Science/Environment

Topps 3D Baseball Cards

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I’m sure there are some baseball fans who visit this site, and if you collected baseball cards like I did…you’ll find this amazing and eventually “on-topic” for a politics site…



But there is an economic angle to this…

Topps needs to augment reality because baseball cards are struggling in the Internet age. Today’s collectors, most of whom are still boys, can just as easily and less expensively find the sports facts they want online.

While once a $1 billion business, the market for sports trading cards has shrunk to $200 million in yearly revenue today, according to information provided by Major League Baseball Properties in a recent lawsuit against a former card licensee. (The players’ association licenses the right to use players’ likenesses.) […]

Michael Eisner, the former chief of Walt Disney, did too, and in 2007 his Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners bought Topps for $385 million. They hatched big plans to make trading cards relevant again.

Total Immersion, a French company, brought Topps the augmented reality technology. It has already been used in a theme park and for some auto design work. Using the technology, card collectors see a three-dimensional version of a player and can play elementary pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard.

Mr. Eisner said Topps expected to ship 10 million packs of Series 1 (12 cards for $2) and Topps Attax cards this year (5 for $1). Scott Kelnhofer, editor of Card Trade, an industry publication, says the Total Immersion technology could strike a chord with boys. “This is the boldest technology idea we’ve seen in sports cards so far. The key is not to have it be a novelty and then it’s on to the next one.

See, told you it would be on-topic.