It has been a roller coaster year for the Flesh & Blood TCG, with the Monarch and Tales of Aria expansion sets having both been released in 2021, followed by the announcements that both Crucible of War and now Arcane Rising unlimited are going out of print – and if that wasn’t enough, we have learned that in second quarter of 2022 we have both a new supplemental and standalone booster set being released. Whew, what a year!
The announcement in October that the Crucible of War supplemental set was going out of print did surprise me, simply because it was a supplemental set which had cards that applied to a multitude of character classes including brute, guardian, ninja, warrior, mechanologist, ranger, runeblade, and wizard, not to mention a handful of generic cards available to all classes! Crucible of War was an amazing supplemental that had equipment and actions that could be applied to all the standalone sets, so why Legend Story Studios decided to stop printing this set honestly baffles me.
On 11 November 2021, Legend Story Studios (LSS) announced that Arcane Rising, the second standalone set in the F&B saga, is now going out of print, taking with it the mechanologist, ranger, runeblade, and wizard class characters that were introduced with its release. My question is why Arcane Rising was stopped printing before Welcome to Rathe, the first standalone set in the F&B saga, which had the remaining character classes from the Crucible of War supplemental set, brute, guardian, ninja, and warrior. It seems to me that if LSS halted production on the supplemental set for the first two standalone sets, that maybe they would have put Welcome to Rathe out of print before Arcane Rising considering it was the older of the two sets.
The big question however, is whether the trend will continue and Welcome to Rathe will be the next standalone set to get the axe? With two standalone releases in 2021 and now a new supplemental and standalone set scheduled for release within the next 6 months, it would make sense to continue putting the older release cards out of print, making room for the newer sets.
Does this present an investment opportunity for the Unlimited sets? Well, yes and no.
If you are unfamiliar with how the card release of Flesh & Blood is, there are two printing series of each set – the limited First Edition printing, and then the Unlimited printing. The biggest difference between the two printings is that First Edition is the only print run that you can find the cold foil cards. From an investor’s standpoint, First Edition is where the real potential for return on investment is because the print run is limited, and it includes card variations which are never printed again. However, the Unlimited print run still includes the same rare, super rare, majestic, legendary, and fabled cards, just not available in cold foil variations.
For comparison on value between First Edition and Unlimited we’ll use the Great Library of Solana – a fabled rarity card from the Monarch series. A First Edition printing of this card recently sold on eBay for $1,045 while an Unlimited printing of the same card sold for only $330 – both raw, ungraded specimens. As we can see, the First Edition printing sold for roughly 317% more than the Unlimited printing! Obviously for investment purposes you would want to focus on First Edition cards, boxes, or packs, but what about the Unlimited printing?
Following the announcement that Crucible of War was going out of print, resale prices on Crucible of War Unlimited boxes and packs nearly doubled, going from an average box price of $80 to selling for $150 or more. The market has since corrected itself and you can now pick up Unlimited boxes of Crucible of War for about $90 to $100, however some sellers are still trying to charge the premium and have boxes listed in the $120 range. Despite the market correction the resale prices are still about $20 higher than before the out-of-print announcement. What drove the crazy high prices on these boxes, I assume it was fear of missing out. Collectors or investors wanted to get in on the product before it becomes unavailable and paid a premium to get their hands on it. Any investor who thought this was a good time to stock up on the product has already seen a loss on investment and will likely take years to see any return (like once all the boxes are sold and gone).
So, can you make money on Unlimited? Yes, but only if you buy in advance and hold until the product is announced as being out of print, and then you would have a short window of opportunity to sell those boxes for a large profit before the market correction occurs, after which you still have boxes that will sell for higher than you purchased them, but with a significantly smaller return. Would I personally buy Unlimited boxes for investment? Probably not, unless I was purchasing them at release when you can get the boosters for about $60 per box or less if you buy cases, and only with the expectation that I would be sitting on them for at least a year.
If you were to invest in Flesh & Blood, my advice would be to purchase First Edition printings, when they are released, and we will talk about that in a follow up article available to our Investor level patrons.
*Disclaimer: Investing in trading cards, comic books, memorabilia, and any other item involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Cardboard Prospector does not provide financial advice, and none of our articles or opinions should be construed as financial or investment advice. We do not guarantee results from your decision making based on our opinions and content. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence prior to making any investment.