In What Order were the Sets Designed / Printed / Released ?

Questions about Magic items and events.

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dragsamou
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Post by dragsamou » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:56 am

cataclysm80 wrote: Notice that the cards shown as Revised are actually Summer Magic (Edgar).
Tav
Hi Tav

I don't agree with that statement as all the cards shown here have a 1994 Copyright, even Ice Age cards that will in the future have a 1996 Copyright.
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Post by Alien_Starfighter_Pilot » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:45 am

dragsamou wrote:
cataclysm80 wrote: Notice that the cards shown as Revised are actually Summer Magic (Edgar).
Tav
Hi Tav

I don't agree with that statement as all the cards shown here have a 1994 Copyright, even Ice Age cards that will in the future have a 1996 Copyright.
Agreed, Red Mana Battery was reprinted in 4th edition. It was not in Revised.

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Post by berkumps » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:57 pm

cataclysm80 wrote:This is a page from that same WotC paperwork.
Image
Ok, so there are a number of interesting things on this page. Firstly, the Ice Age copyrights are different size as Tav mentioned, and they are also all 1994 instead of 1995.

Secondly, we know that the Holy Strength bears striking resemblance to that of Summer Magic, as does the Ivory Tower. What is quite interesting is the presence of the Red Mana Battery, which seems to lend some credence to the story that early Edgar was actually a 4th Ed test print before they scrapped it (similar to the summer edition Bog Rats picture in the Magic the Puzzling book). If they were toying around with ideas for card inclusion in 4th edition, which Edgar was supposedly intended to be, then there's no reason that pictures of Summer cards they were thinking of including exist, while no actual cards exist.

If the 4th Edition test print story is true, than somewhere between the printing of this leaflet (and the Magic the Puzzling book) and the supposed destruction of the Summer Edgar we've grown to know and love, they changed their minds and decided to just reprint Revised card for card (with the exception of misprints fixed and made).
4th edition test print (a.k.a "Summer Edition")
----------------------
There was a printing of cards in late summer 1994 which was intended to
be 4th edition (back when it was going to be released in September 1994)
which had borders and colors similar to (but not identical to) the
now-released 4th edition. This was known to have the following features:
* misprinted Hurricane with BLUE borders
* correctly printed Serendib Efreet
* 1994 copyright date, exactly like Legends and Dark copyrights
(See Magic Encyclopedia (1st volume) just before the oversize errata
for pictures of some of these cards. Also a Summer Edition Bog Rats can
be seen in the Magic the Puzzling book.)

Tom Wylie just said this was a test print, and the cards were
intended to be destroyed, but some were released accidentally.

However (according to Eric Aldrich) at ConQuest in November, Richard
Garfield spoke about this printing; this was intended to be the real
4th edition. Due to typos and other errors, like the Hurricane, the
printing was stopped and 120 million cards were destroyed -- but
apparently not all of them. This was probably part of the reason for
the shortage of Revised cards that occurred in December 1994 -- almost
two months of printing (at that time) was wasted.

I will not attempt to note the changes for these cards on my list,
but if anybody has any of them, let me know and maybe I can assemble
a separate list. I particularly would like to know of any other
misprints in the test print, and cards in the test print that were
NOT in revised.

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Post by dragsamou » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:55 pm

Hi All

Suddenly I went why this looks so familiar to me, well, because I do own 2 of those Retailers Packets from 1995, and 2 others Press Release Packets including a Portal one from 1997 with Original slides :-D

Retailers Kits from WOTC USA (The 2 on top)

Image

Press Release Kits from WOTC Belgium (The 2 down)

Image
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Post by Neuron » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 am

What is quite interesting is the presence of the Red Mana Battery, which seems to lend some credence to the story that early Edgar was actually a 4th Ed test print before they scrapped it
Do I understand right that you assume two Summer plannings/printings, one containing Revised cards and one 4th Edition cards? The quoted text seems to indicate that what we know today as Summer Magic/Edgar is the same as what was supposed to be formerly released as 4th Edition.

According to the design, the Ice Age pictures could either be from just before Fallen Empires to just after Italian Revised black bordered, the 4th Edition cards (or whatever they are) between Summer and Fallen Empires.

