About The Topps Company
The Topps Company is a creator and marketer of sports cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery items. Topps entertainment products include Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company's confectionery brands include "Bazooka" bubble gum, "Ring Pop," "Push Pop," "Baby Bottle Pop" and "Juicy Drop Pop" lollipops. On January 3rd, 2022, The Topps Company was acquired by Fanatics.
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The Topps Company Patents
The Topps Company has filed 9 patents.
Chewing gum, Brand name confectionery, Bones of the head and neck, Condiments, Coffee drinks
Chewing gum, Brand name confectionery, Bones of the head and neck, Condiments, Coffee drinks
Latest The Topps Company News
Jan 24, 2023
| Ep. 198 In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Marc Seal, CEO of Sortium, talks about expanding access and ownership to build digital worlds, the rise in metaverse trademarks and web3 artificial intelligence. With over a decade of experience in the technology industry, Marc has a proven track record of successful product builds and team leadership while partnering with major industry leaders, such as Marvel, Fox, Lucasfilm, Toho, MLB, and more. Marc’s early exposure to game consoles and the film industry sparked his initial interest in how entertainment experiences were created, an interest that would lead to his entrance into the industry. He went on to work with the Topps Company, building their NFT business, and working with top-tier brands like Disney, which introduced him to the right partners and technological access to help launch his latest company, Sortium. Marc Seal gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. Highlights Of The Interview The rise in Crypto/Metaverse trademarks CosmoGene - AI with web3-reinforced synthetic DNA Tokenizing simulated live gameplay - the future of web3 gaming Living in El Salvador - using Bitcoin as payments Matt Zahab Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing as always, and I'm super pumped out on today's guest on the show coming in hot from El Salvador. Today we have Marc Seal, the Co-Founder and CEO of Sortium. Marc has over a decade of experience in the tech industry, a proven track record of successful product builds and team leadership while partnering with some big names like Marvel, Fox, Lucasfilm, Toho, Major League Baseball, and more. Marc's early exposure to game consoles and the film industry sparked his initial interest in how entertainment experiences were created, an interest that would lead to his entrance into the industry, where he went on to work with Topps Company building their NFT business and working with top tier brands like Disney, which introduced him to the right partners and technological access to help launch his latest company, Sortium. Been working on this one for a while, Marc pumped to have you on man how you doing? Marc Seal Good man, thank you so much for having me on. Glad we could get some time and chat. Would love to talk about everything that we're doing. Talk about a little bit of what's going on in the space and the world. So yeah, very excited to be here. Thanks for having me. Matt Zahab Pumped to have you on Marc, pumped to have you on. Speaking of the world, El Salvador, I'm not too far away from you right now in Mexico. And I'm very grateful and happy to be here. Not too far away from you. I have friends who've been to El Salvador and I'd honestly say it's one of the only countries where it's almost a mixed bag. Half of them are like it's incredible. At will firstly everyone says it's incredible that half of them are like no bueno, dangerous, and the other half are like very bueno, safe. What's your take? What are you gonna team up to there? Tell me everything and anything about El Salvador? Marc Seal Yeah, so usually, we get asked if we're here because of Bitcoin. And the simple answer is no. Where now actually kind of helping another company with the adoption of crypto specifically Bitcoin here because it's legal tender in El Salvador. So we're advising and helping a little bit. But the reason we're here is because our CTO, Alex was living here. He's a US citizen, but is married has a family here and was building his team here when we met. My other Co-Founder, Evan and myself, we were building a team. We have some people in Brazil, we have people in the in the US we're headquartered out of Miami, technically. And we said alright, let's go. Well, you like why not? Fuck it. Let's go to El Salvador. Let's check it out. Our boys there, he's got he's got team. And let's see what they're up to. And it was it's beautiful. There's just incredible talent here. Very smart people, very creative people. Good place to build a team. And being in the main area. San Salvador, it's safe. Been so far safe. As I say that. