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Relationships Of The Cards Essay

1970 words - 8 pages

It is a busy night. Everyone is talking to someone else, exchanging goods, bartering, buying, and selling. People favor talking to people they know, and newbies, as they call them, have a tough time getting to the heart of the dealings. Tonight is not a peasant marketplace, but a busy Saturday night at a trading card store. People gather from the surrounding area to group together, buy, trade, and sell cards, and play these trading card games with one another. It is a communal event, one where everyone participates in some manner or another. The most popular game, Magic: The Gathering, usually attracts the most participants, but other games, such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, attract people as ...view middle of the document...

Although the category of rarity is usually shown on the card, there are different levels of rarity within that category. For example, not every rare card will have the same number of prints (Ham). Additionally, some cards have other aspects to them which make them more rare; for example, cards can be “promo”- or promotional – cards for a certain event and cards can be “foil” cards, which means there is a holographic layer over the basic print of the card. These cards are usually rarer, although certain promo cards can be undesirable (Ham). Reprints are an issue, because they can drive up the supply of the card. In almost every trading card game, a few cards from old sets will be reprinted in a new set (Ham). Wizards of the Coast, the owner of Magic: The Gathering, have certain cards set aside to never be reprinted. This assures collectors that the rarity of certain cards will never go down (“Official Reprint Policy”).
The demand of the cards is generally set by the company that owns the trading card game and professional players. The company that owns the card decides how powerful the card should be, therefore deciding its desirability. Cards that are really powerful and are useful in a variety of situations are more desirable, and therefore the demand for said cards is greater because more players want the card (Ham). Professional players carefully decide what they want to have in their deck – the set of cards used by a player for a match. Players who follow professional card play will often want to copy a professional player’s deck or draw inspiration from a professional player’s deck, so they will go out and buy or trade for the cards that the professional players use. In the end, the mass of the players control the demand for the product, but the demand for a given card is almost always due to other factors (Ham).
Although the average value of a trading card is only a couple of cents, the values range drastically and can fluctuate often. There are webpages and published and printed lists that have standard values, in dollars, for most trading cards (Huber). These values take into account what the card is, what version of the card it is, and the condition of the card (Huber). From issue to issue of a published list, the value of a card can drop drastically and can go up a significant amount. Cards that are playable in tournaments change all the time as new sets are released, so cards that are unplayable usually have a sharp decline in price. Other cards that are popularized by a famous player or made more powerful due to newly released cards can double in value, and occasionally gain even more value (Huber). These values can range from a cent or sometimes less for the most common cards to hundreds and even thousands of dollars for the rarest cards (“Assorted Magic the Gathering Common or Uncommon Card”). The highest value trading card is worth over fifteen-thousand dollars; it is an original issue Black Lotus from Magic: The Gathering in...

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