Following its initial release back in June, there’s been no doubt about The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth’s success. Smashing sales records for both volume and single cards, it’s safe to say that packs and decks were flying off shelves. Thanks to this, it’s a good thing that the set was being released twice in an unusual twist!
Aptly named the Lord of the Rings: Holiday Release, this second edition features new MTG cards, treatments, and products. Thanks to all of these, it’s no wonder that many MTG players were seriously excited about the set’s launch. Unfortunately, however, following the launch of these new MTG products, that excitement has been replaced by frustration and outrage thanks to misprints.
The Plight of Galadriel
Despite all the hype around the set’s initial launch, the Holiday Release hasn’t seen nearly as much fanfare. Being surrounded by other competing products, it was remarkably easy to forget this set existed, in fact. Even on social media, the set barely made a peep beyond a few early serialized cards being found.
Breaking the radio silence once again, The Lord of the Rings: Holiday Release recently reappeared, but for all the wrong reasons. As shown off by u/Fight-The-Boss on Reddit, it seems one of the scene boxes has a rather major issue. Specifically, when The Might of Galadriel box is foiled out, it looks utterly atrocious.
Prior to the set’s release, if you asked me about The Might of Galadriel Scene Box, I would have said it looks amazing. After all, like all the Scene Boxes, it features stunning art spread across its six-card scene. Now, however, looking at the image shared by u/Fight-The-Boss, it’s hard to see the beauty.
Like many MTG misprints we’ve seen before, the foil version of The Might of Galadriel is completely overblown. Washing out the colors to a shocking degree, u/Fight-The-Boss claims they can “barely make out anything,” on cards like Galadriel, Light of Valinor. As if the art didn’t look bad enough already, supposedly the photos don’t do these flawed foils justice…
Frustratingly Frequent Flawed Foils
Unfortunately, as much as we dislike them, misprints are hardly uncommon within the wide world of MTG. Every time a set gets released, we’ll often see a few poorly printed, or miscut cards either in person or online. Thankfully, these cards can be replaced, and they don’t happen often enough to cause a major issue.
For The Lord of the Rings: Holiday Release, however, this may not be the case. According to Reddit users, this foiling issue appears to be rather widespread. “Yep, every photo I’ve seen of these cards looks absolutely horrible,” u/HansTheAxolotl claims. Similarly, u/cleofrom9to5 reports that they “Got the Galadriel box and yeah, it’s bad. Kinda reminds me of the Double Feature Foils.”
Thankfully, while it seems the foiling issue evidently isn’t a one-off, not every Galadriel Scene Box has been affected. Unfortunately, however, there are reports that Scene Boxes with correctly printed foils are warped and pringled instead. “Mine had better foiling but came curled,” u/Shadethewolf0 commented. “You’d think they’d do better with something as popular as LotR.”
Just like misprints, frustratingly pringled foils are absolutely nothing new in MTG. While this may be disappointing, it’s just what many players expect when cracking Collector Boosters and foil products. Thankfully, this pringling can usually be mitigated by optimal storage or sleeving, so it’s not the end of the world.
Ultimately, like the majority of printing and pringling errors, this is likely due to specific manufacturing. Since u/Fight-The-Boss claims their cards are “100% WOTC-grade USA foils,” only this region may be affected. Hopefully, thanks to this, there should still be plenty of Scene Boxes that aren’t ruined.
Surprisingly Still Worth It
While production issues are certainly not great to see, especially on a Holiday-focused product like this, Scene Boxes aren’t all terrible. Not only can the misprinted cards be replaced by Wizards, but the new cards are also rather expensive.
Currently, on TCGplayer, The Might of Galadriel Scene Box contains a total value of $28 from cards alone. Most of this value is unsurprisingly thanks to Galadriel, Light of Valinor, who costs nearly $8 as a foil. Just behind this Arboreal Alliance, Galadriel’s Dismissal, and Galadhrim Brigade are all worth around $5+.
Alongside the around $28 worth of foil cards, the Scene Boxes also contain three Set Boosters. Typically worth around $5.25, these three packs add a compelling sum to the box’s value. Bringing the total up to around $43, this Scene Box boasts a few dollars more value than its current price tag.
If this guaranteed value isn’t compelling enough, the Aragorn at Helm’s Deep Scene Box is even better. Thanks to the $25 Legolas’s Quick Reflexes, this box is undoubtedly incredibly valuable. Adding the other cards into the mix, the six foil Scene Cards from this box are worth $45. Add the $15 of Set Boosters, and this typically $33 box contains a remarkable $60 value!