Match Attax: Brand Started Huge Niche for Topps

by Geoff Robinson

We may think of Topps as an exclusively North American company, but if you ask European soccer fans, they know the brand well thanks to Match Attax, the brand that started a gaming concept that’s proven to be a big hit both at home and abroad.

Match AttaxLaunched in 2007, Match Attax features pro soccer players and have proven to be a big hit.  In addition to being collectibles, the cards can actually be played in a game where sports fanatics compete against each other to claim victory.  Each card has player ratings and the object for the Match Attack player is to collect a team of highly-rated players that can be used to defeat an opponent’s cards.

A big part of the appeal is that the cards are based on the performances of real athletes.. The developers of Match Attax cards recognized this potential, and their success proves their accuracy on the matter.

Match Attax Cards were originally created in England based on European football (the English Premier League).  The collectible card game met with raving success and grossed profits of 32.2 million pounds ($51.8 million) within the first two years of production. The card game met with such great reception that it came to be a regular reference among news articles. As a matter of fact, some soccer coaches commented that they marked their team’s success by whether or not they were among the latest kids’ Match Attax collection.

It was not long, however, before Topps decided to expand their reach. The idea was to market a similar card game to other countries, mainly the United States. Four years after they first hit store shelves, the concept of Match Attax Cards spread beyond English borders.

Today they have reached the United States and other countries – under the title of Topps Attax. The Topps Attax Cards feature North American sports like baseball, hockey (Puck Attax) and now, even pro wrestling (Slam Attax).

Match Attax is the biggest selling collectible card game in Europe, thanks to its price point, simplicity and the rabid enthusiasm of soccer fans.  Topps’ CEO Michael Eisner is extremely bullish on the Attax game-playing model and the line is considered one of Topps’ most successful new product innovations ever.

The Match Attax base, located in the United Kingdom, makes the game available to anyone by shipping worldwide. They guarantee quick shipment and have delivered over 20,000 packs of football cards alone to various corners of the world.

US sports fans are now experiencing the hype started by this card game the way the English did in 2007. With every sports season and major sports event that happens – such as the World Cup – Match Attax Cards gain that much more popularity.

Each season, new cards are created and placed on the market. Match Attack players can now easily acquire the cards they lack with the help of online stores that specialize in the card game. And with the help of social networks like Facebook, collectors can connect with other Match Attax fans to find that coveted card they seek. Young collectors – and even older ones – attest to the card game’s addictive nature. They buy, trade, and sell to get the cards they crave, and hold tournaments in which they play each other.

The new 2010/2011 English Premier League season of the Match Attax card game consists of 450 new players (more cards than in years past), new 101 player cards (high value cards), and more. With new cards and players coming out every year, there is always something new and exciting to collect and matches to be had. And because each pack is affordable at only a few dollars, the pastime is an affordable one.