With the release of the new app yesterday, we are back on track with apps that mirror the physical licenses owned by Topps. This also presents an interesting question of when Topps might start developing apps for which they will not have the physical component involved, mainly with sports like the NBA or NHL, who currently have exclusive deals in place with other companies on the traditional side of the business.
Of course, that isnt saying that properties like the WWE or Garbage Pail Kids wouldnt make great apps on their own. Im actually surprised that UFC was on the road map before its less real counterpart in the squared circle. That being said, with UFC now launched, I have to believe that its a matter of time before we see more apps that correspond with the other licenses like WWE. That isnt a bad thing – thats a very good thing. Topps owns the licenses they do because they are popular and have a big following.
Topps has made a significant investment in digital over the last few years, and UFC is a representation of how far they can go now that they have a recipe for success with the apps. This is why I am asking the question in the first paragraph, as its clear the timing might be right to go after licenses in Digital that arent necessarily reasonable on the physical side.
I still think that building around NASCAR is a really amazing idea, even though Panini is on the verge of releasing physical cards for the first time in a few years. Some sports are made for a digital format, and using the construction of race cars as a vehicle for an app is something I would play the crap out of.
I also know that Marvel is very much on people’s radar too, and it might be the one app that could outperform SWCT in a very real sense. As the movies continue to dominate box offices, the investment (and it would be a LARGE one), might actually make sense. Like Star Wars, Marvel is under the Disney umbrella, and we know the connection between Michael Eisner and Topps is there.
Overall, Im dying to see where this type of thing goes, as I feel like the plans to expand showcase a very real commitment to building digital far ahead of the plans that were in place when Topps first brought electronic versions of trading cards to life back in 2012.