Magic: The Gathering Collector Boosters are a particular type of pack containing alternate-art, extended-art, and foil versions of cards. Wizards of the Coast created Collector Boosters to target collectors interested in acquiring the most exclusive versions of cards from a MTG set. While Collector Boosters contains the same amount of cards as Draft Boosters, they cost much more due to their premium contents.
Collector Boosters typically come in displays of 12. Loose packs are available from the displays or individually packaged. Interestingly, Collector Booster contents differ between Standard sets. With each set release, WotC changes Collector Booster options in the 15 card slots. The unique twist of each set's Collector Booster results in varied prices of displays and packs on the secondary market.
Throne of Eldraine was the first MTG set to offer Collector Boosters. To promote Throne of Eldraine, Collector Boosters were part of a boy-a-box promotion with Kenrith, the Returned King. With a retail price between $20 and $25, Throne of Eldraine Collector Boosters was considerably more expensive than Draft Boosters. Also, Displays of Throne of Eldraine Collector Boosters sold for over $200 at release.
Back in January, Throne of Eldraine Collector Booster displays were available for under $250. Since then, prices for have soared above $300. The current TCGplayer Market price for Throne of Eldraine Collector Booster displays is $340, but I haven't found any for sale at that price point.
While print runs of new products are unknown, the amount of Throne of Eldraine Collector Boosters produced was relatively low. Thus, I believe Throne of Eldraine Collector Booster displays will remain well above $300 for the foreseeable future. There is collectability for the first Collector Boosters with a limited print run—especially considering the powerful level of cards included in Throne of Eldraine.
Theros Beyond Death is the second Standard set to feature Collector Boosters. WotC made a few tweaks to the Theros Beyond Death Collector Booster contents by including two foil showcase Nyx lands in every pack. Slots for the ancillary card, extended-art rare or mythic rare, and foil rare or mythic rare remain unchanged. The rest of the Collector Booster slots contain similar offerings to those in Throne of Eldraine Collector Boosters.
At the beginning of the year, Theros Beyond Death Collector Booster displays sold for about $180, and were available for under $200 through much of last year as well. However, only in the previous month or two have Theros Beyond Death Collector Booster displays surpassed an average selling price of $200.
Unfortunately for Theros Beyond Death, there isn't anything particularly unique about its Collector Booster contents. For example, foil showcase Nyx lands may hold some value, but they're not extraordinary when every Collector Booster contains two. Thus, while the overall estimated value of Theros Beyond Death is quite good, it's not enough to push Collector Booster displays to the price level of Throne of Eldraine.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths released during the peak of COVID-19. Stores were closed across the globe, and shipping issues arose. Nevertheless, Ikoria became the best-selling spring set for MTG during the pandemic. I want to focus on the English versions of Collector and Draft Boosters, since Japanese packs can vary in contents—including three exclusive Godzilla Monster Series cards.
Ikoria's inclusion of Godzilla Series Monster cards was well-received. Each Collector Booster contains one dedicated slot for the Monster cards. Outside of Collector Boosters, Godzilla Monster Series cards are box toppers in Draft Booster boxes.
Besides the allure of pulling a Godzilla Monster Series card in a Collector Booster, WotC added a third dedicated slot for a guaranteed rare or mythic rare. Did I mention the rares in Ikoria are loaded with value? Several rares are worth over $8, including The Ozolith, Lurrus of the Dream-Den, and Zagoth Triome. With more opportunities for rare and mythic rare cards, along with the Godzilla Monster Series, it's not surprising Ikoria Collector Booster displays sold for over $200 at release.
Earlier in 2021, Ikoria Collector displays were available for around $240. However, pricing recently changed as secondary market prices have sharply climbed to $290. Also, Collector Booster displays sold at an increased rate in recent months.
While Draft Booster boxes have a Godzilla Monster Series box topper, a Collector Booster is a lower-priced barrier of entry to pull one. I wouldn't expect Ikoria Collector displays to fall much in price soon, considering the Godzilla Monster Series cards. Next to Throne of Eldraine, I believe Ikoria will hold the most value long-term among the existing Standard Collector Booster displays.
Core 2021 is a set that may have fallen under the radar due to COVID-19. Released on July 3rd, 2020, Core 2021 includes fantastic reprints for players. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Grim Tutor are two of the most expensive reprints ever found in a Standard set. Reprinted rares include powerhouse Commander cards Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Heroic Intervention. Beyond reprints, there are other incredible rares and mythic rares such as Stormwing Entity and Elder Gargaroth.
