CHANNELFIREBALL AND BINDERPOS MERGE

Online retailer and community site ChannelFireball.com parent Superstars of Sports, Inc. and game store point-of-sale software company BinderPOS are merging, the companies announced, and plan to launch an online collectibles marketplace in Q2 2021.

The new company will be called CFB Group and headquartered in Henderson, Nevada at the Superstars of Sports HQ. Top management will be BinderPOS CEO Joshua Grant, who will be CFB Group CEO, and Superstars of Sports CEO Jon Saso, who will be what sounds like a very active CFB Group Chairman.


“We’ve structured the company in a way in which Jon and I work together a lot of ways,” Grant explained. “He’s more at a board level, whereas the direct business operations falls upon myself as CEO. John is extremely hands on when it comes to being in there. He’s got years and years of experience and knowledge and knows the brand and the audiences through and through. Making sure that he’s fully engaged is very important to making sure that we provide the maximum level of value to this marketplace and the CFB Group.”

The planned collectibles marketplace will launch with three TCGs, Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, and Flesh and Blood, with plans to expand into other collectibles as well, CFB Group Chief Marketing Officer Mashi Scanlan told ICv2. Sellers will be limited to retailers; there will be no peer-to-peer sellers on the marketplace. The BinderPOS retailers software will integrate with the ChannelFireball marketplace, but retailers will not need to subscribe to the BinderPOS platform to participate.

“CFB Group knows that Local Game Stores are the key to this industry’s growth; our platform and business model are designed around the mission of helping the LGS community thrive and grow,” Grant said in a statement accompanying the announcement.


ChannelFireball parent Superstars of Sports was founded in 1993 as a retail store focused on sports cards. “Sports memorabilia went down, and Magic: The Gathering rose in popularity at the same time in the late 90s, so Magic took over the store,” CMO Scanlan explained. The ChannelFireball site was launched in 2009. “The way we grew ChannelFireball from launch was that we had free strategy content available on the website. That was our big pull. We didn’t do traditional marketing, like PPC or SEO or anything. We just had content, and people came to the website.”

ChannelFireball has grown into a content site with over four million unique visitors in 2020, a top Magic esports team, and a global events coordinator, as well as an online and brick-and-mortar retailer. Scanlan concurred when we told him we estimated that ChannelFireball was the third or fourth largest online retailer of Magic singles, with TCGplayer, which operates an online marketplace as well as retailing cards on its own behalf, the undisputed leader.

After helping a retailer develop software for their store, BinderPOS began actively seeking new customers in 2019, and started a push in the U.S. and Canada early in 2020 (see “BinderPOS Expanding in U.S. and Canada”). With around 200 retailers using its software by early 2020, the company has doubled to around 400 retailers as of early 2021. “A pretty consistent number for us is about 30 new stores joining our platform every month,” Grant said. “We’ve had a really good retention rate with clients. We’ve been getting big fast and having to scale; obviously, there’s always challenges with that. We’re coming to a point now where we’ve just gone through another round of hiring on the BinderPOS side. With the infrastructure of CFB Group to also help with that scaling, we’re in a very good space for 2021. There’s no signs of that slowing down at the moment. We’re about to announce a bunch of valuable integrations for stores, to popular marketplaces and new sales channels, which will also help a lot.”

BinderPOS currently offers integrations through Shopify to Google Marketplace, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram selling, and Amazon. “We will be announcing our integration with eBay in the coming weeks, moving away from the Shopify structure,” Grant said.

The companies began talking about working together at GAMA Expo last March, Grant told us. “Discussions between Jon Saso and myself started at GAMA,” he said. “We were discussing ChannelFireball coming into the BinderPOS platform as a customer. As we discussed further and I realized how closely our goals aligned, we began quickly exploring the idea of working together, which turned into a little bit more of Jon and myself being very passionate about this industry and driving growth. As a retailer himself and experiencing the recent changes of the world, we decided that we wanted to change our focus and work together to do something for this industry. BinderPOS, of course, has always been more of a B2B brand, but coming together and creating the CFB Group turned us into a community brand.

“We really want to have a focus on growing the collectible space, growing the hobby industry, but at the same time, a huge focus on adding even more value to our local game stores and helping them grow online. Jon did a very good job with ChannelFireball over the years, obviously, capturing an audience, maintaining an audience, growing an audience online. A lot of local game stores could really benefit from that.

