Magic: The Gathering’s latest crossover set, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, has been generating a lot of buzz among fans and collectors, especially because of the inclusion of a unique and highly valuable card: the serialized One Ring. This card, which is the only one of its kind in the world, was recently found in a collector booster pack in Canada, ending the hunt for the elusive prize that had a bounty of up to $2 million. However, the discovery of the One Ring also had an impact on the market value of the collector booster boxes, which have seen a significant drop in price since then.
What is the One Ring card?
The One Ring card is a special variant of the Sol Ring card, which is a staple artifact in many Magic formats. The One Ring card features a unique art by Veli Nyström, depicting the iconic ring from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy saga. The card also has a serial number on the bottom right corner, indicating that it is the only one ever printed. The card was randomly inserted in one of the English collector booster packs from the LTR Bundle and collector booster boxes, not the gift bundle.
The One Ring card was announced by Wizards of the Coast (WotC) as part of the promotion for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set, which is part of the Universes Beyond line that features crossovers with other popular franchises. The set contains 281 regular Modern-legal cards and up to 451 through variants, featuring characters, locations and events from Tolkien’s world. The set also includes 30 reprints of existing Magic cards with new names and artworks, classified as Realms and Relics cards.
The One Ring card was expected to be highly sought-after by collectors and fans, as it is a rare and valuable piece of Magic history. WotC even offered a reward of $100,000 for anyone who would find and send them a picture of the card. However, other parties also expressed interest in acquiring the card, such as online retailer Dave & Adams, which offered a bounty of $2 million for the card.
How did the One Ring card affect the collector booster boxes?
The hype around the One Ring card created a surge in demand for the collector booster boxes, which are a premium product that contain 12 collector booster packs and one box topper. Collector booster packs are designed to offer more chances to get rare and special cards, such as foil variants, extended art cards, borderless cards and showcase ring cards. Collector booster packs are also the only source of serialized Sol Ring cards, which are another type of variant that have a limited print run and feature different artworks based on different races from The Lord of the Rings.
According to TCGplayer’s chart, the market value of the collector booster box was previously valued at $478.69 between June 27 and June 29, just a day before the One Ring was found. Since then, the collector booster box has steadily been dropping in value, all the way down to $391.55, the lowest it’s been since the start of June. This confirms that the price hike that can be seen on the chart towards the end of June was likely just fueled by collectors looking for the One Ring.
However, it’s worth noting that the value of these boxes has fluctuated a bit since the One Ring was found. Although it did see a big drop to less than $400 at one point, TCGplayer currently has the box listed with a market value of $401.63, which suggests that it’s creeping back up a little bit. It’s doubtful that it’ll ever return to the high 400s like it previously was, but it does show that the boxes are still being sold and have value.
This could in part be due to the inclusion of other serialized Sol Ring cards that can also be found in collector boosters. While these don’t fetch as high a price as $2 million, some versions are still being sold for thousands of dollars. For example, there are only 300 serialized double rainbow foil Sol Ring (Elven) cards, which are priced around $8,000 in near-mint condition. There are also 700 serialized double rainbow foil Sol Ring (Dwarven) cards and 900 serialized double rainbow foil Sol Ring (Human) cards, which are priced at around $2,800 and $2,000 respectively. Additionally, there are non-foil versions of these cards with higher print runs, but lower prices.
What is the future of the collector booster boxes?
Despite the drop, it does seem like the boxes are still selling relatively well. Just not as well as when you might have got $2 million from them. According to Star City Games, a popular online retailer for Magic products, the collector booster box is currently out of stock, which indicates that there is still some demand for it. However, other retailers may have different availability and prices, so it’s always advisable to shop around and compare before buying.
The future of the collector booster boxes may also depend on how the set performs in terms of gameplay and popularity. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is legal to play in Commander, Vintage, Legacy and Modern formats, which means that some cards may have an impact on the meta and the demand for them. The set was also designed to include Limited Draft and Sealed play as well, which may attract more players who enjoy these formats.
Moreover, the set may appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings who want to collect cards featuring their favorite characters and scenes from the books and movies. The set includes cards for iconic characters like Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gollum and more. It also has cards for locations like Rivendell, Minas Tirith, Mordor and Mount Doom. And it has cards for events like The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King and The Scouring of the Shire.
The set also has some interesting mechanics and features that may appeal to players. For example, some cards have a new keyword called Ringbearer, which grants them special abilities when equipped with a ring artifact. Some cards also have a new type called Planeswalker-Legendary Creature, which combines both types and allows them to be used as commanders in Commander format. And some cards have a new treatment called Showcase Ring, which gives them a circular frame and a ring symbol in the text box.
All in all, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is a unique and ambitious crossover that offers a lot of possibilities for Magic players and collectors. While the collector booster boxes may have lost some of their value after the discovery of the One Ring card, they still contain many other cards that are worth money or simply fun to play with. Whether you’re looking for a rare Sol Ring variant, a borderless scene card or a showcase ring card, you may still find something precious in these boxes.