Why is ESB so hard to get?

Discussion in 'Games: TCG' started by Q99213, Feb 3, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Q99213 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 4
    Is it me, or is ESB so much harder to get than the rest of the sets? I can't find any boxes on e-bay. Usually when a set is released, within 3 weeks someone is selling a common or uncommon set, but not with ESB. Target isn't selling the boosters. My friend even said that her local WotC store didn't have any! I can't even find the intro decks! It's been over two months and I still don't have any ESB cards and I'm going crazy!
  2. RedneckJedi Historian, JediOKC Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 2
    Here's my opinion of the situation. Gaming stores are reluctant to buy boxes for the game because of the lack of demand. "Kids" buy Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon (still, maybe, I dunno), and Heroclix games. "Non-kids" buy Magic, RPGs, MechWarrior and MageKnight games. That's a generalization, to be sure, as other games are produced, and I don't pay a LOT of attention to the other games... just what I see on the shelves and at tournaments.

    The Star Wars TCG is a strategy-based game, I think even moreso than M:TG (though my knowledge is very rusty). I was in a tournament with 10 people, which happened to be 5 "kids" vs. 5 "non-kids", and happened to be paired up "kid vs. non-kid". After the first round, all the "kids" were 0-1. I think this is indicative of the game, as the combination of deck-building and card selection during the game are just as important as the dice rolling facet. So, when pitted in competition, "kids" don't tend to fare well. It caters more to strategy and sticking to a devised "deck plan". The game is fun to play when your strategy works, or the dice go your way, or possibly even when your opponent pulls off a strategy that either just whips the tar out of you, or works in some way you never thought possible, or did something incredibly well. But when the "kids" consistently lose to older, or more strategy-minded players, you just ruled them out of future gameplay.

    Many "non-kids" are most likely into Magic, and may have played SW:TCG on the side or as a lark, since the fellow who created Magic also created the SW:TCG. Right off the bat, SW:TCG received the "Yahtzee backlash" as long-time Magic players preferred the certainty of a card's outcome over the randomness of dice rolls. When the SW:TCG was originally released, retailers marketed it in the kids section. See above for "kids" playing the game. So, the SW:TCG was relegated to sink-or-swim with the plethora of other card games at the comic/game shop AND came out right at the advent of collectable miniatures for "kids" and the surge of popularity in the same merchandise for "non-kids". So, this covers part of the "non-kid" area.

    The other "non-kids" who play the game and enjoy playing it, also tend to be, how shall I say it... thrifty. Sure, you can pay $3.29 per pack at a game shop, but why do that when you can pay $70-80 for a box ($2.22 per pack), then buy and trade singles on-line circumventing the randomness of getting any remaining cards you need from a store-bought pack. This is the smart way to go to buy the cards (or miniatures) regardless of the game! Magic does well due to the number of players and local tournaments. You can usually count on half the players to buy a few packs at store prices just to see what random card they'll snag. SW:TCG doesn't have Magic numbers to pull this off.

    So, FINALLY getting to your point. SW:TCG doesn't cater to "kids", hard-core Magic or miniature-gaming "non-kids", or the thrifty SW:TCG player. Therefore, it doesn't cater to the gaming store, who counts on a large profit from small purchases to cover the cost of the mall stall they inhabit and put food on the table.

    IMO, the gaming shop should carry, oh, a box or two of newly released product at a time, rather than buying a case and risking a big loss. They should also seriously consider whether they want to sell a lot at a smaller profit or sell a little at a higher profit. The gaming stores successfully selling SW:TCG in my metro area eschew the MSRP for a price roughly 50 cents less. While the difference may be small, I can buy 5 packs for the price of 4. Tournaments are another problem. When a store stops selling a particular card game, they immediately lose those customers. They can no longer locally gauge the popularity of a game when the players leave. For all they know, the game could be hugely popular 5 miles away, just because another store took a chance on a price drop or scheduled tournaments for a less popular game.

    One final downside for the SW:TCG... Star Wars products today and of the past. Fr
  3. MoronDude Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 6
    Yeah, I bought solidly for 4 expansions... when Jedi Guardians came out it started to wane. The other day I was in a hobby store buying dice and I saw they had ESB cards. I thought about buying them for about 20 seconds but then shruged and bought the dice only. I can't explain why. Maybe it is because I started playing The Simpsons TCG (though I haven't bought very many of those either). Maybe the thrill of the new game is gone, and with it my urge to buy new cards. I don't really know.
  4. Q99213 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 4
    I can see your point RedneckJedi. I actually really enjoyed the Decipher game and was really ticked when they stopped making them. I have a lot of money tied up in TCG right now, so I hope it continues to thrive. Finding people that play is hard enough, but finding cards shouldn't be. I just hate walking into target and seeing gobs of JG and no ESB, but that's probably because they still have gobs of JG.
  5. RedneckJedi Historian, JediOKC Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 2
    Yeah, the retail stores have little concept of a game expansion life cycle. Wal Mart pegged the NeoPets game, since it quickly went to clearance, as well as some older Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. However, Target doesn't appear to keep tabs on game releases. My local Target is also loaded with JG, and if they want to sell it, they need to mark it down. Another Target in my metro area has 3 PEGS loaded with BoY at regular price, and no JG!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.