Oddities and Weird
Jumping right in.
Not going to wander around too much today, just going to start off. This one will be about Force oddities. Up front, not a lot of financial info on some of these, but I think they’re worth addressing since they do exist. I promise next time we’ll get to the actual sets and other real products. But knowing something is out there makes it even more fun to try and find. You may have it sitting in a back closet somewhere, who knows?
In my last article I mentioned under the Demo Deck section about poor quality half decks. Today I will go over them. One thing I want to point out is that these half decks are actually Demo decks, the Pan/Hook and Helsing/Reiya decks are actually “Teach to Play” decks. Sure, they are only half a deck too, but people refer to them as Demo decks.
The real demo decks were sent to stores ahead of the Feb 2015 release date of Force in the USA. It’s hard to tell how many there were or how many are out there still. The actual cards are so frail, any that were opened are likely toast by now. There was an older one that was released in Japan and maybe other markets. The FOW Wiki mentions it, I have never seen it myself, but I will take their word that it exists.
Original Demo Decks
These paper-thin Demo half decks were sent to stores ahead of the release of Force in the USA. I currently have 2 in my possession. Finding information on them is elusive, finding anything that indicates value is harder. I own the Red and Black ones. The guess is they had one for each color made up of cards from CMF and TAT. I know there is at least a Green one. I tried it out at my LGS and it had Crimson Girl in the Sky (TAT-057) // Little Red, the True Fairy Tale (TAT-057J) as the ruler and the Wizard of Oz trio in it Cowardly Lion (TAT-056), Brainless Scarecrow (TAT-055), and Heartless Tin Man (TAT-064).
I would have better pictures, but opening these things is signing their death warrant. They have no actual playable value and would crumble in a matter of weeks if opened. I think they have the potential for value to collectors of oddities in the game. Like the gold plated energize tokens or the first-place cards from GPs. These are rarer though, at least in the knowledge they exist.
There are at least 3 in the second wave, the two pictured and a green one, so I would guess five total. There was one from the Asian market, and I previously owned an Arla one. That one was thicker as it had both decks wrapped and together. The latter would be the third set. So, I would guess between 6 and 8 of these things exist.
Their value? Hard to say. I obtained all of mine with collections I bought and didn’t know they were in there. I would guess they are worth at least $10 for single ones and go as high as $30 right now, for the CMF/TAT ones. These would make a solid investment if you can get them for $15 or less today. The potential of any game’s assets increasing is based on the popularity and age of the game.
Some of these predate the game in the USA. The value in the future will be market driven and as stated before, if the game is still around in a few years, worth it. These could easily spike high. Think of silver bordered MTG promos. If you stumble across any open decks, grab those too just to see what they are. I wouldn’t pay for loose cards from these products, but they are still fun to have.
I’d give these an A- for potential and as a status of how into the game you are. Though I can’t really assign a value at this point.
Gold Magic Circle Sleeve Covers for Force of Will with Promo
This next item isn’t sealed product by normal means, but it is kind of. The oversleeves that UltraPro put out a couple of years ago offers us something good and bad. The good was the promo card that came with it. The bad was the sleeves that GPs wouldn’t allow.
What can I say about these? It’s a case of good idea, bad execution. If these had been regular size sleeves they might have done better. The sleeves themselves are handy to put your higher end cards in and nice for Rulers, aside from that, they are waste of plastic. The promos that come with them are easier to just buy alone. In the case of two of them, a playset costs less than one pack of sleeves.
In the end the sleeves aren’t worth the average price, and only one of the promos has any real value. I like the concept here, but there isn’t any value. The choice of cards is perplexing to boot. Magic Stone of Black Silence (CMF-096) has been printed in regular products five times, Moonbreeze’s Memoria (TMS-099) was just reprinted as well. If you throw in the Alice Origin Memoria cards, each of these can be obtained easier and cheaper.
If you are looking for something to add protection to your more valuable cards and get a promo at the same time to play with, then grab these, but don’t pay more than $10 for a pack. They all get a D- for investing and in general. Not a total bust, but only a few people will find a use for these, let alone value.
The Magic Stone Lab
Vingolf 1 and 3 gave us reprints of a couple of useful cards, including Thunder (VIN001-029) and Heavenly Gust (VIN003-049). They also gave us the Dual Stones and new Dual stones (kind of). That was worth it as far as a static set can go. Heck, even Vingolf 2 gave us stones and Class G’s Tank (VIN002-076). So, when it came time for another set with reprints what did we get? The Magic Stone Lab.
This product gives us nothing. Nada. Zilch. The best thing about this product? The box, but that isn’t even worth the money at retail, that would be $20. Reprints can be good. When those reprints are just every version of all the basic stones though, it just falls flat. Had they done something neat like include one of each Shock Rock, the pain stones from Lapis Cluster, that would have been better. Heck, then I might say this was worth it to grab, if it was still just $20.
No one needs basic stones after they crack just one box. So, who needs 400 of them? Included are 10 versions of each basic stone at 8 copies each. I really hope they just had that many stones laying around and wanted to get rid of. If they had these printed specifically for this product someone should get fired. There aren’t even the Vingolf 3 basic stones in here. That would have been something. Foil versions would have helped too.
I only have one because it was part of a larger deal, and it was a freebie in the end. Total waste of cardboard and time. For investing I give it an F-. Don’t even think about this product once you’re done reading this. He best part about it is, it makes Vingolf 2 look like someone actually thought about its design.
That will wrap up this rant. The next article is going back to hit on why games fail, so taking a break. After that one I will move on to the actual sealed products I know you want to know about. Until then, have fun slinging.