We sort of missed out on the drama over who would own Topps, the venerable gum and trading card company, but in case you missed it, Michael Eisner’s company came out on top, and according to this article in USA today, he’s got big plans for the company mascot Eisner has his new Mickey: It’s Bazooka Joe.
Eisner, you’ll recall, ran first Paramount and then Disney to mostly successful years. But you can take the guy out of the brand-oriented studio, but can’t take the brands out of the boy:
He wants Topps to create a movie, TV, Internet and publishing franchise around Bazooka Joe, the eye-patch-wearing kid introduced in 1953 on the waxy comics that wrap Topps’ Bazooka bubble gum.
“Bazooka Joe could be the next big hero,” Eisner, 65, says. “I’m not saying it’s going to be Raiders of the Lost Ark,” which he oversaw as CEO of Paramount Pictures. “But that would be the goal. Bazooka Joe is my new Mickey Mouse.”
While considering this much-loved character who appears solely in pun-filled comic strips packaged with squares of barely chewable gum, Eisner reveals even grander plans for the Topps name.
“There’s no reason why there can’t be Topps movies, Topps Internet, Topps television, Topps miniseries and Topps publications,” he says. “It’s all about sports and sports stories.”
Hm…wethinks Eisner may be the next guy to start a comic book company, even though Topps already did that.
A quote further in the article just about clinches it:
Still, aside from Harry Potter, “Most of the characters of the big-event movies made in the last couple of years (including Spider-Man, X-Men, and Superman) were created in comic books 30, 40, or 50 years ago,” Eisner notes.
“I’m hoping that Bazooka Joe has that same little piece of your brain, or somebody’s brain. And if it doesn’t, it’ll just be a good movie and we’ll create a new emotion around it.”
Michael, if you’re reading this, consider it our job application: there is only one story to be told about Bazooka Joe, and it’s the tragic story of how a young boy came to wear an eyepatch! We don’t want to give away the plot here, but we have one word: “Plastics.” Call us.