Magic: The Gathering and The Lord of the Rings has clearly owned the summer 2023, but where does the market head from here?Is Q3 About to Get Scary for TCGs?"). Disney Lorcana TCG seems to be experiencing a few headwinds entering the market, after Upper Deck sued to stop the release of this product (see "Upper Deck Sues to Stop Release of 'Disney Lorcana TCG'"). Ravensburger deems the claims against them "baseless" (see "Response to Upper Deck Suit"). However, baseless or not, the law suit has seemed to stifle their preorder surge into release. Disney Lorcana TCG fell from #9 on the May 2023 Sealed Chart (see "May 2023") to #21 on June 2023 Sealed Chart, which is not particularly good during the preorder phase as it shows a waning confidence in the product amongst buyers.
While this is not so great news for Ravensburger, it does perhaps clear the path for the Big Three's releases in August. One of the big question marks for August revolved around whether or not consumers have the disposable income or credit to finance Magic: The Gathering - Commander Masters purchases after spending like sailors on Tales of Middle-earth. If Disney Lorcana TCG experiences more issues headed toward release, this may open up a whole chunk of consumer disposable income that can then be used to pick up the Big Three's late summer releases that otherwise might've been battling each other and Lorcana for consumer dollars in August 2023.Deets for 'Magic: The Gathering - Commander Masters'") and are currently preordering at about $225 a box. There is a real question of what's left in consumer wallets after the Tales of Middle-earth fallout wraps up over the course of the next month. Two premium sets, back-to-back, may be a tall order for Magic fans to handle, not to mention sets arriving after that.
As for Pokemon TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and One Piece CG, these TCGs seem to be just along for the ride right now. They all have core U.S. and international fan bases that will not abandon them, but it is unlikely they will experience the kind of FOMO-voodoo, lightning-in-a-bottle style consumer sentiment that Magic: The Gathering has going on in 2023. Pokemon TCG had its moment in the sun in Japanese markets earlier this year (see "Sells Out of 'Pokemon TCG' Products in Japan"), but outside of all that, it seems like 2023 is Magic's game to win or lose as far as the TCG market is concerned.