15, May, 23

MTG Players Enraged by Ridiculous Product Packaging!

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Article at a Glance

Have you ever bought a box of cards, excitedly open it up like it’s Christmas Day, and only find one shiny booster pack instead of the multiple that you expected? Well, this was a real problem with a recent MTG set concerning Collector Booster packs. The amount of packing that one can find on some of these products is somewhat confusing, leading players to seriously ask if the ridiculous amount of packaging used for a single Collector Booster pack in big box stores is absolutely necessary. It turns out there’s actually a pretty good reason for it, thanks to a few bad actors.

There’s Only One Pack in Here!

This isn’t necessarily a new trend. Big box stores selling premium Collector Booster MTG products have been engaging with this sort of packaging for quite some time now. Unfortunately, this packaging has been pretty misleading in the past, leading to a lot of scam opportunities. The worst of these occurred with Double Masters 2022.

Regarded by many as the premium set of the year, Double Masters 2022 Collector Boosters were a bit different from the rest. Offering an incredible amount of value in comparison to regular Collector Booster packs, the Double Masters 2022 Collector Booster box only offered four packs instead of 12 – meaning these packs retail for a lot more than the average Collector Booster pack. Whether or not it’s worth buying one of these is a completely different conversation, but this led to a unique problem that the MTG community hadn’t really seen before.

Long story short, the big box store single Collector Booster packaging and the actual four-pack Collector Booster box were way too similar. This allowed bad actors to try and sell single Collector Booster packs on sites like eBay while trying to pass it off as the much more expensive four-pack product. The difference in price between these two products was, generally, more than $200. In other words, bad actors were trying to sell one pack for the price of a whole box, and it was working.

This isn’t as much of an issue anymore, but this packaging also stemmed from the original reason why big box stores had to switch to an absurdly overabundant style of packaging: it’s because players like to steal shiny MTG cards.

Anti-Theft Technology

Recently Redditor salfiert took to the platform after discovering a March of the Machine Collector Booster in a big box store. The thread had a pretty catchy title explaining the situation: Is this amount of packaging really necessary for one booster?

Many Redditors agree that, at first glance, the amount of packaging provided for one Collector Booster pack can be seen as an absurdity:

“Wtf is this? Is there no other way? Fuck that. It’s sickening the amount of corporate protection of assets at the cost of waste and environmental impacts. Hold em accountable every time. This amount of package is absolutely not and has never been necessary.”


“It is completely necessary. This way you can get even more worthless shiny cardboard for your money!”


Unfortunately, there is a good reason why these products’ packaging is so excessive. Collector Boosters, especially when presented like blister products, are extremely easy to steal. The overwhelming consensus of the community is that these Collector Boosters are packaged this way to make them harder to burgle:

“It’s for big box stores so it is not as easy to steal off the shelf. So yeah.”


“It’s anti-theft. WOTC can make the boxes huge, or you can wait for the store to unlock them from the cabinet with the eye drops and adult disease prevention items.”


As mentioned, there are other ways to offer anti-theft protection to Collector Booster product besides putting in a brick of shiny cardboard. You could, as with some video games, put it behind a locked display cabinet, requiring an employee to unlock it. However, unless those employees follow you to the cash register and cash you out, it would not entirely negate the problem. Instead, this tactic could simply alienate customers without adding any benefit.

Read More: MTG Players Baffled at Foreshadowed Survival of Major Villain!

The First Collector Booster Product

The real reason why Collector Booster products now have such excessive packaging at big box stores (not your LGS) is because of what happened when the first Collector Boosters got released. For reference, 2019’s Throne of Eldraine was the first MTG set that offered a Collector Booster product line. With incredibly powerful (and now very banned) cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Once Upon a Time, this was definitely an MTG set to remember.

Originally, single Collector Booster packs for this set were packaged just like a blister pack. An example of this packaging style can be found above. If you’ve ever been to a big box store that sells MTG, chances are you’ve seen this packaging on single Booster packs.

The first thing that bad actors can do to try and steal the contents was open up the pack inside. This is, obviously, very illegal, and now much more difficult to do since there’s a box of shiny cardboard in the way. It should not need to be said that we do not condone stealing MTG product, but here it is anyway. Do not steal Magic cards.

The bigger issue with the original Collector Booster packaging, however, was the uncanny ability to pass off Collector Booster blister packs as normal ones, fooling a cashier who is unlikely to be familiar with the particulars of MTG product:

“Blame MTG players for being thieves. When they rolled out the individual collector boosters that used the normal sized minimalist packaging that the draft boosters had. So people would go to self checkout with 1 draft booster and all the collector boosters, and scan them as all being draft boosters. MTG players stole SO many of them they had to be pulled from stores nationwide and the packaging entirely redesigned to be much larger and completely distinct.”


“I think one possible reason they started doing this was to show clear differences between collector Boosters and regular. To the average Wal-Mart employee they probably wouldn’t notice the difference of just the packs.

The good old double scan pack trick works a bit less when the packaging is vastly different.”


Long story short, bad actors who wanted to pocket a $40 pack for cheap would stack a few normal booster packs on top of a pile. The cashier, to save time, would simply scan the first pack multiple times, allowing the bad actor to pay the price of a Draft Booster pack for the very similarly packaged Collector Booster pack. This problem is completely solved by making the products look entirely different.

This got so bad that, as mentioned by Redditor Desperada, the Collector Booster blister packs got pulled from a lot of brick-and-mortar storefronts. They were simply too easy to steal, and, while these stores have to deal with the odd pack going missing regardless, $40 was too steep of a price. Card thefts in big box stores are so common that Wal-Mart even considered parting ways with the product in the past.

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Are There Other Solutions?

Ultimately, while the packaging used to encapsulate a Collector Booster at big box stores is definitely on the excessive side, it may also be a necessity. As has been represented again and again in faulty MTG product packaging, like the passing off of Double Masters 2022 product as a different one, and the resealing of Modern Masters 2015 packs after taking out valuable cards, bad actors who can take advantage of a situation will not fail to do so.

These packs are going out to a lot of different stores that participate in different practices, so trying to find a universal solution can be pretty difficult. Once again, there is a scenario where stores start putting these cards behind a locked display case (the Gamestop in my area already does this), but will this be enough to solve the initial problems that plagued Collector Boosters will simpler packaging? I don’t think so, but I do hope a solution is found in the future. Otherwise, the Collector Booster product could simply be an LGS-only affair.

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