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Matt Zahab Marc Seal Matt Zahab Marc Seal And, you know, it's it has been a great place. There’re good restaurants here, good food, the people are lovely. Very nice, very welcoming. And, you know, I mean, my Spanish is pretty bad. It's getting better, but it's pretty bad. And most people here speak at least a little bit of English. So it's been pretty easy to get by. We rent a house scenario, beautiful home, we've got a view of the volcanoes and stuff out in the distance, which is great to wake up to, in the morning seeing these nice volcanic mountain ranges. So that's where we're here, right? I mean, we didn't come here because of the crypto hype, we didn't stay here because of that. To be perfectly honest, that's even maybe a little overstated. It's still developing in the adoption of crypto and how people interact with that. There's still a lot of education to be had here for developing in that way. So we're happy to be a part of that as it grows. But we're here because it's a beautiful country it's been safe for us, we have friends and people here that we love to work with and spend time with so it's been an excellent area for us to set up an office and start building. Matt Zahab What's the Bitcoin payment processing like because I know that sort of front and center on the news outlets and everything else Bitcoin reach obviously naive who's pushing Bitcoin like crazy like what's the deal there? Is it as easy as they make it seem like you woke up and sort of use the Lightning Network and tap your phone on a payment processor and boom, it's off. What's the whole Bitcoin switch like? Marc Seal Actually I don't think that you can tap can I'm getting a head not that yes, you can I actually haven't done tap to pay yet. But yeah, you can, it's pretty straightforward. It's a mandate that everyone has to accept it. So they all have these POS system. So it doesn't matter where you go, if they accept credit card they have to accept and they're actually supposed to accept it no matter what. But you know, there's a couple places that only take cash anyway, because they just don't have any kind of electronic system up those places, you're not probably be able to do it unless you send it to them through phone. But any store, it's easy. And we're talking to some partners now that we're that we've been friends with for a long time. They're in the same investment portfolio as us actually. And they're working on advancing the systems even further. And they've done it in other regions around the world and had just crazy good success. So it's good now and I think it's going to be incredible, in the next year or two. Matt Zahab So interesting. Honestly, Marc, I'm gonna have to swing down and say what up to you and the team again, I'm so close to you guys. Tell me about Sortium. What are you in the team building? You guys are pioneering the couple different things within the Metaverse and Web3 Tech space really working on sort of establishing the standard of future Web3 Tech. Tell me all about it. Marc Seal Yeah. So and it's really more than that. Just what three, right? We're all about disruptive technology. And to give just very brief context, right, I as you said, when we started I come from the entertainment industry, I Co-Founder Evan built Blockfolio before it was acquired. And Alex, our CTO has built tons of artificial intelligence technology, Blockchain technology, core contributor to EOS bill like, also 30 worked for LucasArts were though a bunch of titles. Funny enough, we never ran into each other during each of our times, working on Star Wars stuff. But so when we all met and had been talking, we wanted to do more, we were working collectively on a project for Topps, which is very collectibles NFT focus, that's the business that I built for them. And it was focused that on that because of licensing. That's a whole that could be a whole another podcast, you talk about licensing and the Web3 digital space, and the nightmare that it became with companies doing what was referred to as SP licensing. So they were very restricted. And it made it very difficult to work with, with big brands in Web3 and NFTs. So we wanted to do more, we were all gamers, we all love entertainment. And we wanted to advance the entertainment space, not just sit on our asses and continue to perpetuate the same, you know, collectibles, NFT collectible songs, and so on, that I think is still being done now, just less successfully. So we started Sortium. And the goal was first let's build a game. We want to build a AAA quality game, something that is going to set the bar for what modern video game experiences. And we weren't aiming to build on that we're not trying to build the next Call of Duty, we're not trying to build an MMO we're not we're not looking at the World of Warcraft and I have the money for that. No matter how much you're raising money for that. I don't care who you are. But we I had been working on it in idea since like 20 2011, but not originally Tokenizers supposed to be like the evolution of Tamagotchis and the old Digimon like virtual pets, which I don't have on with me but. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Matt Zahab Marc Seal Well, I actually do have one here and tie dye. So these things, and you flooded into each other, you battle them. This one's dead. But that was the inspiration. We wanted to take that to the next level, make it feel really intuitive. We wanted to use or even 2011. I was like, let's I wanted to try and use genetics. Couldn't do it that then I met Alex and described the vision the systems that I wanted to build. And he's like, Yeah, we could do this. He's like, I worked with genetic algorithms and simulations in the past, so we could probably use that and Gamify the shit out of it. Oh, sweet. Yeah, let's do that. So we started Sortium. We were like, let's build this game. And while we build the game, let's use this as a discovery process and R&D process to find out what is missing. Why aren't quality games being built in this space, even by big brands that are partnering with other groups, and they're releasing bullshit. They're not good. