What A Great Week For Topps

This week Topps released Five Star Football, which is going to go down as one of the best products this year.  They have really stepped up to the plate and hit this extremely high-end product out of the park.  Then today Topps releases the following press release stating how they have teamed-up with ABRAMS to produce non-fiction and fiction books.  They also want to move into films.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait to see what comes out of the partnership.  I have so many ideas for non-fiction books its not even funny.  This has been a great week for Topps.

Press Release

“Topps, a leading global marketer of collectibles and confections, has granted ABRAMS, the preeminent publisher of illustrated books, an exclusive license to publish books inspired by Topps’ long-standing presence in sports and popular culture. The multi-year arrangement is expected to yield an array of non-fiction and fiction sports and entertainment-themed books and calendars, which will be published across all of the ABRAMS imprints, including Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; and Stewart, Tabori & Chang. The deal was negotiated at Topps by Ira Friedman, VP of Global Licensing, and at ABRAMS by Charles Kochman, Editorial Director. The first line of books is slated to release in spring of 2012.

“The word ‘Topps’ conjures up memories of collecting sports heroes and chronicling pop culture phenomena. Plus, who can forget the unmistakable aroma of Topps’ classic Bazooka bubble gum?” said Michael Jacobs, ABRAMS President and CEO. “We look forward to working with the Topps team to capitalize on the appeal of their iconic brand in all kinds of book formats, and look to provide great reading experiences for adults and kids of all ages.”

In 2008, Topps and ABRAMS collaborated on a project for the first time. An exquisitely produced, cleverly packaged full-color hardcover book based upon Topps’ own Wacky Packages parody property generated much acclaim, both critically and commercially, and spawned a follow-up edition as well as the first-ever Wacky Packages calendar. This initial relationship prompted discussions of other possible projects in the vast Topps’ portfolio, which led to the alliance.

“We welcome the opportunity to greatly expand our partnership with ABRAMS,” said Ryan O’Hara, Topps President and CEO. “ABRAMS is a best-in-class publisher whose reputation for quality, innovation, and success is indisputable. They also have a profound appreciation of Topps’ rich history and our powerful impact on consumers today. They not only understand our past but are also aligned with our vision for the future,” said O’Hara.

In addition to a focus on creating top-notch traditional books, the scope of the new venture encompasses cutting-edge formats and technologies, including electronic books. A fiction series geared primarily toward 7-10-year-old boys is also on the agenda. The new fiction will serve as potential media content, consistent with Topps’ strategy to expand into film, TV, and other media platforms.”