Fanatics acquires Topps' trading cards and collectables businesses

Global sports retailer, merchandiser and now sports card and memorabilia giant Fanatics has acquired Topps trading cards, the company announced Tuesday.

The deal includes Topps' collectables arm, both physical and digital.

The value of the deal is in the $500 million range, sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

"With trading cards and collectibles being a significant pillar of our long-term plans to become the leading digital sports platform, we are excited to add a leading trading cards company to build out our business," Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. "Their iconic brand, commitment to product excellence and passionate employees worldwide will allow us to immediately serve our league and players' association partners and our fans."

All of the approximately 350 global Topps sports and entertainment employees will shift over and seamlessly integrate into Fanatics Trading Cards.

The move was suspected for some time, specifically since August, when Fanatics cemented a deal with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association for the exclusive licenses to produce baseball cards, ending Topps' ability to produce them after roughly 60 years of being one of the sport's and hobby's most recognized brands.

The deal means Fanatics Trading Cards' MLB and MLBPA rights to design, manufacture and distribute trading cards -- originally slated to start in 2026 -- will begin immediately.

Topps also has the rights to bourgeoning hobby darlings such as Formula 1, UEFA, Major League Soccer and Bundesliga, which significantly increases the scope of Fanatics Trading Cards, launched last year.

Fanatics also has long-term rights deals with the NBA, National Basketball Players Association and NFL Players Association.