Articles Featured Finance

Ravings of a Lunatic #10: Force of Will Finance – Sealed Value Part V

Took you long enough.

Yes, we finally made it, Grimm Cluster.  It took a while to get here.  I am actually writing these kind of fast, as I am typing these words Ravings #2 just posted.  Since this was the case, I felt getting out the sets that are more relevant first was the right move.  Also, the other topics I wrote about needed to be all done at once and in order with no skipping around, like the series on Community.  All that is done now, so back to the investment stuff.

We’ll kick off with the chart.  As you can see there is that money set, according to the pricing available.  Castle and the Two Towers.  I find this weird for a couple of reasons, I will go into when I get to that set.  I also see a vastly under priced set that might be ripe for investment, this will totally depend on people actually getting facts straight though. 

Another fun thing is the chase cards in this cluster and the variations of God Packs (all Rare and Super rares).  Most of the chase cards are the full art Dual stones, but there was the “Misprint” Cheshire and the alternate color Little Red, the Pure Stone (MPR-098) and some Textless stones.  This is where some confusion comes in, I will address later.  This is also the only cluster that has differences between printings that effect the value with a couple of the sets.

But on with the analysis.

Of course, we start with Crimson Moon’s Fairy Tale.  The “first” set of Grimm cluster.  I use that term because it was released the same day as set 2, Castle.  With an average price of around $86 and a low of $55, this is actually not a bad deal. I say this because they are not hard to find and have been and still are overshadowed by the Castle set. 

CMF had some good cards at the time, but TAT just had better ones and so it sold more then and later, making the supply more limited.  One of the best rulers in the game is in this set, Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince (CMF-005), and I don’t mean best as in powerful, I mean as a fun ruler.  He also inadvertently gets support almost every set since Fairy Tale resonators are still put out all the time.  This makes him accessible and usable by any level of player.

The thing that really hurts him was the over printing of his Wanderer Promo version, which can you grab for a couple bucks most places.  The Worlds promo is a bit more, but the art is meh, its rarity drives that price.  We were also introduced to God Packs in CMF. There are other cards in the set worth having, but nothing worth a ton.  The best reason to grab this at $60 or less is that it should soon become as rare as TAT.  I give it a B- for investing.  At $70+ a box I give it a C+.  If CMF had some kind of Chase card like the other sets it might have bumped up its value, but it doesn’t.

In regards to which edition is better, they are the same as there were no real differences in the versions except slightly faded box coloring.

Now the gem in the Cluster, The Castle of Heaven and the Two Towers.  It clocks in at an average of $248 a box and based on rarity alone it’s worth it.  What drove the product to that rarity is kind of interesting though.  Since it released with CMF it shouldn’t be rarer than that set unless it just sold better.  Back when it dropped it did sell better.  The main reason? Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant (TAT-039).  To this day the card is just that good.

Crimson Girl in the Sky (TAT-057) // Little Red, the True Fairy Tale (TAT-057J) is another card that is still above $10 to this day.  Not taking chase cards into account, TAT has the most valuable cards from the cluster right now.  Yeah, they aren’t that high dollar, but most cards from Grimm cluster aren’t, these are sought after though.

What is high dollar in this set are the first chase cards we get.  Full Art and Textless versions of the Dual stones from CMF.  The first edition print run has the textless and the 2nd edition have the full arts.  This is the first, but not the last time we’d see chase cards that weren’t in the set they came in.  Magic Stone of Black Silence (CMF-096), Magic Stone of Deep Wood (CMF-097), Magic Stone of Hearth’s Core (CMF-098), Magic Stone of Heat Ray (CMF-099) and Magic Stone of Heaven’s Rift (CMF-100) are the sweet cards here.

An example of the difference between textless (left) and FA (right).


So, with Cat and the stones the boxes were more popular, thus the cost was higher and is now along with rarity.  There is a key difference in the edition though.  So, how do you tell the difference?  Good question.  This is important because though the average price for a box is $250, there should also be a difference between editions.  Most sites won’t tell you which edition they are selling, they likely don’t know.  If you can find out though $175 to $225 for a 1st edition is worth it.

Here is the easiest way to know:

1st edition will have “Made in Japan” on the packs and somewhere on the box

2nd edition will have “Made in Taiwan” on the pack and box.


Second edition boxes, while still having value, should be at about 25% less than a first edition.  Thus, the average value of a 2nd ed box should be about $185.  Not knowing the edition when buying makes it difficult to give an overall grade.  Here is my break down then.

If you know you are getting a first edition box, I give an A at the price of $200-$225.

A second edition I would toss a B+ at $150 to $175.

If you are buying blind, a B- at $200+, an A- if $170 or less.


Misconceptions and Alternate Facts

Before moving in this has to be addressed.  This card is NOT in TAT, never was, never will be, and can’t be because it was in MPR.


