Topps has just released its first U.S. Doctor Who product with Topps 2015 Doctor Who Trading Cards. While the mammoth set has many appealing facets, some collectors may be concerned that inclusion of a 200-card base set means the purchase of more than one box will be necessary to complete it. This sentiment wasn’t lost on Topps Brand Manager, Mark Von Ohlen. “We went back and forth on this,” Von Ohlen admitted. “The 24-pack box configuration allows for only 144 cards so it’s not enough to finish a base set, but we really want to make the best set for consumers and we didn’t think 100 cards was going to do it justice. So the question was should we do something small that everyone can collect all at once or should we go all in on this first set. We really thought the consumers would want lots of different characters, lots of great inserts, and the storyline cards that summarize all of the seasons so it would be great for fans new and old. I think there are collectors who are probably going to want to buy a couple of boxes anyway; the hits are going to be good and there’s going to be value for collectors. So it may take you a second box but I think it’s going to be well worth it.”
Among the many chase card types available are autographs. “We’re doing sticker autographs for this set,” Von Ohlen advised. “Part of it is every single person in this set is a new signer for Topps. Doctor Who has a really deep roster of awesome British talent who may be very well known in Britain but maybe not so much in the U.S.. We never had licenses that employed these actors before so as we were putting together our autograph list—one, it’s gigantic; we’re putting together a huge list of people we’re chasing down;—two, we didn’t have relationships with any of these actors before this, so we wanted to give ourselves flexibility in terms of chasing down lots of different people and stickers allow us to do that. In the future, assuming this license really takes off and consumers really love it and we put out multiple releases, I could see us doing an on-card release down the line, once we know who’s signing for us on a regular basis. It’s always easier when you know your talent. I want to be able to put in whoever we get at the last minute that we love…like, what if for some reason late in the game they come into the set, we then have the flexibly to get those stickers signed and print up a card and get it in there. You can’t do that with an on-card autograph; it doesn’t work the same way so the stickers give us that flexibility. We’re also hoping to collect a good bank of stickers so we can then put together the right combinations for dual and triple autographs and even hold for future products if we need to.
I love dual autographs; they’re like my favorite thing in the world and they’re like my pet project for Star Wars Chrome Perspectives; I was the one who came up with the idea to put in all those extra duals and all those interesting combos. We’re trying to do the same thing now for Doctor Who with some really strong duals for people to chase. We wanted to make sure there was really something high value for the collectors and triple autographs always have strong resale value plus if they’re done right they can give you lots of interesting context. Ideally, we would have a Doctor and his two Companions; that would be like the be-all, end-all, or you pair the Doctor with maybe one Companion and the Big Bad from the season. What I like about Doctor Who is it’s really about character relationships and when you put together an autograph card like that it builds some strong context around it.”
Von Ohlen sees Topps 2015 Doctor Who Trading Cards as a card product that fans will cherish. “Collectors are going to get a good intro into the entire Doctor Who experience. Inserts are killer. The Christmas special cards are iconic. Gadgets presents weird, interesting technology that doesn’t always make sense to us [humans] but it’s super cool. There’s all this fantastic content for fans and all these great inserts for collectors to chase.”
After 50+ years, Doctor Who has evolved from a small British children’s show into a worldwide pop cultural phenomenon. “Doctor Who is a good family-fun show with a great quirky sense of humor,” Von Ohlen concluded. “They were geeky before geeky was cool. I’ve been a nerd my whole life and it’s not always the cool thing to be. But now we’re in this amazing age of all the Marvel movies and Star Wars has its comeback, which I’ve got to tell you I’m working on daily (and life doesn’t get better!). I think they brought Doctor Who back at the right time.”
You won’t need a sonic screwdriver to unlock all the additional info available on Topps 2015 Doctor Who Trading Cards. Just pick up a copy of the current Dec ’15/Jan ’16 issue of Non-Sport Update, available for easy purchase through the Non-Sport Update website or at select retail locations.