Minsc and Hot Pockets
14, Feb, 23

New MTG Promotion Found on Hot Pockets?!

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Following The Walking Dead Secret Lair in October 2020, countless MTG players have been skeptical of the Universes Beyond brand. Not only did the sub-brand threaten to push FOMO-driven sales to a new extreme, but its very existence peeved players. After all, it’s not unreasonable to assume MTG players would be unhappy about bizarre promotions and Optimus Prime popping up within their Set Boosters. Thankfully, for both Wizards and players alike, the handling of the Universes Beyond brand hasn’t been the worst-case scenario. In fact, following successful releases, player opinion around the once-controversial brand has been steadily improving

Despite this, however, there are still plenty of underlying concerns about the potential commercialization of this brand. After all, what’s to stop Wizards from teaming up with non-media properties and brands such as Walmart or Starbucks? Thankfully, it appears this grim future won’t be manifesting anytime soon, as major crossovers for 2023 and 2024 have already been announced. There are some concerns, however, that we’re slowly drifting toward this commercialized future thanks to new MTG promotions. 

Crossover Chaos

Earlier this week, concerns about Magic’s commercialized future almost came to be thanks to “artisanal magical cardboard meme crafter,” Phil Nguyen. Cashing in on the recent announcement of a Lovesac X Magic: the Gathering crossover, Nguyen created an incredibly controversial Secret Lair. Originally devised as a joke, Nguyen’s Lovesac ♥ Secret Lair, “for people that Love Sac’ing things,” would eventually end up on Reddit. Missing the all-important context of this Secret Lair being a parody, Reddit users were quickly outraged by this outlandish crossover. Thankfully, moderators on Reddit would eventually step in to confirm this Secret Lair was fake. By that point, however, the damage had already been done, with many players lamenting what this meant for Magic’s future. 

While the Lovesac Secret Lair was a cleverly concocted parody, the $975 MTG-themed Lovesac chair is very much a reality. Remarkably, this ultra-expensive chair isn’t even the only bizarre MTG crossover promotion to be revealed this week. Across both Reddit and Twitter, MTG players and consumers have been discovering Gideon Jura’s face plastered across Hot Pocket packets. On Reddit, this was highlighted by u/zeLangweenee, who took a fittingly blurry photo of this product, unannounced by Wizards.

Gideon Jura’s Italian Style Meatballs & Mozzarella Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets x MTG Promotion
u/zeLangweenee

Beyond putting Gideon’s face on a box of foodstuffs, the Hot Pocket X MTG promotion offers an assortment of content for MTG Arena players. For better or worse for hungry players, however, the content on offer likely isn’t worth rushing out for. To temper expectations right off the bat, this promotion doesn’t give players any free packs inside MTG Arena. Instead, this promotion utilizes a tiered reward system which is maxed out after inputting five codes. Here’s what you get for each Hot Pocket x MTG code redemption. 

  • 1st Code: Pre-Constructed Deck
  • 2nd Code: Planeswalker Avatar
  • 3rd Code: Planeswalker Deck Sleeves
  • 4th Code: 2000 XP
  • 5th Code: 2000 XP

Curiously, while players are finding these Magic 30 branded Hot Pocket packets in stores now, the promotion isn’t live yet. Instead, only purchases made after 3/1/2023 and before 6/30/2023 are valid for this promotion. Hopeful players who make purchases now will sadly be disappointed, as the website for the promotion isn’t even active. As a result of this, there’s no telling which pre-constructed deck or Planeswalker avatar players will receive. It is possible Wizards have created a new avatar solely for this promotion, however, for now, that is unclear. 

Ultimately, players will just have to wait until the promotion actually activates to find out what’s in store. Once that time comes, players won’t need to spend $900+ to acquire all the codes and content. Instead, players can mercifully earn all five codes they need by simply purchasing one 12-pack of Hot Pockets. This should cost players around $14. Admittedly, this is quite a steep price to pay for an MTG Arena avatar and sleeves. The Phyrexia: All Will Be One avatars, for instance, currently sell for 550 gems each (roughly $3.65).

Perplexingly Pleased Punters

Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After | Throne of Eldraine

Remarkably, reacting to u/zeLangweenee’s post on Reddit, MTG players were surprisingly positive toward this promotion. In fact, the majority of players merely took to joking about the bizarre crossover. Reddit user u/relikter, for instance, joked that Gideon was the Planeswalker on the box since their “invulnerability means he can eat them without burning his mouth. Chandra probably could too, but you don’t want a character associated with uncontrollable fires on the box of your microwavable meal.” Additionally, several players like u/steamhands joked that a “Hot Pockets Secret Lair [is] all but confirmed at this point.” For better or worse, there’s no indication this Secret Lair is actually in the works, however, we wouldn’t put it past Phil Nguyen.

Despite the potential for outrage, especially following the parody Lovesac Secret Lair, many players highlighted how this promotion is hardly a sign of the end times. According to players like u/PiBoy314, these bizarre brand promotions might actually be a good thing. “This is a harmless promo. I would even say it was a good idea. Comments are joking about Hot Pocket Secret Lair, which would also be fun. Offer fun products to your community at reasonable prices, and it’ll help keep the community happy.” Much to Wizards’ delight, it certainly seems that the community is happy, as plenty of players are voicing their eager support for this promotion. 

For better or worse, there’s no telling whether this will lead to bigger and better promotions in the future. Given that Magic’s future is often governed by its successes, however, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more crossovers like this popping up. 

Read More: MTG Players Predict Magic’s Deceptively Obvious Story

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