Take my Cards Away…

No, this isn’t a new song by Berlin, but much like the band, baseball cards may unfortunately have become a relic of the 80s. Topps, the storied baseball card brand, taking a turn in a new direction, has released two different app’s for  iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. While the apps are not attempting to digitize baseball cards,  the new apps including Topps Pennant, a baseball statistics app and Topps Bunt, a fantasy league inspired game,signal  the departure of Topps from focusing exclusively on its traditional product lines. The value of the  baseball card market has fallen 80%  from $1 Billion in the late 80s and early 90s to about $200 million today. This makes it understandable why Topps may want to move in a new direction in order to keep itself from going out of business, but at the same time, there is nothing like the nostalgia and feeling of holding a physical card in your hand.

Does this signal demise for other popular trading cards such as Pokemon and Magic:The Gathering? Magic already has a online version but has maintained the physical card game as well. Pokemon too has started a online version of its trading card game while still maintaining physical cards. How long will physical trading cards last? Who knows, but lets just hope they don’t go the way of the Furby.

Source: New York Times

Mecha Gain Traction on LEGO CUUSOO

Two iconic mecha from two iconic anime franchises have seen creations inspired by their likeness gain significant traction on LEGO CUUSOO. A Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78 and a Macross VF-1 Valkyrie have both been well received on CUUSOO with the later having garnered more popularity.

While both projects still need to gain 10,000 supporters each, the VF-1 Valkyrie has already has already garnered an official comment from LEGO. Hopefully, at the very least, Japanese support can carry these projects to fruition, and seeing how popular LEGO CUUSOO is with Japanese LEGO fans, finding enough support for these projects may not be the biggest barrier to overcome.

Akira Bike Comes to Life

Japanese auto shop worker Shinji Tejima has brought the iconic bike of Kaneda, from the 1988 anime film Akira, to life, for a good cause. Having invested more than $100,000 and  seven years into the building of the bike, Tejima is riding the bike around the Japan to raise awareness about autism, in partnership with the Bokura Company charity. In addition, expect to see the bike at the Katsuhiro Otomo GENGA Exhibition in Tokyo , where Tejima is aiming to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Tohoku region, which was devastated by a horrific earthquake and tsunami last year.

Source: The Mary Sue

Bricks that Look Good Enough to Eat

Beverly Hills based chocolatier Madame Chocolat has released LEGO Brick inspired chocolate just in time for Easter! Each $12 assortment comes with three different types of chocolate: milk, dark and white. Unfortunately, at the price point of nearly $2 a brick, the chocolates are a little too pricy to build with, but perhaps that task is best suited for the standard LEGO 2×4 piece, which costs about 10 times less.

Source: LAist

A LEGO Store Made out of LEGO

To celebrate the opening of 10 new stores in North America this year, LEGO plans to make available the 3300003 LEGO Brand Retail Store during grand opening celebrations for each store. A limited number of shoppers will have the opportunity to get the set by making a qualifying purchase during each store’s grand opening celebration. Cities in North America which will see LEGO stores open this year include: Nashville, TN; Victor, NY; Vancouer, BC, Wauwatosa, WI: The Woodlands, TX; Peabody, MA; Overland Park, KS; Elizabeth, NJ; Seattle [Lynnwood], WA and Alpharetta, GA.

Source: The Brothers Brick