The Beckett Blog

Breaking News: Topps Loses Players Inc License by Tracy Hackler


Players Inc, the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association, confirmed on Monday afternoon that it will not renew Topps’ trading card license for 2010.

The move to reduce football manufacturers has been rumored for months and will take place officially when Players Inc’s current agreements with Panini, Topps and Upper Deck expire at the end of February.

Multiple attempts to contact NFL Properties regarding its plans for 2010 and beyond have so far been unsuccessful.

toppsPlayers Inc’s decision to move forward with just Panini and Upper Deck comes after months of thorough investigation and evaluation of a current football card marketplace still reeling from the troubled economy. The move also represents the latest bombshell in a continued streamlining of the overall sports collectibles industry that has seemingly seen a life’s worth of monumental licensing changes in 2009 alone.

Topps officials were not immediately available for comment. Just three months ago, Topps secured a Major League Baseball Properties exclusive beginning next season.

Stay tuned to for additional details on this breaking story.

— Tracy Hackler

26 Comments so far
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Wow, this is garbage. Topps/Bowman Chrome and Finest were the very few non-SP Authentic products I bought.

Comment by Slette

So, if you are counting fully licensed sets, does it look like this now?
Donruss/Panini-basketball, football
Upper Deck-football, hockey

Will someone else be bought out now?

Comment by Paul

i guess topps won’t be able to flood the market with sticker autos anymore. hooray! small victory for the collectors

Comment by President Obama

Yea baby! Yea!

Comment by R. McWilliam

Well I mainly collect topps so I guess I’m out!

Comment by Eddie

A disappointing day for Topps Nfl trading card collectors.Players Inc’s decision to eliminate Topps has not been very well received based on the comments on our forums.Only time will tell if the decision is for betterment of the hobby.These are challenging times and Im hopeful that both Panini and Upperdeck produce NFL trading cards that collectors will desire and that the industry recovers from the downward spiral we have seen the last few years.

Comment by fish/blowoutcards

Yep, it looks like there are a LOT of disappointed collectors out there…

Yes, I think this one was a surprise. However, the markets often have a way of correcting themselves in one way or another, too.

One thing all the Topps fans should consider, too, is that there are still plenty of past years’ worth of cards out there. And a lot of that wax can sometimes be found at a fraction of the original price. So, while there’s not going to be anything new, one should be able to get that Chrome or Bowman fix …

In some ways, a move like this also helps clean things up elsewhere. The glut of recent-years wax will start to dry up — making the hot stuff hotter, perhaps increase interest in some of the previously marginal stuff and help the hobby dealers, too. (I had the same thoughts about baseball’s move.)

It’s no secret that Topps has some interest in the NHL license that’s coming up. And, of course, resources that had been tabbed for football could come in handy for the MLB products in 2010.

It’s going to be a very interesting year.

Comment by chrisolds

I’m just getting into collecting cards and have really come to enjoy and prefer Topps. They may be “old school” to some, but they do a fantastic job without getting lost in all the flash and awe, like Upper Deck.

Comment by Brimey

They don’t deserve the license.

Comment by Tim H

Instead of trimming the tree evenly to inspire new growth (by limiting the number of products by each company), the licensing people continue lopping off one or two big branches and leaving the other ones to keep going in the same direction and we’re left with the same overgrown and uglier tree…

Comment by Greg A.

This is crap!! Topps is the best brand on the market. Topps is the longest running card company in the game and has the history to prove it. When I buy sportscards I ALLWAYS buy Topps FIRST! Players Inc is just in it for the money, this is just another reason for collectors to walk away. We as the collectors are treated as if we don’t matter. But let me tell you, without us you will all go under.

Comment by Bill B

Guess I’m done buying boxes of FB cards. Not a good way to market the league.

Comment by CharlieBrown

From the product I’ve personnelly seen this year, Players Inc has done the card collecting people a great disservice. The quality of the Panini/Donruss product like Donruss Certified with the entire set of cards off centered (the top of the helmets cut off) or Upper Deck releasing the same set twice with Upper Deck & Upper Deck 1st Edition is a joke. The Players Inc people let the best company go and we the collectors are stuck with the also rans. It would have been a better idea to have three or four card companys, but limit them to three or four sets per company. They could have had a low, medium & high dollar set per company. This decision will hurt the card collecting industry far more than it will help and it will possibly destroy it.

Comment by Greg

[…] fällt ja Topps in Zukunft was Besseres ein. Da sie jetzt ja auch die Football-Lizenz verloren haben, können sie ihr geballtes Know-How den Baseballkarten widmen. No TweetBacks yet. […]

Pingback by Napoleon - Lambos Card-Blog

Topps could still get the NFL Properties license and have exclusive control on the logo’s on cards.

They could then issue sets like Fleer in-action but if they did get the logo license, they could then go out and sign individual players. Something like this happened in 1992 when a lot of Stars did not appear in sets.

Could you imigine 2010 Upper Deck and Panini cards with Airbrushed logo’s and not containing superstars such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Comment by John Bateman

Highly doubtful.

Comment by chrisolds

well uppper deck is the best for everything except baseball which topps stil has so im ok

Comment by cj tempa

[…] While comics and trading cards were once joined at the hip in the Speculatory Era as twin collectibles, the trading card industry has faded over the years into more of a pure hobby and less of a game for flashy high rollers. Since we hadn’t been keeping up, we were a bit surprised to come across a story commenting on the news that Topps had lost the NFL license. Players Inc, the NFl players branding arm, declined to renew Topps’ license. […]

Pingback by THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Meanwhile, in sports cards….

Horrible news. All I have collected in recent years is Topps. If they were so intent on thinning the product herd, how about limiting each company to 2 or 3 sets instead of all these inane parallels and susbsidiary sets

Comment by reality

I have Topps sets from late 60’s to present, no desire for glitzy chase cards or shelling out $150-$200 for a new UD FB set. I believe I’ve collected my last football set.

Comment by Old School

Glad to see Upper Deck win the football card battle with Topps. Never was a big fan of Topps’ photos and UD does all the other sports so well. Nice victory for the boys from Carlsbad.

Comment by Mark

where do u get the authentic stuff online

Comment by jas84


Comment by john endicott

No more Bowman Chrome Football :( this is horrible news! I have always loved the “Home of the Rookie Card”. I always build a set of Bowman Chrome for Baseball and Football. Guess it’s only baseball this year. This sucks!

Comment by Jay

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