Thanks to supply chain complications and the COVID-19 pandemic, MTG has experienced a number of shipping issues recently. Premier and supplemental sets have both been delayed on numerous occasions, and Secret Lair shipments have been similarly affected. Subsequently, it’s unfortunately no longer that big of a surprise to see news of a delay plastered over Wizards’ website. Recently, however, thanks to the extra exclusive 30th anniversary celebrations, MTG players have been experiencing a new issue; product shortages. For better or worse, this new problem may ruin the sale of the much anticipated 30th Anniversary Edition for MTG players.
An Extra Exclusive Anniversary
Despite arguably being the best time to bring the community together in celebration, MTG’s 30th Anniversary has been remarkably exclusive. Not only have these celebrations been prohibitively expensive for many players, but even acquiring the product isn’t without its difficulties. For some celebrations, such as Magic 30 in Vegas, this couldn’t be helped, as event space was a real concern. Other products, however, such as the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit, didn’t necessarily need to be pre-printed limited supply products. Admittedly, this printing strategy did allow the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit to arrive before December and be an MTG players’ ideal advent calendar. However, the limited supply nature of this product also caused some serious problems for excited players.
Due to the exclusivity and the value of the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit, demand was extremely high for the product. Leading into the product’s release, there was already the expectation that it was going to sell out quickly. Unfortunately for enthusiastic players, however, this eager demand caused another problem as scalpers became interested in the sale. Thanks to these unscrupulous scalpers, and a bafflingly high buy limit of 30 kits per order, the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit sold out in minutes. Coupled with tech issues caused by the overwhelming demand, many MTG players were left without this would-be celebratory product. Some players were so frustrated by this, that they even petitioned Wizards to reprint the product sometime in the future.
A Warning From Wizards
Unfortunately, while Wizards has somewhat learned their lesson, this problem is expected to happen again very soon. In just a few days, Wizards of the Coast will launch sales for 30th Anniversary Edition via 30thEdition.wizards.com. While many players aren’t at all excited about this product, Wizards is still expecting demand to be high. In a recent news post, Wizards warned players that they should be ready for when the sale kicks off at 9 AM PT on November 28th. According to Wizards, “this collectible is very limited, so you must be online at that time if you want to get your copy.”
Without an official confirmation of print numbers, it’s unclear exactly how limited this product will be, however, it’s clear Wizards expects it to sell out fast. Subsequently, thanks to this expected demand, it’s likely scalpers will come out of the woodwork once more. Thankfully, this time around, Wizards of the Coast has learned their lesson and implemented a buy limit. “Carts will be limited to five displays per order.” While this should help curb scalpers’ power to ruin the sale, unfortunately, this buy limit isn’t a steadfast rule. Continuing, Wizards explained that “if you wish to purchase more, you may re-enter the queue after completing your order (while supplies last).”
Due to this stipulation, MTG players who want to purchase the $999 30th Anniversary Edition kit will need to make sure they’re lined up on time, or else they might miss out. For the sake of clarity, here’s the important information once again. Orders for 30th Anniversary Edition open at 9 AM PT / 12 PM EST / 5 PM BST on the 28th of November.
Is There Demand
While Wizards of the Coast appears to think that 30th Anniversary Edition will sell out fast, vocal MTG players aren’t so convinced. Since its announcement in early October, 30th Anniversary Edition and its $999 price tag have been subject to constant ridicule and criticism. Subsequently, it’s understandable to doubt the interest in this product, even if it does contain Black Lotus reprints.
Most recently, players on the MTGFinance subreddit have been complaining once again about 30th Anniversary Edition’s exorbitant price point. Running a poll to determine interest, u/CommunicationCalm796 asked, “what price point would you engage with MtG 30th AE at.” While this poll is currently ongoing, the votes show that very few players are actually interested in 30th Anniversary Edition. Out of the roughly 5,900 votes counted so far, 3,700 players stated “there is no price point that I would encourage me to engage with this product.” Roughly 2,000 players, meanwhile, selected that they would pay $99 for the product. Only 69 players, so far, have stated via this poll that they would pay the current $999 price tag.
In the comments of u/CommunicationCalm796’s poll, several players voiced their opinions while offering alternative price points. Reddit user u/BigAnxiousBear for instance stated they would only pay less than $10. “A product that serves no gameplay purpose and is marketed primarily as a ‘celebration of the game’ should have been accessible so everyone could celebrate the game.” Similarly, u/Rachel_from_Jita suggested “if they wanted to be greedy to a cruel level they could have done 3 packs for 60 quid in a blister pack, kind of like some [Modern Horizons] products had been sold in 3 packs. […] But at 80 pounds or above and above the community was always going to reject the product.”
Only Time Will Tell
For better or worse, there’s no telling how well the 30th Anniversary Edition boxes will sell. Clearly, a lot of players aren’t happy with the price point, but there are some who are willing to engage. For those who do participate in the sale, 30th Anniversary Edition may turn out to be a somewhat sound investment. Despite being reprints that aren’t tournament-legal, chase 30th Anniversary Edition cards are still seriously expensive. A 30th Anniversary Edition copy of Mox Pearl for instance, made waves by selling for more than the real thing! Subsequently, depending on the print volume, 30th Anniversary Edition cards may be highly prized as near-mint collector’s items. However, only time will tell what value these cards will actually hold. For that, we’ll just have to wait and see.