WizKids, Inc. was a Seattle-based company that first made its mark in the nonelectronic game industry producing collectible miniatures wargames. The company was founded in 2000 by BattleTech co-creator Jordan Weisman, a veteran of the game company FASA. It was purchased by sports card manufacturer Topps, Inc. in 2003, and Topps in turn was acquired by Fanatics, Inc. in early 2022.
WizKids is best known for its collectible miniatures games (or CMGs) Mage Knight, HeroClix, MechWarrior: Dark Age, and HorrorClix, all of which make use of the company's patent pending "Clix" system in which the changing combat statistics and abilities of each figure are indicated by a turnable dial inside the base underneath the figure.
Though they proved less successful, WizKids also produced the short-lived CMGs Crimson Skies, Shadowrun Duels, and Creepy Freaks, as well as a baseball-themed CMG called MLB SportsClix. A CMG called ToonClix was announced in March 2006, but canceled before it was released.
In July 2004, WizKids created a new product category with the release of their first constructible strategy game (or CSG), Pirates of the Spanish Main, which retains a small amount of popularity. Their next CSG was a science fiction game called Rocketmen, released in the summer of 2005, followed by a NASCAR CSG called RaceDay later that year, though these last two games are no longer being supported with new releases.
In 2005, WizKids released their first collectible card game, High Stakes Drifter. This game has since been discontinued. In May 2006, they released their second CCG, a licensed Battlestar Galactica game based on the reimagined TV series.
WizKids has entered the board game market with a game called Tsuro in 2005, followed by Oshi in 2006. They also owned the rights to the role-playing games Shadowrun, BattleTech and MechWarrior, which they licensed to FanPro in 2001, and later InMediaRes in 2007.
The Topps Company announced on Monday, Nov. 10th 2008 that it would be closing down WizKids and discontinuing product lines including HeroClix. In the statement announcing the close of WizKids, Topps also indicated that it was pursuing alternatives to discontinuing brands so they could continue on without any noticeable disruption in future product offerings.
WizKids was reestablished as a brand in 2011 to market their various clix games, but without a license to produce further BattleTech/MechWarrior: Dark Age material. Now owned by license clearinghouse NECA, the WizKids brand has since been further expanded to cover an assortment of original and licensed board games, miniatures, and accessories unrelated to the former FASA properties.
- WizKids web site
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