“We’re turning this into the playbook. We’re getting this content, getting this marketing, getting this channel open so that all the local game stores can get in on it. That’s, I suppose, our unique point of difference here. We’re not letting everyone trade on this platform. This is really for businesses to utilize our marketing strengths and our audience.”

Asked about funding, Grant said, “We will be looking at running a formal Series A this year.”

We asked about the future of live events, which had been an important part of ChannelFireball’s business before the worldwide pandemic effectively suspended them indefinitely. “As soon as the opportunity to safely hold live events again comes up, we will be out there advocating and pitching for live events,” Scanlan said.

The company will use ChannelFireball’s Covid-era experience running online events to host a retailer Zoom event on February 13, the first LGS Con, to launch the B2B push for the online marketplace. The event will feature industry professionals, game publishers and educators for a day of talks to help retailers succeed in the hobby space.

Source https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47364/channelfireball-binderpos-merge

PSA 10 GEM MINT BLACK LOTUS FROM ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING ALPHA EDITION’ BIDS UP PAST $700,000!

A PSA 10 Gem Mint Black Lotus, from Magic: The Gathering’s Alpha Edition, has been bid up past $700,000 on an eBay auction run by PWCC.
An auction for a coveted Alpha Edition Black Lotus is looking like it will finally give the recent gem mint Charizard auctions a run for their money as far as highest price realized for a CCG card (see “Record-Setting Sales Number for ‘Pokemon TCG 1st Edition’ Sealed Product “). This PSA 10 Gem Mint Black Lotus features an on-case autograph of artist Christopher Rush, who created the artwork for this iconic card (see “RIP Christopher Rush“). It is one of seven PSA 10 Gem Mint Alpha Black Lotus cards in existence, and as of the publication of this article, the high bidder sits at $702,500 (Update 1.19.2021: Due to special bidding rules that disqualify unapproved bidders, bids have been retracted down to $310,500).

High-grade Alpha Edition Black Lotus cards have periodically come up for auction, but haven’t realized anywhere near the current high bid. In 2019, a PSA 9.5 Alpha Black Lotus went for $160,000 (see “Rare ‘M:TG’ Alpha Black Lotus Nearly Doubles Price of Last eBay Auction “), and in 2020, Daniel Chang of Vintage Magic LLC sold another PSA Gem Mint 10 Alpha Black Lotus for $250,000.

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47366/psa-10-gem-mint-black-lotus-from-magic-the-gathering-alpha-edition-bids-up-past-700-000

WIZARDS OF THE COAST RAISES $1.4 MILLION FOR CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47002/wizards-coast-raises-1-4-million-childrens-miracle-network-hospitals

Wizards of the Coast announced that it has helped raise $1.4 million dollars for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through donations to its Extra Life 2020 campaign.

WotC has raised a sizeable chunk of money for CNM Hospitals through donations to the Extra Life charity organization. Donations came from a number of different communities related to WotC products, such as Magic: The Gathering and D&D.

The largest donations came from Magic: The Gathering community team who raised over $900,000 through donations and sales of the most recent Secret Lair drop set (see “Wizards of the Coast Reveals ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Secret Lair: Extra Life 2020’“). Each Secret Lair set sold racked up a $30 donation and each Ultra PRO playmat sold resulted in a $16 donation for CNM Hospitals. The D&D community team also raised over $426,000 in donations.

WIZARDS OF THE COAST ANNOUNCES A ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ ‘SECRETVERSARY’ SUPERDROP

Wizards of the Coast announced the Secret Lair: Secretversary Superdrop, drop sets featuring popular Magic: The Gathering artists, for direct sale from November 30 to December 14.
It’s been about one year since WotC headed down the road of releasing drop sets (see “The Mystery of The ‘Secret Lair Drop Series’ Revealed”). Now, WotC is planning a Superdrop of Secret Lair sets to mark the one year anniversary of this product line. Details on the Superdrop are scarce, but they will feature cards with work from popular Magic: The Gathering artists. The only set spoiled thus far showcases the work of Seb McKinnon on cards such as Swamp, Sower of Temptation, Damnation, and Enchanted Evening.

Thus far, no official MSRP has been released for this product.

Pricing:

  • Foil: $39.99/€44.99*/£39.99*
  • Non-foil: $29.99/€34.99*/£29.99*
    *inclusive of local VAT

Mana rocks are the foundation (see what we did there?) of many games of Magic, but we never really see them get used in-world. This drop explores strange and uncanny wizards from across the Multiverse using rocks we all know and love in an atypical pop-art style. This drop contains totally rockin’ art by Caramelaw, Mab Graves, Dani Pendergast, Theodoru, and Yosuke Ueno. May your fixing be as powerful as it is plentiful!

