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Disney Lorcana the next Pokémon?

So it’s been about a year since we got our first glimpses of the newest TCG Disney Lorcana from Ravensberger.   The game before it even sold a single pack had huge hype from both Disney collectors and TCG players.  The first promo card sets were hitting 5 figures, without much being known about the game itself.  Pre-sales were hitting 3-4xs msrp, stores selling product without knowing their allocated product, and the anticipation grew for its release.  Last summer one of my first Articles for HND , I expressed my concerns about the games launch and my concerns with it.  This is a follow-up to that initial article.

Last summer my concerns were the biggest problem with the game, was it getting into the hands of the players.  The hype that this could be the next Pokémon, was being heard and FOMO kicked in.  In my article I shared other game stores and my frustration with allocations and experience with the initial release.  We were seeing single digit allocations for stores that would sell 100+ boxes of Pokemon at release.  This was my main concern.  Every TCG that’s successful needs both players and collectors to be successful.  If the players can’t get cards to play, they will move on to the next game.  And if one eco system disappeared the others value would be crushed. Here’s what happened since that article.

Last September was the day we all waited for.  The product released and we all waited for a reprint or restock.  The restocks were the same size for the first 2 months, barely anything.   Players were getting frustrated, collectors were equally frustrated, and stores were left with an empty spot on the shelf.  My hopes were they would get more cards into players hands and grow the game.  Phone calls everyday were met with “ sorry we are currently sold out”.   They needed to get this product in people’s hands by Christmas, even the league attendance in many stores was decreasing.   Then mid November happened.  Right before Thanksgiving we got a call we were waiting for.  Distributers were reaching out and they actually did it!   It was a quantity that made sense to the hype. As a store we received 25 cases of each of the first 2 sets.  While they sold fast, the cards made it to players and collectors. The playable cards leveled to a value that made sense to include in decks.  The sealed product came down to close to msrp.  The game and collectibility were both viable again.  

Unfortunately like in any hype cycle there were people that bought at the top and got crushed, but for the majority this was great for the game.  The top cards known as “enchanteds” did initially take a hit, but as of the writing of this article, have settled back up to where they were selling in October.  Seeing this restock brought a lot of newer collectors into the game as well.  Seeing the product on the shelf , gave them confidence they’d be able to find the cards to collect.  In the end while I think Lorcana should have been delayed till cards would be available, they did rectify the issues in a timely manner.  Will Lorcana have Pokémon level of collectors and players in the future?   We have a long way to go before we can even talk about that.  If they continue to find a balance between supply and demand, I think they will continue to grow.  If they grow the support for the game itself through tournaments and incentives, I can see it growing due to the IP involved.  At this point they also have to make sure they don’t go the route of Magic the gathering the last 2 years and print too much.  This game did have a rocky start, but recovered at the right time.  With the 3rd set arriving Friday with a decent quantity of product, I am optimistic that the game will continue growing in the near term.


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