Non-Sport & Entertainment Trading Card News from Non-Sport Update

Echoes of the Bunnyman

Written By: Alan Biegel - Sep• 26•14

Card manufacturer Cliff Hopkins is pulling some new rabbits from his hat with the release of amusing sets like The Art of Kevin Seconds, The Art of Kepi Ghoulie, and Horrorible [sic] Ugly Monsters, with art by Bob-X and friends. But what about that crazy name for his company, MHopOnHop? Where did it come from? What does it mean? Said owner, Cliff Hopkins, “I’ve never publicly told the story of how the name of the company originated. I just say that it’s nonsensical (Seussical almost) & leave it at that. I will say that this confusing name has been both a blessing and a curse. When I started using our Rabbit ‘mascot’ (along with my original company name logo) back in 2007 it helped identify us more than any UserId or company name ever did. Now we’re mostly identified as ‘that Rabbit guy,’ which is cool. I like that.”

MHopOnHop logo

Many collectors first became aware of mHopOnHop through Hopkins eBay presence, a venue where he sells wares produced by others. Now Hopkins has expanded by manufacturing his own cards. “I think every dedicated non-sport card dealer secretly wants to produce their own cards, Hopkins admitted. “We have a front row seat to all the best products out there and have the luxury of seeing all the hits & misses all companies go through. You start saying “what if…” a lot. For me personally, I always gave something free with paid orders as a little “Thank You” to my customers, but getting manufacturers to provide me with the amount of promo cards I needed was getting harder & harder so I starting printing my own “Thank You” & “Featured Artist” cards to give away. I’ve done that for many years now & continue to do it today. It was definitely a gateway for me, and the response has always been great. Well, not always: One time I was told that my mascot Rabbit was “too scary looking!” The idea of putting out a full-on original content set was definitely next on my list. I have so many ideas and am fortunate to have a lot of talented friends willing to take a chance with me.”

Today, Hopkins continues to stress the importance of promo cards. “I do see the importance in a lot of aspects. I love that if you’re scrappy enough, you can add content to your collection virtually for ‘free’ so there’s no excuse not to get into this hobby. Also, the nearly lost art of ‘trading’ thrives with promo collectors and that makes me happy. I miss those days! I have no problem with people selling their promo cards either (I know some people do). Let’s face it: dealers and sellers have an enormous list of expenses to go through at every turn. I know how much it can help if they can sell something they got for free. We have a dedicated group of folks who are actively collecting our promo cards and I think that’s great. Would I like them all to also actively support the actual releases? Of course! But sometimes that’s not what they ‘collect’ and I have to respect that. So far, all responses we’ve gotten have been good.”

Err…What Up Wit Dat, Doc?

As much as Hopkins values promos, no preview set has been planned for his latest release, The Art of Kepi Ghoulie. “I think a Preview Set should serve a real purpose and that purpose should be to gauge the interest in the product you are planning,” Hopkins affirmed. “That’s why we did a Preview Set for Horrorible Ugly Monsters. It’s a gamble making those cards and while I have faith in them, the public has to show their support in order for me to move ahead with the full release [in 2015]. A 45-card set is a big investment to make. For The Kepi cards, no preview set was really necessary. One third of the entire run has been pre-sold already and will be available through a well-known retail shop for Punk Rock art & merchandise. Kepi’s fans are clamoring for their sets already! This will have no problem selling to those markets. I just want the non-sport hobby to be aware of it and to love it as much as we all do already. If the set sells well to your readers and non-sport fans, then I know it would have been a success.”

The Art of Kepi Ghoulie base card

The Art of Kepi Ghoulie base card

Preview sets are not the only way Hopkins entices potential customers. Check his website (MHopOnHop.com) for offers on exclusive Internet bundles, exclusive signed promo cards for multiple set purchases of Horrorible cards, and limited sale of complete MHopOnHop Promo sets.