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Marc Seal So as we went through this process, about a year and a half ago, we started to do a lot of R&D, tech development. And what we ended up with was a combination of I'm really like a game engine, almost, it's really a framework, technology framework. But effectively a game engine, we okay, we can launch a high-fidelity game and a web browser, we accomplish that. So we have good graphics, somewhere between Unity and Unreal Engine, for anybody who's familiar with that. So really good graphics quality running in a web browser, we haven't running on mobile devices. Step one. Now, we wanted to tokenize stuff. So we had to find a token or a Blockchain layer that we could build on. We know from our experience that launching a game on a public network is a horrible mistake, because the second network gets bogged down or you cause any high traffic, you take down the hole, it doesn't matter how big or decentralized it is, it's going to go down. That's why games paths are usually spread across hundreds or thousands of dedicated network infrastructure. That's how the gaming industry works. So you want quality games, you need to match that capacity. So we took in an open source Blockchain back end cold called Substrate and utilized that it's quite a bit more advanced than that. But effectively, it's built on Substrate, we detached it from any ecosystem. So it's not ecosystem dependent, it is completely agnostic, and develop a game Blockchain layer that could tokenize key assets, key logic points, and store it on a private chain that is specifically dedicated almost as if it was the server back end of a game. So replacing the server backend infrastructure with a Blockchain infrastructure that can tokenize assets and manage those assets. So we accomplish that. And finally, we had a some ambitious goals utilizing generative AI. And this is a year and a half ago before that exploded in media. So we developed our engine to specifically work with AI. So that the key things that accomplished was, it can use AI to generate assets. It can automate tokenization, and handle tokenization of assets and game logic. And then it can run simulations and run in a web browser. So can run games simulations, any kind of functions and stuff you need. And we had to build all of this in order to get a good quality game running, in which we could do meaningful tokenization. So launching a PFP project or selling some assets as an NFT doesn't do anything. People are, it's speculative value. But where is that value coming from? There, it's important that you have the same level of transparency in how an asset is created. And nobody was doing that. So we made sure that we could tokenize the game logic behind the process of creation. So as a player plays a game, storing that process on chain so that it can be traced, and be transparent to the public of what effort went in to actually generating a game asset, and not just selling you game assets. Because the goal has to be build a fun game, there will be secondary market demand, or third party market demand. If the game is fun, and the assets have value within the games context, the same way that people buy World of Warcraft items, they buy Diablo items, they will buy Tarkov items or Call of Duty whatever people sell everything that's a game asset already. The problem in traditional space is it's not facilitated people don't really own that. So now the evolution of this needs to be showcasing how content was made, providing the ownership of that content. And making sure that that content actually has value within the ecosystem that it's being traded in not just selling somebody a picture of a penguin and saying it'll be used for something eventually. That's not gonna be it. Matt Zahab That was a pretty darn good little masterclass, I must say one thing that blew my mind, which I still don't completely understand. I'd love for you to take a deeper dive into this. You mentioned tokenizing like simulated live gameplay, I think you refer to it as gameplay logic. How do you do that? Marc Seal So everything that's happening in a game is tracked in some way or that data has to exist, otherwise, nothing happens. So let's say something like I'm gonna use Minecraft as an example, because it's very easy to express how the data is functioning behind Minecraft. But if we were to build this next iteration of a Minecraft style game, and it was one live ecosystem, even if it's not online, let's say that assets are tradable between people within their single player worlds even doesn't have to be some MMO. But the issue today would be if I wanted to sell wood firearms? How did I farm that wood? What? Where did it come from? Did I actually did I try and use a bot to do it? How is the behavior tracked? How did it get me. And if I just. Matt Zahab And something that consumer doesn't understand. And this was, again, I never obviously I knew this, but I didn't know it. It's all on the back end somewhere, just like you said, all this data is trapped, but it's not being utilized. And you guys are tokenizing this data and utilizing it. Marc Seal Exactly, there's some number somewhere, right? When you take a axe and you hit a tree, an action has been performed and recorded. So what we do is we've built infrastructure that can tokenize the process of that action and represents that action can being completed. It's like a proof of work, but it's your you playing is the work you complete an action, that action is ordered