The highly anticipated Disney Lorcana Trading Card Game’s initial launch has not gone without a hitch; in fact, the limited stock and the two-week window for Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS) to sell the game before its mass market release has led to “price gouging” at FLGS, high resale market costs, and even reports of mass markets putting out product early with prices higher than MSRP.
Limited Lorcana Stock Leads to Tough Decisions for Game Shops
Even before its soft launch, reports of limited Lorcana stock and re-allocations of product to and from big box stores began making rounds online. Comicbook.com caught up with Ravensburger North America’s CEO, Stephane Madi, at GenCon to try to set the record straight.
There’s been a lot of speculation along the way. I’ve been in meetings where I realized how much the speculation has affected some people because it’s gone really far. And a lot of our fans and retail partners are looking for firm answers. And so, there’s a lot of confusion out there. We’ve tried to clarify it and we continue to clarify it. We have prioritized the hobby trade in our allocation. We have prioritized particularly OP play. We believe that there will be product to experience, to play, and to go around. There is going to be scarcity in the first set. That’s, I think, a given. You can see from the scale of the demand. This is a very difficult category to plan for and to forecast.
These Lorcana stock allocation concerns left Friendly Local Game Stores with challenging decisions to make ahead of the release. Knowing that their allocations were not what they had ordered, what was the most effective way to bring in players, make money for their shop to sustain their small businesses, and grow the Lorcana community?
One of our writers attended a FLGS Learn To Play release at Dragon Fire Games in Lynchburg, Virginia. The event was sold out, and the owner, Evan Garrett, decided to sell his entire stock allocation at MSRP, using a raffle drawing for event attendees to choose 1 additional item from his small allocation and up to 12 booster packs.
“I chose to sell [our Lorcana stock] at MSRP because I wanted to grow the community here for gameplay,” said Garrett.
Selling at the highest price point might create a short term benefit, but long-term it would prevent the people who want to play the game from playing the game, and if this game is to succeed, it needs players playing the game!
But the high market values of the limited Lorcana stock have led other shops to go in a different direction. MSRP for a Gift Set, for example, is $29.99; as of the writing of this article, TCGPlayer.com has the market value of that same set for $60.69, more than double its MSRP.
Some FLGS owners have defended their decisions to price their Lorcana stock competitively with online resellers, citing that the shop making the money instead of the resellers keeps their brick and mortar doors open and provides the space in the long term for players to play. Still others have broken down multipacks to sell individual boosters from within these sets to ensure that players have enough cards to play the game.
Mass Market Embargo Violations
When Ravensburger chose to give the game first to local game shops, it withheld Lorcana stock from mass markets like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy; however, to hit shelves on September 1st, shipments to these big box retailers have to arrive to the stores prior to that date to be stocked. Whether intentional or not, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana have Disney Lorcana product for sale at big box stores.
Lorcana: The First Chapter starter decks and booster packs were spotted at a South Carolina Walmart store. The booster packs (MSRP $5.99) were being sold for $7, and the starter decks (MSRP $16.99) were being sold for $20 each.
In addition to releasing several days before the approved September 1 date, the image from BSquared24 on X above shows the gift set price below the product as $34.98 in Ruston, Louisiana. This is a markup from the MSRP of $29.99.
Have you spotted Disney Lorcana stock at your local retailers? Let us know in the comments who’s selling at MSRP and who’s playing the market costs.
Learn to Play Disney Lorcana
Learn to play this exciting new game with us in the video above, or, if you’re interested in following the narrative of the game, Ravensburger also recently released a teaser video for the story.