The next thing available down the rabbit hole will be more Kepi Ghoulie in a charity card set featuring all Bigfoot art drawn by multiple artists. Sales will benefit the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, Ca. Also coming: The Art of Dan Allen. Allen is a songwriter and lead singer for the UK band, Ducking Punches.

One thing you’re not likely to find at the Hopkins website: customers that are hopping mad. How could they be after viewing all these fun and funny cards and sets?

For more information on mHopOnHop’s products, see the article, Rabbit Stew, in the current Oct/Nov issue of Non-Sport Update magazine. And be sure to view our gallery of images from MHopOnHop’s upcoming sets below.

Topps GPK and Mars Attacks Exclusives at New York Comic Con

Written By: Harris Toser - Sep• 25•14

New York Comic Con

With New York Comic Con just over two weeks away, the announcements are flowing. Topps is returning to New York Comic Con and has just checked in with some exclusives for both their booth (#1560) and the IDW Publishing booth (#1844).

Similar to what was available at Comic-Con International, Topps will offer another set of 11 x 14 Garbage Pail Kids Comic Con Jumbo Card Prints. These deluxe, high-gloss prints will be sold in two sets of three prints for $25 each (or both sets for $40) and limited to 300. These six prints will include the Comic Con exclusive character “Fan BOYD” and pop culture parodies like “Breaking BRAD.” Also included is the all-new character “Comic Con RON”, created by indy comics legend Peter Bagge and painted by GPK vet Brent Engstrom for IDW’s upcoming Garbage Pail Kids comic book. In addition, “Fan BOYD” will be featured on a show-exclusive T-Shirt available for just $20, and limited to 300 pieces.

Speaking of IDW, the comic publisher will be giving away a limited edition ashcan of the upcoming Garbage Pail Kids comic book, featuring art by Peter Bagge and GPK staples Mark Pingitore, Brent Engstrom and Joe Simko.

One other announcement Topps has made: Mantic Games will set up shop at the Topps booth. Fans will be able to purchase copies of Mars Attacks: The Miniatures Game plus mini packs of Martian army-builder figures. Fans who purchase the boxed game will receive a limited edition New York Comic Con exclusive sketch game card–a hand-drawn sketch card that is also a unique playable card in the game. Mantic Games’ Ronnie Renton will also appear at the Topps booth to lead fans in a series of game demos.

New York Comic Con takes place October 9 – 12 at New York City’s Javits Center. For more show information, visit the show website. And be sure to visit Topps at booth #1560 (directly across from Marvel Comics) and IDW Publishing at booth #1844. Non-Sport Update will be on the scene at New York Comic Con and will have a full report shortly after the show.

New York Comic Con Topps GPK Cards

New York Comic Con Topps GPK T-Shirt

Upper Deck Nabs Assassin’s Creed for Cards, Games, Posters, More

Written By: Harris Toser - Sep• 16•14

Upper Deck logoToday, Upper Deck is announcing it has reached an agreement with Ubisoft to create trading cards, games, game accessories, limited-edition posters and more for the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise.

The Assassin’s Creed franchise launched in 2007 and is one of the best-selling video game series ever with more than 77 million copies sold. It’s recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry.

Upper Deck Authenticated is planning to release limited-edition Assassin’s Creed posters next year, followed by Assassin’s Creed trading cards and games. More details and release dates for the full portfolio of Assassin’s Creed products will be announced in early 2015.

Assassin's Creed

“We are always looking for new opportunities to engage our fans with the game,” said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. “Fan interest in Assassin’s Creed has increased tremendously over the years, so we are excited to partner with Upper Deck and be able to deliver additional games and collectibles that our gamers would enjoy.”

“We are very excited to be working with Ubisoft on their flagship franchise; Assassin’s Creed,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck. “This is an evergreen license that not only resonates with fans of the video game, but with the tabletop gaming community and collectors as well. We look forward to creating a full line of premium collectibles and cards that are sure to be a hit with Assassin’s Creed fans.”

