Topps has granted ABRAMS, a publisher of illustrated books with an exclusive license to publish books inspired by Topps’ long-standing presence in sports and popular culture. The multi-year arrangement is expected to yield an array of non-fiction and fiction sports and entertainment-themed books and calendars. The first line of books is slated to release in spring of 2012.
“The word ‘Topps’ conjures up memories of collecting sports heroes and chronicling pop culture phenomena,” said Michael Jacobs, ABRAMS President and CEO. “Plus, who can forget the unmistakable aroma of Topps’ classic Bazooka bubble gum? We look forward to working with the Topps team to capitalize on the appeal of their iconic brand in all kinds of book formats, and look to provide great reading experiences for adults and kids of all ages.”
In 2008, Topps and ABRAMS collaborated on a project for the first time, a cleverly packaged full-color hardcover book based upon Topps’ own Wacky Packages parody property. The project generated much acclaim, both critically and commercially, and spawned a follow-up edition as well as the first-ever Wacky Packages calendar. This initial relationship prompted discussions of other possible projects in the vast Topps’ portfolio, which led to the alliance.
“We welcome the opportunity to greatly expand our partnership with ABRAMS,” said Ryan O’Hara, Topps President and CEO. “They also have a profound appreciation of Topps’ rich history and our powerful impact on consumers today. They not only understand our past but are also aligned with our vision for the future.”
In addition to a focus on creating top-notch traditional books, the scope of the new venture encompasses cutting-edge formats and technologies, including electronic books. A fiction series geared primarily toward 7-10-year-old boys is also on the agenda. The new fiction will serve as potential media content, consistent with Topps’ strategy to expand into film, TV, and other media platforms.