Cards are already selling for hundreds of dollars each.
Disney is officially taking on the likes of Magic: The Gathering, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and Yu-Gi-Oh with its own TCG called Lorcana.
Featuring the likes of Mickey Mouse, Frozen's Elsa, Robin Hood, and Stitch, the first handful of cards available at D23 are already selling for thousands of dollars and piquing the interest of card game players around the world.
Despite Disney's annual fan expo featuring the world's biggest franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, one of the most popular booths at D23 is for Lorcana, with Disney quickly running out of the seven collectible cards it was handing out at the event.
Disney Lorcana D23 Cards
While a Mickey Mouse card was handed out to anyone who attended, a special collector box featuring the remaining six cards – Cruella De Vil, Elsa, Captain Hook, Maleficent, Robin Hood, and Stitch — was only available to the first 300 attendees on each day.
Both promotions were intended to give card game fans a look at Lorcana ahead of its release in fall 2023 but, as one Reddit user reported, hundreds of people were already queued up early in the morning, meaning those arriving after even 9 am had no chance whatsoever – at least not for free.
Ebay is currently filled with the cards, with Mickey selling in the range of $250 to $300 and the six-card set selling for $2,000 or more. These seven cards are all confirmed to be available in Lorcana's first set when it's released next year, but will not be holographic in the wide release.
This first collection already features unique numbering and a D23 stamp that definitely won't be available in the packs, so if the game blows up and proves incredibly successful, the current $2,000 price tag may seem like pennies in a few years.
Card games certainly have precedence for pricey pieces, with perhaps the most infamous example being Magic: The Gathering's Black Lotus card which sells for at least $10,000. A particularly rare one also broke records last year when it sold for more than $500,000.
These Lorcana prices are therefore causing a bit of concern for its potential players. “I'm interested in the game but I'm genuinely concerned that it will turn into a collector's game,” said Giang Nguyen, Keyforge's Vietnamese national champion and competitive Flesh and Blood player.
Let's tour our Disney Lorcana booth together! #D23 #D23Expo2022 #DisneyLorcana #Ravensburger pic.twitter.com/ZXD9MfOCiX
— Disney Lorcana (@DisneyLorcana) September 10, 2022
“Kids will want the cards and their parents will try to get them, so demand will be so high,” he added. “If Mickey is busted and exclusive and costs upwards of $1,000 then there's no way I'm playing this game.”
The worry is that, ironically, Disney might be almost too big to make a card game work, as if people can't access the product then they simply can't play. Vice president of product design at Disney John Balen has already promised an “unprecedented” amount of characters and Lorcana “will contain more original Disney artwork than any other single product ever created” — something desirable for collectors regardless of the TCG format.
Disney will release four sets per year, “which sounds great in terms of quantity of support, but we need to ensure that the sets support the meta in a healthy manner rather than be a sweatshop for collectors' items,” said Shen Ang, a fellow competitive Flesh and Blood, and ex-Digimon TCG player.
Disney's answer to Magic: The Gathering was announced at the end of August.
“In Pokémon and Digimon, the new sets, more often than not, make older decks obsolete,” he continued. A new set came out every two to three months, and the meta immediately shifts, and you'd need to build a deck from scratch again. This was not very player friendly and takes the enjoyment out of the game.
“That said, I'm very interested in the game because I can see them trying very hard to design this as a legitimate, competitive, complex game that is also fun for casual and hardcore Disney enjoyers. It's the first time a family-friendly IP like Disney is doing this and saying 'hey, we're making a serious game'. This is not something like Top Trumps. It's real interactive gameplay.”
And actual game mechanics are ultimately more important than collectability in a card game. The D23 Mickey Mouse might be worth hundreds of dollars, but if a regular version, with the same text and abilities, is readily available in booster packs, then people can at least play the game. It's similar to skins in Fortnite – players can pay more to look fancy but there's no difference in actual gameplay.
There are still many unanswered questions around Lorcana that Disney will try to address ahead of its launch next year, but the company has presented itself confidently so far.
“The Disney Lorcana team is an incredible and passionate group with over a century of combined experience creating trading card games,” said brand manager and Lorcana co-designer Ryan Miller. “Great care has gone into delivering an unforgettable world and gameplay experience that will be equally fun for Disney superfans, trading card game beginners, and the most enthusiastic and advanced players.”
D23 produced a ton of other news over the weekend too, with major announcements from the likes of Marvel and Star Wars headlining the event.
The Mandalorian Season 3 received its first trailer, the line-up for Marvel's Thunderbolts was finally revealed, Christian Slater was confirmed to join the cast of Willow.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.
Keyword: Lorcana - Disney's Magic: The Gathering Card Game Contender Has TCG Fans Intrigued>