StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sale

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by dry cereal » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:39 am

this is the email from 95?
I can't believe I ate the whole thing

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Muldoon » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:57 am

Twenty bucks for a dragon whelp?  [smiley=veryangry.gif] I've aquired them at $3 a pop, I don't think these prices are reasonable ::)
I've been trying to write a post about my thoughts and disbeliefs regarding this, but decided it wasn't worth the effort...
Good luck selling the cards at these prices Ben, I guess there's a chance you've built enough hype around them to make it happen :P
I doubt the buyers will be members on this site though...
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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by rg » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:32 am

Twenty bucks for a dragon whelp?  [smiley=veryangry.gif] I've aquired them at $3 a pop, I don't think these prices are reasonable ::)
I've been trying to write a post about my thoughts and disbeliefs regarding this, but decided it wasn't worth the effort...
Good luck selling the cards at these prices Ben, I guess there's a chance you've built enough hype around them to make it happen :P
I doubt the buyers will be members on this site though...
I agree, those prices are way to high.  :(
Does someone want to buy my alt 4th BoP (NM-M) and alt. 4th WoG (F-NM) for 80% of the starcities price?  ;D

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Ralph Herold » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:52 am

I am pleased to see once again an interesting discussion in my forum. Aside from a few website issues, most topics have been sufficiantly discussed, and since the Magic collector's market has been thoroughly explored, few significant secrets remain (of course, there is always one more detail to find out) and hence few topics are left to spark a non-repetitive discussion.


BenBleiweiss:
You have an interesting theory regarding the  number of existing Alternate Fourth Edition cards. The question is, however, how sure can you be that your inside contact has had full insight in the production process? Experience has shown that data of this kind has been badly documented in the past and the few people who had valid data most often have forgotten the details in the meanwhile. A good example would be Summer Edition where an insider source claimed only about three copies of each given rare card would be in existance - a number definitely set too low.

Speaking of Summer Edition, like other people have stated before me, let me emphasize the necessity not to call the Alternate Fourth Edition Summer Edition in any way. Not only does this cause nothing but confusion, but from an etymological point of view, it is pure nonsense, since this set , in contrast to Edgar, has nothing do to with the summer season. Do not give in to ebay misnomers. It is websites like yours and mine which define how something is called and ebay users apply, not the other way around.

I have one question about the Alternate Fourh Edition Starter Decks (at that time, the term "Tournament Pack" was not yet defined): Is there any deviation in the product code, compared to a regular Fourth Edition Starter Deck? If there is, I would like to have the complete product code (WOC, ISBN, UPC, SL ...).

Last but not least, let me in short address the concern of some members regarding your price calculation. Given that you have publicly offered to buy Alternate Fourth Edition cards at the price of standard Fourth Edition cards and now sell the Alternate Fourth Edition cards for a much much higher amount (a quick glance has revealed that the price ration of standard and alternate rare cards is about 1:25), the prices appear too high. I do not know what your ratio for standard cards is and I know that you can not be as inexpensive as ebay due to the costs inflicted by being a professional store (hired personal, advertisement, taxes ...), yet the price difference between prices of incoming and outgoing Alternate Fourth Edition cards seems severe in the eyes of an outsider.

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by dry cereal » Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:38 am

you have the right to do this, but I feel like you buy our eggs from us at price x, then tell us there's gold inside and sell it back to us for 25 times x.  Makes me feel manipulated and annoyed.
I can't believe I ate the whole thing

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by AXIOS » Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:46 am

i vote for:

spring fourth
Fungusaur legend
find me on facebook: nico jongsma
into all kind of fungusaurs and bog wraiths, especially foreign, misprinted

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Mr.C » Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:04 am

you have the right to do this, but I feel like you buy our eggs from us at price x, then tell us there's gold inside and sell it back to us for 25 times x.  Makes me feel manipulated and annoyed.
that´s called 'business'...

btw,i need 3 alt4th white knights at a decent price for my collection...
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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Celebrindor » Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:10 am

you have the right to do this, but I feel like you buy our eggs from us at price x, then tell us there's gold inside and sell it back to us for 25 times x.  Makes me feel manipulated and annoyed.
I agree.  Rare though they are, not everyone wants alt. 4th.  Prices would have probably asjusted themselves at a slow pace were it not for scg buying a large quantity of them, and setting the price at what they choose.  However, unlike the recent increases in prices of summer and P3k, this sudden and utterly artificial raise in price will drive people away from alt 4th.  Demand for Summer and P3K has driven prices up, due to limited supply.  Since the prices for alternate 4th were elevated artificially, with little demand behind it, they will fall again.  (my predicition at least)

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by hammr7 » Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:04 am

I put together a great rebuttal of these claims, and my computer crashed, losing everything I typed!  [smiley=veryangry.gif]

In a nutshell, the alt 4th cards were very likely a pilot release, probably as a second source.  They wouldn't have been made without sample approval from Wizards.  They were probably released locally in the Midwest as a prelude to an ultimate national rollout.  A pilot-scale print run would have been much larger than 25 rare sheets (more likely at least 1,000 rare sheets, with corrospondingly larger uncommon and common runs) given the price points between setup and printing, and the cost of packaging).  

