Over the years, Wizards of the Coast have released Magic: The Gathering Holiday Boxes, Packs, or Bundles—limited-time products as a giftable for MTG players. The first Holiday Gift Box was introduced in 2012 for product-hover id="67307". With an initial MSRP of $19.99, the product-hover id="67307" contained easy-to-wrap packaging with fantastic artwork. How could anyone go wrong giving a Holiday Gift Box to their favorite MTG player?
Players may recall the sizable product-hover id="67307", product-hover id="71523", or product-hover id="93314" Holiday Gift Boxes. They contained four booster packs, 20 basic lands, a promo card, and other accessories. They retailed for $19.99, but buying one of these sealed Holiday Gift Boxes in 2021 will cost you about double the initial MSRP. Even though a fair amount of the product's value derives from the four booster packs, there's an added premium for an out-of-print product from six to eight years ago.
In 2015, WotC increased the offering for product-hover id="102717" by adding a fifth booster pack, raising the MSRP to $24.99. Unfortunately, WotC kept out full-art lands. Paying $5 for one more booster pack and no full art-lands makes a ton of sense! A slight chance to pull an Expedition from Battle for Zendikar booster packs is somewhat of a consolation prize. With a current market price of $53.65, this follows a similar price trend to the previous Holiday Gift Boxes.
WotC threw players a bone in 2016 by releasing not one, but two Gift Boxes. The product-hover id="118345" released ahead of Easter. This product-hover id="118345" was the only one sold outside the holiday season and includes an alternate promo art, product-hover id="116006". The five booster packs make up about 50% of the product-hover id="118345" market price of $49.18. product-hover id="118345" could see an uptick in value thanks to more Innistrad-themed sets releasing in 2021.
During the 2016 holiday season, WotC released a product-hover id="125323". Each product-hover id="125323" contained the same contents as the previous two, along with an MSRP of $24.99. Kaladesh includes the highlight prized Inventions, which raise Kaladesh's expected value (EV) a bit due to their rarity. The $44.83 market price for a sealed product-hover id="125323" is mainly due to the five booster packs.
With an average annual growth rate hovering around 25%, the product-hover id="125323" were an excellent investment for those who kept them sealed. However, trying to ship one of these bulky product-hover id="125323" may eat away most, if not all, potential profits. Selling in-person would undoubtedly help maximize profits. Holiday Gift Boxes are probably not the most ideal sealed product investments in today's secondary market, but could be worth keeping an eye on. They are also likely to appreciate more in value over time than the 2017 and 2018 Gift Packs.
In 2017, WotC changed its approach to the Holiday Gift Boxes. They introduced a new holiday product called the product-hover id="148748" for $19.99. The product-hover id="148748" contained:
WotC essentially cut two booster packs in favor of more foil cards and a lower price point. The set of foil basic Shooting Star lands is appealing, but the rest of the offering leaves room for opportunity. The foil cards for Metalwork Colossus and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, don't contain unique artwork. A medley of booster packs is lovely, but not worth reducing the quantity. The spindown life counter and mini-poster are nothing too exciting. This product-hover id="148748" hasn't increased in value like the former Holiday Gift Boxes.
At the current market price of $21.99, the product-hover id="148748" still sells at a price close to its original MSRP. Also, 70% of the product-hover id="148748" market price comes from the three booster packs inside. The foil basic lands are worth about $1 each. This sealed product doesn't look good as a long-term investment unless the booster packs inside become more valuable.
WotC decided to offer another product-hover id="175170" for the 2018 holiday season. This one containing:
Players may recognize the unique cards product-hover id="175209" and product-hover id="175201" from the Magic: The Gathering Arena precon decks.
Unfortunately, the five exclusive cards were almost unplayable in Standard, and the four boosters of Core 2019 only add about $15 in value to the product-hover id="175170". At the current market price of $17.22, the product-hover id="175170" is worth little more than the Core 2019 booster packs. Selling for less than its original MSRP, it's not an excellent investment.
For the 2019 holiday season, WotC reinvented the Gift Pack into an upgraded Bundle. The product-hover id="200610" includes everything found in a typical Bundle with a few extra goodies: a Collector Booster, a special oversized spindown life counter, and distinctive box artwork. It's worth noting that Throne of Eldraine was the first Standard set to introduce the Collector Booster.
WotC no longer shares MRSP for products, but the product-hover id="200610" estimated retail price was $49.99. Increasing the standard Bundle by $10 to include a Collector Booster isn't a bad deal for players. Surprisingly, the current market price for the product-hover id="200610" is $65.24. How did a product released a little over a year ago appreciate 30% in value?
The ten Throne of Eldraine booster packs included in the product-hover id="200610" equate to $39.50 or 60% of the product-hover id="200610" current value. The Collector Booster adds another $18.78 in value. Unexpectedly, the special oversized spindown life counter sells on eBay for around $7 each! In total, the market value of the product-hover id="200610" contents (excluding the promo card and basic lands) is $65.28. This total is practically the same as the product-hover id="200610" current market price.
The product-hover id="200610" has listings on TCGplayer for almost $90. It may seem absurd, but this Bundle is still a growth opportunity. Throne of Eldraine is likely out of print, which could raise booster prices another $0.50 to $1 by the end of 2021. Also, Collector Boosters may see positive price movement. The product-hover id="200610" is probably the best MTG holiday product to invest in, when purchased close to its current market price.
During the previous holiday season, WotC released the product-hover id="221918". This product-hover id="221918" is similar to the product-hover id="200610". There are the same number of booster packs, oversized spindown life counter, Collector Booster, and other contents. However, the product-hover id="221918" has a market price of $38.53—under the $49.99 estimated MSRP. Why is the market price for this product-hover id="221918" less than $49.99?
A few possible reasons may explain why. One is the market price of the Zendikar Rising Collector Booster is only $13.20. While the Boosters do contain foil Expedition cards, the chance of pulling one is only one in six or 16.7%. Also, WotC potentially overprinted Collector Boosters for Zendikar Rising. A distributor was still offering Zendikar Rising Collector Boosters to local game stores around the release of Kaldheim. The supply of these Boosters could be depressing their market price.
Another reason is the Zendikar Rising Draft Booster market price is $2.81. This market price is more than a dollar lower than Throne of Eldraine booster packs. Finally, the product-hover id="221918" was released less than a year ago. The supply is more plentiful and available.
Adding up the market prices for ten Zendikar Rising Draft Boosters, a Collector Booster, and an oversized spindown life counter (valued at $7) equals $48.30. The contents' market value is higher than the market price of the product-hover id="221918". There appears to be an arbitrage opportunity to open product-hover id="221918" and sell their contents for a profit. Local game stores with product-hover id="221918" may profit from the market imbalance. However, shipping and transaction fees may hinder the average person from taking advantage of the opportunity.
In time, the product-hover id="221918" may increase in value closer to $49.99. The future appreciation for this product may not be as high as the product-hover id="200610", but there's potential upside.
WotC changing the Holiday Gift Pack into a Holiday Bundle appears to have been an intelligent move. They were able to double the product's price point and offer a better overall value to customers. WotC will likely continue offering Holiday Bundles as long as they print Collector Boosters for Standard sets.
For MTG investors, Gift Boxes could increase in value due to rising Booster Pack prices for out-of-print sets. The product-hover id="200610" has appreciated well if bought in 2019 and kept sealed. product-hover id="221918" could become an excellent long-term investment as well. Anyone interested in collecting or investing in sealed MTG products may want to pay attention to the past and present holiday products.