By Chris Olds | Editor
Are you ready for the Tales of Bazooka Joe?
That’s just one of the possibilities as Topps, the longest-running manufacturer of baseball cards, announced on Wednesday that it has entered into a publishing agreement with Abrams, a leading publisher of illustrated books.
The exclusive multi-year deal may include non-fiction and fiction sports books, entertainment-themed books and calendars. The first books will be released 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. “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.”
The partnership also will include other platforms, such as electronic books. A fiction series geared toward boys ages 10 and under is planned. The products are, according to the company, part of its strategy to expand its presence into film, TV and other media. Three years ago, the companies teamed up on a full-color hardcover book based upon Topps Wacky Packages line of parody trading cards as well as a Wacky Packages calendar.
“We welcome the opportunity to greatly expand our partnership,” said Ryan O’Hara, Topps President and CEO. “Abrams is a best-in-class publisher whose reputation for quality, innovation, and success is indisputable. 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.”