports Cards 1When most people are asked about sports cards, Topps is the first name that comes to mind. The New York-based company evolved from a chewing gum manufacturer in the late 1930s to a global leader in the field of trading cards, creating many iconic brands and sets along the way.

Topps Brands

Company Overview

Though Topps has made cards for all of the "Big Four" U.S. sports leagues over the years, it's best known for its long run of Major League Baseball products. The manufacturer's first batch of baseball cards was printed in 1951, but it was the 1952 set that gave the world the Mickey Mantle card that would become probably the most well known sports card ever.

Topps' subsequent releases established many industry standards, such as color photography, player statistics and the 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 inch size that most sets still use today. Despite some early success with premium brands with the introduction of Stadium Club in 1991, Topps mostly stayed away from the highest end of the sports card industry until the last part of the 2000s. The company's strengths lie in finding ways to capitalize on its own rich history, along with creating products like Allen & Ginter Baseball that draw upon some of the earliest trading cards in existence for inspiration.

While competitors like Donruss, Fleer and Upper Deck arose to make their own baseball cards, Topps outlasted them all to become the lone source for fully licensed MLB baseball cards in 2010. It's licenses with the NHL and NBA have expired as the leagues decided to sign exclusively with other manufacturers (Upper Deck and Panini America, respectively), but Topps continues to market a full line of NFL football cards. Another recent coup was the signing of a deal in late 2008 to create cards for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the promotion behind the rapid growth of mixed martial arts.

The Shorin family that founded Topps controlled the company until 2007, when it was nearly acquired by rival Upper Deck. It is currently owned by The Tornante Company, an investment group headed up by former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner.

To supplement its sports card offerings, Topps continues to produce gum, candy and non-sports card products.

Home Page: www.topps.com
Customer Service: 1-800-489-9149

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