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Topps

As the world’s largest supplier of trading cards, Topps have produced thousands of different series of collectable cards since their creation in 1938. The company initially focussed on creating products for a variety of different sports such as baseball, basketball, hockey and football. Since then, their reach has spread to marketing cards for movies and individual film characters, TV series, comic book super heroes and almost any other popular fashion, especially in the toy market.

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When Topps Europe was set up in 1994 (changing its name from Merlin at the same time), a deal was signed with the UK football Premier League to manufacture stickers, cards and albums based on all the teams and their players. At the same time toy shops began to become seriously interested in selling these products owing to the demise of the traditional retail outlets such as tobacconists and sweet shops.

Sophisticated printing techniques have enabled Topps to manufacture cards with 3D holograms and shiny or sparkly surfaces to create an even greater element of collectability. This is also encouraged by deliberately printing smaller runs of certain cards in sets to make them rarer. Storage albums also contain a lot more information about the subject and new releases are often combined with free cards to start the collection.

Video and online games are also promoted using the medium of trading cards. No-one can forget the phenomenally successful Moshi Monsters game by Mind Candy. Naturally, Topps were appointed as the card and sticker manufacturing partner, a relationship that also extended to creating a collection for their World of Warriors brand. Ben 10, Star Wars, WWE, Doctor Who and many other top licences have all received the impressive Topps treatment.

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