Pricing:

  • Foil: $39.99/€44.99*/£39.99*
  • Non-foil: $29.99/€34.99*/£29.99*
    *inclusive of local VAT

Welcome to the first of (hopefully many!) Secret Lair‘s Artist Series drops where we let some of Magic‘s greatest artists run wild. This time, we worked with Seb McKinnon to select four cards on which he wanted to leave his mark. We then got out of his way and let him illustrate them however he wanted. After a month of radio silence, Seb emerged from the woods near Wizards HQ—clothing ragged, hair immaculate—and handed us four unbelievable pieces of art. The pieces tell the story of a knight’s chance encounter with a faerie, and they are accompanied by a poem written by Seb’s brother Liam McKinnon. Don’t mind us, we’re just going to stare at that Damnation art for a little while longer . . .

Pricing:

Foil: $39.99/€44.99/£39.99
Non-foil: $29.99/€34.99/£29.99
*inclusive of local VAT


This is a real special treat we have today. This drop includes ten different basic lands: that’s two Plains, two Islands, two Swamps, two Mountains, and two Forests—each one with a unique piece of art by Bob Ross. That’s ten different pieces by the patient and soft-spoken legend himself. Whether you use them to add some joy to your deck or put them on display, we know these happy little cards will be right at home in your collection.

“But what about the other five Bob Ross lands?” you ask. “How do I get them in MTG Arena?!” Oh, don’t you worry. We’ll be making those available to everyone via limited-time universal codes! Stay tuned to @MTGSecretLair for more info very soon!

Pricing: $29.99/€34.99*/£29.99*
*inclusive of local VAT

Here it is: the heaviest, crushingest, most brutal Secret Lair drop of all time. We picked five cards with the most metal names possible and turned them into hand-drawn breakdowns. These cards are so incomparably sick that the mere thought of Thraximundar makes our feet unconsciously start to air double bass. This drop would not have been possible without a supergroup of talented artists: Scott Buoncristiano, Illustranesia, Vance Kelly, Robbie Trevino, and Rafal Wechterowicz (Too Many Skulls).

Pricing: $39.99/€44.99*/£39.99*
*inclusive of local VAT

They said we were mad. They said we were spouting nonsense. Spreading fear, hysteria, paranoia! But the squirrels, you see, the squirrels are planning something. Don’t believe us? Look at these cards! You think these are soft, fuzzy, friendly creatures? Sure, they might look cute, but it’s all an act to get us to let our guards down. (Between you and us, we think that illustrators Puffygator, Joy Ang, Carl Critchlow, Ivan Shavrin, Rudy Siswanto, and Ron Spencer might be on their side. Look how awesome this art is; they’re clearly double agents!) We just hope that the next time you see one of these cards across the table from you, you don’t underestimate it. We only hope that it isn’t too late .

Don’t forget to ‘bundle up’

Contents:

  • 1x No Foils, No Nonsense Bundle
    • 1x non-foil A Box of Rocks
    • 1x non-foil Artist Series: Seb McKinnon
    • 1x non-foil Happy Little Gathering
    • 1x non-foil Party Hard, Shred Harder
  • 1x Foils Forever Bundle
    • 1x foil A Box of Rocks
    • 1x foil Artist Series: Seb McKinnon
    • 1x foil Happy Little Gathering
    • 1x foil We Hope You Like Squirrels

Price: $229.99/€259.99*/£229.99*
*inclusive of local VAT

Savings: $49.93!!

**MTG Arena redemption is not available in the following regions: China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Source: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-secret-lairs-secretversary-superdrop-2020-11-25

‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ GODS’ NAMES SPOILED IN NEW WAVE OF WIZKIDS MINIATURES!

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/46768/magic-the-gathering-gods-names-spoiled-new-wave-wizkids-miniatures

WizKids revealed its next wave of Magic: The Gathering Unpainted Miniatures, which contained two of the names of new Gods that will be featured in upcoming Magic lore, for release in March.
It looks like WizKids may have given Magic: The Gathering fans a small preview into the upcoming lore for 2021. The new wave of Magic: The Gathering miniatures has two characters that stand out a not being found in previous lore associated with the game: Alrund, God of Wisdom and Reidane, Goddess of Justice. It can be speculated, based on the release date and the theme of the miniatures, that these characters may be associated with the upcoming Kaldheim set (see “‘Magic: The Gathering’ Release Calendar for 2020/2021”).

