As mentioned last month (see "Big Four or Five"), it seems like 2023 started with a Big Three in the TCG world (Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon TCG, and Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG) and may end with a Big Four or Five as One Piece CG and Disney Lorcana continue to surge in popularity. November 2023's chart featured all five of the major TCGs in the top ten slots with Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG topping the list. The divvying up of chart between these five games indicates that the size of the TCG market is likely expanding right now, as new fans are entering TCGs with the One Piece CG and Disney Lorcana. There is probably a little bit of cannibalization of the fan base between the major TCGs occurring, as existing TCG fans move from older TCGs to newer TCGs. However, in general, the overall TCG market seems to be strong going into 2024 and still growing.Most Epic Disney Line Ever"), but as more card supply of the game hits the market, the booster box prices have cooled off. The First Chapter Booster Boxes started the month at $328.04 and ended at $190.35 (about a 42% drop), and Rise of the Floodborn Booster Boxes also dumped off after its release date, from $367.68 to $221.33 (about a 40% drop off). Under normal circumstances, this scale of a price drop would be considered a negative. However, with Disney Lorcana, it's considered more of a price stabilization as the market price was so far above its original $143.76 MSRP to begin with.
This price action may have created a pivotal point in Disney Lorcana's lifecycle as a TCG. Disney collector enthusiasm over this particular TCG has been both one of the greatest successes of the game (so far), but also one of its most frustrating facets. On one hand, it's great that the TCG was an overwhelming sales success and brought some of the Disney fan base into the TCG community. On the other hand, the FOMO surrounding the perhaps underprinted product seemed to bring some of the absolute worst aspects of Disneyana and TCG collecting to the forefront. As an example, for months now, clever product flippers have been circling FLGS, convention booths, and shelves at mass retailers in order to sniff out any available Disney Lorcana, snap it up before the public can, and plop it online at extreme markups. While it has been great for retail sales, this has definitely been a negative experience for fans that just want to play the game without overpaying for the cards they need for their decks.
Now that more of Disney Lorcana has been released into the wild with even more coming (see "'Disney Lorcana' Plans") and the prices of booster boxes are stabilizing, the game's further success or decline is finally going to be about the TCG's ground game (its organized play and community). Everyone has seen how well the game has done through its retail sales, but it is yet to truly be seen how strong the actual community is at stores and in play groups, and whether or not that is sustainable given the lack of product thus far. After all, the product has been scarce since its release in August, and it's pretty hard for someone to pick up and play a TCG with little to no product available (with some of that original product stowed away by sealed collectors for eternity). Hopefully, as even more product becomes available over time, Disney Lorcana will stabilize further and its community and player base will thrive at FLGS, having the cards they need to play the game.'Sorcery: Contested Realm'"). It is definitely worth keeping an eye on as inventory potential.