Topps in a deal with the Japanese Baseball League for cards
Seven months after opening an office in Japan, Topps entered into a trading card licensing deal with the nation’s top baseball league.
The company announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with the Japanese professional baseball organization (NPB) for the production and distribution of collectible cards in Japan. This is the first time in its 80-year history that the company has released maps for the entire league, made up of the 12 NPB teams.
In March, Topps opened an office in Tokyo with the aim of improving its presence in the Japanese and Asian markets, where demand for collectible cards is increasing.
“We have actively pursued the NPB League as a way to better serve baseball and sports fans in Japan and beyond,” said David Leiner, global general manager of Topps, Sports and Entertainment. “We believe the licensing agreement will provide fans with an exciting range of collectible products and improve the way fans collect their favorite teams and players.”
“We are very pleased to have signed a license agreement with NPB during the momentous year that Topps started operating in Japan,” said Satoshi Misu, Managing Director of Topps in Japan. “With this agreement, we hope to increase the number of collectible card fans in Japan as much as possible.”
Topps will launch several products in the last three months of 2021 which will be sold at selected outlets across Japan. Additionally, Topps launched a local Japanese website, JP.Topps.com in September 2021.
Several weeks ago, Fanatics reportedly agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball and its players that should spell the end of Topps’ long term as an American baseball card maker when current contracts with MLB and its players expire.