Core 2021 Collector Boosters swapped out the Godzilla Monster Series slot for a second foil rare or mythic rare. If you're keeping track, Core 2021 Collector Boosters have four guaranteed rare or mythic rare card slots. There is ample opportunity to pull one of the five Teferi, Master of Time variants in foil or non-foil, among other exciting cards.
When Core 2021 was released, Collector Booster displays sold for over $200. After some time, their price trended down to around $185 in February. Since then, Collector Booster display pricing rebounded to an average market price of $223.
Price trends for Core 2021 Collector Booster displays follow a similar path to Theros Beyond Death Collector Booster displays. I believe the current price of Core 2021 Collector Booster displays is reasonable considering its contents. There may not be anything unique to the Core 2021 Collector Boosters, but they offer players the chance to pull a number of valuable rare and mythic rare cards from one pack. I can see the future price trend for Core 2021 Collector Boosters tied closely to Theros Beyond Death, since neither sets' Collector Boosters have any unique appeal.
There were high expectations for another return to Zendikar. The inclusion of double-faced lands, spells, and Planeswalkers was exciting. Another excellent inclusion in Zendikar Rising was the Expedition cards, representing 30 lands from MTG's rich history.
WotC injected value into Zendikar Rising by including an Expedition box topper in Draft and Set Booster boxes. Also, Collector Booster displays contain two Expedition box toppers. All Expedition box toppers have one random non-foil Expedition, but Foil versions are only available in Collector Boosters.
Players have a one-in-six chance of pulling a foil Expedition out of a Collector Booster. If a pack does not contain a foil Expedition, it will at least have a foil alternate frame rare or mythic rare. Similar to Core 2021, there are three other card slots only containing rares or mythic rares. There are a few relatively valuable rare and mythic rare cards in Zendikar Rising, but Expeditions are the chase cards.
Between Expedition toppers and foils, one would think Zendikar Rising Collector Booster displays sell for a hefty premium, but this hasn't been the case. It's plausible that WotC overproduced Zendikar Rising Collector Boosters. My local gaming store could order Zendikar Rising Collector Booster displays from a distributor back in February.
The abundant availability of Zendikar Rising Collector Booster displays probably drove prices down throughout the winter months. Only in the last 60 days has the average market price for Zendikar Rising Collector Booster displays surpassed $200. Considering historic price trends and the possibility of overprinting, I foresee the growth trajectory for Zendikar Rising Collector Boosters to be slower than other Standard sets.
I wrote about Kaldheim Collector Booster displays in my recent article, Selling Sealed Kaldheim. If you're interested in analyzing Kaldheim sealed product, I encourage you to check out the article:
With a current average market price of $180, I believe Kaldheim Collector Booster displays appear undervalued. We may see Kaldheim Collector Booster display prices moving upward to $200 in the coming months for reasons stated in the article.
Mystical Archive cards, particularly Japanese alternate-art versions, are all the rage for Strixhaven: School of Mages. Also, Mystical Archives (standard and Japanese alternate art versions) soak up much of the value found in Collector Boosters. While rare and mythic rare Japanese alternate art versions of Mystical Archive cards are in English Collector Boosters, there is only a 50% chance to find one in the foil etched Mystical Archive slot.
Another interesting Collector Booster change is the Commander card slot. WotC switched the Commander card slot to an extended art version of a rare or mythic rare. The Commander slot change is meaningful because extended art versions of Commander 2021 cards sell for a premium over those found in precons.
During Strixhaven's release, Collector Booster displays sold for $230 - $240. Interestingly enough, you can currently find Collector Booster displays closer to $210. The discounted Collector Booster display price could signify retailers are moving remaining inventory or a demand reduction. Either way, I believe $210 is a very reasonable price to pay for a Strixhaven Collector Booster display. As long as there's interest and demand for Mystical Archive cards, we could see Collector Booster display pricing move back close to $230 by the end of 2021.
2021 continues to be a fascinating year for Collector Boosters. Prices for Standard Collector Booster displays bounced up and down within the first six months. From my perspective, initial demand drives Collector Booster display prices higher at release, followed by a downward price trend in the following months.
Anyone looking to buy Collector Booster displays of new Standard sets may want to exercise caution if prices seem artificially high close to release. Although, Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms could debunk the trend as the first crossover Standard set. It will be interesting to see how WotC continues to keep Collector Boosters fresh and exciting for players.