Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Baseball Card is Alive and Moves in 3-D

Wow is about all I can say after watching the following clip from the N.Y. Times of the new 3-D baseball trading card. Too bad there’s no way to convert my old monster, Beatles, 3 Stooges and Batman cards to 3-D.
"…collectors who hold a special Topps 3D Live baseball card in front of a webcam will see a three-dimensional avatar of the player on the computer screen. Rotate the card, and the figure rotates in full perspective. It’s called “augmented reality,” a combination of a real image with a virtual one." -NY Times

While once a $1 billion business, the market for sports trading cards has shrunk to $200 million in yearly revenue today … Total Immersion, a French company, brought Topps the augmented reality technology … Using the technology, card collectors see a three-dimensional version of a player and can play elementary pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard.

Michael Eisner, the former chief of Walt Disney, bought Topps for $385 million. They hatched big plans to make trading cards relevant again. Mr. Eisner has also created Back on Topps, a 17-episode Internet comedy that spoofs his acquisition of the company. He is developing a movie based on another of the company’s products, Bazooka Joe bubble gum. He also wants to create sports films.

Mr. Eisner said Topps expected to ship 10 million packs of Series 1 (12 cards for $2) and Topps Attax cards this year (5 for $1).

I just watched Back on Topps for the first time, and I have to say it was funny, even though I have never been a big fan of Eisner. Perhaps he's the much needed new P.T. Barnum of trading cards.

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