Wondering what the top trading card companies are? In the hobby, the only constant is change.
Those who started collecting in the last ten years know all about Panini, the current leading manufacturer of NBA and NFL cards. But over time, the top dogs in the industry have frequently changed based solely around who was the current owner of the league licenses.
It’s important to note that the hobby is in the midst of yet another massive shift, with Fanatics set to take over the rights to three of the four major sports (NFL, MLB and NBA). Their first hobby altering deal took place in August of 2021, when they acquired the MLB rights away from Topps, causing their $1.3 billion dollar SPAC with Mudrick Capital to collapse in a matter of days. They would later purchase the sports and entertainment division of Topps, meaning that they will continue to produce the iconic Topps brand.
These new Fanatics licenses cut the leagues and their player’s associations in on the action as partners, a move that will likely ensure collectors even greater access to players, game worn memorabilia and autographs in the future. For the first time ever, the leagues and players will have some skin in the game.
While the future of the hobby looks very bright, let’s take a look at the top trading card companies of the present and past.