Trading Card Company Topps Buys Facebook’s Gift Card Provider

Topps, the company known for the trading cards from childhood, is expanding into digital goods with the purchase of GMG Entertainment, the gift card provider for Facebook.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GMG is a publisher of digital currency cards and works closely with Facebook to manage, distribute, market and manufacture the cards.

The cards, which are sold at major retailers including Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and GameStop, are good for Facebook Credits, which is the digital currency used inside all games on the social network.

The digital currency market is growing as more games are played online for free and give players the option of buying virtual goods inside the game. Rather than having to enter a credit card number online, game cards can be conveniently purchased in cash and redeemed online. Another big player in the industry is Atlanta-based InComm.

Topps, which was acquired and taken private by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners in 2007, says it will leverage the acquisition to enter the digital currency market, while bringing manufacturing, design and collectibility skills to digital currency cards.

Rob Goldberg, the CEO of GMG, will become the VP and general manager of the digital currency business, reporting to Topps CEO Ryan O’Hara. GMG will represent the company’s third business division in addition to trading cards and confections, such as Bazooka bubble gum.

GMG’s other executives, Tim Pechmann and Jeff Mickeal, will also join Topps.

GMG works with about 45 clients, including the NFL and game companies like THQ.


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