Thank you to the over 200 people that came out last weekend to help us celebrate the Pre-Release of the latest Magic set, Return to Ravnica. I also want to thank all those people that came out to play other games like HeroClix, Warmachine and Board Games. I should also thank everyone that came out to shop at all hours. I think you get the idea. We have a lot of people to thank! It was a crazy weekend pretty much from Friday Morning to Sunday Night. And yes, we had to kick people out at 9pm Sunday Night. (So technically it was 59 hours but that doesn’t sound nearly as cool as 48 Hours of Magic.)
All weekend long I was asked by non-Magic people what this was all about. From the outside Magic: The Gathering looks pretty chaotic. (My blue red dragon slams your black Zombie in the face for 5. Mana, Mana, tap, foily goodness, etc.) But in reality in addition to a game with rules, the makers of Magic do a pretty good job of creating theme. That is a story behind all the cards. Most Magic sets are released in a series of 3 sets. These 3 sets are usually linked by some story or compelling theme.
One of the most compelling and beloved themes by players ever was the Ravnica block published several years ago. Ravnica was essentially a fantasy based city. Not an inch of the realm wasn’t developed into some kind of really neat looking fantasy based urban sprawl. It’s a pretty neat looking place.
But that’s not all. Ravnica is controlled by the guilds. There are 10 guilds in total. These guilds represent the various play types you might encounter. In the new set that pre-released this past weekend and that officially releases this Friday (10/5/12) players are re-introduced to 5 of the Ravnica Guilds. (With the last 5 returning in the next expansion, Gatecrasher due in early 2013.)
While all of that is cool. It’s only part of what made people go insane this past weekend.
Usually a Pre-Release means a player pays their entry fee and is given 5 or 6 packs of new cards to build a deck of just the new set. (It’s a fun format and you get to play with cards before they are available to the general public.) But this time each player would state which guild they wanted to play and the friendly store keeper would then provide them with a special box for that guild. Inside this box they would find 5 packs of Return to Ravnica, a special pack tailored to their guild, a special promotional card they could use in that event, a spindown counter, a guild sticker, an achievement sheet and a letter from their guild master encouraging the player to go forth and do their guild proud.
It was a great package at a great price. To give the publishers of Magic credit they let me purchase a ton of these kits. If you had asked back in July if I thought I’d have more than 200 people playing in our pre-release I would have called you silly. (Okay, maybe a little stronger language but you get the point.) But I would have been wrong. Before the end of the weekend we easily sold out of every pack allocated to us and could have sold much, much more.
The second most popular question this weekend had to be. “Open all weekend long. Are you insane?!?”
In a word. Yes.
For one brief shining weekend All Things Fun! was the 7-11 of gaming, the pop-culture Wawa. On Friday night & Saturday night we didn’t use our door locks. And while the Magic Event was a great, more impressive were the folks that came in the middle of the night to shop and keep us company!
“Will we do it again?”
(Much to the staff’s chagrin.) Yes.
But next time it will be 48 Hours of Magic AND MORE! We’ll have more events and fun stuff scheduled all weekend long. (But it won’t be until early next year. I need to get some sleep!)
Before I go I should also thank everyone for in just one week making this humble, self-serving blog one of our most visited pages on our website. Look for more next week.
Stay Fun, My Friends