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Michael Eisner Career Update

Michael Eisner

Now that Michael Eisner has purchased the ailing Topps baseball card company, he’s finally in charge of a company that has to use all of his ill-conceived ideas. According to the NY Times, his latest stroke of genius is to combine motion capture and 3D technology with baseball cards. The article gives plenty of details about what Eisner is doing with Topps, a company that he views “as a cultural, iconic institution not that different from Disney; it conjures up an emotional response that has a feel good, Proustian kind of uplift.” Eisner is also developing a movie based on the company’s Bazooka Joe bubble gum and has created a seventeen-episode online comedy series Back on Topps that “spoofs his acquisition of the company.”

(Thanks, Mike Hayde)

  • a reader

    All winners, every one.

    Good grief. What a stunning lack of acumen.

  • Jorge Garrido

    “and has created a seventeen-episode online comedy series Back on Topps that “spoofs his acquisition of the company.” ”


    I love Wesley Morse’ original Bazooka Joe comics and characters, but this post-modern/corporate satire stuff seems a little inside baseball. I don’t see it fitting in with the spirit of the original strip.

  • Patrick Runyan

    I don’t really care for Eisner however, in the early 80s he did help save Disney from hostile takeover and possible anatomization. Without him Disney animation could have possibly died with “The Fox and the Hound”. How tragic would that have been? So give it a rest. Most of you would probably not be in the business if it where not for him. Enjoy what you had.

    • Yeah, you sound like a Patrick Runyan I once knew a long time ago… Yo ho ho ho, a pirate’s life for me…

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Please. His big ‘Bazooka Joe’ press release didn’t once mention Wesley Morse. My guess: corporate clod Eisner never even heard the name before. First orders of business will be to lose Joe’s beloved eyepatch and lower Mort turtleneck collarline to give him a visible mouth – out of which will spout generic, corporate-approved PC platitudes disguised as “jokes”. After that, who cares?

    Topps has been selling off everything that made the company great on eBay for years: including original Norm Saunders, Wally Wood, Jack Davis and Basil Wolverton art, etc. I’m sure Mr. Eisner had a hand in that. At least animation is rid of that buffoon.

  • Tom

    While I think that the baseball card industry couldn’t possibly grow (i.e. newspapers) and It was probably an error to acquire Topps, I think his tenure at Disney was a lot less harmful and more productive than people give him credit. Disney is still around, still wholly owned, and still one of the biggest media companies in the world. Everything is slowly getting back to normal over there so the mistakes he did make won’t be around much longer (Pixar, Closing hand-drawn, stale parks).

    Also, check out the package on that batter.

  • Michael Eisner was very good for Disney — and very bad for Disney.

    However, he did provide me with twenty one years of cartoon gags.

  • Kyle Maloney

    We can only imagine what may or may not have happened before he came to “save” the company. I think it would have been fine without him. sure, things would be different, but we cant say someone else wouldn’t have stepped in can we? What we do know is the damage he has caused to the Disney brand.

  • Patrick Runyan

    Read “Storming the Magic Kingdom”. Disney Co. was finished if Roy hadn’t hired Eisner and Frank Wells. There would be no “Little Mermaid” Reunion (see below) with out Roy, Eisner & Wells. What happened later on is another story.

  • Instead of a stick of gum, he should include a stick of steroids.

  • Smirnov

    His Disney tenure might make the best Topps online tale – Michael Eisner: Savior to Antichrist in two short decades.

  • No no Patrick, don’t you get it?

    Once an animation exec screws up, you are NEVER allowed to acknowledge or recognise ANY good things they may have done EVER AGAIN!


    Personally, I hold David Stainton personally responsible for the near-death of 2D, not Eisner.

  • tgentry

    Unless he drops the price of card packs he can expect more lackluster sales until the whole thing collapses. It costs several dollars now to get 6 cards. I won’t go into a “when I was a kid” diatribe, but needless to say it’s a giant ripoff. I was hoping to get my kid into the hobby like I used to be, but it’s all about the cash now.

  • Quote: “Also, check out the package on that batter.”

    That’s Ryan Howard.

    He notoriously gave au naturale locker room interviews as a rookie on a lost bet. Inside sources suggest that model, if anything, is stingy.

  • Well, one thing’s for sure, any Bazooka Joe movie, no matter how we feel about the outcome, is going to stir the pot. If we take advantage of the opportunity provided, it will set the stage for a wider discussion of Wesley Morse, revealing him for the comics pioneer he was!

  • s porridge

    If you collect 500 ticket stubs from “Bazooka Joe” the movie, can you send ’em in for a swell prize?

    (Sorry — somebody had to say it.)

  • Patrick Runyan

    Amy, I concur.

  • Jason

    I think Eisner was fine when Frank Wells was alive and able to hold him in check. Once Wells died, Eisner’s ego went on a rampage and pushed Jeffrey Katzenberg out of the company – and it was Katzenberg, far more than Eisner, who helped the new Disney animated films regain the old Disney magic. Plus, in pushing out Katzenberg, Eisner turned a useful ally into a formidable adversary – how smart was that? I’m so glad he’s gone…

  • gman

    I agree with Jason.

  • Paul N

    I’m with Patrick – “Storming the Magic Kingdom” should be required reading for anyone who solely wants to dump on Eisner. You may consider him a tool, but sometimes tools are useful in repairing things that are about to collapse.

  • matt

    Can anybody tell me how this supposed “stroke of genius” is essentially any different to the PS3/eyetoy game “Eye of the beholder” which combines real playing cards with overlaid 3d graphics and has been around for a couple of years now?

  • Matt, the PS3 title you are referring to is “Eye of Judgement”. http://www.us.playstation.com/PS3/Games/THE_EYE_OF_JUDGMENT

    It’s quite good. A similar technique was recently used in the GE Windmill website. http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1903121

  • matt

    Oops. Serves me right for not checking. You’re the man, Floyd. Beholder would have made a better pun/Dad joke though!;)

    It does seem “slightly” similar, doesn’t it?! The GE thing was cool, and I just remembered there was a game that was exactly the same at the Star Wars Science exhibition….