We all know how hard it’s been very hard to find any stock of The First Chapter. With lots of rumors flying about, Ravensburger has finally stepped in to confirm exactly when Lorcana reprint and restocks will happen.
Update: Ravensburger have now confirmed the reprint will be coming earlier than expected. Initially, there would be more stock of boosters in October, then a larger reprint in early 2024, but now that reprint has been moved forwards to Holidays 2023 to coincide with Rise of the Floodborn!
Speaking to comicook.com Ravensburger have said “To address increased demand following the game’s initial launch, in September Ravensburger announced plans to reprint the first set of the Disney Lorcana TCG, The First Chapter”.
“The reprint will also include the second set of the game, Rise of the Floodborn, and is expected to be available by Holiday 2023 in North America and by January 2024 in Europe.“
By “holiday” we assume they mean the same release period as Rise of the Floodborn – which is November 17th for LGS and December 1st for big box stores.
Europe seems to be getting it later in January, maybe because we might have done a little bit better so far with some small waves of restocks.
Ryan Miller also talked about what product will be available with the reprint: “I can confirm that the reprint will include both starter decks and booster packs.“
When Will Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter Be Reprinted?
In a Tweet on the official account in late August, Ravensburger confirmed that there will be more stock of The First Chapter available soon. However, pay attention to the details – which we’ve clarified below.
By “keeping the market healthy for both players and collectors” we imagine they mean local stores that want players and people who want to open packs to play or enjoy the cards. Not store owners that say “market value” a lot.
What Is Being Reprinted + When?
There were some small waves of restocks worldwide in the first month or so after release. Some stores got product for the LGS release date, then two weeks later, and also roughly now at the end of September.
But as for the official word, here are two key restock/reprint dates: –
October – “Additional Booster Product” – North America
“Additional booster product will start arriving in North American local game stores in October.”
That likely means more booster boxes and sleeved packs. Also, North America only. Troves, gift sets, starter decks, and accessories aren’t included. Simply, more cards. Some stores have been hearing October 15th, but that shouldn’t be taken as confirmation.
This also implies that more of a restock – aka the cards that were printed and packaging produced at the later stage of the first print runs. It takes time to transport and arrange the distribution of pallets of products.
Though it says North America, we have heard stores in the UK getting more product in around the same time. It does seem like European stores are getting quite different stock, probably due to Ravnsburger in Europe handling most of their own distribution.
Q1 2024 – “Reprinting Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter” – North America + Europe – Updated to Holidays 2023 US / Jan 2024 EU
“We are also reprinting Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter, which will be available starting in Q1 2024 in North America and Europe.”
With the wording of this and the previous text, it sounds like they mean the whole lot of The First Chapter products would be reprinted. But this was a direct answer to the question: “Are you able to say whether all of the Chapter 1 product is being reprinted (including troves, gift sets, etc.?)“
So actually, that seems to confirm more booster products only for the later Q1 2024 reprint. However, it does leave open that the other products could be reprinted too. Q1 means the first quarter, aka at any point from January to March next year.
It also specifically includes Europe as getting stock and does say reprint and not “additional … product” like the first part.
Update: They have now stated that “The reprint will also include the second set of the game, Rise of the Floodborn, and is expected to be available by Holiday 2023 in North America and by January 2024 in Europe.“
Also, they’ve confirmed what is coming with that: “I can confirm that the reprint will include both starter decks and booster packs”. So starter decks are coming too. But not the whole range, meaning accessories, troves, and gift sets aren’t confirmed as part of the reprint – yet.
Edit: It looks like the two portfolios of Stitch and Maleficent are also due to have more stock on November 17th.
What Is A Reprint/Restock?
Real quick, a restock is just when more stock gets to stores. If you’re printing thousands of boxes, they don’t all ship at the same time. They go from the factory, to the individual distributors in each country, then to local distributors, then to stores.
This happens in waves. Often you’ll see that happen over a few months and it differs for every region and distributor. Sometimes a print run will be a few days or weeks, then a pause, then another print run a few weeks later.
This first booster box restock is likely going to be cards that were printed around the same time as the original few batches.
A reprint in TCG terms means a later run at the printers that may include fixes to errors. That could mean that in the second “reprint” we’ll see some of the rules text very slightly altered to be clearer based on errata.
Could, maybe, possibly. We aren’t saying this will happen. Ravensburger is being very shy about even hinting at confirming this – to avoid speculation and hoarding of this first run. That’s a good move.
Reprint also is used when individual cards are reprinted in later sets years down the line. For example, Magic: The Gathering reprints powerful cards from decades ago. Sometimes it’s exactly the same card, sometimes it’s changed art and improved clarity on the rules, sometimes a different card with essentially the same effect.
We don’t think this type of reprint will be a thing in Lorcana for a little while.
Sometimes it happens when cards are absolutely essential to competitive decks and old print runs are hard to get. These cards can be reprinted as common promos or in decks to help players. Pokémon do this a lot.
Will The Reprint Be Any Different?
According to Ravensburger, there will be no difference in the printings. They really are trying to be quite clear that there will be no difference in the set symbols, art, or packaging to show that later runs are “second edition” or anything like that.
They seem very aware that any differences could lead to more hoarding and speculation of the very little product that is already out there. However, there might be very minor text corrections and errata changes to a small number of cards.
How Big Will The Restock Print Run Be?
