By Drew S.
In the last article I explained how the store level determines what we can and can’t do before the prerelease and release even happens. Now, I’ll explain what happens during the lead up to the prerelease and release.
A day or two after the last release I will know when the next one will take place. It is normally three months later. At this point it is too early for me to do anything other than post that there will be prerelease, release, and Magic Game Day events on the correct days on our calendar page. The listing only states what days the events will be. I don’t have any other information at that time. Even though I run the Magic the Gathering events, I don’t receive any information faster that what is released to the general public.
I typically find out what our allocation for the prerelease is about 6 weeks before the event (read about allocations here). This is also when I find out what extra prize support I’ll get to use during the event. Once I have that information, I work on creating posters for the prerelease and release that announces all of the important information. It takes me a day or two to make the posters and a few days to get them back from the printers. I also use this information to update our calendar page.
Four weeks before the release date, I will learn what my allocation will be for the release day. Now I know how many boxes of cards I will be able to sell when the cards are officially released. That also means I can start taking preorders. I’ve heard of businesses that presell more cards than they received, because they took orders before they found out their allocation. I choose to only resell 1/2 of my allocation. That leaves plenty of boxes to sell after the presold boxes are picked up. The store also offers a nice discount on presold boxes. I also start taking preregistration on the actual events during this time.
At some point between one and three weeks before the prerelease, Wizards of the Coast will contact me. They will explain any peculiarities with how the prerelease or release will run (such as the Helvault or Implicit Maze). I will also receive my in-store display kit. The kit will include posters, signs, promotional cards, and any other special items the store may get for the release.
The Thursday before the prerelease I will receive my prerelease card shipment. In the cases such as the Return to Ravnica block, I will spend time organizing the prerelease material into guilds. The Friday before the prerelease, I will spend extra time after that night’s Friday Night Magic cleaning the store extra well. Not only am I proud to have a clean and fresh smelling store, but I know that I won’t have time to do it Saturday morning before the players arrive.
Before the first player checks in the Saturday morning of the prerelease I have already spent about 30 hours working on the events. But, when I see everyone having fun I know that the time was well spent.
Check the blog in a few days for the next part of “From Wizards of the Coast to Anime Kat to You” where I discuss how I spend my time during the prerelease and release.