Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne shares his experience selling Disney Lorcana (and comments on online sales).

Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!  Based on what I had read about the sales and demand for Disney Lorcana at Gen Con, I expected brisk sales of the game the first day of release (see "Gen Con Theft and Concerns about ‘Disney Lorcana’ and ‘D&D: Glory’").  After all, Gen Con has proven, over the years, to be a great launch pad for new releases.  When Magic: The Gathering first released, my distributor could not explain to me the concept of the game and my deck and 2 boosters of Alpha (Yes, back in the early days of the game, you could order individual decks and booster packs through distribution) sat on the shelf for months until customers came back from Gen Con having played this fantastic game called Magic and wanting to know if I would stock it.

We saw similar buzz after the release of Shadowrun and Pokemon, so the popularity of Lorcana at Gen Con meant to me that I could expect significant demand for it when it arrived in the store.  However, I did not expect to have a line of people waiting at the door when we opened and do a full typical Friday’s worth of sales in the first two hours!

The game has also drawn out, shall we say, less ethical sellers online.  I’m not talking about the people selling booster boxes for $250 to $350 or even those that got $165 for a set of the three starter decks.  While pricy, those pre-sales did not violate any terms the stores had with Ravensburger.  However, I did see sales of sets of the league kit promo cards, Yzma, HeiHei and Mickey Mouse, on eBay at prices ranging from $200 to $650 for the set of the three cards.  These sales started on August 17, the day most stores received the kits.

Per directions from Ravensburger regarding the kits, sanctioned play, for which the cards serve as prizing, did not start until August 18th, with the first of the cards designated to be given out four weeks later.  As is typical with promotional materials like this, the kit specifically says, "not for resale."  The kit does say that how the venue runs an event and awards prizes is left to the discretion of the store, which I guess could mean a store could run an event and give out a set of cards as the prize with the winner immediately listing them for sale on eBay.  However, that still leaves the problem of how the card set got listed for sale a day before any events could run.  I sent an email pointing out the problematic sales to Ravensburger, and a couple of other stores said they would do so as well.  Since typical policy for Wizards of the Coast and The Pokemon Company is to take these notices and not comment further publicly on them, we probably will not know if those selling the cards online suffer any punitive action.

Sales of the game slowed down dramatically for us on Saturday, still healthy but the bloom was off the rose.  I did see pictures online of tables of people playing Lorcana and several of our customers got enthralled by deckbuilding and finding ways to generate 20 Lore in one turn, which, given the right card combo, is possible.

Sales of Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants pleasantly surprised me as we sold through our initial order of alternative covers and half our order of the regular ones. Apparently 1 D&D is not as off-putting as I feared.

Thoughts on Lorcana and Glory of the Giants?  Send them to

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