Secret Lair Printing Philosophy Changing To Limited-Run In 2024

Josh Nelson • January 2, 2024

Since its inception in 2019, Secret Lair, an effort by Wizards of the Coast to provide Magic singles, has been dynamic. At first, the effort by Wizards to break into the singles market had rules that the company adhered to. Today, however, Wizards officially announced the general end to one of these rules. Starting sometime this year, Secret Lair drops will shift from a print-on-demand print run to a limited one.

A promotional shot of the Secret Lair drop titled "Every Dog Has Its Day", released in August 2020.
A promotional shot of the Secret Lair drop titled "Every Dog Has Its Day", released in August 2020.

According to an article released on January 2nd, Wizards of the Coast announced this under the pretense that this change will expedite orders for the drop series:

Starting in 2024 and to expedite shipping and reduce wait times for receiving some of the wildest treatments in MagicSecret Lair is officially shifting from a print-to-demand model to a limited-print-run model for most of the product line. There may still be some exceptions wherein Secret Lair drops continue to be print to demand for an ordering window, but moving forward, you should expect that most drops will be pre-printed and therefore able to ship out and reach you more quickly once you've placed your order.

However, this may mean that some more popular Secret Lair drops will sell out early. Wizards of the Coast has noted this in their press release as well. "Practically speaking," the announcement goes on to say, "this means that some products may sell out before their end date."

While early announcements for Secret Lair have not explicitly promised that the drop series will adopt the print-on-demand model forever, players and collectors are currently used to the on-demand business model. With this change, a fear of missing out may be more justified, depending on how limited the print runs are.

Some members of the Magic: The Gathering community on Twitter and elsewhere have taken Wizards noting this potential repercussion to mean that they are aware of the FOMO. One community member posts exactly that in a reply to the announcement:

Others have called the move a "recipe for disaster". Even so, some have applauded the news as "excellent". This shows that the announcement, while divisive, still has fans and proponents. Resellers have also expressed their delight at the prospect of expedited shipping.

There is currently no confirmation of when these changes will begin to roll out beyond simply 2024. 

Josh Nelson wears many hats. They are a music journalist when not writing gaming news. Beyond this, they're a scholar of the Sweeney Todd urban legend, a fan of monster-taming RPGs, and a filthy Aristocrats player. Josh has been playing Magic since 2001 and attributes their tenure to nostalgia, effort, and "aesthetic".