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

Upper Deck Celebrates 40 Years of Hello Kitty

Written By: Harris Toser - Oct• 02•14

Hello Kitty Con 2014Hello Kitty fans rejoice! There is lots of celebration going on this year for Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary. For card collectors and Hello Kitty fans in the L.A. area, there’s something big coming up—Hello Kitty Con 2014. According to the show webpage, Hello Kitty Con will offer interactive experiences and events for fans and friends of all ages, including activities, art, exhibits, exclusives, workshops, lectures, panels, sneak peeks, tattoos, food, fun, and many more surprises. If you’re a West Coast card fan, the big draw will be Upper Deck. Upper Deck will be on-hand to promote their new line of products for Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary.

Hello Kitty Con 2014 takes place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) in downtown Los Angeles from October 30-November 2. Upper Deck will have a full line of Hello Kitty products for sale at Hello Kitty Con 2014, including a limited quantity of uncut Hello Kitty 40th sheets and four exclusive mini-figure bundles. Additionally, Upper Deck’s full collection of Hello Kitty 40th mini-figures will be on display. Fans who stop by the Upper Deck booth can also have a personalized Hello Kitty trading card made, compliments of Upper Deck.

Upper Deck’s full Hello Kitty line includes several product configurations celebrating the pop icon through the decades – 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Included are Trading Card Fun Packs, Blister Packs, and a Carry All Case.

Hello Kitty foil packs

“Upper Deck is thrilled to partner with Sanrio on this exclusive line of Hello Kitty products,” said Mendy Cady, girls brand manager at Upper Deck. “Hello Kitty is an evergreen brand that appeals to fans of all ages, which is why we felt it was important to create a line of products that could be enjoyed by Hello Kitty collectors both young and old.” Upper Deck has also released a video announcement showing the three Hello Kitty products, which you can see below.

Be sure to pick-up a copy of the upcoming Dec/Jan issue of Non-Sport Update for full details on the Hello Kitty line as well as a Hello Kitty surprise! And visit your favorite trading card retailer to pick up the brand Hello Kitty products or visit upperdeckstore.com and sanrio.com. For more information on the Hello Kitty Con 2014, visit the Con website.

 

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.”