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2017 Gift Pack Review

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

MTG Realm has been picking up the Holiday Gift Boxes since they had been released, and still use all the storage boxes (which can accommodate up to 2,000 cards each) for our Magic: the Gathering collection.  We even had picked up the Holiday Gift Box when Wizards of the Coast had some issues with the strength of the packaging.  We are a somewhat thrifty bunch and had found the contents to be rather decent value.  Here is the list of what we had purchased over the years - 

Return to Ravnica, November 2012
Theros, November 2013
Khans of Tarkir, November 2014
• Battle for Zendikar, November 2015
• Shadows over Innistrad, May 2016
• Kaladesh, November 2016

We DID NOT purchase this year's product offering, the 2017 Gift Pack, which appears to replace the Holiday Gift Box.  Instead, we had won the Gift Pack in a random draw at our local gaming store, OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario.  Let's get to what one can expect to get for an MRSP of $20 USD ($25 here in Canada) - 

• 5 premium basic lands by artist Mark Poole (known as the "Shooting Star Lands")

• 2 premium creature cards (Metalwork Colossus and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

• 3 booster packs (Ixalan, Hour of Devastation, Amonkhet)

• Spindown life counter (Planeswalker symbol)

• Exclusive mini-poster (Featuring art from Hour of Devastation)

Most recently with the Kaladesh Holdiay Gift Box which had an MSRP of $25 provided the following :
• one Card storage box 
• 5 Kaladesh booster packs
• 20-card Kaladesh basic land pack
• 1 premium, foil promo card (Chief of the Foundry)
• 6 illustrated plastic dividers
• one sticker sheet for customizing dividers

Although the previous product was five clams more expensive, we felt this was great value.  In comparision, we feel that we are just breaking even with no added incentive to pull out our wallet for this year's Gift Pack.  A small modification such as alternate art for the foil Metalwork Colossus and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider - paired with her foil Ragavan monkey token, would have swayed our opinion.

This product appears to have been designed specifically to be placed on a shelf in a big box store such as Walmart or Target alongside Yu-Gi-Oh product.  There may exist a small chance that this Gift Pack may actually be mistaken for a Yu-Gi-Oh product by a parent, relative or friend resulting in a measure of disappointment during Christmas.  This is not to say that there are not Magic: the Gathering players out there who are indeed pleased with this - we have personally spoken with several who have or who intend to purchase this.

Our final concern addresses the over-packaging, and carbon footprint of this product.  We realist that there is a new president south of our border and that the protection of the environment is clearly not a priority.  The fact that the Environmental Protection Agency has been seriously de-funded indicates that environmental protection is not even a consideration.  A company such as Wizards of the Coast, using the resources of its parent company Hasbro is encouraged to stand out with environmental consideration being incorporated into the life cycle of their product and packaging, which they have to an extent, but certainly not with this product.

Should Wizards of the Coast realise some commercial success with this product, we would be delighted as we want to enjoy playing Magic: the Gathering for years to come.  

Lastly, we want to remind folks that Nighthawk Counters has a Kickstarter project.  These premium hand-finished life counters and gaming accessories are quite functional and aesthetically pleasing.  MTG Realm had provided several of these counters a prizes at a recent Friday Night Magic event at our local gaming store, OMG! Games and were very well received by the players.  Please consider supporting this over here -


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