Every time Wizards of the Coast releases a product with a significantly limited print run, we encounter problems. Whether it’s the War of the Spark Mythic Edition or the newest MTG Here be Dragons Secret Lair, these products always sell out at record speeds. Here’s what happened and why super limited print runs aren’t great for MTG.
MTG Here be Dragons
Beadle and Grimms and Wizards of the Coast teamed up to create a high-end limited edition Secret Lair. For the hefty price of $125, you get seven limited edition Secret Lair cards, a very detailed metal dragon life counter with a fitted tin case, a “deck box with a black dragon scale exterior, and a secret surprise that must be discovered by the owner,” and a “set of 100 Inferno of the Star Mounts–themed card sleeves.”
The catch is that the MTG Here be Dragons Secret Lair is restricted to a print run of 10,000. To top it off, up to 10 copies can be purchased per customer. It’s not difficult to buy more than 10 of these if you have different ways to register your payment methods. Either way, this product sold out in record time, leaving many MTG players who were interested in buying this product out of options to do so.
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Let me be clear here; we have no way of knowing how many of these Secret Lairs were bought by individuals looking to resell them for a profit. Investors have been a significant issue with MTG products with an extremely limited print run. To look into this, we can use the War of the Spark Mythic Edition as an example.
The War of the Spark Mythic Edition was a special box of War of the Spark with many limited edition Planeswalkers. When the Mythic Edition released, its value was off the charts. The Planeswalkers alone were worth two to three times the cost of the product on the secondary market. The Mythic Edition sold out in minutes because of the insane hype around this product. I missed the opportunity to purchase one simply because my computer didn’t load the sales page fast enough. The problem extended a lot further, with the seller releasing extra copies of the product that weren’t supposed to be sold, but this is a story for another time. The War of the Spark Mythic Edition was limited to a print run of 12000.
It did not take long for War of the Spark Mythic Editions to pop up all over the place on sites like eBay for three to four times its initial asking price. For the most part, they were selling for those prices too. This confirms that some of the Mythic Edition were bought up by investors. Is the same thing happening for the Here be Dragons Secret Lair?
Here be Reselling
Sadly, inflated prices strike again. All of the product’s listings on eBay are at least two times, closer to three times more than the original price of the MTG Here be Dragons product. This is normal for any product with a limited print run anywhere but has remained a constant issue for all of MTG’s limited print run products. Notably, the reselling problem for the War of the Spark Mythic Edition was significantly worse than it currently is for this product.
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A Proposed Solution
The argument from the business end of these tight print-run products is this: would they have made as much money if the run was unlimited or less constrictive? That’s a question that I can’t answer since there are multiple different costs involved, but there is a way to trim down the presence of reselling for products like this:
- Reduce the number of products that one person can buy. If WPN LGSs want a few copies to sell, you could create a different portal for them to purchase a few more products to sell at a reasonable price. Dedicated individuals could still get away with buying more than the product’s limit, but it would be much more difficult. This, hopefully, would give players who genuinely want a copy of these products more time to arrange the means to purchase it. MTG is an expensive game nowadays.