and tokenized. And now we can match and pair that action to the value that action created. And if you have an NFT infrastructure, right and NFT is has got its own backlash, but not NFT is as far as PFP sale. But NFT is the data structure of it, right? It's for it as an NFT, which could be a bundle of now, the asset was created that's in the NFT. What's also there is the tokenized actions it took to make the NFT, which is a showcase of the time value. And then that lets you do all kinds of crazy things, you can determine what the actual market read values of people's time and stuff is within a game. Somebody you can determine the efficiency of somebody's time against somebody else, that anybody can see this. Now you've made transparent the whole game process of creating digital assets. Matt Zahab Love that. Okay, we gotta go back to one more thing here. I have so many questions for you, or there's zero chance we're gonna get all this fit. And so we're gonna have to have you on for round two. But going back to the AI part, you mentioned that you and the team were utilizing AI and I believe you guys sort of have your own little AI version that ties into what you're doing. And again, this was way before the last couple months where ChatGPT and DALL-E and everything really started blowing up and becoming mainstream media. How are you guys utilizing AI to help build this sort of, you know, game/Metaverse? Marc Seal So in CosmoGene specifically, and I'll add a little more context around what CosmoGene is just so we understand why we're using AI here. CosmoGene again, is about like that Tamagotchi feel, but we want it to be sci-fi a little bit more mature. So the people that grew up playing Pokemon or playing the Tamagotchis, or playing with the devices, it evolved, we wanted to evolve the genre with them. So sci-fi a little bit more mature, thematics using genetic engineering to make your creature and Gamefy-ing the process of genetic engineering and a fantasy kind of way. So you get these creatures that you can which we call Cosmera that you can grow and like your incubators, you grow them from like a fetus into a full grown creature, which that uses AI we could talk about at the minute. And from there, you transfer them to containment and you feed them you'll be able to raise them play with them, you're gonna be able to battle them. And another discussion too would be a lot of the stuff. We have Discord integration with gaming, so you could actually do game actions and Discord, all that stuff. But on the that's the context of the game, right, your virtual monster pet called Cosmera, you genetically engineered it, and you raise it play with it battle. So why AI? Well, generative AI is growing because of its ability to give you near unlimited results. But we wanted to almost bring that in. So we created our own generative AI model specifically for making creatures. And what it does is the game engine presents kind of like to the AI. The human will never see this, but it presents kind of like a base model. And then on certain criteria, it has the AI finish that creature so there's no artist designing these. It's driven purely by what we call Synthetic Data, which is the kind of base model of the character that gets used. And then AI finishes that on its context that it has within the model. And then all of that is encoded in virtual DNA, which also is using an AI algorithm and genetics algorithm to take all of that and crunch it into like a DNA string. From there, since all traits are associated with those like DNA blocks, you can have you have a genetic a traceable genetic lineage of these Cosmera, that lets you do cool things. So you can go in and simulate CRISPR Gene Editing and you can extract DNA and incubate a new creature based on the another one or spliced DNA from two together and it's becomes this kind of cool Gamified learning process of how do I get better attacks? Maybe I want one that's bulkier, or this thing is ugly as shit, I want a cuter one, how do I do that? And you start to figure out how all these traits play together, and how generational adjustments will work as you do gene editing. And then certain genetics have value. So there's gain value to that. And you have to be smart and discover what is that there. So if that's how we're utilizing AI, and the genetics process, and then we're intending to use and this uses something, it's these generative models, there's a bunch that exist, our base layer is on in open AI model, that we're using, and then we train on top of that for specific purposes, then we also are tech is able to run AI in simulations in real time, sometimes that's not so easy. So what we're also capable of doing and building the infrastructure for now is what's called Multi-Agent-Human-in-the-Loop Learning. What that means is, that's a mouthful. But every Cosmera is an agent in a loop, and then you as the player is the human in the loop. So you as you play with your Cosmera, we have a human assisted learning process. So things like it could be anything, teaching it, doing training, maybe you do mock battles with it before you go battle another player, it will learn from that. But then there's the system as a whole learns, because every Cosmera is its own agent, Multi-Agent, and then you the human in that loop is helping it learn faster. So we're doing this to make kind of more intuitive, and more lifelike feeling. Tamagotchis. Maybe this is too above and beyond and crazy. And we're out of our minds for starting with this, but