We don’t know. Nobody knows apart from Ravensburger and the printing company (Cartamundi). Anyone telling you or talking online about what their supplier said is getting third-hand rumors and it’s probably best to take it with a large spoonful of salt.
The best we can say is really an educated guess will very little factual proof. It’s clear Ravensburger want to print as much as possible to supply demand. They are clearly not worried about overprinting, and do not care about secondary market price – which is good for the game.
Ryan Miller also stated in late September that: “We cannot discuss quantities, but our goal has always been to get as much product into the hands of fans as possible, and we are continuing to work with our suppliers to increase production to better meet demand as quickly as possible.”
Will There Be More Control On Selling?
In terms of who is getting the product, Ryan Miller stated: “While we can’t discuss the allocation split, supporting Independent Hobby retailers with Disney Lorcana TCG continues to be our #1 priority“
Team Lorcana has directly said that there will be more improvements not just to printing, but to how it is sold. This is to crack down on some of the things that have led to stock not being available to everyone. What they have done and what they are likely to enforce further is: –
- Local Game Stores are asked to not sell online until two weeks after local release and only sell in-person until then
- Online sales are limited to being sent out two weeks after the LGS date, and only sent ON that date, not posted before to arrive FOR the date
- LGS should not do pre-orders at all
- Strict limits on numbers per customer
- Stock is prioritized to stores with accessible and clean in-person play areas with a welcoming and friendly approach. They want people to buy the cards and play the game in the store, not just buy and leave. This creates a higher likelihood of people staying in the hobby.
Additionally, it looks like Ravensburger are keeping tabs on stores that might be bumping their prices, selling ahead of time on places like TCGPlayer, or breaking street date. They have specifically said:
“Your commitment to creating a vibrant Disney Lorcana TCG Community through in-store sales and activations will play a significant role in shaping our allocation decisions for future releases“. AKA, we might allocate differently based on how stores decide to sell Disney Lorcana.
Why Is It So Hard To Get The First Chapter?
We covered why Lorcana is sold out here but to cut it short:-
- Lorcana is way more popular than any new card game released in the past decade
- Ravensburger were never going to be able to accurately figure out demand. Overprinting would have been a serious financial mistake
- Printing for card games is done around months before release. We know boxes were being printed as early as May, for release in August. The cards themselves may have been printed even earlier
- Disney collectors and speculators hugely drove up the demand, even with almost no marketing
As interest ramped up before release, Ravensburger seems to have ordered an increase in the original print run and an additional print run. Now, they’re confirmed when we can expect these cards to actually get to us.
Why Can’t They Just Print More Now? It’s Artificial Scarcity!
Ravensburger themselves are the designers and publishers. Though the company does print some of its own board games and puzzles – they don’t have a card printing facility that we know of. That is done by another company. We think that is Cartamundi.
Printing is done months in advance, and actually booked a year or two in advance. Since the pandemic, literally every industry you can think of is backlogged. First, everything shut down, and then everyone wanted to order more of everything to catch up.
It’s very hard to print cards and to predict an entire market. It’s also hard when the first few sets will always sell better because of hype. There is no way Ravensburger is artificially inflating demand. To them they’re just printing money at this point, and who would turn that down?
People saying this are often just frustrated at not being able to play the game and find the cards. We understand it’s not fun. We want to play and collect, and we want people to enjoy the game too!
But if you reply to literally every Facebook post about Lorcana with an angry stock comment, Ravensburger isn’t going to print cards and get them to you by Monday. It takes time.
But Reprinting Will Hurt Prices!
Yeah, great! The game is primarily meant to be played and enjoyed. Collectors – and by collectors we mean people who want to collect all of the cards – also get to do what they like, which is pull packs and find cards.
The only people who are angry about reprints hurting prices are people who are hoarding. They’re piling up sealed product to speculate on the price long-term or to scalp for as high a price as possible.
They want the first print run to be useless investor bait like NFTs are. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that without players, their hoard will never have any worth. If the game dies, so does their “investment value”.
Will They Print More Later?
Almost certainly yes. There is no official announcement, but card games’ first few sets are often reprinted every few months for the next year or more. If cards from sets 1 and 2 aren’t widely available in the second year of play, this hugely affects people who got into the game past year one.
Even then, it’s fairly common for important cards from old sets to get reprints as easy-to-find promos or alt arts in newer sets. If you can’t get the playsets you need now, you will eventually.
Will This Affect Set 2: Rise of the Floodborn
We don’t know. It would be pure speculation to say so. BUT here’s some anyway. While we still expect Rise of the Floodborn to be hard to get – especially the Disney100 Collector’s Edition – we think the actual level of product available will be higher. Not massively higher though.
Our OPINION from seeing how new card game releases have been in the past years, is that wave 1 will be around the same as The First Chapter in size or slightly higher. But, the subsequent waves over the next few weeks will be larger.
There’s only so much you can ship in a few days, but we think the printers will have been going for longer. They might not get everything they want, but Rav have probably managed to buy a few more days of printing.
Stores are going to see allocations again and people are going to see orders cut. We do think that Ravensburger are going to have stronger words with distributors about “bad” stores. There are probably going to be some very angry owners again.
But, overall more people should be able to get stock of both sets – if slightly less per person. Things will get better, but it’s usually set 4 or 5 before it’s possible to just walk into a store a few weeks after release and buy a box.
As ever: speak with your friendly local game store. Play in store, build a relationship, and hope for the best. Also, don’t brag about buying boxes on Facebook maybe?
May the odds be ever in your favor.