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Post by cataclysm80 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:23 am

Alien_Starfighter_Pilot wrote:
dragsamou wrote:
cataclysm80 wrote: Notice that the cards shown as Revised are actually Summer Magic (Edgar).
Tav
Hi Tav

I don't agree with that statement as all the cards shown here have a 1994 Copyright, even Ice Age cards that will in the future have a 1996 Copyright.
Agreed, Red Mana Battery was reprinted in 4th edition. It was not in Revised.

Thanks for pointing that out guys. You're right, Red Mana Battery was not in Revised or Summer, it's from Legends and 4th. All 3 cards are clearly labeled as Revised on this sheet. How odd. Perhaps it's simply a mistake that someone at WotC made while creating this sheet? I guess I won't worry about it to much since it's just an image and the cards were never printed.

Tav
Last edited by cataclysm80 on Sat May 03, 2014 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by cataclysm80 » Sat May 03, 2014 4:55 pm

List updated: Armada Comics Promo cards moved on the list. They had been listed in July/August 1994 timeframe because Librarities said that's when they were released, which matched the copyright dates. Further research indicated that the comic book deal wasn't signed until December 1994, and the Comics were actually released in July/August 1995. Librarities has been updated accordingly.
More info here http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... php?t=9255

I've located the the Armada Comics Promo cards on the list before Windseeker Centaur which has a 1995 copyright date, and after French/German black border which should be correct because Armada Comics Promos were released to the public 4 to 5 months after French/German black border. As mentioned, Comic deal wasn't even signed until December 1994.

Tav

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Post by cataclysm80 » Sat May 03, 2014 6:01 pm

cataclysm80 wrote:
Neuron wrote:
Italian white border 3rd = Small 1995 date
[German white border 3rd ]
--> German was later than Italian. The textbox of Italian is darker colored similar to French wb.

It turns out that French Unlimited was designed in 1995. The French Unlimited designers took a short cut and used the computer files from French Limited, However, 11 cards from French Limited had issues that needed to be corrected before reprinting them. When the issues were corrected, these cards were given current 1995 copyright dates. Island Sanctuary was even given the new white mana symbol. (Island Santuary could not have received the new white mana symbol if the set had been designed in 1994.) The remaining cards were reprinted just as they were in French Limited, but with white borders now.

I still think that French Unlimited had its design finalized before Italian Second Edition or German Unlimited. Looking at the amount of work required to convert each language from Limited to Unlimited, French being the easiest would be done first, Italian would be second, and German would be third. I also agree with what you had said about the textbox on German Unlimited being lighter colored, more like 4th Edition than like the other foreign Unlimited sets.
cataclysm80 wrote: Also, I want to compare the text box darkness of French Unlimited with 1995 copyright date to see if it is also like 4th. If so, that may indicate Italian Second Edition as coming before French Unlimited.
Tav
I've taken a more in depth look at the textbox colorations (dark vs light) of FWB, and here's what I've found...

Knowing that only the 11 redesigned cards from French FWB are representative of when that set was designed, I've acquired a French FWB Island Sanctuary. It's the only French FWB card with the newer white mana symbol, but can easily be identified as FWB by the shape of the mark over the lowercase letter i in the card name.

Italian Second Edition (FWB) has the darker textbox like FBB.

Most of French FWB has the darker textbox because they are simply white border copies of the French FBB cards. However, if you look at the 11 French FWB cards which are representative of when the set was designed, you'll find that they use the later style lighter textbox.

German FWB also uses the lighter textbox.

This means that Italian Second Edition was designed after the white mana symbol change, but before the textbox coloration change, while French FWB was designed after both changes.

I'm updating the list accordingly.

Here is a scan showing the difference.
LEFT: French FWB dark text box, typical of Italian FWB & all FBB
Center: French FWB light text box
Right: German FWB light text box, just for comparison.

Image
If you have trouble seeing the difference, try viewing your monitor from a different angle.

Tav
Last edited by cataclysm80 on Sat May 03, 2014 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by cataclysm80 » Sat May 03, 2014 7:01 pm

Chronicles released July 1995, Renaissance released August 1995
Ice Age was the first expansion released in French, German, Spanish, & Portuguese.
Updated the list with the Foreign 4th info that we have.


Notes:

Still need to add white border 4th Spanish, Portuguese, & Japanese.