we wanted it to feel really engaging. And there's a whole bunch of other people do shooters really well, people do RPGs really well, people do all these other games so well already. And for us to go in and say we want to do this within the span of a year or two. It's tough. So we targeted a sector and a genre that we felt we really could innovate in and could bring not only something special to the game experience, but then showcase the value of not only Web3 but AI. Matt Zahab What you're doing with allowing users to sort of you know, manipulate the different traits to gain the outcome they want. Like, I feel like some human I don't feel like there's a lot of humans who are absolute purebred sick puppies out there. And I could see people just having way too much fun and being way too perverse, perhaps is the right word while using this tech, you know what I mean? Like there's probably some sickos using this. Marc Seal Probably will I mean, yeah, sure. It's, you know, it's our job to try and set reasonable boundaries. But I actually think some of the fun of this is being able to. Matt Zahab Be the sicko like, it's cool. Like, when do humans ever get that level of control over anything? You know, we never. Marc Seal And to be honest, it's I don't even think it's something we could stop. Right? The effort to stop somebody from doing that when we build a tool that is this open is harder than building the tool. So there are some boundaries, right, like, but it will probably get bleeped out. But if somebody wants to make a giant dick monster, it might take them 2000 generations of creatures to do it. I mean, if that's what they want to spend, could be done three weeks doing that, or three, I don't even know it could take in theory, it could take months a year, right? If somebody was to spend all their time doing that, and they achieve it, and the community thinks for some reason that's valuable to them, and there's demand that genetics. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Cool. Maybe I don't want one but you know, if everybody else does I'm not going to stop them. Matt Zahab Yeah, you never know what the market thinks. Marc, you've been on a roll we got to take quick break. Give a huge shout out to our sponsor the show that is PrimeXBT, longtime friends of cryptonews.com. We absolutely love them incredible team over at PrimeXBT, as they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. It doesn't matter if you're a rookie or a vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT also running an exclusive promo for listeners of the Cryptonews Podcast. The promo code is CRYPTONEWS50, that's CRYPTONEWS50. All one word receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Again, that is CRYPTONEWS50 all one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. And now back to the show with Marc who's been on absolute fire. So Marc, your team sent over a couple really interesting docs for me to read just to sort of prep for the show. One of those was in regards to the number of trademark applications filed for the Metaverse , crypto in its sort of related virtual goods and services. This soared to almost 5000 from just under 2000. That was filed in 2001, an increase of almost 170%. Pretty bananas. What do you take from this data? And why exactly did you in the team send this over? Marc Seal So I think it's just interesting to take a look right at how people are adopting the Metaverse, right. And we can talk about I don't necessarily agree with the term Metaverse as a whole, but I think it is a signal that there's bigger adoption coming for products and developments. And Metaverse is associated a lot with Web3. It's not necessarily just Web3, but it is associated very heavily with Web3. And of course, you have meta and everybody else. So I think as this grows in popularity, we see a rise and adoption of the technology it takes to build Metaverses and it's the trademark are a signal that people are taking it seriously and jumping into the space. Matt Zahab Interesting. Did us get any more data in regards to like specifics on that? Like, are there any areas of the trademark that you've perhaps had your eyes on? Or is it just you know, the trademarks applicable and related to just the Metaverse as a whole? Marc Seal Well, now we keep track that I don't have the date in front of me. But we've been looking at AI trademarks, which are also on the rise, keeping track of Metaverse trademarks, NFT related trademarks. And obviously with the boom in the space of NFTs, a lot of this stuff exploded. Now there's a little bit of pullback. So we may see a initial reduction, but I think we're still gonna see growth in these areas for trademarks applications. And ultimately, again, that continues to signal that there's adoption is advanced, but there's money flowing through as people are registering these trademarks, it's companies that are starting or brands that are starting. So it shows that there's money to be made money flowing through and that we're not there yet, right that the trademarks are being registered before this stuff happens. So it already feels like we went through an explosion and many people talked about it being a bubble. Maybe we went through a bubble right of popularity, but the industry is not a bubble adoption here is not that quick for big people to come in. That's what we're going to be seeing I think in this next wave and the trademarks are a signal of that. Matt Zahab Speaking of the next wave, give me your sort of