September 28, 2007


Yeah, I know. I haven't posted lately. But I have good reason: I've been busy. First, I moved out of my apartment. Second, I've been fleshing out the idea of 'ToppsWorld.' I've got it separated into five zones (like Disney World's 'lands' concept): HQ New York (or simply 'New York'); WizKidZone; Parallel Universe; Training Camp; and Duryealand. There would also be an open-air bus that would connect all four parts, the Bazooka Tram. Finally, the park would be rounded out by the on-premises hotel, Chez O Pee Chee.

Park Checklist for 'ToppsWorld'

HQ New York
The Haunted Vault
Brooklyn: Topps Museum & Hall of Fame
Garbage Pail Alley
Don't Get Dumped! (water ride, each car is shaped like a case of High-Series 1952 Topps)
Mr. Mantle's Wild Ride
A-Rod's Bullshit Home Run Sidewalk (500 squares of cement with a different number on each one)
Hero Parade (every day at 11am)
Heritage Cafe (restaurant)
The Warehouse (store)

Connects to other areas and Chez O Pee Chee via Bazooka Tram

Push Pops Candy A-Go-Go
Dr. Shorin's Mixed-Up Wacky Package Fun House
HeroClix Something Or Other Ball Pit
Bowman Town (rides for small kids; Canadian-themed)
All Star Rookies (restaurant)
Topps of the Class (store)

Connects to other areas and Chez O Pee Chee via Bazooka Tram

Parallel Universe
Refractor Mountain
Sequentially-Numbered Experience
Escape From eTopps!
Chrome (restaurant)
Rip Party (store)

Connects to other areas and Chez O Pee Chee via Bazooka Tram

Training Camp
The Dotted Line (make your own card, sign a fake contract)
Topps Hero Village (batting cages, basketball hoop games, football pass exercises, other stuff)
Hey Mister! (get autographs from visiting sports stars and legends, live and in-person!)
Signatures (restaurant)
The Parking Lot (store)

Connects to other areas and Chez O Pee Chee via Bazooka Tram

Dream Street: 1) regular house filled to burst with cards, 2) Swap Meet: trade for special World of Topps cards, 3) Shorin's Candy Shop: olde timey candy shop sells reprint cards in 5 cent packs (also Duryealand restaurant), 4) Topps Factory
The Topps Factory Tour, hosted by animatronic Bazooka Joe (actually partially reprogrammed cast-off Chuck E. Cheese with blond wig, inexplicable eye patch and backwards hat)
Factory Store (largest store on premises)

Connects to other areas and Chez O Pee Chee via Bazooka Tram

Chez O Pee Chee Hotel & Convention Center
XFractor (nightclub on premises)
Mergers'N'Buyouts (store)
Greg Oden's Knee (restaurant/movie theater with lots of legroom)

You may laugh at the idea of 'ToppsWorld' (and it's okay – it's funny), but the more I thought about it this week, the more plausible it became. Especially with Eisner at the helm. Because for all the boom that the baseball card hobby has enjoyed this year, cards have yet to make the jump from 'hobby' to 'mainstream kitsch' (which is really where it should be).

On a related note, Topps has started selling t-shirts on its website. And while that's a fine start, are those same shirts available at stores like Urban Outfitters? Or even Wal-Mart? Cards may be what Topps think it sells, but of course any psychology student can tell you that what Topps sells is much larger than 2.5" x 3.5".

Just you wait and see: after a few years of smart marketing, a pipe dream like 'ToppsWorld' won't seem so far fetched.

1 comment:

Joey said...

I love the Arod sidewalk idea. It had me laughing. Hopefully it won't be in sequential order either.