The next big Universes Beyond crossover releases this Friday. After the raving review that Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth received, Doctor Who is primed and ready to go, and a lot of people are excited. Featuring four Commander decks, some Collector Booster boxes, and a few Secret Lairs, the Doctor Who crossover looks like a fantastic addition to the Commander format that scratches all the right itches.
Despite the set seeming so spectacular, one potential problem may stop players from enjoying the Doctor Who Crossover before they can even get access to it. A few sources are complaining that their Doctor Who allocations are extremely thin. Doctor Who sealed products may become extremely expensive because of early supply issues.
Impossible to Find?
A few sources are flagging a potential issue with Doctor Who allocations. While some skepticism has been seen by the community, discarding these claims as an attempt to pump the prices of Doctor Who products before release, there is still a chance that these Doctor Who products may be a lot harder to find than we expect.
One such claim is currently trending on Reddit. The poster has stated that they will not be receiving any product this upcoming Friday:
“Shop owner here. I received an email from my distributor (GTS) regarding production issues on the Doctor Who set. I’m not getting ANY product on Friday. This has never happened before. Has anyone heard anything else about an issue?”Gagoozle
This is far from the only comment claiming that Doctor Who allocations are becoming an issue. According to a recent video released by MTG guru Alpha Investments, multiple store owners are claiming supply issues with the Doctor Who Product:
“So I thought at first there was just a couple people trying to be dramatic to raise the prices of these Doctor Who Collector Boxes and Commander sets, and I thought there was just some false rumors and some fake news circulating because I saw stores ‘we normally get 120 collector boxes and our distributor cut us down to 12. We got 10% of what we requested.’ And another store goes, ‘we usually get 60 collector boxes, and we got 10’. We haven’t had a Magic set that was short printed in a really long time.”Alpha Investments
After receiving allocation numbers himself, it does seem like there are fewer of these to go around than expected. While Rudy remains skeptical that there is truly less Doctor Who product to go around overall, he is receiving only 1400 of his 6000 allocated Collector Booster boxes, the lowest he’s ever been allocated for a set in quite some time.
“It is confirmed, Doctor Who appears to be short printed, but I don’t know if this is Wizards trying to prevent the next collapse, or did they actually print a lot and they realized, crap, we can’t release this, it’s going to fall apart. I am so blown away right now that we have a Magic set coming in the next few weeks, and, did they actually adjust print runs finally after two-three years of problems?”
To reconfirm, while a lot of Rudy’s early examples talk about the Collector Booster packs, if this short-printed problem is true, Rudy has confirmed in this video that it will affect Commander decks as well. While the early release of Doctor Who appears to be short-printed, the motive behind that short-printing is what’s in question at the moment.
Once again, whether the initial wave is having printing problems or the entire set is short-printed are two different scenarios. While the initial wave of Doctor Who products appears to have product issues, there is no confirmation that this is actually a short-printed set.
What this dials down to for players’ wallets is that Doctor Who sealed products will likely see a price increase in the short term. If supply is restored to expected levels, anyone who purchases Doctor Who products for these premiums is losing money. In the incredibly unlikely scenario where this set is actually short-printed, things could play out very differently. For now, I would not make that assumption.
Off the wave of claims from various sources, players’ first worry is that Amazon will start canceling preorders for Doctor Who product. This was apparently an issue with the last Universes Beyond crossover: Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, and those issues haven’t been resolved even months later:
“I suspect a lot of Amazon pre-orders are going to be cancelled. Especially with the recent price increase, due to general insanity.”yarash
“Amazon still is having issues shipping out all four LOTR decks and it’s been months.”jestergoblin
As mentioned by yarash, in the seemingly true scenario that the initial supply of Doctor Who products is limited, this could drive prices past what preorder prices are locked in at. If this is the case, a common, but scummy, practice for some product providers is to cancel orders stating that there are supply issues and relist the product for higher prices. For this reason, it’s always best to exhibit caution in these rumor-infested situations since some sellers may just be trying to make an extra buck at your expense.
Similarly to all the claims that shortages are coming, there are also claims from some stores aren’t having any supply issues:
“My local store (in the UK) has not said anything about supply issues, but they have made sure to get people to preorder if they wish to get a copy.
This could be due to popularity, given the similarities between Dr Who and Warhammer 40K sets, or could be low allocation of stock.”Chr1st0pher
This serves as a reminder that, while initial product shortages for Doctor Who do seem to be true, your individual situation could be entirely unaffected.
Allocation Shortages are Coming
At the end of the day, what we do know is that the initial wave of Doctor Who product appears to be extremely limited.
“The rumors are true. Supply and store allocation has been severely reduced, the biggest reduction in supply I’ve seen on a Magic set in years.”Alpha Investments
What we don’t know is why this is happening. While this could be a larger pivot in supply for an MTG set, it’s likely more to be a simple production issue. This will, regardless, drive prices upwards for Doctor Who products in the short term. How long prices remain driven up, whether it’s for months or just days, depends on when supply, or if supply, will be restored to the expected quantities. If you’re looking to get your Doctor Who product on release day and don’t have a preorder lined up, products may be more expensive than expected.
If you’re expecting a preorder, our advice would be to contact your LGS and make sure everything is still in working order.