The King of Arcades

Written By: Roxanne Toser - Sep• 16•14

It’s almost five weeks before the Oct 18 & 19 Philly Show and we’re already planning for the May 2015 Philly Non-Sports Card Show (taking place May 2 & 3). The reason for this was Walter Day of video game fame invited us to attend the world premiere of The King of Arcades at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema in Bethlehem, PA on September 13. This was a premiere of a movie already out on DVD but it was the official premiere and most of the main stars attended. Prior to the movie, a group of us met at Buca di Beppo restaurant for a delicious meal and a chance for a business meeting.

The King of Arcades marquee

The King of Arcades marquee

Billy Mitchell and Walter Day

Billy Mitchell and Walter Day

In 1981, Day founded one of the most well-renowned arcades in the world, Twin Galaxies, which became the official adjudicating organization to track records in arcades and pinball. Since that time, Day has proven to be an entrepreneur to end all entrepreneurs and has continued to educate the world about arcade video games and bring gamers from all over the world together whenever possible. Day’s home of Ottumwa, IA is known as the video game capital of the world and he is pushing to have an International Video Game Hall of Fame built there. Because of him, there was even a display and event entitled The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian from March through September of 2012.

Before you ask what this has to do with non-sport trading cards, Day and various video game celebrities attended the spring 2012 Philly Show because they were in the midst of producing trading cards to honor the history and document important milestones by honoring world record holders, pioneers and all who have been a part of the worldwide video game culture. Their attendance was an eye-opener for non-sport card collectors and an eye-opener for the gamers. It was a blast. One thing to bear in mind is it is certainly much easier to collect trading cards than arcade games! Day has thus far produced over 1,000 different printed video game trading cards and 2,000 when you include the virtual designed cards.

Day will again be setting up at the May 2 & 3, 2015 show and has some fantastic ideas. Day is working on a time-capsule that will be buried in Ottumwa in August of 2015 and to be opened in 2071. One of the items which will be included in the capsule is autographed trading cards. Various celebrity gamers will visit the May Philly Non-Sports Card Show to autograph their cards in front of a representative from Beckett Grading Services. The cards will be taken back to Beckett’s grading card location where they will be graded, encapsulated, and finally, delivered back to Day for the time capsule. Philly Show attendees will also get the opportunity to play a few arcade games at the show and Day and company are cooking up some other terrific ideas to be revealed soon.

Billy Mitchell and Richie Knucklez

Billy Mitchell and Richie Knucklez

Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko

Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko

There was an unexpected plus at the sold-out movie screening. There is a new Garbage Pail Kids movie in the works and there was a preview for it which ran ahead of The King of Arcades. It looks really great and will be nothing like the 1987 Garbage Pail Kids movie flop. There is some crossover between 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story and The King of Arcades, chief among them being Sean Tiedeman as the director and producer of both. Some of the people involved with the new GPK movie attended the premiere and it was fun to see Jeff Zapata, June Gonzales, Joe Simko and Sean & Krystle Tiedeman. Stars from The King of Arcades movie in attendance were: Walter Day, Billy Mitchell, Richie Knucklez, Faith Knucklez, Hank Chien, and TriForce Johnson.

Another perk was a freebie table inside the theater with a set of 15 promotional cards related to the movies (many of the cast members are featured on the cards). The cards are part of Day’s ongoing series.

The movie itself was done really well and we learned more about Richie Kuncklez and his NJ arcades. Hoots and hollers could occasionally be heard from audience members in the theater. After the screening, a special Q&A panel was presented. All-in-all, it was a very fun night.

A Garbage Pail Kids display at the theater entrance

A Garbage Pail Kids display at the theater entrance allowed movie patrons to insert themselves into a GPK sticker!

The pre-show presentation

The pre-show presentation

Richie and Faith Knucklez

Richie and Faith Knucklez

The King of Arcades promo cards with art by Joe Simko

The King of Arcades promo cards

Walter Day gets interviewed

Walter Day gets interviewed

Super fan David Gubernot

Super fan David Gubernot was in attendance seeing The King of Arcades for his 200th time (his third time in a theater)