themes, trends, investment thesis or theses that's even a word of 2023. What's what areas of Crypto, Blockchain, Web3, Metaverse really get you going? Marc Seal Matt Zahab Marc Seal Not financial advice. Just my opinion. And, you know, it's tough, NFTs in general in that space. If anybody's looking at buying NFTs, it's a bit of a crapshoot. I feel like where people are seeing value still, I think Bored Apes and stuff are still doing well or the coming back up. And people need to approach that very critically, right. I don't think I would put a penny in a PFP project ever. Again. I have a mute nape. I bought it during one of the hypes. I love it as for what it is, it's not worth the money. In my opinion, I think it's an extremely risky investment to have money in any PFP projects. So that's one games that might be coming out that are offering NFT sales. If the game isn't live, and it's not from a major brand. My advice is get the fuck away from it. If they can't show that they can make a game if they can't show that and look at who it is, right? People need to stop putting their effort time and investment into projects that are built by people who have never been involved in the industry before. The most gains by professionals standards fail they to their metrics, right so even with CosmoGene. CosmoGene for us is a case study for a tech project. If we get a core user base of 10,000 people who love it, we're happy. That is success, but by a game studio standard and if that was our only business, we would not have a business right and many of these teams are raising money. They're selling something NFTs, profile pictures, whatever it is to gain access, claiming they're gonna build a game. They've never built a game before, they've never led a game development team. And chances are, they're not going to succeed commercially, which means they're not going to be able to afford to continue supporting the game or finish it in the first place. And everybody else is going to be left holding an asset that is worthless, that would be my fear and scrutiny coming into those projects. Now, there's less of them out there, but look for people from the industries, look for people who have had successful track records, launching products, and launching value, right? Did they did the projects they worked on one, were they successful? Did they continue to bring value to the people that bought into them? And are they still running? Or if they're not still running? Did they provide a lifetime value in which people who invested in were able to invest out and there's a reason for why they're not running are not very active anymore, maybe they've lived their lifetime, and which, honestly, it's been not that long. So it's pretty it'd be, they'd have to a pretty good reason to not still be around. But in the game industry, that that would be a thing, right? A game title launched, it went through, its LTV, its Lifetime Value cycle. And the developer went on to the next product, people who had it were happy. And that's it. If you can't identify those things within somebody that's trying to sell you before product launches, don't just don't, unless you want to gamble, right, then it's a gamble. And you're not investing, you're gambling and just recognize that you are not an investor, you're a gambler, and you're hoping that you hit big on a project, that's perfectly fine to I mean, I do that all the time, I look at a project I'm like, I think this is not going to work at all, click buy. And I know that I've lost that money effectively. If I don't, cool, I'm surprised. The alternative would be if it's a game project, and it is a new team. And you just you love, you've looked into the team, they're great, you you're excited for them, it looks like you're doing cool things. Again, maybe it's not a gamble, but it's support, you're not afraid to lose the money, you want to support them. That's a different story. But from my perspective, and investments, I think now is a time to scrutinize heavily, and be very critical of what you're putting your money into, or your crypto into, pick cautiously research the teams, there's certainly going to be in this time where people are building, there's going to be good projects to invest in, that you I'm sure can do very well on, they're not going to be easy to pick, and you should approach everything that way. I think it's a good time for people to get better educated on what they're investing into. Because part of the bubble that we just went through isn't the fault of the developers or NFTs, it's the fault of speculative value, and uneducated investors throwing money everywhere. And then those uneducated investors making money in a few places and then out of nowhere launching a fucking VC that they prior to that worked doing copywriting right and all of a sudden they're like yeah, I made $20 million investing in invest in Axie Infinity. I'm you know, we so me and a bunch of my buddies, we started a VC and then they throw that money everywhere. And we've gone through this to some of the due diligence is a joke. And we've been asked before even when we went through like our tech and stuff, why would you just launch a token and NFTs. It's like okay, so that's what they're that's what a lot of investors were looking for that perpetuated the problem and eventually the bubble pops when most of those projects fail because they're not run by professional people don't know what they're doing or people with less good intentions started making projects specifically to raise