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Star Wars: Unlimited publisher says stock problems, due to “unprecedented success”, will be solved in waves.

Fantasy Flight claims their licensed TCG has already become the best selling release in the studio’s history.

Image credit: Fantasy Flight Games/Lucasfilm

Less than two weeks into Star Wars Unlimited’s release month, the new trading card game from Fantasy Flight has disappeared off shelves faster than an overtuned repulsorcraft. The response from fans and collectors emptied local game shops and left them unable to support organised play.

Many were worried the latest competitive cardboard title would suffer a fate similar to Disney Lorcana, which almost immediately emptied its pre-produced stock and took several months to remedy the wide-scale scarcity. Fantasy Flight Games disabused that notion with a recent statement to its social media, which claimed the company was already implementing a replenishment plan.

Existing stock of Star Wars: Unlimited’s first set, Spark of Rebellion, will be released to distributors in waves between now and the launch of the TCG’s as-yet-unnamed second core set. While this won’t solve scarcity everywhere, it will hopefully provide game shops enough boosters and prize support to run weekly or monthly organised play and also fend off the worst scalping tendencies in the secondary market.

How to play Star Wars Unlimited TCG for absolute beginners Watch on YouTube

Spark of Rebellion was initially printed to hit a sweet spot between saturating the distributors and retailers and creating so much scarcity that it harms both the community’s ability to play and public perception. Fantasy Flight says that they didn’t anticipate Star Wars: Unlimited to “exceed the sales of any game we have ever released as a studio”, topping the Arkham Horror and Marvel Champions LCGs.

“Our goal has always been to release just the right amount of product to the market, to avoid distributing too much product but also to avoid leaving the market without it for long periods of time. The good news is we had plans in place in case sales overperformed. According to our best forecasts we thought we would activate the plan at the end of March, but the events of the last weeks triggered that plan earlier,” Fantasy Flight Games said in a recent online post.

Users on a subreddit dedicated to the game claimed that their local hobby shops were holding onto their existing booster boxes and sealed products in order to sustain limited events between these waves (the publisher did not publicly offer a shipping timeline). Anecdotally, several stores in the large city where I live back this up by telling customers they likely won’t be able to sell directly to customers until mid-to-late Aprile, which is likely when the first of those waves will roll out along distribution lines.

Limited availability of cards and draft seats isn’t fun, but Fantasy Flight Games - like Ravensburger before them - are learning first-hand how to handle an instantly popular TCG. Flooding hobby shops with cards can ruin relationships as independent businesses drown under unsold boxes, but miserly reprints allow scalpers to flourish and push out casual players. It’s a fine line to walk, but the community seems pleased with the publisher’s initial step into a very crowded and competitive space.

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