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Topps expands trading card line with artist collaborations

US-based trading card company The Topps Co. is expanding and reimagining its product line to create a series of classic baseball cards reinterpreted by creative artists, cartoonists, and pop culture influencers.

The newly developed “Project 2020” will see a group of 20 noted artists, including celebrity jewelry designer Ben Yang and graphic designer Tyson Beck, to each reinterpret 20 storied cards from Topps’ archives, for a total set of 400 cards. 

The new cards, to be released over the coming year, will each be available for only 24 hours, in keeping with the successful Topps Now card project that over the past several years has made cards inspired by real-world sports events available on a one-day basis. Topps will release two new cards each business day. 

“When we think of the collectible world and where it has evolved today, sports and pop culture continue to collide,” said Jeff Heckman, Topps global director of ecommerce. “We could not think of a better way to expose trading cards to a new audience than working to reinvent some of the classic baseball cards and personalities of the game of baseball through the eyes and hands of many of the world’s greatest pop culture figures of today.”

Among the iconic cards being reinterpreted are rookie cards for Baseball of Famers such as Rickey Henderson, George Brett, and Tony Gwynn, among many others.

Beck recently garnered widespread notoriety for his reimaging of the NBA’s league logo to honor the recently deceased Kobe Bryant. Yang, also known as Ben Baller, is a popular “jeweler to the stars,” with clients for his custom jewelry including a wide range of A-list Hollywood and music stars. Also on the list of involved artists is tattoo and graffiti artist Mark Machado, also known as Mister Cartoon, who has worked with a wide array of celebrity and corporate clients.

Other collaborators in the project include a broad mix of streetwear designers, muralists, painters, illustrators, creative directors, and other artists.

“ ‘Project 2020’ will be a must-have for core and casual baseball fans, and will more importantly showcase the names and stories of the artists and players on the cards to a global audience whose interests lie well beyond the sport. It’s a transformative move we are very excited about,” Heckman said.