The acquisition of Topps’ sports and entertainment division includes all parts of its worldwide trading cards and collectibles business - both the physical and digital divisions - which sells in more than 100 countries and has physical operations in 10 countries, including the U.K., Germany, Brazil, Italy and Japan.
Fanatics Trading Cards was launched in 2021 after the company secured exclusive, long-term trading cards rights from several of the professional sports leagues and players associations.
The addition of Topps, which also has rights with Major League Soccer, Formula 1, UEFA and Bundesliga, significantly accelerates the buildout of the Fanatics Trading Cards business. The deal jumpstarts Fanatics Trading Cards’ MLB and MLBPA rights to design, manufacture and distribute trading cards, which begins immediately versus the original combined start date of 2026.
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To ensure seamless ongoing operations, all of the estimated 350 global Topps sports and entertainment employees will become part of Fanatics Trading Cards. Current Topps global vice president, general manager, David Leiner, and vice president, general manager, Topps Digital, Tobin Lent, will continue to run Topps within Fanatics Trading Cards, a separate subsidiary of Fanatics. Both executives will report directly to Doug Mack, vice chairman and Fanatics commerce chief executive officer.
“The strong emotional connection between Topps collectibles and consumers of all ages – built through 70 years of tradition, starting with the Shorin family – will make it a jewel in the Fanatics portfolio,” said Michael Eisner, owner of the Tornante Company. “Michael Rubin is the perfect entrepreneur to lead this company forward. Like any crown jewel, I and my partners at Madison Dearborn will miss our many years of ownership where we grew a highly profitable business through strategic licensing partnerships, global expansion, and digital transformation. We’re proud of what the Topps team has accomplished, and we look forward to seeing what Michael and his team do to continue growing the Topps collectible business while staying true to its iconic history and relevance to consumers.”
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