Nope, this isn’t the Sandman art post.  It should be, but the scanner at work, she is broken.  But there’s no soccer practice for Jack tonight, because the field is too wet, so I can probably get it wrapped up this evening.

This is about the death of old things.

I was digging through a pile of my personal stuff that’s here at the office, and I came across the shoebox that held my old Magic: The Gathering cards.  I bought almost all of these back in 1993, when I was in college.  The box has gone undisturbed for over fifteen years.

Keeping a bunch of Unlimited cards is sort of silly; you can’t play with them any more at any organized event (even assuming I still played… and like I said, fifteen years!), and they’re not Beta or Alpha cards, so they’re not collectible in the same sense as the original run.  There are some pretty good ones in that box, though.  Still, your choice with this sort of collectible is to hold onto it forever, sell it, or trade it away.

Selling this sort of thing is a pain, even here in the Los Angeles area where we have Frank and Sons.  You have to price out all the cards, and then you have to go to the show, and you have to haggle.  Nobody wants to buy an entire box for anywhere near book value, so you’re usually haggling just to get a buyer’s price, unless you go in only planning on selling the top two dozen value cards, in which case you might – might! – get half of book… and you’ll still have a cardboard box of cards to get rid of.  Selling them on eBay is a similar hassle.  I’ve tried to do that before, once, and it wound up being such a chore I gave up.

But I’ve got no use for them, and they certainly are worth something, so what to do… what to do?  Then today I hit upon it.  Our local game store sometimes takes big trade-ins for store credit.  Store credit is usually better than a buyer’s price, because they know you’ll spend the money in-house, even if it’s still not as good as a seller’s price.  They have a Facebook page and once in a blue moon I get a posting about some guy who came in and traded in a huge collection of Pathfinder stuff or Warhammer figures.  So I took the box down to the store and talked to Jessica, the Magic expert.  What sort of trade-in terms?  Depends on the cards, naturally.

So I handed over the box and told her to take her time going through them and let me know what they’d take and for how much (I have an inventory, and they’re good eggs, so I’m not worried about a card or seven disappearing out of the box).  She opened it and took out the ones that are in plastic cases and saw the two Armageddons, and said, “Wow”.  Then she saw the two Wrath of Gods, and said, “Wow” again.  Then she pulled out the Illusionary Mask  and said, “Oh, wow”… then “Oh, Gee” for the Mox Jet.

Who knows what sort of offer they’ll come back with.  I might not even go through with it, if they’ll only accept a limited number of the cards or the offer is just too low.

But if not, I’m going to have a whole bunch of store credit.

Aside from the used copy of Luftwaffe and Outdoor Survival, what should I get?  Answers in the comments.


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.


      • I’ll probably pick that up. Jack’s not 12 yet.

        Total value trade-in was $400, after haggling. I nabbed Pandemic and a used copy of Luftwaffe and Outdoor Survival.

        I have plenty left.

  1. Risk: Legacy is fishing amazing if you’ve got a regular or semi-regular gaming group of 4-5 players. It starts out as a pretty much normal game of risk, but the results of every game inform future games.

    So now, in my copy, the continent of South Alan-merica is dominated by the heavily fortified city of Paradise Falls, in Venezuela. Which is good, because they keep being attacked by (major spoilers, rot13) zhgnagf sebz gur snyybhg mbar gung vf Abegu Nzrevpn nsgre gur erfhyg bs ahpyrne jne orgjrra Terraynaq naq Vprynaq. The next few games might see the founding of a world capital at St. Alansburg, Russia or Jasonabad*, Afghanistan.

    *Actually, my co-players are less egomaniacal in their naming habits that I am. See the “Up” inspired city of paradise falls, for example.

  2. Some of my friends have started playing Magic again. I haven’t yet wanted to start buying my own cards again (I still have a bunch somewhere around here…) but it’s still fun when I play with their decks.

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