By Barry Janoff
March 6, 2017: Coming off a season in which its Topps Now platform exceed first-year expectations, Topps is embracing its role as an official partner with MLB by creating the premiere Topps Now cards for the World Baseball Classic.
Via Topps Now, people are able to order an unlimited number of cards, usually within 24 hours of their availability, which Topps produces on-demand. The cards are delivered in days, as opposed to traditional methods where new cards are not available until the following season’s sets.
The first Topps Now WBC items include three cards of Israel’s 2-1 extra-inning win over Korea on March 6.
The WBC Topps Now program will offer "daily cards of the top highlights as they happen for just a 24-hour window. Once the window closes, the cards will no longer be available on Topps.com."
Topps plans to create team sets when the quarterfinal round begins, with a bonus card offered for each team as they progress through the bracket.
The strategy is similar to Topps Now team sets created for the 2016 MLB post-season, including more than 9,000 sets sold commemorating the Chicago Cubs World Series victory.
In addition, Topps Now will create cards in Spanish to highlight players from predominantly Spanish-speaking countries playing in the WBC.
Topps said it would also acquire WBC game-used items to be used in cards, such as game bases, baseballs and jerseys.
Topps Now, which launched at the start of the 2016 season, surpassed 500,000 cards sold in the first year, "exceeding the expectations of the program and helping to re-engage thousands of fans, especially millennials, with the Topps brand," according to the trading card and memorabilia company.
Topps Now also include MLS, UFC, WWE and the English Premier League.
A Topps Now card depicting Ichiro Suzuki’s 3,000th career MLB hit (a triple for the Miami Marlins on Aug. 7 against the Colorado Rockies) had the one-day sales record of more than 11,550 cards sold, per the company.
"We’re excited for the progression of the Topps Now program and bringing these cards to a wider audience of baseball fans," David Leiner, GM and vp-North American Sports and Entertainment Division for Topps, said in a statement. "This program has been a lot of fun since its inception to see what great moments and milestones we can capture on cards.
"The World Baseball Classic is a natural fit because it offers great plays from international stars, and there are also players whose cards you might not be able to get anywhere else," said Leiner.
The WBC tournament runs now through March 22, with semi-finals and final games set for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
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