Would like to add Introductory Two Player sets & Japanese Chronicles.

Would also like to add Alternate 4th if that's possible.

Curious if French or German FWB could have been designed after English 4th?

Tav

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Post by Neuron » Sun May 04, 2014 8:41 pm

Some information that could help to reconstruct the order:

Italian FWB: Includes cards with newest mana symbols (green, black, blue; like from Mirage up to today) and round i dots.
(Any idea why just Italian FWB and 4th Edition APs exist?)


Alternate 4th Edition has cards with round i dots (at least CoP: Green and El-Hâjjaj).

French FWB and Portuguese 4th WB have a black line around the frame similar to English Unlimited and Revised.
Spanish BB errors were corrected in 4th WB and it was overworked in addition to it. Portuguese 4th WB seems to be an exact copy of BB, including all errors.

In earlier sets, cards with short rulestext had it centered, later aligned to the left. FBB and English 4th had centered text, Spanish and Portuguese BB are left aligned. All foreign 4th languages are the same, except Spanish 4th WB, which appears to be an irregularity (all checked from Lightning Bolts). FWB cards are not reliable on this, as the design was mostly reused (but not in the German version, which is known of having been redone extensively! It has left aligned text).

Edit: Forgot one crucial thing: The wording of spell and abilities which target both creatures and players in English Revised was "one target" in English 4th "target creature or player". The foreign ones (checked from Lightning Bolts):

FBB: "one target"
Pt, Sp BB: "one target"
Fr FWB, Pt 4th WB: "one target"
Ge FWB: "target creature and player"
It FWB: "one target"
Sp 4th WB: "target creature or player"
All other 4th: "target creature or player"

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Post by berkumps » Fri May 23, 2014 3:33 am

Found this snippet in issue #1 of Mastyr magazine, and although it's already known, I think it's good to chronicle this sort of information that found its way to print.

Image

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Re: In What Order were the Sets Designed / Printed / Released ?

Post by cataclysm80 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:34 am

I was able to confirm with WotC employees that the phone call to Carta Mundi in Belgium to create Unlimited was made just before the work on Arabian Nights got into full swing.

Tav

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Re:

Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:18 am

cataclysm80 wrote: Currently, new Magic sets are released on Fridays. This is the official release date.
The gaming stores receive the new sets before then, but aren't allowed to sell any of them until the release date.

Official release dates were created as a way to orgainize the simultaneous release of new sets. That is the purpose of a release date.

Homelands was the first set that had simultaneous release on a specific date.

Sets prior to Homelands did not have simultaneous release, which I think means that the gaming stores were allowed to start selling the new set as soon as they received it. Some stores were physicaly closer to the distributors than other stores, and recieved their cards first. Not everyone recieved cards at the same time. The result is availability dates that vary from region to region for the earlier sets. This can explain the slight date differences between the websites. It is also why only a month (without date) is listed for those sets release. It is why there are no pre-releases before Homelands. It is why WOTC can not provide exact release dates (they don't exist).
As mentioned above, it can be difficult to determine some of the earlier sets release dates. However, I've found that distributors were given a date on which to release the cards to stores. Sometimes they did not receive the date until the day before when cards were being sent to them, but dates do exist on the distributor paperwork. These dates were not always available to the public, and the stores would have received the cards after this date due to shipping time from the distributor to the store.

Alpha - On July 16th 1993 the first printed cards arrived at the Origins convention where they were previewed but not sold. Many pre-orders were placed.
On August 1st 1993 there was a release party at Peter's house (the WotC "offices"), during which boxes of Alpha booster packs were opened. That day Dave Howell became the first person to complete a full set of the printed cards.
On August 2nd, Peter leaves on a two week road trip to demonstrate the game in local game stores throughout Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and ending at Gen Con in Wisconsin.
August 5th is the day that distributors are allowed to release to the general public. WotC considers August 5th to be the official release date of Limited Edition.
August 19th to 22nd 1993 Gen Con
August 24th Alpha is sold out
August 25th the last Alpha product arrives at WotC and is sent to the distributors who ordered it.

Beta - WotC was supposed to receive Beta by September 20th, but that was delayed until September 24th and delayed again until Oct 4th 1993. It was shipped to distributors as fast as possible to meet demand. Beta is the second print run of the Limited Edition set, and the "official" release date of Limited Edition is August 5th 1993 (when Alpha became available).

