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. Todayâ€™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 playersâ€™ association licenses the right to use playersâ€™ 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. â€œThis is the boldest technology idea weâ€™ve seen in sports cards so far. The key is not to have it be a novelty and then itâ€™s on to the next one.
See, told you it would be on-topic.