Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Magic: the Gathering delays are no longer a huge surprise. Thanks to “ongoing supply chain disruptions,” countless sets and products have been delayed throughout recent years. Thankfully, the majority of these delays typically do not last too long. However, that’s not the case for every product. For instance, some sets, such as 2022’s Unfinity, were delayed by six months. Worse than this, the Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Secret Lair deck was even delayed by 13 months! This caused no end of concerns and problems, with e-commerce platforms going as far as to cancel orders. Thankfully, this monumental wait should be an outlier. However, news of another Secret Lair delay has MTG players concerned.
Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair Delayed
Originally announced as part of Hasbro PulseCon 2022, on October 1st, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair drop continued the chibli-fication of MTG Planeswalkers. Similar to the initial Li’l Walkers Secret Lair drop from February 2022, MTG players lauded the card’s incredible cuteness. “I just considered buying this for the chibi doggo alone…” Reddit user u/Agnosticwon stated. Outside of the art, however, the value of this Secret Lair drop didn’t initially excite players. Promising only $13.30 of non-foil value at the time, u/RustyFuzzums commented, “would pass on this. Pretty much no value in this Secret Lair.”
Despite the lack of value, however, some couldn’t resist the allure of the adorable art. Subsequently, many MTG players flocked to the HasbroPulse website in order to put down their money. At the time, MTG players were complaining on Reddit about the mysteriously absent Heads I Win, Tail You Lose Secret Lair deck. There was no reason to suspect, however, that such an unprecedented delay would happen again. Unfortunately, some players are now concerned that’s exactly what might be about to happen.
Taking to the MTGFinance subreddit, u/Urmomsmom7001 recently relayed an email they received from Hasbro, which announced the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair has been delayed. The email stated that “the product is currently in production and has encountered some unexpected delays in the process. The new approximate ship date for this item is February 1, 2023. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.” Unfortunately, following a comment from u/Fit_Armadillo_2758, it appears that this delay affects both the foil and non-foil variants.
Not So Limited Edition
Upon hearing about this delay, u/Urmomsmom7001 was quick to stoke the flames of controversy. Writing in their post, “hopefully these won’t turn into 2023’s Heads I Win… type of deal,” u/Urmomsmom7001 helped players assume the worst. Thankfully, while it is entirely possible this delay could drag on for 13 months, we feel that would be unlikely. Unlike the Heads I Win, Tail You Lose Secret Lair deck, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair is fairly typical. There aren’t any foil reversible cards or “super special coins,” which could cause additional production delays. Instead, the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair merely contains five cards, as is usual for the majority of Secret Lairs.
While prospective Li’l’er Walkers owners may not be faced with a 13-month wait, the Secret Lair wasn’t completely clear of controversy. Highlighted by u/Elk_Time, Hasbro initially announced that the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair was a limited-time product. “I want to stress, you can order this starting today, through November 14th, while supplies last,” Gavin Verhey stated during the Livestream. “Unlike a lot of other Secret Lairs, when this drop is gone, it’s gone. There’s only a certain amount of it. So go in and get it now while you can because if it runs out and you haven’t gotten your walkers, well, that’s gonna be a sad time.”
At the time, many players were quick to give in to the hype for this limited-time product since, otherwise, scalpers could ruin the sale. Now that the Li’l’er Walkers Secret Lair drop is experiencing production issues, however, players are doubting Wizards’ limited-run rhetoric. “Absolute FOMO BS by WotC,” u/Elk_Time stated. Similarly, u/Thricegrand questioned, “can you claim a limited number available if you base it on slots in a production schedule?”
Cause for Concern?
Thankfully, while a delay is rarely ever good news in MTG, the Li’l’er Walkers delay likely isn’t the end of the world. With a revised release date of February 1st, 2023, MTG players don’t have long to wait. Should Wizards of the Coast blow past that release date, however, player concerns will obviously be a lot more justified. Outside of the notable examples, such as the Heads I Win, Tails You Lose deck, Secret Lair shipping has actually been getting better recently.
Following a change to the payment structure for Secret Lair orders, players are receiving their drops faster than ever before. Orders from the currently ongoing December 2022 Super Drop, for instance, were shipped to some within two weeks of purchase! This thankfully allowed interested players the rare opportunity to see the bonus cards available for each drop before purchase. Currently, it’s too early to tell whether or not this speedy Secret Lair shipping was just a fluke. Given the past, and ongoing troubles, however, we’re certainly hoping that the recent expedient shipping is a sign of improvement.