Unlimited - Unlimited was supposed to be released on December 1st 1993, but it was delayed. Booster packs arrived at WotC on December 9th and immediately sent to distributors who started shipping them to stores on December 10th. The release date is December 10th.
Starter decks arrived later, between December 15th to 22nd, probably on the 16th in the same shipment as the Arabian Nights cards.

Arabian Nights - Arabian Nights arrived at WotC on December 16th and immediately sent to distributors who started shipping them to stores on December 17th. The release date is December 17th 1993.

Collector's Edition / International Collector's Edition - Pre-orders sold out in October. Several release dates were announced and missed. Distributors in the USA released this to stores on December 21st 1993. About 1500 "International" sets were sold in the USA. At some point European distributors started receiving product directly instead of shipping it to the USA and back to Europe, so I'm not sure if International sets destined for European distributors could have been released sooner due to the shorter shipping time from Belgium.

Antiquities - Carta Mundi finished printing on Feb 20th 1994. Antiquities was released in Europe around Feb 26th to avoid the costs of warehouse storage during the wait for USA bound cards to arrive. When WotC received the USA bound cards, they staggered the shipping so that each region would receive cards about the same time to prevent East coast stores from ordering through West coast distributors. The distributors were told to release the cards to stores on March 10th 1994, but some released early.

Revised - The release date was either April 9th 1994 or April 11th 1994.

Legends (English) - June 13th 1994

The Dark (English) - August 8th 1994

Edgar / Summer Magic - Sent to print around July 1994 with packs inadvertently distributed in September 1994

Italian Edition (FBB) - late October 1994 at Lucca Games Faire

Fallen Empires - Fallen empires was intended to be released a few weeks earlier, but when the color separations arrived at Carta Mundi, they were too dark and needed redone. The finished cards were received on November 11th and released on November 15th 1994.

French Limited Edition & German Limited Edition (FBB) - March 1995

4th edition (English) - WotC received a very small amount of product (tests or proofs?) at the end of March and pushed for an April release, but production delays postponed the release. WotC sent the cards to distributors on May 2nd with a May 3rd 1995 release date.

Ice Age (English) - There was an Ice Age sealed deck tournament at the Canadian Nationals in Toronto on June 3rd and 4th. Regular release was on June 8th 1995.

Spanish 4th edition black border - released July 9th 1995 at the M:tG Spanish National Championships in Madrid.

Chronicles (English) - Scheduled to be released in late July, the release was delayed until an additional shipment of cards could be received to meet demand. August 7th 1995 release date.

Renaissance (Italian, French, & German) - August 1995

Homelands - Prerelease October 14th 1995 with regular release on October 18th 1995

Alternate 4th edition - sometime between October 9th 1995 when WotC announced the would use USPCC for two product lines, and 1996 when their partnership ended.

Japanese 4th edition black border - Prerelease April 9th 1996 in Shinjuku with regular release the next day April 10th 1996. Work had started on Japanese language cards before Spanish, but the Japanese translation took six months which resulted in a later release than Spanish.

Alliances - Prerelease May 18th & 19th 1996 with regular release on June 11th 1996. Other preview events were held between the prerelease and regular release.

Rivals Quick Start - Released in early July 1996 on or before the 17th.

Chinese 4th edition - released August 23rd 1996 in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Tav
Last edited by cataclysm80 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In What Order were the Sets Designed / Printed / Released ?

Post by thulnanth » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:28 pm

Hey cataclysm80,

Fun read... it really takes me back. I started playing Magic while I was on Christmas break from college in 1993. The friends who showed it to me had discovered it at GenCon that summer. I remember going to the hobby shop and buying 24 boosters of Unlimited. Maybe 5 days later I was back and they didn't have boosters left, but they did have starters and Arabian Nights, so I bought some of those instead. My time frame seems to line up well with your info, so that means my memory isn't as bad as I feared!! :-P

Thanks for sharing... I love the nostalga!!!

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Re: In What Order were the Sets Designed / Printed / Released ?

Post by cataclysm80 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:09 pm

Thanks for the comment Jared, and you're very welcome!

Tav

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