People love The Walking Dead. Despite some rage-inducing story decisions made at the end of this last season (and numerous times throughout the show's run depending on who you're asking), the show is still one of the biggest hits not on premium cable. It's so successful it even necessitated the creation of a spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, which showcases the zombie apocalypse from an all-new perspective of characters not seen in the comic series before. And there's the post-show talk show too, but the merits of its existence is a whole different discussion nobody wants to have.

While there has certainly been no shortage of merchandise for the television show, including trading cards, Topps has seen fit to add the popular series to its stable of licensed products. Things kicked off today with the launch of a new, free digital card app, The Walking Dead Card Trader, with physical cards planned to follow later in 2016. What kind of cards are we talking about here? Walkers. Lots and lots of walkers.

Unlike existing digital apps like Bunt, Huddle, Kick and Star Wars Card Trader, The Walking Dead Card Trader doesn't have a massive history where it can pull from. There have been six seasons of the show, so there are a number of cards featuring the likes of Glenn, Carl, Carol and the rest of the human cast as they've progressed over the years. While the main stars are surely going to be the big draw, a large percentage of the cards included so far feature the grim visages of death and decay known as zombies.


The Walking Dead Card Trader


You've got classic undead monsters like Bike Girl, No Jaw, Stomachless Stan, and Crispy Pete; basically all the guys and girls you tune in every week to see fall apart just a little bit more. And if one of your favorite living people got zombified? Yeah, that version of their ugly mugs are in there too.

Though it's early in the app's life, Topps has already kicked off the very first marathon (a multi-week event to collect special cards with increased rarity), Chop, which features character images on the blade of a meat cleaver. Chop is a 30 week event, split into three periods, with each period offering a separate award card for finding the 10 weekly cards in that timeframe. The first limited inserts, Black and White Portraits, are also available now, but that's a shorter nine-card set with a number of variants to potentially collect.

If you've used any of Topps' other apps, The Walking Dead Card Trader should feel immediately familiar. Thought the physical cards aren't currently available, the digital cards give a good indication of what to expect. All four of Topps' digital series share assets between digital and physical realms, including the inserts. We can probably expect autographs and relics (pieces of clothing worn by X actor) to arrive sometime soon too. Though the digital versions won't really have much to offer besides looking nice and being rare, getting something like a piece of Daryl Dixon's vest would be pretty monumental for any number of his legion of fans.

Curiously the biggest characters like Rick, Michonne and Daryl don't have any base cards. Every card of theirs currently in the app is one of the inserts that are much harder to find. That's not something we've seen before from Topps' apps. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out in the coming weeks, as restricting the most popular characters is sure to rile some fans. I can't imagine if the same tactic was used in Star Wars, and characters like Luke and Leia were only available in rare cases.

The Walking Dead Card Trader is currently available for free on iOS and Android devices. The physical cards are set to arrive later this year.


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