Friday, March 27, 2009

Inkworks Employees out of Work

Trading card maker Inkworks has announced that it's going out of business. Another business to fall during our faltering economy. To be honest, I'm surprised they lasted this long, as the trading card market has been going down hill since the day Inkworks opened. Founder Allan Caplan's ability to snag a few good licenses and his marketing savy and loyal direct market friends must be what's helped to keep them around this long. And I know from taking to our game distributors that Topps and Upper Deck, two other large trading card makers, have been "making changes in their product lines" during this economy.

Licensed entertainment card manufacturer Inkworks Cards, founded by Allan Caplan in 1995, has ceased operations. The company’s next scheduled release was Ghost Whisperer. Declines in trading card sales since the global economic crisis accelerated last September have created a difficult environment for manufacturers in the category.

Inkworks’ recent releases, which include the Spirit and Twilight films, illustrate the difficulty in consistently picking winners in the licensed trading card business. Twilight was a surprise hit, which Inkworks CEO Caplan said was a strong performer for the company, while Spirit was a weak movie and trading card release.

This leaves Topps and Rittenhouse as the last major producers of entertainment trading cards (with the occasional sets from Upper Deck and Donruss).

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