money to then blow that money on nothing productive. Matt Zahab Well said Marc you're on a roll here man I know we're getting a little tight for time last segment before we wrap up, gonna jump into the hot take factory. Give me a couple let them fly, can be crypto can be politics, food, sports, you name it give me a couple of Marc hot takes perhaps a couple things that you believe in that most other people do not. Marc Seal Sure before I get to shit talking which is certainly on my list here. I don't want to go from shit talking the previous thing to she just shit talking something else. If you come to El Salvador, pupusas are fucking underrated. They're one of my favorite foods. It's like I think not it's just corn but it's like a stuffed corn tortilla almost. And if somebody hears listening to me describe it this way. I'm for sure getting shit later for describing this way. But it's effectively a stuffed tortilla with like cheese and beans and pork and stuff in it. I don't know if you're Googling it. But dude they are. Matt Zahab Marc Seal And you can't find them anywhere else. They're only here. So, and if you do find them somewhere else, they're not as good as is when they're here. If you find like a pupusa area outside, like, there was one or two I tried in New York, and I was there. And I was like, damn these are not it. But here crazy. So that's a food hot take. If you happen to be passing through El Salvador. Matt Zahab Those look phenomenal. Those look so good. Try calling Taco Bell, tell them to put those on the menu. A little El Salvadorian spice to it. Marc Seal Okay, so another food hot take. We're in Latin America, there's a Taco Bell here. Crazy that can even exist, but I love Taco Bell so I'm not complaining. And they had the grilled cheese burritos, which in the US their grilled cheese burritos. And here, I guess, here they don't like grilled cheeses. So they just changed the name to something else and rereleased it here under a totally different name. But it's the exact same thing. So that's cool. Matt Zahab Give me some shit talk. I know you got some too much positive here. Give me some shit talk. Marc Seal All right, now that we're through food, what the fuck was that Game of Thrones NFT launch. What? That that nifty, handled, and maybe I'll be blacklisted from I don't know, if we want to work with those guys. Maybe I'll be blacklisted from some people for doing this. But holy shit, right? Like how, who at HPI come from working in licensing and stuff. I know the processes they go through to get a major brand to do a partnership and then launch a product and the approvals that it had that has to go through. It looks like they took stock assets, and then hired a guy off of Fiverr is the first job he's ever done. And he's like, and he watched maybe two episodes of the show. And you end up with fucking salad fingers. The guy with long fingers. It's like they never tested this. So they end up with what looks like PS1 graphic characters. And then I looked into I was like, Okay, well, you know, maybe it's like a browser game. And they just whatever engine they're using. It's not even a game. They said it's a next generation collectibles experience. They are never before seeing collectible experience. Yeah, because nobody's ever seen such dogshit before. That's the only never before like, it's crazy that these products are allowed to go out into the world. And you have companies like HBO approving this in a licensing deal. I would have been fired if I produced anything like that, under the Star Wars or Lucas Film name for Topps when I was there instantly. I'd have been out of a job on my ass. And I never would have gotten a job again, working with major brands. And I was talking to some friends I had in the space and other brands that were looking to work with. And I'm like, How is this the bar? And we're talking about helping other brands and stuff now. And I've turned down working with a couple people because they asked us if we could do a PFP launch. And then somehow so and I'm sure they paid a lot of money to do that. And it's just I can't fucking believe it. Matt Zahab Maybe I'll play Devil's Advocate. Perhaps there was a crazy timeline crunch with I don't know, maybe it was like you got a week to roll this out. Again. I feel like only what very well, a top five TV show of all time popularity wise, like probably would have got it right. Again, you would know a hell of a lot more not I would you know a hell of a lot more than this than me. I don't get it. I don't get it personally. Marc Seal I can guarantee you you're right. But I don't know if that's enough Devil's Advocate. Yeah, there was for sure a tight timeline. Definitely. But. