The Topps Company is announcing today that it is closing down WizKids, its core hobby gaming business, and temporarily discontinuing the WizKids product lines.  Topps CEO Scott Silverstein commented, “This was an extremely difficult decision. But in light of the current economic conditions, we feel it is necessary to align our gaming initiatives more closely with Topps current sports and entertainment offerings which are already being developed within our New York office.”  WizKids is based in Seattle, Washington.


In its statement announcing the closing of WizKids, Topps also indicated that it was pursuing “strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without any noticeable disruption.”


Founded by Jordan Weisman in 2000, WizKids launched the first successful collectible miniatures game (CMG), Mage Knight, and also produced the first constructible strategy game (CSG), Pirates of the Spanish Main, in 2004.  In addition to the successful comic book-based HeroClix CMGs, WizKids also released the Star Wars Pocket Model Game in 2007.


WizKids was purchased by Topps in 2003 (see “Topps Acquires WizKids”), while Topps itself was acquired by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company and Dearborn Partners in 2007 (see “Topps Sold!”).