Talking about Magic The Gathering Revised Edition brings back a lot of great memories. It was back in April 1994 that I spent my Spring Break in college playing Magic with my roommates and routinely emptying the local comic store of every MTG Revised Booster Box, pack and starter deck that we could get our hands on.
Those were fun times and I wish I had back all of those cards that I ended up selling years later. But I also wish I had a crystal ball at the time that would tell me to stash as many MTG Revised Booster Boxes as I could find as one day they would be worth a fortune. Who would have known.
Needless to say, the Magic The Gathering Revised Edition was a huge hit back in the early 1990’s. Local stores sold out left and right and by late 1994, Magic had spread throughout the world and caught the attention of new players and collectors everywhere. It was just coming off the heels of a very successful release of the Limited Edition Alpha and Beta edition and the larger Unlimited release and things were chugging along great for WotC at this point.
Estimating the MTG Revised Edition Print Run
The Magic card printing machines were purring along throughout 1994 and by Fall of that year it was estimated that approximately 300 million cards were sold. By Summer of 1995 it was estimated that 500 million cards had sold (which was a combination of every set from Magic Limited Edition Alpha through Fallen Empires and partially from the newly released 4th Edition that hit shelves in April 1995.)
Most Magic historians who broke down these numbers agree that the Revised Edition (aka Magic Third Edition) print run totaled somewhere between 150-300 million cards. Now I know that’s a very large spread but we can probably agree that the real truth behind the Revised print run is somewhere in the middle of those numbers. My guess, based on reading from online sources, books like “A Collector’s History of Magic The Gathering”, and vintage magazines like Duelist, is that there were probably around 200 million revised cards printed.
That being said, how many Magic The Gathering Revised Booster Boxes could possibly have been printed during 1994 and 1995? Well, let’s go with the estimate that 200 million Revised cards were printed and let’s also go off the premise that there was a 75/25 split between booster boxes and starter decks (which is also documented.) That being said, here’s the breakdown:
75% of 200 million cards = 150 million 25% of 200 million cards = 50 million
75% of 200 million cards = 150 million
25% of 200 million cards = 50 million
We know that there are 15-cards in every Revised Booster Pack. So 150 million divided by 15 cards gives us a total of 10 million MTG Revised Booster Packs. We know there are 36 packs per box so 10 million divided by 36 gives us an estimated 277,778 total MTG Revised Booster Boxes printed.
Now these are purely estimates so nothing is written in stone. But these numbers are probably close enough to make a fair evaluation of whether buying a MTG Revised Booster Box is a good idea or not. Read on and let’s figure it out.
How Many MTG Revised Booster Boxes Are Even Left?
For quite a while after the MTG Revised Edition was released, local game stores couldn’t keep Revised Booster Packs or Starter Decks in stock. I remember calling our local shop daily back in April/May of 1994 to see if they had any in stock. I’ll bet they got sick of us calling for sure!
As soon as we found out they had Revised Boosters or Starter Decks, we would haul butt up to the strip mall where the comic store was located and buy up as many as we could afford. Those were certainly the days and I’m glad I was there when Magic first came out. It’s a feeling that’s tough to describe, but we all knew Magic The Gathering was like nothing we’ve ever seen.
Over the next 12-18 months after Magic Revised was released, the WotC engine continued to purr with the release of other new sets like Legends, The Dark, Fallen Empires, Ice Age, Chronicles and Fourth Edition. Because interest was being pulled into other directions, there was a glut of left over Revised products on the shelves as sales slowed down. If you attended any conventions at the tail end of 1994, you would have seen tables with stacks and stacks of Revised Booster Boxes at discounted prices. Popularity had shifted and Revised was not so popular by late that year.
That being said, during those early years, MTG Revised packs and boxes were still getting ripped left and right. Discounted boxes were cheap and players were ripping them to build decks and play the game.
So although there were roughly 277K (again, this is my rough estimate) Revised Booster Boxes made, over the years that number has dwindled down as more and more got ripped open. So the million dollar question is how many booster boxes were ripped open in the last 28-years? I’d venture to say quite a bit. But to put a number to it would definitely be purely a guess so who knows at this point how many sealed MTG Revised Booster Boxes are actually left.
Thousands? Hundreds? What do you think? Based on availability right now online, there are only 4-5 boxes available on ebay and that’s not a lot. There are more EMPTY boxes available than actual complete sealed ones!
MTG Revised Booster Box Facts and Figures
I’m always getting questions about MTG Revised and I thought I would answer some of those right here. Information on the Revised product is spread throughout magazines and websites but here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to Magic’s Revised Edition.
HOW MANY PACKS COME IN A MAGIC: THE GATHERING REVISED BOOSTER BOX?
Each MTG Revised Booster box contained 36-packs. At that time there were no box toppers or different size boxes so every booster contained the industry standard 36-packs.
IS THERE SUCH THING AS A COUNTERFEIT MTG REVISED BOOSTER BOX?
I have yet to see a completely counterfeit Magic Revised Booster Box. Most counterfeits you see these days are specific to the cards themselves. There are many single high value cards that have been counterfeited so watching out for fakes when it comes to vintage cards is extremely important. But again, I am not aware of a complete booster box of Magic Revised being deemed a fake or counterfeit.
