John Coviello of Little Shop of Magic in Las Vegas, Nevada read about Wizard's new release date policy for Magic: The Gathering (see ''Magic' Releases Legal on Street Date') and says this is good news as long as Wizards is able to enforce it:


This is indeed good news, provided that Wizards is actually able to enforce its restrictions on distributors who choose to deal directly with the public, and deep online discounters.


It would appear that some manufacturers (such as Mayfair, for example), are already starting to take proactive actions to prevent their products from being devalued by deep discounting. Perhaps these companies are being spurred by the recent developments in the Supreme Court in regards to MSRP enforcement or, perhaps the years of nagging from retailers are finally starting to sink in. In either case these laudable initiatives all add up to paper tigers unless they are enforced on a fair and consistent basis: so long as loopholes continue to exist and people can continue to get away with it; deep discounting will remain a harsh reality.


Another step in the right direction was Wizard's recent 'open at midnight' promotion which will allow us to sell the Morningtide at 12:01am on release date.  I've been waiting for a long time to be able to do what movie theaters have done for years! The buzz around here seems to be positive so I look forward to reporting the actual results of the event once it happens. Kudos to Wizards on this one. Many companies talk about supporting the brick and mortar retailers, but very few put their best foot forward by encouraging customers to shop with us instead of 'Mr. Cheap-o-CCG's.'


Unfortunately while Magic remains one of the most devalued gaming products in our market, it still demands a considerable amount of manpower to promote. My Friday Night Magic events typically see between 30 to 45 people, some of them unruly, some of them obnoxious and a lot of them just plain rude. Worst thing is 80% of those attending only purchase a few dollars worth of sodas while hogging up table space until 1 or 2 in the morning. With results like these, it becomes harder and harder to justify the effort I put into these events when I could just as easily put my manpower to work on more lucrative endeavors.


Hopefully, this is all a step in the right direction. While they may be a minority, I still have a core group of Magic players that are loyal, well behaved and good spenders (God bless their hearts).  I would love to prove to them that Magic organized play is here to stay in brick and mortar stores for years to come.


I suppose time and manufacturer's actions will tell.


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of