The wave contains the following miniature packs:

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Alrund, God of Wisdom

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Reidane, Goddess of Justice

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Jace

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Nahiri

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Kaya

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Cosmo Wolf

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Cosmo Serpent

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Elf Fighter & Elf Cleric

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Shapeshifters

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Dwarf Fighter & Dwarf Cleric

Magic the Gathering Unpainted Miniatures: Human Berserkers

The new miniature packs will retail for $4.99, except for the Cosmo Wolf and Cosmo Serpent, which will retail for $14.99 each.

Phantom Rage Introduction Video (TCG)

Source: https://ygorganization.com/myutantshouldabeencatgirlsmyumyupower/

The TCG has released a video with information regarding upcoming Phantom Rage reveals. A schedule for collaborations with various yugitubers over the next week will spoil some of the set contents. All of these collaborations with go up at 8 AM PDT (GMT-7 after factoring for Daylight Savings in the US, at the time of writing).

Day 1 (Oct16) : Phantom Knights & Raidraptors – TeamSamuraiX1

Day 2 (Oct 17): Dual Avatar – RevzCards

Day 3 (Oct 18): Tri-Brigade – Nyhmnim

Day 4 (Oct 19): Virtual World – MST.TV

Day 5 (Oct 20): “Free Agents” – Dzeeff

Day 6 (Oct 21): Myutants – Ruggles

Pretty sweet stuff

“Free Agents” seem to be assorted generic power cards in the set, such as Negalogia AA-Zeus and Zoo King Alpha.

Myutants are a World Premier theme in Phantom Rage that with debut with 14 new cards.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS’ TRAVELS TO THE ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ PLANE OF THEROS IN NEW SOURCEBOOK

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45304/dungeons-dragons-travels-magic-the-gathering-plane-theros-new-sourcebook

Wizards of the Coast announced Mythic Odysseys of Theros, a new sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons, for release on June 2, 2020.
D&D campaigns can now enter another plane of Magic: The Gathering with Mythic Odysseys of Theros. This book features a variety of new rules, races, gods, and monsters found in the plane of Theros. Players can now use satyrs or leonin as races, and the new rules introduce supernatural gifts as well as five signature artifacts wielded by the deities of Theros. It also has Magic: The Gathering-inspired subclasses like the College of Eloquence for Bards and Oath of Heroism for Paladins.

Preview(opens in a new tab)

This book comes with two different covers, a main cover and a alternate cover by Kevin Tong. Mythic Odysseys of Theros will retail for $49.99.

FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES REVEALS ‘KEYFORGE: MASS MUTATION’

The Fourth Set of Archon Decks for ‘KeyForge’ Card Game

antasy Flight Games revealed Mass Mutation, the fourth set of Archon Decks for the KeyForge card game.
Mass Mutation draws from a card pool of 422 cards with 250 cards being entirely new. The general theme of the set revolves around dark AEmber and mutation creating strange, new versions of old characters. There are also massive single creatures that encompass more than one card and the return of House Sanctum.

The Mass Mutation release has three product types attached to it. The first product type is the Mass Mutation Two-Player Starter Set which contains two ready-to-play 36-card decks. Each deck features a unique mix of cards, contains all the tokens needed for a two-player game, and will retail for $24.95.

The Mass Mutation Archon Deck and Deluxe Deck are both single decks which are the core of KeyForge products. Both products contains a unique pre-constructed 36-cards with new cards mixed in, and Archon Decks carry an MSRP of $9.95. The Deluxe Deck comes with tokens as well as the deck, and runs $14.95.

Fantasy Flight Games also will release Secrets of the Crucible, a sourcebook for the Genesys Roleplaying System, in Q2 2020 (see “‘KeyForge’ Universe Comes to ‘Genesys RPG’ System.”).

‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ UP 30% (INCLUDING DIGITAL) IN 2019

Hasbro’s Total Gaming Up 6%

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner told analysts in the earnings conference call Tuesday that the company’s Magic: The Gathering revenues increased 30% in 2019, behind “double-digit growth in tabletop play” and the first year of Magic: The Gathering Arena digital revenues, which grew “several-fold.” Magic sales growth contributed to Hasbro’s 6% increase in total gaming revenue to $1.53 billion for the year, up from $1.44 billion in 2018. Monopoly also had double-digit growth.

In fact, Hasbro gaming sales without franchise brands Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly were down 10% for the quarter, with Dungeons & Dragons and classic game sales increases unable to offset declines in sales of novelty games Pie Face and Speak Out.

