Topps buys WizKids

No joke. Read the press release. “The acquisition of WizKids represents an important step in our strategy for growing the Entertainment segment of the business as it provides efficient entry to the growing collectible games market.” Anyone else got a feeling we’ll see two or three new licensed games from WizKids in ’04?

19 comments

  1. Hmm. I see a bad omen for Jordan Weisman. After all, Peter Adkison once owned Wizards of the Coast. Now, he no longer with his company. I’d rather Wizkids buy and own Topp than the other way around. It would be a shame that Jordan Weisman may write in his future resume: “Former co-founder of FASA, and former founder of Wizkids.”

  2. So that’s what these people are in the hobby business for? Make enough clout so their companies can be bought in exchange for a generously early retirement? Wow. What fool we customers and gaming hobbyists are!!! Take us for a ride and then leave us in the dust, or rather leave our hobby in the hands of the inexperienced corporation. Traitors the lot of them!!! Betrayed me and my hobby by pretending to care.

  3. I have _never_ understood why members of the gaming community have ever thought of the industry as anything other than a business. People have bills to pay, kids to feed, facilities space to pay for, printing cost, wages to pay employees…

    Shall i go on?

    If it were anything other than a business, no one would have product in the first place…cause some money changes hands at some point so that book could get into the hot little hands of the average gamer…

    Woe be to NASCAR fans when they think Jr. is driving “for fun, ” and the $25 they paid for that silly looking checkered baseball cap ain’t going to charity….or maybe they have figured that out, and are ok with it…

  4. Dai Oni: You might want to come and join us in the real world someday. The one where people have to pay rent, pay for food, clothes, etc.

    Speaking from personal experience as an RPG-industry freelancer, it’s damn near impossible to make any money in the industry in the first place. I get frikkin’ sick of the gamers who knock guys for actually making a living at it.

    Move out of your parents’ basement, get a job and see how it feels to have to pay for your own way for once.

  5. Or, at the very least, you might want to note that it’s difficult to make sarcasm go over in an online discussion.

  6. Damn Straight, Zomben!

    I too held a job in a game compay (menial as it was), and every single day we would sit down with the Accounts Manager to see who was paid up, and getting the new book…or who wasn’t on both accounts.

    I also did some very minimal editorial work for them at the same time, and spent a lot of time with the publishing staff (we were only a company of 7 or so at the time) and no one worked there for free either…

  7. Penn42: and lord knows, if you didn’t get paid that month, none of these slobs would care. I mean, hell, who cares if _you_ have to borrow money from friends so your kid can eat that month, as long as some pear-shaped mouth breather gets his new RPG book…

  8. Oh, and one more thing… you mentioned what a shame it would be if JW had to put on his resume:

    “Former co-founder of FASA, and former founder of Wizkids.”

    Let me tell you how this would look to someone interested in recruiting him:

    “Hmmm… launched FASA, which generated great brand recognition… licensed _its_ product lines to Microsoft… then closed it down, moved on to start a new company, created an entirely new paradigm in the hobby-games industry. Went from a staff of 5 to 40 in less than three years, created yet _more_ branded intellectual property, then sold that company off for a hefty profit to one of the oldest, most established companies in the trading card industry…”

    Those are some pretty damn impressive accomplishments…

  9. Jordan Weisman was named Puget Sound’s Entrepeneur of the Year. Wizkids is doing good. Now he selling it? I mean, is Wizkids already in the financial red? If that is the case, then I can understand the need to sell.

    But his company is on top of the gaming industry, beating the rival UK-based Games Workshop in the miniatures market and did something to be proud of USA.

  10. Dai Oni: I don’t know exactly how Wizkids is structured, but the owner has to consider a lot of things when selling, starting from the company stockholders. When WotC was sold, most long and medium time employees got a LOT of money, I’ll assure you: and it wouldn’t be right for Peter to think only about himself, especially since all the help he received from them in starting up his own company. I see this as a similar situation, and after all, Wizkids may still benefit from such a buyout: Topps don’t produce games, afaik; they won’t be able (and probably they don’t want) to change drastically the company, and still they can supply them with a worldwide they still don’t have. (But then again, I may be optimistic: I lived through the Hasbro buyout and I know how bad you can feel when the company you loved and worked for is being ruined)

  11. If Wizkids is doing well, then that’s the _precise_ time to sell, if he wants to do so. This is just basic economics. Sell your “product” when it’s valuable, not when it’s slumped and nobody wants it…

    Didn’t you learn that in school yet?

  12. If your business is doing well, then why sell? Why go from owning your own business that you have total control to become a subsidiary employee? I mean is this some kind of submissive fetish going around where you need a parent company to watch over your shoulder, ready and waiting to send their own management dogs in the moment you slip and earn $1 less than the projected revenue this quarter?

  13. You sell because nothing lasts forever, Dai. People get bored; they lose interest. What was “Hot” last week can become yesterday’s news in nothing flat. And with the economic downturn our nation is experiencing right now, few if any can justify continually doling out their hard-earned cash for an on-going series of this, that or the other collectable merchandise; however cool those things may be. And ol’ JW is smart enough to know it.

  14. Oh, I finally see it now, Direct2Video. Thanks for the scoop. Jordan Weisman is bored of this hobby so he wants a transition out of it. I guess I can understand that since I’m getting fed up with the way this hobby is going. Should’ve gone into coin collecting. Goodbye, Jordan Weisman.

  15. Actually, I do find enjoyment with coin collecting. And you know what? I find the coin collectors’ community more friendlier and more unifying than the gaming community, which is divisive with intense anti “this game” or “that game” sentiments and rivalry. I mean, for example, the d20/OGL bashing is horrendously embarrassing. Even traditional wargamers are vocally resistant to the collectible “clicky” miniatures concept, calling it “kiddie plastic toys” just a step up from the “Little Green Soldiers.” I mean can we all just get along? 😉

  16. Dai Oni: Apparently not. You posed a question and people responded; some of whom are obviously speaking from personal experience. While this doesn’t excuse the voracity of some of those responses, neither does it entitle others to ridicule or antagonize them. If you wish to be a part of any serious online discussion, temperance is a necessary virtue.

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