Vintage Booster Packs

Vintage MTG Unopened Booster Boxes/Packs & Starter Decks/Boxes – the New MTG Investing Safe Haven?

Okay, what is going on with the vintage (1993-94) MTG booster packs and starter decks these days? For those of you who don’t know why I’m referring too, here is a prime example. About 2 years ago, Legends booster packs were selling for about $50 – $75 a piece, now they are selling at a consistent $100.00. But it doesn’t stop there – a Beta Starter deck would have cost you $1,500 2 years ago, buy requests of $3,000 to $4,000 are coming in, WOW?

In analyzing this more, I was trying to figure out what exactly are collectors, players or investors thinking to pull out of the packs? But I soon realized after writing it all down, the list is more than just what is in the booster packs or starter decks.

Here is my list I came up with (looking forward to all of your comments and thoughts here):

Nostalgia – Clearly, Magic has a level of nostalgia that transcends odds and money. A Beta booster pack (Estimated value: $1,250 – $2,000.00 USD) has only one real card that will make you entire money back on the pack and more – the Black Lotus. Of course, the Underground Sea, Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Mox Sapphire and Mox Jet would be top contenders to break even. With only one RARE in each pack the odds are against you, as you could easily pull an awesome MINT Farmstead (Estimated Value: $15.00 USD). No offense Mark Poole, or other collectors who love the Farmstead, but the agony of that pull would be hard to bear.

With the sheer mathematics and monetary loss against you, clients still open them! Nostalgia is a reminder of our past. Clients who have opened these packs tell me that it brings them back to 1993, when the boosters were $3.00. The rip of the plastic, the smell of the cards off the press, the excitement to see what cards they would pull, that experience is priceless. I guess I can relate here. I’m a victim of this. I love Transformers. Back in 1984, if you wanted an Optimus Prime it would be $19.95. Today, an AFA 90 (NM/MINT) would run you an amazing $5,000.00 USD!

Baseball – America’s pastime clearly has a huge history of collectibles with the holy grail of them at 2.8 million dollars (PSA 8 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner). Magic has only a 20 year history, but with growing number of players, and collectors worldwide, the game is only going to grow. As these young adults get older, get that first “real” job, the Black Lotus and other rarities are actually affordable. Owning the boosters or starters that could hold the vintage cards – well, pretty much priceless.

Collectability – Everyone wants one! Nearly every collector I have met wants one of each card or pack. So Alpha being the most limited in production, these booster & starter decks are even more scarce exponentially. If you want begin a collection of vintage MTG packs, be sure to count your bills, Benjamin Franklin ones…

Rarity – Finally, something that makes sense, or does it? In examining this, the rarity of these packs is beyond limited. As many of you know Alpha was limited to approximately 2.6 million cards printed, Beta at 7.3 – 7.8 million and Unlimited at 40 million cards in circulation (accordingly to Wikipedia).

Consider that all the players who play with these cards, how many really are left? No real count has been made, but our guess here is less than a fraction of 1%. Most collectors who have these rare packs/decks will not sell them. And very few people actually own one of each ever produced.

Investment Potential – Of all the factors, investing is least sentimental. Let’s say you purchase Sealed Legends Booster Boxes and never open them. Today’s market it will run you about $3,400 – $4,000 USD. When it comes to investing is about what you enter the market at and how much the return over a period of time. Let’s assume you could have invested $4,000 in an annual return of 10% Mutual Fund in your brokerage account with a period of 5 years. Your mutual fund investment would be at a principal of $6442.04.

Let’s look at the Legends booster box, 5 years ago, the box was selling around $1,500. Today it has more than doubled. With past evaluations, the box would clearly be a better investment with the same ROI.

Of course, with any investment there is risk. But history shows with MTG Booster packs/boxes & Starter Decks/Boxes there has been none. Here is another example. In 2003, a case of Arabian Nights Booster Boxes sold for $95,000 at Gen Con. Today, the same case would be valued in the $250,000 to $300,000 range. Arabian Booster packs have sold for $300 – 425.00 recently and there are no signs of the upside ending anytime soon with a line of people waiting a turn to get a pack.

This article has ended up becoming longer than expected – I hope it brings up some healthy conversation with your fellow MTG enthusiasts. The bottom-line, in my opinion, vintage MTG booster packs/boxes and starter decks/boxes are here to stay. As long as MTG continues to grow, collectors, players and investors worldwide will continue to own a piece of Magic history. I would make a wager if someone reads this article 5 years from now – here are predictions of prices of vintage sealed product. What are you predictions 5 years from now? Comment and share to your friends, let’s see who is the closest!

Alpha Sealed Booster = $5,000 USD
Alpha Sealed Starter Deck = $10,000 USD
Beta Sealed Booster = $3,500 USD
Beta Sealed Starter Deck = $8,000 USD
Unlimited Sealed Booster = $2,000 USD
Unlimited Sealed Starter Deck = $3750 USD
Arabian Nights Booster = $600 USD
Antiquities Booster = $225 USD
Legends (English) Booster = $225 USD
Legends (Italian) Booster = $110 USD
The Dark Booster (English) Booster = $35 USD
The Dark Booster (Italian) Booster = $18 USD
Revised (3rd Edition English) Booster = $150 USD
Revised (3rd Edition English) Starter = $400 USD


Charles says:

Apr 26,2019

We are more than a year away from the prediction date, but I am pretty sure the market prices have far exceeded all those estimates from 2015. MTG has done well…


Ron D says:

Feb 12,2019

I have a storage warehouse full of unopened Magic the Gathering sealed cases from 1993/1994. Talking thousands of pallets. We purchased an old store that went out of business. Now, we dont know how to get rid of them.


Chandra says:

Jan 09,2019

I have Alot of Magic: The Gathering Mtg Global Series Double Deck Jiang Yanggu & Mu Yanling cards. Unopened. How do I sell them?

David says:

Feb 01,2019

Send me the list of boosters and boxes you are looking to sell please


Jeremy says:

Aug 07,2018


I was cleaning out the attic of a relative whose property I inherited. I have 9 cases of MTG Alliances (10 booster boxes per case) and 4 cases of MTG Mirage (10 booster boxes per case) in their original factory sealed plastic. The labels on the outside of the case is dated in 1996.

I am going to have them appraised but have no idea where to start. I've been looking all over the internet and feel like I am sitting on buried treasure.

What is the best way to sell them? Individually or as a set? I'm kind of at a loss here.



Liam says:

Jun 16,2017


I have about 30 unopened Alpha starter decks, as I used to sell them, they've been in my attic for ages.

How do I go about selling them?



Adam says:

Nov 25,2017

I am a collector and very interested in purchasing some if not all of your Alpha MTG product …please contact me if you are a serious seller. 347 679 0044

Wesley Lashbrook says:

May 16,2018

what are you selling your alpha starters for?

Seb says:

Jun 10,2018

I’m interested in buying one as well. Please contact me if still available.

Matthieu says:

Jul 29,2018

I Want make sealed and maybe draft with have you product i pay cash tell me?

Diego says:

Mar 14,2019

Hi, do you still have them?


Thomas says:

Nov 02,2015

I think that alredy now alpha starters are 10-15 K and will grow up to 15-20 K in the next 5 years due to rarity AND nostalgia.

Daniel Chang says:

Nov 05,2015

Thanks for the feedback Thomas! Yes, Alpha starters continue to grow…maybe it will be 100k each one day?

Spencer says:

Feb 21,2018

Was this guy for real or what??

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