That being said, we have seen boxes that were searched and resealed with the outside plastic covering made to look genuine and real. This has occurred in the past with Magic The Gathering cards as well as other popular TCG’s like Pokemon for instance. Back in late 2021, the TCG world was stunned when Internet personality and Pokémon enthusiast Logan Paul made news when he revealed that the case of first-edition Pokémon booster boxes was fake and full of G.I. Joe cards.
That news brought light to the fact that there are fakes throughout the industry and that if Logan Paul can get duped by a supposedly “sealed & authenticated” case of Pokémon cards, what else could be out there duping the rest of the TCG world. This is a conversation for another post, but the bottom line is that there are fakes, counterfeits and resealed boxes and cases everywhere, even in Magic.
HOW MUCH IS AN UNOPENED MTG REVISED BOOSTER BOX WORTH?
Prices have fluctuated over the years but Magic Revised Booster boxes are still worth quite a bit of money. Up until the middle of 2020, Revised Booster boxes were still going for only a few thousand dollars. It wasn’t uncommon to find them for $2000-3000 for quite some time.
Then, as Magic collecting and investing started to take off with the rest of the collectibles industry in 2020, box prices shot up quickly. By late 2020 and through 2021 it was not uncommon to see Revised Booster boxes bringing $30,000 to $40,000 each! It was an insane time I believe the market at that point in 2021 was overpriced and a bit out of whack.
In the last 12-18 months through Summer of 2022, prices have come down from those stratospheric levels and have adjusted back to what I consider a reasonable level. You can now find sealed MTG Revised booster boxes for less than $20,000. Inventory is quite low though so finding them has become much harder as well but at least prices are no longer ‘insane.’
WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE CARD IN A MAGIC REVISED BOX?
As of October of 2022, the DUAL LANDS are the most expensive cards you can find in a MTG Revised Booster Box. There are a total of (10) different Dual Lands in the set, but the most expensive one would be UNDERGROUND SEA which brings over $500 raw and much more if it’s graded and in Near Mint or better condition. PSA graded examples that are graded 9 or better can bring $1500-$2000 easily.
A very close second would be the VOLCANIC ISLAND which also brings similar prices. High graded examples of the Volcanic Island can easily bring well over $1000.
Revised also has handfuls of secondary rare cards that I also think will continue to push sealed box prices up. Outside of the Dual Lands you can find Wheel of Fortune, Braingeyser, Copy Artifact, Mana Vault, Demonic Tutor and so many more. The set is definitely loaded with great cards but overall the expected value when opening an entire box is still only around $2,000 so the value is definitely in keeping the box sealed, not in the singles themselves.
ARE REVISED BOOSTER BOXES A GOOD INVESTMENT?
At $15,000 to $20,000 per box, it’s difficult to recommend such a high priced booster box to the average investor. Most average TCG investors don’t have the funds for such a high priced investment, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you have the funds though, I really think the sky’s the limit over the long haul. If you’re looking to make a fast buck in a year, it’s too risky, especially in today’s economy.
But if you’re looking long term like 3-5 years or longer, I think you will eventually see the MTG Revised Booster box returning to its former glory with possible box prices going back over the $30K mark and possibly more.
Remember, when it comes to investing in Magic booster boxes, it’s not so much the cards inside but rather the rarity of the box itself. Of course the cards inside matter, but the sheer lack of inventory when it comes to a rare unopened Revised Booster Box is what will drive the price up over the long haul. There are simply not many left in the world and that alone could push prices to and above their former highs.
ARE MTG REVISED BOOSTER PACKS A GOOD INVESTMENT?
If you cannot afford the hefty price tag of a Revised Booster box then a great suggestion would be to consider investing in some MTG Revised Booster Packs. They are definitely easier on the wallet, easier to store and a great addition to your sealed Magic investment portfolio.
So how much are Magic Revised Booster packs these days? You’re looking at anywhere from $200-250 on the low end up to $300 or so for minty condition packs or graded packs. Still very affordable for sure.
I don’t think it’s necessary to purchase a PSA graded pack, but I would suggest buying from someone reliable that can verify where the packs originated from. Although this is a topic for another post, you want to ensure the pack is genuine, factory sealed, good condition and unsearched.
I think good condition factory sealed Magic Revised Booster Packs are definitely going to hold their value and increase over time. You won’t see massive returns in the short term, but I would consider a vintage sealed pack something that should hold it’s value and gradually increase over time. Plus it’s cool to have something like that in your collection! Just don’t rip it open!!
Should You BUY, SELL or HOLD MTG Revised Booster Boxes?
As mentioned, I’m a huge fan of MTG Revised so obviously I’d love to have cases of these things in my closet right now. But unfortunately I’m not that independently wealthy. If I only had back the ‘boxes’ worth of packs that I opened back in the day, I would have a small fortune.
If you can afford boxes (or even packs), it’s worth putting them away. Even as expensive as they currently are, over time collectors will still (very slowly) open packs and boxes and these will become even more rare in the coming years. Rarity is a huge factor when it comes to sealed booster box investing and collecting and again, there are few of these Revised Booster boxes out in the wild.
Rudy from Alpha Investments put out a really good video back in January of this year with some solid information on Magic Revised Boosters. Around the 8-minute mark, Rudy’s gives his thoughts on the future of this item. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Brian CooperBrian Cooper is the founder of Magic Card Investor and has been in the trading card industry since the 1980's and Magic The Gathering since 1994. Since then, his mission is to bring the nostalgia and joy of collecting trading cards to everyone and to help people learn about (and maybe even profit from) this fun and rewarding pastime.
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