30th Anniversary Dual Lands Surpass Revised Versions In PriceDiscussion Economy
Genoslugcs · March 7, 2023 · 3 min
The 30th Anniversary Edition product was not a successful one. It was very expensive, not available in stores, and the cards are not legal in any official format. The set essentially featured "official proxy" versions of some of the game's most powerful cards and was meant to give players opening the packs a taste of what it would have been like to open Magic's earliest sets.
While the thought may have been nice, the execution was poor - The combination of the high price tag ($1000 at release) and the fact that the cards aren't legal for constructed play was something that most players opted to pass on. However, there are certain cards, like the original dual lands, that do seem to be quite sought-after. So much so, that many of these "proxy" versions have actually surpassed their legit Revised version counterparts in price, which is a strange phenomenon. Or is it? Let's take a deeper look.
First, let's take a look at the prices for Revised dual lands compared to the 30E versions. I took the current lowest prices (using recently sold listings for out-of-stock cards) from TCGplayer:
- Revised - $289
- 30E - $300
- Underground Sea
- Revised - $359
- 30E - $600-$700
- Revised - $231
- 30E - $319
- Revised - $229
- 30E - $350
- Revised - $220
- 30E - $279
- Revised - $207
- 30E -$248
- Volcanic Island
- Revised - $500
- 30E - $700-$900
- Revised - $275
- 30E - $300
- Revised - $190
- 30E - $250
- Tropical Island
- Revised - $345
- 30E - $725
It's worth noting that some Revised duals do (and some don't) have higher market prices than the newer versions. Near Mint versions of some Revised versions would be more. However, the fact remains, if you wanted the cheapest available version of a given land, the Revised version would be the option for all 10 duals.
Why Are The Newer Versions More Expensive Than The Original?
The answer here isn't an intuitive one but it's pretty simple - The 30th Anniversary duals are rarer than Revised duals in a literal sense. Meaning fewer copies of 30E cards are in existence. It's impossible to know how many Revised lands exist in the world today but we do have some info as to how many 30E lands are in circulation at the moment.
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It's said that WOTC originally sold 1936 Anniversary boxes - With the duals showing up at a rate of less than 1 in 10 packs, that would mean there are somewhere around 190 lands on the market. That may seem crazy but it's likely true. If you look at the total number of copies on TCG (for all ten lands combined) there are 24 up for sale. For comparison, the Revised versions have around 150 copies each for sale. So, the newer ones are far scarcer than their 1994 counterparts, and with scarcity comes value.
What's interesting is that Wizards is planning to send a free 30th-anniversary box to each store in the WPN (Wizards Play Network) in the near future. This means that here soon there will be an increase in supply and this increase will likely drive the price down some. Speaking of the demand for these:
I think people hear about the new ones costing more than the original versions and assume the prices are higher due to higher demand and can't make sense of it, which is understandable. After all, if you have a few hundred dollars to spend on a dual land, most people wouldn't spend more money to get the 30E version. But some people are. Granted, these people are probably collectors and completionists who are adding it to a collection. So, for the people buying these, there is likely no comparison to the original lands.
Given that the product was such a farce, it was slightly surprising to hear the lands from the 30E boxes were actually going for more than the original versions from 28 years ago. However, breaking the numbers down some and realizing just how few in number the new printings are, it makes more sense. I'm interested to see what happens to the price when the free boxes get to stores. It's not often that you have a product that's very rare and expensive and have more copies come onto the market with no one buying them.