There hasn’t been a whole lot of hobby progress to post so far this year. That’s partly because there just isn’t much to this year so far (after all, it’s only been about a month). Another reason that I haven’t done much (aside from my normal lethargic excuses) is that we just got back from Hawaii. Needless to say, I didn’t spend all that much time (read: any) working on models/painting/etc. and instead preferred to soak up the sun.
In fact, the only real hobby related stuff that happened while I was on vacation was a buzz had started on Twitter about Magic: The Gathering cards. Specifically, rumors started flying that some Target stores had marked down specific MTG Cards down about 70% off from their original prices. This only applied to their Commander 2013 decks (which had been sitting on shelves for months). Apparently, this wasn’t true of all Targets, and not even true of all decks within each store.
Being a deal-whore, I naturally wanted to go check it out, but I didn’t want to drag my entire family around the island looking for Magic cards on my vacation on a rumor. However, after a few people started to confirm it, I made sure that our next shopping experience (of which, there were plenty, since my mother fancies shopping as a major “to do” in every vacation) we stopped by a Target.
At the first store, I managed to pick up six decks (3x White & 3x Red), 2/3rds of which had been marked down. When I expressed some confusion, the store willing matched the prices on all of them, so I walked away with six. On that high, we hit up the only other Target on the island, but they had no more. Meanwhile, I asked my father-in-law, back at home, to check the local targets for me, and he managed to pick up 4x Green decks.
The next day, when my parents went to base, my mom somehow convinced them to price match, scoring another six or so decks; after which, we went to the Navy Exchange (sidebar: that place is HUGE), and picked up two more (including a purple!).
At this point, I was having great fun, and collecting far too many magic cards, but I actually think my mom was having more fun. You see, I’ve a history of being terribly frugal with my money, and have had the fortune to have done well with my career. So, if I find something I want, I either talk myself out of it, or simply buy it. This results in me being a horrible person to buy gifts for. I’m also very candid about my feelings and am (generally) a bad liar.
So, every Christmas & birthday, mom tries to buy me gifts and they’re generally misses. After all, if I wanted it, I probably would’ve already purchased it. The only things I typically ask for (that make any real difference) are things that I can’t get for myself. Things like childhood memories top that list (ie. that giant stuffed frog that used to sit on my bed, fireflies–in Alaska, etc). On occasion, she actually pulls through on one of those–such as the fireflies pictured to the right, but mostly those are misses too.
So, when the opportunity came up to get me something that made me happy, she went nutty. When we came home, she drove around town getting Walmart to pricematch a week-old Target receipt from 3,000 miles away. Since my birthday was close, she chalked up most of those purchases in that category (hence why my Frugal gaming report for 2014 is a little weird).
When all was said and done, I wound up with 25 decks. At $8.98 each, that made for a grand savings of $525.25 off the original retail price. The actual value of the cards inside the decks was technically worth more than the original $29.99 asking price, but it would be very difficult to resell them for a profit, so that’s why they sat on the shelves. I don’t need the cards myself, but my thought process is that decks from the previous edition (from 2012) are worth between $56-80 (source: TCG), so it should be easy to turn these around next year for a profit.
Of course, that’s the practical explanation. Realistically, I expect that I hold them for a while, crack open a few of them for nifty singles, and sell a few closed ones to cover my costs. Then, I’ll get annoyed at having so much crap in my house, and sell the rest for pennies. So, if you’re looking for MTG commander decks and nearby Targets don’t have any, send me an email in a couple of years, I’m sure to be trying to get rid of some.