We all want to know what the next app is going to be. Similarly, we do have a bit of a road map as to some considerations, if not only because the digital licenses have followed the physical licenses so closely. I want to go through some of the best candidates for a new app based on physical cards Topps already produces.
Wrestling is a huge draw. Huge. I would love to see the crossover numbers of people who watch wrestling and those who also engage in digital gaming. I bet they are nice looking stats. Topps has produced WWE cards for years, and the collection and gameplay elements that could be drawn from the license are almost ideal for a digital format. Not only that, but there are plenty of sets to draw from, similar to Bunt, Huddle and SWCT do for their respective physical licenses.
Verdict: YES! YES! YES!
Topps Garbage Pail Kids
I grew up with these pieces of pop art that parody the Cabbage Patch Kids, and Topps has made them very popular on the physical side, producing many different programs with GPK involved over the years. As recently as the recent Iowa Caucus, they even put out spoofs on every candidate, some of which were amazing. I would love to see GPK as part of a larger app, and hopefully that happens some day. By itself, im not sure it could sustain the cost of putting everything into motion. Topps’ confectionary products could be a target there, as iconic candy like Bazooka and Ring pop might be threads to pull on.
Verdict: Great piece to a larger app
Again, this could have a very good gameplay element in addition to a collecting element, and MMA is only getting bigger by the day. The only thing is that Im not sure this is a money maker for Topps on the physical side, so im not sure if it would be the money maker on the digital side it would need to be. Folding this in with Wrestling might be a stretch, but the genres are relatable in that respect. I would be interested to see how this might perform, because fantasy MMA is growing in popularity. UFC only happens periodically, and though Ronda Rousey is quite the celebrity, im not sure many people could name other people besides Dana White. Would be cool to see a Ken Shamrock legends card though!
Verdict: Interesting Prospect
Topps Dr Who
Of all the licenses Topps has acquired, this is the one that I feel had a lot of room to grow. Dr. Who is insanely popular overseas, and has a cult following in the US as well. Because there is so much history there, I could see a roadmap for an app that might work in the format that Topps built for Star Wars. The issue is audience size, and whether they could make as much headway with international audiences that would make the digital format worthwhile. Since they just acquired the license on the physical side, we dont even have a good pulse of its viability there either.
Verdict: Wild card
Topps Mars Attacks!
Much like Dr. Who, Garbage Pail and other licenses of a non-sport variety, Mars Attacks is very much in the same vein. Unlike the aforementioned licenses, the audience isnt as large and the history isnt as prominent. In addition to the fun and violent movie, the comics and other source material is really, really awesome. I love what could possibly be done with this, and though the built in audience is tiny, this is where digital might revive a license that has very low visibility.
Verdict: Big Stretch
DREAM LICENSE: Topps NASCAR
Let me start by saying Topps does NOT have a physical NASCAR license, nor is it likely in their best interest to buy it from the now defunct Press Pass. However, that doesnt mean this isnt a huge opportunity on the digital side. Tons of people love racing, and tons of people are die hards for their favorite driver. If the app could focus on both the fantasy element and the “building a car” element, I think this could be HUGE. Think about pulling driver cards, parts cards, and then accumulating points based on the car you can build. Different parts could add different boosts, and different drivers would give different points based on how they actually perform. Although my wife is the NASCAR fan in the family, I cant help but be interested in this prospect.
Again, I want to be clear that there is no indication that any of these will be the next app, or that there is even a next app in the works. Star Wars looks to have been a perfect storm and its success might be tempered by the release of a new app. Im not sure Topps even wants to stir the hornet’s nest and test the waters, although you never know. Launching an app is costly, and the situation has to be perfect.