Becomes Topps of the Heapp
pack of HeroClix now comes with a dusty piece of gum.
a business perspective, this announcement is so obvious we
should have seen it coming.
Trading card games have become huge business in this country.
However, this doesn't mean that long-standing trading card
have gotten a piece of that pie.
Topps did make Pokemon cards, they were based on the t.v.
series and not playable. Nope. Wizards of the Coast, creators
of the still insanely huge Magic: The Gathering, had Pikachu
and Friends' playability all wrapped up. And then Hasbro bought
them before anybody else could.
WizKids. By introducing three dimensional playability to the
card game sensibility, the relatively young company has taken
gamers by storm. And yes, we're still nuts about HeroClix,
with the DC expansion set Cosmic Justice set to be released
any day now. (Gotta have a Martian Manhunter, gotta have a
meet Topps. And yes, gum chewing is allowed.
received this announcement yesterday:
The Topps Company, the trading card, collectibles, and confectionary
company, announced it is acquiring Wizkids, LLC ("WizKids"),
a privately held designer and marketer of collectible strategy
games, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. WizKids' current
games include Mage Knight, HeroClix, and MechWarrior, all
of which utilize collectible miniature figures with a patent-pending
"combat dial" that encodes relevant game information
in the base of each piece.
Chairman and CEO, Arthur T. Shorin said, "The acquisition
of WizKids represents an important step in our strategy for
growing the Entertainment segment of the business as it provides
efficient entry to the growing collectible games market. Founded
in 2000, WizKids enjoys a strong reputation for its innovative
game design, effective marketing skills, and high-level customer
care. In addition to the existing product line, there is a
healthy pipeline of new games in development." He added,
"Joining forces with WizKids will enhance the licensing
reach of both companies and will further leverage Topps brand
franchises. We look forward to welcoming the management and
employees of WizKids to the Topps family."
Weisman, WizKids' co-founder and CEO, will be responsible
for the day-to-day management of WizKids and its 95 employees.
Mr. Weisman, 43, has been one of the gaming industry's most
successful and prolific designers over 20 years. He will report
directly to Scott Silverstein, EVP and head of Topps Entertainment
commented, "We are delighted to join with Topps and look
forward to enhancing the Company's product offerings with
the addition of collectible strategy games. With the support
of Topps resources, its distribution know-how, industry presence,
and brands, we are excited to realize the full value of our
game products and to play a role in the successful evolution
of Topps entertainment lines."
yer Cosmic Justice right here....
manufactures and distributes "collectable miniatures
games," a category of tabletop strategy game invented
by Weisman in 1999, and now played in 56 countries all over
the world. To date, the company has sold more than 100 million
toy figures under the game brands Mage Knight(tm), MechWarrior(r),
game to bear WizKids' imaginative stamp is Shadowrun(r) Duels,
which hits store shelves this month. Shadowrun combines full-sized
action figures with a complete set of tabletop "combat"
rules, combining imaginative play and rules-based game play.
In September, WizKids is launching Creepy Freaks(tm) the Gross-Out
3-D Trading Game that combines the collectability of card
games with the tabletop strategy of a miniatures game. It
is also the first WizKids title designed exclusively for kids.
what does it mean for us the consumers? One really good possibility
is that WizKids products will make it into stores like Target
and Wal-Mart. If you live in an area without a specialty shop,
that could be a very good thing. (It's not a guarantee, mind
you, just a prediction.)
also means, however, that we're less likely to find price
breaks on the product. We shall see...