Toppstown ribbon cutting!

31 05 2008

Toppstown is open for business, even if it isn’t June 1st…

I’m going in… Alright, birthday entered… Creating a name…Free code…

Hmm… I’ve got to create an avatar. And I can only choose from randomized words picked by Topps. I’m not sure I want to be Mrs. Easy Italian. Or Jo Angel Injector. How the hell do I just type in a name I want? Maybe this “about Toppstown” link will help…

ToppsTown™ is designed for all ages 6-up.

Really? You want 6 year olds to call themselves Mrs Easy Italian? Are kids not able to think up their own avatar name at the age of 6? Oh well.

I guess from now on, I’m Captain Goose something-or-other. Nice to see Topps will allow kids to call themselves “barf” and “poopoo” though. I’m surprised any of those are still available.

Ugh. Creating an avatar. Something I never cared for. I could give my guy two different sized arms, but I cannot stand asymmetry. Darn you, high school geometry.

Finally, I’m in my clubhouse. There’s a bookcase full of baseballs, a toilet, and a cardboard box for a desk with a phone on it. Oh, and cobwebs. I guess no one has to clean up in ToppsTown! Or everyone’s poor and can’t afford a maid.

Alright, on to the virtual cards. My freebie is Mark Teixeiria of the Braves. Not awful. Lets see who represents the Reds in this crazy place… Ken Griffey Jr. (makes sense), Adam Dunn (yeah) and… Ryan Freel?!? What about Jay Bruce, or Edison Volquez? Joey Votto? I hear the Reds have a pretty good 2B, too. And the Giants get five players to the Reds three? What the-?!? Wait. There’s Edison Volquez. Shows him as an Indian. Wtf, Toppstown? How long have you had to get this right before the launch?

Or is this a planned error to drum up interest? Sneaky Topps. I almost fell for it.

Off to the game zone. First up, the Daily Sports Jackpot. Kids can learn to gamble early in Toppstown. Maybe there’s Daily Cigarette Machine for them to play with as well. Hot Dog Canon is like Space Invaders, only with a hot dog canon. There’s a HR contest, a pitching contest, and a hitting contest, too. And one where you pop bubble gum on your face. Awesome.

The good thing is the games seem pretty simple for kids and should have them rolling in Topps points. The games do take a while to load and are a bit limited by the rules (ie, 10 balls to hit, and that’s the end, start over again). And the points are good only to add design to your avatar or clubhouse. I could care less, but maybe tech savvy kids will have to get earn 700 points for diver flippers or 2500 points for an arm holding a bag of peanuts.

Well, scanning the trade offers, no one wants big Tex right now. So I’ll wait a while before coming back. Like maybe when I get a code or two to enter and see who the big surprise is. Until then, it’s clear that Toppstown isn’t for the older collectors. It’s geared toward the kids who want to play games and click on ads to earn free virtual cards worth nothing.

In the end, I guess it’ll show kids that the cards are worth what they want to give up for them rather than the hobby regulated price. And kids can get their favorite players from someone who wants a card they have, which is what trading used to be about.

Until I see what kind of people move into to Toppstown, I’ll just rent a condo and sit on the porch for awhile.

*UPDATED* So I went to the library today and marvelled as three kids, maybe 10 years old, sat in the corner and argued about trading coats and goggles for some online avatar they created. While that’s a boost to the chances of this thing working (and it makes me wonder why kids think it’s cool), I also found myself asking why kids would leave the site they were on and go to Toppstown. But I also didn’t want to be creepy adult and talk to kids in the library, either, so I let it go…

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5 responses

4 06 2008
Erica

Hi! This is Erica from WonderGroup, the company that helped develop ToppsTown.com. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy your experience in Topps Town (you’re right, it’s more of a kid thing), but thank you for exploring it anyway.

5 06 2008
handcollated

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just that there wasn’t much to do without the codes. As an adult, the idea of playing games for wacky glasses or green hair has come and gone. Once I gather some ToppsTown codes, though, I’ll probably head back over there.

5 06 2008
Erica

I can definitely understand that. Hope to see you there soon… new features will be rolling out frequently, so I hope you find something you like next time you visit!

9 06 2008
MR. BULLET SPITTER

It’s a good site. But I am a Kid.I Think the avatar and clubhouse items are overpriced and you should get the cards online that you get in your real pack of cards.

16 12 2008
Mr Mad World

i think the stuff is a bit overpriced and im a kid too. because i am kid that prevents me from being able to buy packs which prevents me from getting points and the point of the site is hiding away from me still i also think its hard for me from bieng able to play enough games to get points and to make it worse i cant play on school days wich are mon, tues, wed, thurs, friday so its very hard to me so i think its hard for children like me that dont have ther parents support on ther side.

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