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Even if there was a tight timeline, what? How have you hire, if there's a tight timeline, hire some professional 3D designers to make your assets tight timeline or not. And the only thing I can imagine with the if who for anybody who's seen that meme picture of I just call him salad fingers where he's got the big, you can see that there's an invisible cylinder in his hand, which means that they probably did is they had they did some generative, I don't want to say generative, he did a procedural process in which they made a bunch of items, those objects could appear in the hands of those characters for a reveal and you would see a character holding what is probably variable rarity to a torch while you'd give a shit if somebody had a torch it seemed like even the objects were not very well thought through but whatever. That's what they did. And it looks like they had a bounding box in there so that the hands instead of gripping it, it just wrapped around the whole invisible bounding box. But how do you not test that? Right like that? That's crazy. And then the quality of it. Just I think the one of the things is you're clipping it looks like a tilted car and it's like this is wheat, or like food bonkers. It's just it's not a well thought out experience the execution was horrible and honestly I feel bad for whoever had even if they were on a time crunch push back. Right. You're a professional tell them tell them no don't be afraid of HBO don't be afraid of the people running Game of Thrones tell them it's not a reasonable timeline. And it as whoever was doing the licensing deal, it's your responsibility to communicate that and then communicate a reasonable timeline. But it's not like they were there's no. What did they launch it with? There's no show or anything I mean, I know they had the other the show but there's no specific timing that when they launched this what this week last week, whenever they launched their it's cheap. There's no key fell in timing. There was no key marketing timing. Matt Zahab So we don't understand. Some let's end on a positive note. What one thing I forgot to ask your team. You guys are living in a house. That's so cool. It reminds me of you know, being at uni kind of thing. Being with your best friends. I'm sure the team is you know, familiar to you guys. You're all living the same house grinding together. What are some of the pros and cons? Perhaps the non-obvious ones have grinded in holing ass in the same house together? Marc Seal Well, I mean, the pros are here together. Right. And that's cool. That's fun. We get to eat together. That's also the con right you're with each other every. Matt Zahab Marc Seal Every day. Yeah. Like you don't weekends off. Like you're gonna talk about work, Phil, who you met, he's gonna start hitting me up telling me that I owe him stuff for marketing. Then, you know, I'm gonna, say something or he's gonna say something snarky. We're gonna get pissed at each other for the weekend. Somebody's gonna make food somebody's not gonna want to eat it or somebody's gonna go out they're gonna blame that I don't want to go so then you get pissed, like you never want to fucking go up. So it's you end up arguing like your family and then you have to kind of suck it up and just get to work anyway on whatever on Monday I say on Monday but we do end up working a lot on the weekends too. So it's cool you do get to build a family you get to know people really well you get to rely on those people to help you build a business and build your futures together and do great things. But you bicker and fight about the dumbest shit where if somebody from the outside is watching, it almost seems unprofessional but just you know, the reality. Matt Zahab It’s the way she goes that's something that I miss so much about you know, even being at an office you know, most of my clients now almost all of my clients is Zoom meetings, Google meets and when it comes to collaboration using a tool like Mural perhaps which does not have again Mural is a great tool in my opinion but it does nothing like be buzzing in a whiteboard with your you know your work family so it is what it is. Marc Seal We have a whiteboard inside we have a couple of whiteboards and we love coming to the office and that's what we do we draw on the whiteboard when I draw on the whiteboard, I look like I spent the last 10 years of my life eating crayons or something because of how shitty my hand writing and art it gets the point across which is good. Matt Zahab Marc what a treat man. The first part of the episode I will I'm gonna need to play that about 100 times so much to learn the whole thing was great thank you so much for coming on. Super pumped to have you on and all the best team in the team before we let you go can you please let our listeners know where they can find you online and on socials? Marc Seal Yeah, absolutely. So I'm my socials are @kurcide (k-u-r-c-i-d-e) everywhere. And then Sortium is the company so you can follow us on Sortium look for us on Twitter. I think we're most active on Twitter right now. For the game CosmoGene (c-o-s-m-o-g-e-n-e) .com. Go to our Discord that's where we are the most active for news on the game. We're all there talking. So join us at Discord anything is literally discord.gg/cosmogene we have the branded link so come on in there's like 27,000-ish users they're talking were doing great things we're getting ready to ramp up our news and everything to people so that's probably the best place but you know you can find me on my socials you could look at Sortium but definitely come join us in discord for CosmoGene because that is going to be the first thing that we start showcasing to the world. Matt Zahab
The Topps Company Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was The Topps Company founded?
The Topps Company was founded in 1938.
Where is The Topps Company's headquarters?
The Topps Company's headquarters is located at One Whitehall Street, New York.
What is The Topps Company's latest funding round?
The Topps Company's latest funding round is Acquired.
Who are the investors of The Topps Company?
Investors of The Topps Company include Fanatics, Madison Dearborn Partners, Tornante Company and Forstmann & Co..
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