Topps (The Topps Company, Inc.) is a sports trading card, trading card games and confectionery manufacturer based in New York City, United States, and internationally. It was originally known for its chewing gum.
It’s notable brands include card tie-ins with Star Wars and WWE (World Wresting Entertainment, Inc).
Topps was established in 1938 as Topps Gum. The one cent pieces were sold next to cash registers as change makers.
The first cards were produced in 1950 as inserts for the gum in a bid to boost sales. The first cards were of television characters, big game hunts and US football stars.
Topps produced its first baseball cards in 1951 and by the following season the cards had incorporated player images and statistics.
Topps expanded into the fields of football, hockey and basketball and produced cards in all four of the major US sports for the first time in 1957.
It became a publicly held company in 1987 and acquired UK sticker manufacturer Merlin in 1995.
Topps has produced many non-sporting cards, including sets of The Beatles and the Kennedy family.
In the 1980s the company’s Garbage Pail Kids cards made the headlines due to their graphic depictions.
The company continues to make gum in the form of Bazooka Bubble Gum.
Rare baseball cards
Topps’ rarest baseball cards are those of Robin Roberts, Jim Konstanty and Eddie Stanky from the 1951 all-star set. These three cards were withdrawn before release due to presumed contractual issues with rival Bowman. Top quality versions of these cards can make $35,000.
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