Michael Eisner's got a thing for Bazooka Joe. The former Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO is acquiring trading card and candy maker Topps (NASDAQ:TOPP) in a $385 million deal. His Tornante investing arm is teaming up with private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners to cash out existing Topps shareholders at $9.75 a pop.

Potential bidders have 40 days to step up to the plate, but don't wait up -- Topps has struck out on the dating circuit before. The company put its confectionary business on the bidding block two years ago, and endured seven months of cricket chirps before deciding to keep the candy.

"Topps' management team and employees are the best in the business, and we look forward to working with all of them to grow the company in new and exciting ways," Eisner notes in this morning's buyout release.

In other words, he's letting employees know that a restructuring isn't in the cards. That may help sway the stock-bearing employee vote, even if a slightly higher bid comes in later this month. A majority of the company's directors have already agreed to vote in favor of the deal.

Trading cards are a tough business in this digital age. Lollipops and gum are cutthroat product lines. The irony here is that Topps seemed to be bouncing back on its own. Net sales dipped in fiscal 2005 and 2006, but were inching higher through the first nine months of fiscal 2007. The company remained profitable even through the top-line slump.

So maybe we'll be hearing more crickets chirping this time around. It's not inconceivable to see companies like Tootsie Roll (NYSE:TR) or Wrigley (NYSE:WWY) step in, if only to cash in on Topps' hot Juicy Drop Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, and Ring Pop sucker lines. As a turnaround play that was just starting to claw its way back, Topps may also look good to other private equity firms.

If Eisner is able to pull this off, it would be a major coup for the former Disney chieftain. After all, Tornante's past deals have been minor. The company acquired a stake in video-sharing site Veoh back in April. And Team Baby Entertainment -- a company that makes sport DVDs dedicated to specific college campuses, like Baby Longhorn and Baby Irish -- was acquired two months later.

Eisner's interests apparently haven't swayed too far from the family-entertainment realm he once ruled. Are small regional amusement parks and independent animation studios next on his radar? Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to stay tuned.

Did you approach Topps as a turnaround story before this morning's buyout? If you enjoy scouring through stocks that are temporarily out of favor, Philip Durell's Inside Value premium research newsletter may be just what you're looking for. Check it out as part of a free 30-day trial.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz used to collect the original Wacky Packages stickers back in elementary school. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney -- a Stock Advisor recommendation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Wrigley is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.