For whatever reason, the relationship was ended.  It might have been due to the UV problem, or some other business reason.  If it were strictly a business reason, then the pilot release could have continued to completion (all product released to sales channels).  If it was a problem discovered during the pilot trials, and there were ever a recall,  I have never heard of an official Wizards announcement on the subject, which would have been delivered to store owners in the area.  I can see no logical reason for Wizards to approve a pilot run, then trash it before anything was released, as Mr. Garfield didn't make his fortune by tossing away money like that.

As for the paper mill "legend" being proposed here.  It always sounds better to have a story to justify a collectible being "rare", and to specify just how rare the cards are.  We have seen it with people trying to increase the value of unusual items offered for sale before.  The story of planned destruction at a pulp mill, however, doesn't make much sense, given the composition of Magic cards.  The heavy clay content of the cardstock and heavy pigmentation of finished magic cards play hell on paper manufacturing, so such materials are usually rejected for recycling purposes.  What other reason would a paper mill be involved for?  Certainly not for their fuel value.  Could I see a few remaining boxes shipped back to the printer (or tossed in a dumpster)?  Certainly!  Could a few of the boxes that didn't go out legitimately find an alternate way to market?  Of course!  But I highly doubt that was the only way cards got out.

It is true that alt 4th don't make up a huge percentage of cards in circulation.  I have purchased a number of collections over the years, and have never gotten an alt 4th card in any collection from West Coast states.  Of course every west coast collection has had alpha and beta cards, which are extremely rare in most east coast collections.  But I typically see 1% to 2% alt 4th cards in the collections I've received that originated in the Midwest, Mideast, and Mid-Atlantic areas.  Furthermore, I have seen a disproportionate number of rares and uncommons relative to commons and lands.  So it is likely that a large number of alt 4th commons and lands were trashed or were considered not worth the shipping cost (just like many normal 4th edition commons and lands).

The bottom line is that while these cards aren't completely common, they aren't likely to be as rare as claimed.  Those who are attempting to unload them now are taking advantage of the vacuum in actual knowledge regarding these items.  If buyers actually pay the high prices, it will spur other collectors to really search their collections to uncover more cards.  Ultimately prices will come down as they inevitably do for these types of things.  And maybe in a few years we'll have a better handle on what the print size actually was.  

Of course, someone at Wizards could always tell us officially what happened!  
;D
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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by psrex » Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:25 am

I think one reason that Alt. 4th won't command as high a price as Summer (or even P3K) is because it's not as cool.  There's tons of 4th out there, and there aren't any cards such as duals, Sol Ring, Demonic Tutor, blue Hurricanes, corrected Serendib Efreets, etc. to add to the mystique of the set.  It's just 4th.  What's so cool about 4th Edition?  Not much really.  There are sure to be some people that will end up being interested in it, but I don't think that it's substantially enough different to command the devotion and interest that Summer does.  P3K gets higher marks for having flavor going for it, and the cards aren't reprints.  There is likely much more P3K floating around, but I see it being more expensive in the end than Alt. 4th.

What with all of the discussion about Alt, 4th I checked my starter boxes, and I have an Alt. 4th one.  Ralph, would you like scans of it?

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by fvzappa » Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:23 am

The scans of Alt. 4th on this site do not do it justice. Grab a blacklight & have a look, this is what has made these cards cool to me.

I too have a Starter, opened last week, that is without a doubt Alt. 4th. It glows SLIGHTLY different under a blacklight, the bottom where the barcode is different, & the rulebook glows different under a blacklight also.

The real key to the difference onsight is the design on the bottom of the starter- it is different.

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by fvzappa » Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:33 am

Oh dear god, I'm getting my first look at the prices... I'm awfully glad I never sold any to you, Ben. I thought your buy prices weren't worth the effort. Now I see the sell price, & have to cry.

One thing I have to say is the GOOD cards from the set are much easier to find. It's those crap rares I'm missing- no one in their right mind has a Chaoslace in their binder!

And if it hasn't been mentioned before- yellow, yellow, yellow. The cards with bright yellow in the artwork look fantastic under the blacklight. Verduran Enchantress is the most gorgeous card I've ever seen.

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by psrex » Sat Oct 16, 2004 11:11 am

The scans of Alt. 4th on this site do not do it justice. Grab a blacklight & have a look, this is what has made these cards cool to me.
fvzappa, I do agree that some Alt. 4th the cards look amazing.  I was personally quite drawn to the Veteran Bodyguard that I had, but I just don't think that the colors will draw many people into collecting it.

I suppose maybe this whole topic just shows that I'm not hardcore enough to go after super-rare items.

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Ralph Herold » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:09 pm

Since some of you have Alternate Fourth Edition Starter Decks in their possession, you can also answer the question I aimed at Ben:

Is there any deviation in the product code, compared to a regular Fourth Edition Starter Deck? If there is, I would like to have the complete product code (WOC, ISBN, UPC, SL ...).

psrex: Yes, please send a scan of the front. I know that there will be no optical difference to a standard Starter Deck, but I wish to  publish an image nonetheless.

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Re: StarCityGames.com Offers Alt 4th cards for Sal

Post by Gryfalia » Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:51 pm

I must be the most unlucky SoB in the Midwest, because I (again) checked my entire collection of 4th edition (ok, not ALL of it, but lots of it) and didn't come up with a single one that doesn't get lit up by a black light..;-(

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