The One Ring Appears To Be Curled Before Ever Being Opened
For the Universes Beyond MTG LOTR set, Wizards of the Coast went all out on the concept of The One Ring, which is the focal point of The Lord of the Rings story. They did this by printing a serialized version ofcard, of which there will be only one! That's right; it will be a true one-of, making it the rarest card in existence. That said, when we first looked at the physical card, an immediate problem was apparent - The One Ring card was already curling.
"Pringling," warping, or curling isn't uncommon for foil cards. This happens due to moisture in the air absorbed by the cardboard backing of the card, causing it to expand or contract. Again, this is, unfortunately, a common quality control issue, and it always sucks. However, concerning such a valuable and rare card, you'd think WOTC would have gone the extra mile with quality control.
Let's take a look at the pictures from the original video, where you can see the card pringling, what MTG fans have to say about "The Single Pringle," and what this might mean for the value if anything. You can find the video I'm referring to here; the info about the ring starts at 10:06.
The "One of One" One Ring Is Already Curled
I must say, overall, the card looks phenomenal. But it does look like it's already bending. In the video, the card is moved back and forth on camera, and the curl becomes even more apparent when it's moved. As unfortunate as it is, most fans aren't surprised much. After all, curling issues with foils happens all the time. Furthermore, many players seem to have lost faith in WOTC to do a good job of anything that involves them spending money - Including card quality.
Many players took to social media threads and YouTube comments to make fun of the situation: Saying things like, "By the time it’s found, you can use the one ring as an actual ring." and "The One Ring is a slap bracelet." Some witty Reddit user coined the term "Single Pringle," which I used above. Again, people aren't surprised by Wizards dropping the ball.
Moving on, from the bending on The One Ring, the video gives rise to a big question. When was this video recorded because the 001/001 ring clearly isn't inside of a booster pack?
Will The Physical 001/001 Card Be In A Booster Pack?
Let's elaborate some on what I mean. Magic: The Gathering products are physically printed long before they release. So, even though we're nearly three weeks from the release of Tales of Middle-Earth, all the cards/products are already printed, packaged, and sitting in warehouses.
This is precisely what allowed someone to receive March of the Machine: The Aftermath collector boosters instead of March of the Machine main set boosters and spoil the set nearly 22 days before the release. In other words, all of the LOTRs MTG products are long packaged. Why is this important?
We'll it means one of two things. Either the video we saw of the card was made months ago before the boxes were packed. Or, the physical card that we see being handled is not actually in a booster pack, in a box, and in some warehouse somewhere. If the latter was the case, this means WOTC will likely be keeping the card at HQ or in a vault someone, and if a player ever cracks this, they'll get some token with redemption instructions.
This seems much more likely than the card placed in a pack. First, this would ensure that the card could never be accidentally destroyed in shipping or something. Next, it stops people from faking the card. I covered this in my "Bidding For The Serialized 001/001 One Ring Is At $100,000!" (now $150,000) article. With only one card in existence, it's almost impossible to verify if someone is telling the truth.
For example, say someone prints up a passable fake and records a YouTube video of themselves opening it - Unless someone later found the actual card, there would be no way to disprove they'd found it. The redemption system solves this major problem. If someone claims to have found the card, WOTC can confirm or deny whether it's true. Furthermore, it would be impossible to fake a redemption token because we have no idea what the instructions will say.
I suppose it is possible that the video was recorded long before that video, but I highly doubt it. First, it would leave all the issues I mentioned in the mix. Secondly, Wizards has a horrible track record for keeping big news a secret. If they filmed that video months in advance and made it all of this time without having even a whisper of it spoiled, I would be amazed.
The video pretty clearly shows The One Ring pringled. What are your thoughts on such a valuable card starting to warp before it's released? Are you surprised? Aside from the curling issue, the video opened up an entire can of worms about how the card can be in the video and simultaneously inside a Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth collector booster. Do you think the video was recorded beforehand, or will they use a redemption system? Comment and let me know your thoughts.