At the time this really was not a driving force for TAT sales, because it didn’t exist yet.  But recently I can’t count the number of times I have seen people claim pantsless cat was in TAT.  It wasn’t.  It was the chase card in 1st edition Moon Priestess Returns.  That simple.  This is also a factor I think is adding to TAT perceived value.  Now, I think TAT is still worth what I said earlier and even if it was common knowledge that this card isn’t in it, it shouldn’t affect value.             

What these false facts do though is hurt that value of the next set.  Which could be considered a good thing if you are looking to invest and people realize where one of the most valuable cards in all of Force is actually at, currently Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant (Full Art Misprint) is averaging $130 on TCGplayer. Also, it isn’t a misprint, this card was intentional and is a chase card.


Now back to our regularly scheduled analysis.

The Moon Priestess Returns dropped April 24, 2015.  This is also where I have some great news, good news, bad news, and worse news. First, the great news.  This set has 5 chase cards in it, like WOW!!!!! The Cheshire cat and these.

Now the good news.  The average price is mid, about $74, BUT you can grab a ton of it at around $40 or less a box.  That’s a deal.

I guess the bad news now.  1st edition boxes had the cat and the Water, Wind, and Darkness Little Red stones.  2nd Edition ONLY had the green Little Red.  This means that 1st edition is totally more worth it.

The worst news?  You can’t tell the difference between 1st and 2nd edition boxes like with CMF and TAT.  But, if you are looking to invest, that shouldn’t matter since you aren’t planning on cracking them anyway, right?

I give sealed MPR a solid A- if you can nab it at $40 or less a box.  If you move closer to the average, then more of a B.  Once people realize where the money card is the price will go up.  The speed of that increase will just depend on when they do.

Now for everyone’s favorite set, The Millenia of Ages.  Over printed and still a steal with an average of $34 a box.  There is so much of this stuff still out there I know a Distributor still siting on over 1,000 boxes.  A small set that actually has more going for it than most realize.  What do I mean by that?  Well, before MOA we only got 1 version of cards in the sets.  Here we got 2 and 3 versions.

Each card had a normal and foil version now.  Rares and higher got an imprinted full art version to boot.

This trend would continue until The Twilight Wanderer, skipping over Vingolf 1 though.  Had this been a full set of 100+ cards and a few rulers it might be one of the more sought after sets, but it isn’t.  Clocking in at only 50 cards, it was the first major distribution mistake that Force made, as covered in Ravings #8.

It does hide some value though.  Not all of the cards are trash and cards like Cthugha, the Living Flame (MOA-013) are fan favorites.  The basic version doesn’t go for a lot, but the foil version can.  Fun tribal cards like Christie, the Warden of Sanctuary (MOA-032) add flavor to more casual circles.  The most important things are the chase cards.

TAT 2nd edition gave us the FA Dual Stones from CMF, but MOA gave us the FA stones from TAT.  Magic Stone of Blasting Waves (TAT-094), Magic Stone of Dark Depth (TAT-095), Magic Stone of Gusting Skies (TAT-096), Magic Stone of Light Vapors (TAT-097), and Magic Stone of Scorched Bales (TAT-098) are all up for grabs in these boxes.

Going for as low as $18 a box, I would grab these up.  At $25 or less a box I can give it a C+.  The continued presence of the Dual Stones may decrease the basic versions of them, but chase versions will go up.  These FA are about $10 on the low end and as high as $20.  Not the most valuable, but they will go up.  I wouldn’t sink a lot of money into MOA, but a case on the back shelf wouldn’t hurt, unless you pay more than $30 a box.

So, in closing, chase rares:

  • CMF – None
  • TAT 1st Ed – The Dual Stones from CMF but textless
  • TAT 2nd Ed – The Dual Stones from CMF Full Art
  • MPR 1st Ed – Pantless Cheshire, Water, Dark, and Light Little Red Stone.
  • MPR 2nd Ed – Wind Little Red Stone
  • MOA – TAT Dual Stones Full Art


Finally, Grimm cluster is out of the way.  Now we get to move on to Alice Cluster.  This one was a little longer than I thought, but it also had the most going on as far as different editions.  The only other set with editions issues is Time Spinning Witch.  I will hit that when we get to Reiya Cluster.  Until then, have fun slinging.


Dan Rowland
Top Scrub
Owner CCGPrime.com

Sending
User Review
5 (2 votes)

About the author

ccgprime

TCG player and enthusiast who has been slinging cards for 25+ years. He has won some stuff, judged, ran events, owned stores, and and sold online. Wannabe writer as well. Having written for sites such as The Dojo and Starcity for various other games, he now wants to try his hand for Force of Will. Also a hack novelist with one book currently published and seller of fine wares at CCGPrime.com for all things Force of Will and on Facebook.
Not the best of players, but a head for numbers and a historical buff. Sporting degrees in Business and Writing, he hopes to spread some knowledge with a dose of sarcasm. Enjoy the ramblings of a deficient mind and grab a chuckle while you're there.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment