Magic: The Gathering cards worth over $200K dumped in landfill

An estimated $200,000+ worth of cards, booster packs, and sets of the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering were dumped in a landfill located in Texas.

An estimated $200,000+ worth of cards, booster packs, and sets of the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering were dumped in a landfill located in Texas. (Images: Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro)

In what may be the worst nightmare of Magic: The Gathering collectors and players come to life, a landfill has become the permanent home of cards, packs, and sets valued at over $200,000.

Since its debut in 1993, Magic: The Gathering has become synonymous with the collectible card game (CCG) industry in the gaming community. The earliest versions of the cards produced by the then-fledgling Wizards of the Coast are now valued as much as modern works of art, commanding 6-digit figures in auctions.

ventually, Hasbro acquired Wizards of the Coast, thus laying claim to two major fantasy gaming properties - Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.

But how would players around the world feel if they were to discover prized MTG cards wind up being buried under tons of soil and rocks?

On Reddit, user u/LATIN0 posted a surprising photo showing boxes upon boxes of Magic: The Gathering cards. According to the user, around 6 pallets of these boxes were dropped in their local landfill.

Someone threw away 6 pallets of Magic TG cards at my local city landfill from pics

The post was soon responded to by multiple Reddit users who are more familiar with MTG and the potential value of the cards being disposed of. Eagle-eyed Magic: The Gathering fans pointed out there appear to be boxes and cards from sets such as Modern Horizons II, Unfinity, Secret Lair, and Magic: The Gathering 30th Anniversary. That last set is the clincher for many, as it reprints extremely sought-after cards from the Alpha Edition, not the least of which is the Black Lotus.

Some fans on social media have estimated the value of the ill-fated cards at $100,000 to over $250,000.

Sadly, the author of the original post gave a follow-up that discourages any potential "treasure hunters" who have learned of the landfill's location in Texas:

The cards are gone. I don't think anyone driving those dozers knew or saw what was inside them. The field supervisors don't care what's being thrown away as long as it's not chemicals.
We're not allowed to take anything from the landfill, the package (we) grabbed, my coworker gave it to his kids. We face timed, no Black Lotus card.

LATIN0 further added details that emphasize why it’s a bad idea to dig through the landfill of buried Magic: The Gathering cards:

The cards are all under layers of trash, each day 2-4 layers are being added. Don't try to come and look for some. They are all damaged. My biggest concern is I know some of y'all figured out the location, don't call them. Don't come to get them. The same field supervisors will tell you the same thing if you come out there. "You're not allowed to take anything from here"

However, the Reddit user did admit to taking a souvenir. But this is mainly intended as a reminder of the experience:

I did return today to dump my trailer, this is what I found and yes I decided to take it home this time. I do have 2 unopened from a special edition called secret lair, found it where I walked around the area where I was last time. I'm keeping them to remind myself of a woulda coulda shoulda moment of my life. Probably worth little but will mean a lot to me.

But why did it happen in the first place? There are multiple speculators and theories as to the source of these valuable MTG lots being sent to card game heaven. The most likely is from a separate Reddit post that reported boxes of Magic: The Gathering cards that were covered by a mysterious chemical for unknown reasons. This separate incidence would be a logical precursor to the landfill being done for safety precautions.

Would-be treasure hunters are discouraged from trying to look for the landfill where the Magic: The Gathering cards are buried. (Art by Una Fricker of the Wasteland card from the Tempest expansion set).

Regardless of the reasons for the disheartening end for such valuable pieces of cardboard, this is a fate no MTG player or collector would ever wish on even their worst enemies. Just imagine if Post Malone saw his prized $800,000 Black Lotus signed by Christopher Rush or his one-of-a-kind Zur the Enchanter foil winding up as landfill fodder. Calling it heartbreaking would be an understatement.

The next Magic: The Gathering set to be released from Wizards of the Coast will be March of the Machine on April 21, 2023. Cards from the set will also be released digitally for Magic Online and Magic: The Gathering - Arena.

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Geoff Borgonia

Geoff Borgonia // Articles: 618

Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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