Quote from Card Slinger J »I'm willing to make the argument that MTG is now involved with class warfare because of Double Masters. So class conflict often referred to as class struggle and class warfare is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society consequence to the socio-economic competition among the social classes are between rich, middle class, and poor. So we can view this as a pyramid and the majority of MTG players are maybe students, probably still in college, maybe younger people. Maybe they're people who don't have the best paying jobs so they would all be at the bottom of the pyramid and support the middle and the top of the pyramid. I started playing MTG right after I graduated from high school so I'd be almost at the bottom of the pyramid. The forms of class conflict include direct violence such as wars for resource and cheap labor, revolution, indirect violence such as deaths from starvation, illness, or unsafe working conditions, economic coercion such as threat of unemployment or with the withdrawal of investment capital or ideologue by way of political literature.
So here we have a system where the majority of MTG players are unable to afford a $100 booster pack or it would be very unwise for them to buy something like this during the middle of a pandemic or at any time really pandemic or non-pandemic and we already have a premium product it's called Double Masters. That itself is a premium product over the other premium product being a regular Masters set. Then that itself is a premium product you know. So a regular Masters set you know, Modern Masters, Eternal Masters, it is itself a premium product of mostly reprints. Then when you make a premium product of a premium product hence Double Masters, double the value I guess and double the cost, then you have a VIP Edition of the premium product of the premium product of the premium product, you can see this going on and on but really it all comes down to class warfare and whether or not you have the money to be one of these cool kids. Do you have the money to open a $100 booster pack?
It's been seen within the Sports Card Industry where some people have collected Sports cards for a very long time where some cards are actually made from gold as in 18 carat gold it can't be 24 carats because apparently the cards get molded. There's Sports cards that were made out of 18 karat gold and they had diamonds in them like legit diamonds including sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, no joke. There's a product called Panini Eminence and there's even different sized diamonds like really sometimes you get really large diamonds in them and of course it's resold throughout so it's not like they're losing money of course they're making a lot of money from these cards or diamonds and these cards made from gold. As in bars of gold in these cards. No joke. Taking a look at the Sports Card Industry and it's evolution it was inevitable that one day MTG would get there. $100 a booster pack is nothing to the Sports Card Industry. In fact $100 booster pack is considered cheap to the Sports Card Industry.
We have things that cost $5,000 a booster pack like it's still packed. It's a box of 10 cards and a few encased cards If you will and it comes in a briefcase or it comes in a really nice wooden cigar box that isn't very fancy. Obviously the Sports Card Industry has dealt with this longer so they've modernized it and they made it so that it's more attractive. Every year you have to do something more attractive than the last year of course. So the Sports Card Industry is ahead of MTG in terms of display and how the cards feel. MTG kinda looks crappy for it's premium products nowadays to be quite honest though it wasn't like this back when they cared about foils more with the From the Vault series or how they used to print old school foils with the shooting star on the bottom of the cards. Why are those kind of foils now only reserved for Judge Promos? They stopped doing this recently but still those old school card templates in foil were pretty nice looking.
The people who open Double Masters being $100 booster packs, they will tend to be wealthier, not all of them some of them will be casual players but they will tend to have more money, and they will tend to be of a different economic stature and that's not good for this game overall. It's very bad actually for society in general. $100 a booster pack is going to divide the games' player base as everyone regardless of their political class whether they're rich, middle class, or poor wants a booster pack. Just because you can't afford it doesn't mean that you don't want it. So you want the cards but you can't afford them. Isn't this a divide that Wizards of the Coast should be more worried about? Players should be treated as If they were ALL in the same social economic status not in segmented groups between rich, middle class, and poor. MTG isn't just a luxury product when it should be a product for ALL players. I get that it's a collectible item but at the same time players need to be able to afford the cost to play it.
Quote from Xcric »i think its also important to remember that the sports card industry completely collapsed in the 90's. more than a few of the reasons why that collapse happened have been popping up in magic lately. i think a lot of those lessons are neglected with magic because its just one company producing the cards, but those lessons are real. they're also quantifiable through other failed tcg's, and magic's own past. the next few years should be interesting to say the least.
Quote from Card Slinger J »Correct. The Sports Card Industry back in the 90's wanted to increase their profits by artificially creating scarcity in very expensive cards and over-producing the 'common' sets which used to be the single set of cards which everyone traded on. By doing so, collectors could no longer find meaningful gems in sets (If you got an All-Star, it wasn't valuable because it wasn't the one in 500 cards randomly placed which had a piece of a game used glove or a personal autograph), making it no fun for them. I only dabbled a little bit into Sports Card collecting when I was a kid growing up in the late 80's and early 90's. One of my cousins used to be really heavy into it back in the day.
