Universes Beyond: Doctor Who – Commander Deck Displays rode the time stream to #1 on the September 2023 TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed Products chart, which ranks the most active products on the platform by dollar volume, showing the beginning and ending prices of each product. This new chart also offered deeper insight into developing trends in the TCG market.
Just when it looks like Magic: The Gathering fans are finally backing off on buying pricey sealed products containing lots of variants and reprints, as first indicated by Commander Masters’ dampened sales run (see “Signs of Distress“), the Commander casual players and collectors step in, open up their wallets, and slam wads of cash on card store counters so that they can play their favorite Doctor Who characters in their decks. The Universes Beyond: Doctor Who set turned out to be a resounding bright spot for Wizards of the Coast last month, as the set’s Commander Decks and Collector Boosters took #1 and #5 on the charts this month (see “October 2023“). Magic: The Gathering products also took six slots on the chart, improving from taking only three on the September Chart (see “September 2023“).
So, where’s the market at with Magic heading into the tail end of 2023?
There’s some good news and some ugly news on this front (but no real bad news). The good news is, according to Hasbro’s earnings report (see “‘Magic’ Sales Up 20% in Q3“), Magic: The Gathering is crushing sales, which are up from $239.3 million in Q3 2022 to $287.4 million in Q3 2023. Magic products have also topped seven of the 10 TCGplayer charts released this year, so everything seems well and good on that end.
The ugly news is still the Standard set sales. The second half of the year Standard sets did not do spectacular on the TCGplayer charts in comparison the sales of their Universes Beyond counterparts. This is probably why WotC has hit the gas pedal so hard on rolling out more new Universes Beyond sets (see “Marvel Team Up” and also, see “2024 ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Releases“). Essentially, the casual Commander players are running the show, as far as sales and organized play goes, and Standard sets, which are primarily tied to competitive play, need a boost. WotC seems to recognize this issue, as they are actively implementing initiatives to seek solutions to prevent Standard product from piling up on retailer shelves (see “Revitalizing ‘Magic: The Gathering’s’ Standard Format ” and also, “’Magic’ SKUs Further”).
Looking towards the rest of the chart, the Big Three continue to slowly morph into a Big Four or Five (depending on what releases that month). Pokemon TCG bounced back hard with their Scarlet and Violet 151 products, taking home 9 slots on the chart. Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG continued to climb on the charts. Disney Lorcana and One Piece CG both hung on to spots on the chart, despite not having major releases in October 2023. Also of note, the MetaZoo Hello Kitty crossover set managed to grab a spot on the chart (see “‘Hello Kitty’ Crossover Set“).