Topps Wall Art | Source: The Topps Co.

The Topps Co. is looking ahead toward a digital, on-demand, and publicly traded future.

The company behind Topps Baseball Cards, the Garbage Pail Kids, Bazooka gum, and a host of nonsport trading cards and other properties will merge with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II — a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — and go public this fall. The combined company will simply be named Topps and will be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol TOPP.  The New York Times’ DealBook first reported the story.

According to the Times, the deal values Topps at $1.3 billion.

Former Disney CEO Michael Eiser has served as Topps’ chairman since 2007 when his company, The Tornante Co., teamed with Madison Dearborn Partners to acquire Topps. Eisner says he’s rolling his full stake into the new company and will continue in his role as chairman.

Related: ChizComm Inks a Sweet Deal with Bazooka Candy Brands

Other investors in the deal include SPAC sponsor Mudrick Captial, GAMCO Investors, and Wells Capital Management. The deal is expected to close on the cusp of the second and third quarters of this year.

In recent months, Topps has been increasingly focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent digital collectibles stored on the blockchain. Additionally, its Topps Now program celebrates sports and pop culture events by offering limited-time trading cards that are printed to order in one run. The company recently launched Project 70, a collection of new products designed to celebrate 70 years of Topps Baseball Cards.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.