MTG Double Masters as well as many other Premium products have limited print runs to create that artificial scarcity with expensive cards that create short term supply so that when these cards spike in price again Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro as well as MTGFinance make more money off the demand for these cards by hoarding sealed Premium products to flip onto the Secondary Market to turn a profit later thus pricing out those who couldn't afford it. I assume that the Sports Card Industry back in the 90's were doing something similar by partaking in this kind of class warfare by pricing their own target demographic out of the market by catering to those who were wealthy and rich enough to afford it.
The marketing bubbles of other collectible items such as ty Beanie Babies show similar stories (which I used to collect as well but were no longer profitable due to how mass produced they were). Early collectors collect purely for the joy than the speculation. The supply of these items declined over time as most of them weren't kept in mint / near mint condition or they we're thrown out. The earliest versions were produced in limited supply due to low demand. Prices spike due to demand, then demand increases for new versions. Manufacturers increase production, speculators think that the new items will appreciate just like the old ones, and buyers stockpile them. Then they cash in and lower prices just to sell.
Quote from user_938036 »It sounds like you are perfectly explaining why Magic doesn't reprint to appease their vocal fans because they learned the lesson that overprinting desired cards causes the collapse of the system. Is that what you meant? If so what is that middle paragraph? It's at odds with the first and last one. Is there something I am missing in what you are saying?
Quote from Feyd_Ruin »Things used to be easier. The reserve list, by definition, shows that WotC once openly acknowledged the secondary market.
One could easily argue that they are now legally bound to it as a Promissory Estoppel, and as such it would be "grandfathered" in as acceptable (since revoking it to align with current laws would also put them legally liable) — as long as they never add to it.
Now days, however, the laws have changed and they have to walk a tight rope.
Reprinting cards to lower prices is, by itself, an absolute acknowledgement of the secondary market. This is why they can never refer to the prices of cards, especially with regards to reprints. They reprint cards that are "desirable" or to "increase supply" in order for more people to play with them. While these two things directly affect price, they can say they're doing the former without acknowledging the latter. It's very much a tight rope.
As to the real question at hand:How can we make these products in a way that allows that audience to get what they want without all of you feeling like we're doing harm to you?Reprint sets should be used to increase supply of desirable cards.
Secret Lair, Promos, Special Pack versions, Alternate Arts, Alternate Frames, etc, should be for the big spenders.
It's the exact same as regular cards vs foil cards that's been here for years. Some people just want cards to play with, so they can enjoy the game, while some love foiling out their entire deck. Give the people who just want to play the game more access to desirable, playable cards, and give the people who like bling fancy versions that we awe at.
Want proof that this will work?
Sol Ring, normal version, is sub $5 from multiple sets.
Sol Ring, Judge Reward, is $190.
Sol Ring, Inventions, is $345.
And sol ring isn't some special case either.
Lotus Petal, normal version, is $8.
Lotus Petal, From the Vault, is $37
Lotus Petal, Inventions, is $125.
Bling caters to that higher-spending audience, which they will pay for, while basic reprints (should) cater to all players. We fully expect to pay more for fancy versions, and many will pay handsomely for it. But average players need to not be priced out of the game because basic format-defining cards have their demand so much higher then their supply.
This would also directly help you to pretend the secondary market doesn't exist. This set isn't more expensive because it contains cards that the secondary market has driven the price up on, they're more expensive only because they're special, rare versions.
Game players win because they can buy reasonably priced products with cards they need in it.High end players win because they can buy super fancy versions to bling out there deck.Collectors win because they'll transition more to the bling versions that fetch high prices.LGS wins because they can sell to all of the above.WotC wins because all of the above are buying.
How can we make these products in a way that allows that audience to get what they want without all of you feeling like we're doing harm to you?
Quote from TheOnlyOne652089 »We got to a point where the chinese proxy fake cards have a BETTER quality than the actual real cards.
Yea, thats just pathetic and sad.
Quote from SpeedGrapher »Quote from TheOnlyOne652089 »We got to a point where the chinese proxy fake cards have a BETTER quality than the actual real cards.
Yea, thats just pathetic and sad.
Yeah, you're right. If you take an old swamp you can do the bend test or just get a good flex. Today if you bend any card you will destroy it. The cards quality is erratic too. Sometimes you get high end cards. Sometimes you get thin garbage with bad printing. Or you get the middle level which is still doesn't compare to an old swamp. They have very high margins now for their product line. That can easily afford to get the old print quality back.
I don't think they need to be sued for anything though. If we are talking about suing a collectible card game company that is a bridge too far. The game will start to implode on it's own if people are that angry. They sure over priced this double masters product. I get that the old suggested retail for a booster box was around $140-$150. But that's crazy, no one ever paid that. It was $90 about for forever. So if we do the old retail then sure it's $300. But it should be more like $180. You get minimum 2x the rares plus some extra. If you feel you need to sue then you probably need to stop playing and find something else to do, because it's not fun anymore for you. I'd suggest completely getting out of tournament play. There are hundreds of sports out there that cost less money that are competitive if that's what people want.