Are Topps Trading Cards Worth Any Money in 2022?

Topps sports trading cards could see another resurgence this year following a major acquisition by Fanatics, the U.S. sports merchandise retailer.

Fanatics is slated to acquire Topps trading cards as part of a $500 million deal expected to be finalized on Tuesday, according to unnamed sources familiar with negotiations reported by CNBC, ESPN and other media.

The deal includes only Topps' name and sports and entertainment division and not the company's candy and gift cards line, a source told CNBC.

Fanatics' trading cards division has raised $350 million at a valuation of $10.4 billion since it was launched in 2021, according to Reuters.

The upcoming acquisition will give Fanatics exclusive rights with Major League Baseball (MLB), fast-tracking its original plan, which was to release its trading cards in 2026.

The retailer had acquired MLB's trading card rights in August last year and MLB's existing deal with Topps from 2018 was to end in 2025. But the latest negotiation allows Fanatics to immediately obtain MLB's trading card rights.

In addition to MLB, last year Fanatics acquired licensing rights from the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Basketball Association (NBS), the National Basketball Association (NBPA) and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), leading industry watchers to believe Topps would be next in line, The Athletic reported.

While further details on the terms of the latest agreement with Fanatics are unknown at this time, the deal will mark a continuation of the Topps' 75-year-history.

The iconic brand, which began as a family chewing gum business in 1938 in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, launched its first series of baseball cards in 1951.

The following year, Topps released its first annual set of baseball cards, securing its position as a national pastime and permanent fixture in the baseball world.

Are Topps Trading Cards Worth Any Money in 2022?

The short answer? Most probably yes—not only fueled by the latest acquisition by Fanatics but also given the general resurgence of the sports trading card industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trading cards have experienced a surge in interest during the outbreak. With sports fans stuck at home and many live sports events canceled, many have revisited the nostalgic pastime to get their sports kick.

Yahoo! News reported last March that seven of the 10 most expensive sports cards in history were sold in the eight months prior.

The Athletic also reported last March that eBay hosted four million more trading card transactions in 2020 than 2019 at a 142 percent growth rate.

The spike in interest reportedly saw Topps and other card manufacturers struggle to keep up with the high demand.

According to CNN, last February a Michael Jordan rookie basketball card in pristine condition sold for a record $738,000 at an auction run by a company owned by Ken Goldin, who has sold sports trading cards for four decades. The same card went for nearly $215,000 just weeks before.

"There's never been a time like this in the history of the business," Goldin told CNN at the time. "I would bet that for every person who wanted a Michael Jordan rookie card in 2019, there's 100 [now]."

Newsweek has contacted Fanatics and Topps for comment.

Topps' baseball cards in NYC.
Topps' baseball cards from the 2016 season on display during the "Open Topps Baseball Series 1 Cards " event at the Topps' offices on New York City in February 2016. Topps trading cards could see another resurgence in 2022 following a major acquisition deal by the retailer Fanatics. Kris Connor/Getty Images