TOPPS will have a new owner.
It appears that the production of annual TOPPS baseball cards will not stop in 2026. Fanatics is going to purchase the TOPPS’ name along with the TOPPS’ sports and entertainment division. Initially, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association were going to have a different trading card partner, Fanatics, starting in the spring of 2026 kicking TOPPS to the sidelines. TOPPS has been putting out baseball cards since 1951. The Fanatics-owned TOPPS cards probably won’t be too much different from the product that Sy Berger perfected for TOPPS. The modern baseball card. Kids really were introduced to players through those cards. Berger’s product cost a penny a card but was very important financially to players in baseball, football, basketball and hockey. The player’s picture was worth money or in some cases an opportunity to get a gift from a catalog.
The players’ pictures would become even more important as time went on. Marvin Miller and the Major League Baseball Players Association fought with TOPPS over money. Miller eventually got TOPPS to pay players $250 plus a percentage of baseball card sales. Licensing money from cards is controlled by the players association and has been used for strike funds. TOPPS played hardball with Miller, and other companies looking to get into the business. In 1980, a court allowed Miller and the players to offer licenses to other companies to produce baseball cards. Cards still bring in licensing money but long gone are the days when kids looked forward to the first series of the new year’s baseball cards. It is a business. The Fanatics’ deal will pour billions of dollars into Major League Baseball. TOPPS’ has changed owners a number of times over the decades but the name goes on. The days of five cards and gum for five cents a pack are gone.
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