D&D sales continue to be driven by video views; 150 million hours of D&D video content were viewed in 2019, up nearly 50% year on year. With those kinds of increases, it seems unlikely that the growth of D&D will flag any time soon.

The increase in total gaming revenues for the year was despite a decline of 7.7% in Q4, with Magic sales undoubtedly part of that decline due to the tough comparisons with the Ultimate Masters release in Q4 2018.

Despite tariff-related impacts on sales and earnings earlier in the year (see “Tariffs Hit Hasbro Sales, Earnings”), Hasbro ended the year with total revenues up 3% to $4.72 billion from $4.58 billion in 2018. Earnings more than doubled, from $220.4 million in 2018 to $520.5 million last year.

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45147/magic-the-gathering-up-30-including-digital-2019

DECKLISTS REVEALED FOR ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING 2020 CHALLENGER DECKS’

With Market Values for Key Cards

Wizards of the Coast has revealed decklists for the four new Magic: The Gathering 2020 Challenger Decks planned for release on April 3, 2020 (see “WotC Will Release new ‘Magic Challenger Decks'”).
The contents of each deck is listed below with notes about cards that hold significant secondary market value (*$10 or more based on TCGPlayer market value at time of this article’s publication):

Allied Fires

Main Deck:
3 Sarkhan the Masterless, 1 Ugin, the Ineffable, 3 Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor, 4 Narset, Parter of Veils, 2 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, 1 Kenrith, the Returned King, 2 Fae of Wishes, 3 Deafening Clarion, 2 Drawn from Dreams, 2 Time Wipe, 4 Fires of Invention, 2 Banishing Light, 4 Omen of the Sea, 1 Steam Vents* (Market Price $12.89), 1 Temple of Enlightenment, 1 Temple of Epiphany, 1 Temple of Triumph, 4 Interplanar Beacon, 3 Swiftwater Cliffs, 3 Tranquil Cove, 4 Wind-Scarred Crag, 5 Island, 2 Mountain, 2 Plains

Sideboard:
1 Sarkhan the Masterless, 1 Time Wipe, 1 Mass Manipulation, 1 Ashiok, Dream Render, 2 Devout Decree, 1 Dovin, Hand of Control, 1 Dovin’s Veto, 2 Fry, 2 Revoke Existence, 3 Thirst for Meaning

Final Adventure

Main Deck:
1 Vraska, Golgari Queen, 4 Edgewall Innkeeper, 2 Blacklance Paragon, 2 Knight of the Ebon Legion, 4 Lovestruck Beast, 2 Midnight Reaper, 2 Murderous Rider, 4 Foulmire Knight, 4 Order of Midnight, 4 Smitten Swordmaster, 2 Find // Finality, 2 Disfigure, 4 Lucky Clover, 2 Castle Locthwain, 1 Fabled Passage* (Market Price: $19.22), 2 Temple of Malady, 3 Jungle Hollow, 7 Forest, 8 Swamp

Sideboard:
2 Massacre Girl, 1 Cling to Dust, 4 Duress, 2 Kraul Harpooner, 4 Noxious Grasp, 2 Thrashing Brontodon

Cavalcade Charge
Main Deck:
3 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, 4 Bonecrusher Giant, 4 Fervent Champion, 4 Runaway Steam-Kin, 4 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, 4 Rimrock Knight, 4 Scorch Spitter, 3 Tin Street Dodger, 4 Light Up the Stage, 1 Embercleave* (Market Price: $23.12), 4 Cavalcade of Calamity, 3 Castle Embereth, 18 Mountain

Sideboard:
3 Experimental Frenzy, 3 Satyr’s Cunning, 4 Shock, 3 Slaying Fire, 2 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

Flash of Ferocity

Main Deck:
1 Brazen Borrower* (Market Price: $20.65), 4 Nightpack Ambusher, 1 Wavebreak Hippocamp, 4 Wildborn Preserver, 4 Brineborn Cutthroat, 4 Frilled Mystic, 4 Spectral Sailor, 2 Thassa’s Intervention, 4 Opt, 4 Quench, 2 Sinister Sabotage, 2 Unsummon, 2 Castle Vantress, 1 Fabled Passage* (Market Price: $19.22), 2 Temple of Mystery, 3 Thornwood Falls, 8 Forest, 8 Island

Sideboard:
3 Shifting Ceratops, 3 Aether Gust, 2 Disdainful Stroke, 2 Mystical Dispute, 2 Negate, 3 Threnody Singer