The 2023 Booster Box Famine

Thoughts on the 2023 Booster Box Famine?

Local Game Stores (LGSs) are struggling to keep product on their shelves. Distributors are not communicating. Store owners are in the dark about what’s coming, how much it will be, and when the boxes will arrive. Financial planning is difficult right now; stores are buying boxes from the secondary market and/or breaking down other product to fill their customers’ orders.

It is shocking that we are in 2023 and TPCi cannot accurately gauge demand for sealed product.

Mason from Card 'N All Gaming commented on this:


Theres a lot of fear of the unknown happening here.

I’m a bit skeptical when people say that sets won’t be reprinted, especially with how Pokémon does reprints.

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Amazing because at most EU distributors I can order whatever I want currently.


Poor from Pokemon. They are surely printing product all this while - that’s their literal job - so why can’t they communicate? Weird.

My immediate thought was its an attempt to drive up demand so that when the new msrp rolls out nobody cares and theyre just happy to have product.

I cant see how any supply shortages could be happening naturally (im sure there are reasons tho) when they own the printers. It seems deliberate and its pefectly timed before the msrp change to me


Even if they raise msrp they are still going to sell out, theywould be very short sighted thinking they need a “Strategy”.

There must be some major clusterfuck with their logistics behind the scenes. There’s no way they are leaving so much money on the table on what seems like 3-5 months without any “wave of new bb” and even worse there seems that we won’t be getting any reprints in the near future.


N+1 experience here, but my local Targets, Barnes and Nobles etc. are always stocked. I would assume the big box stores have product preference over LGSs.

The LGSs near me all charge market prices for their product vs. MSRP that the big box stores sell at. It’s no surprise that people would prefer to pay less at Target vs. a LGS.


Meh, LGS around her charge $3-4 a pack form the box vs $4.50 at target for a sleeved blister or $5 for something with a promo and coin.

I imagine there could be a little bit of a hang up with trying to change the border to gray for the new series.

If it’s causing this much of a hiccup now, I doubt they’ll be turning back and doing excess reprints of yellow bordered sets.

i wonder, how do we know it’s TPC and not distributors? just asking. I can’t see why anyone would intentionally limit product at this time…

Well certainly there’s no “logical” answer on why would the limit a product on purpose with how much demand there’s out there.

I would understand maybe some distributors wanting to limit product but “all of them”? It doesnt sound feasible at all.

I think people are really trying to brainstorm why sets won’t be reprinted, or how some elaborate plan is being put in motion to pull the wool over their eyes. I think it’s more likely it’s regular old supply issues we’ve been dealing with.


that isn’t a very exciting answer


I never understood the party poopers on here.

No ideas, speculation, or interesting theories to add… Everything is just the way it is and that’s that. Thread closed. Forum shouldn’t even exist

is it even supply issues at this point? Pokemon has already printed so much of Sword and Shield. They’ve printed more of it than Sun & Moon ( and maybe XY combined). Seems like more of a demand issue to me.

More people speculating on modern than ever before. They’ve already supplied enough. They’re printing new sets. With every new set they release, they have to print more than ever, it seems.


IDK if that answers why LGS cant get more. Maybe. I wonder if these LGS are out because they got less product, or because it’s just selling out. The latter would suggest it’s simply demand clearing the shelves…

Personally, I’m speculating on modern… NOT holding value in the long-term.

sorry guys dont mean to party poop lmao i just think it’s best to approach these things without being too imaginative bc that can get things too wrapped up in ideas. that’s just my take tho, i could very well be wrong.

@knotchi I mean it kinda is a demand issue, but also inherently a supply issue because there’s not enough supply to meet the increased demand. There’s definitely people speculating, but clearly the market is absorbing even their increased printing; they need more product. I can’t even grab a pack when I go to shoppers to buy milk because they’ve been sold out completely since like July! :frowning:

I think they are being cautious because they are coming down from an extreme hype period. They want to satiate demand but don’t want to flood at the levels they might’ve wanted to 2 years ago. It’s a tough balancing act but I think it will be rectified with scarlet and violet. The are literally printing money so if they think they can pump more product out without saturating supply, they will do it.


People said the same thing about XY sets 6 years ago and every single box has gone up since then, Even steam siege is $300 lmao. Modern weathered the 2021 -2022 downturn pretty well compared to WOTC era.

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What is “enough”?

It is some arbitrary concept each of us have? Should it be that every set in rotation should be readily available?

I was so against modern for so long, but trying to look objectively i found a few things that im pretty confiednt in (all my opinion based on my research)

  1. Swsh alts are very good looking and imo they are leagues better than anything XY, or SM and also better than 99% of BW
  2. No matter what people say about print runs, there simply are not pallets of sealed stuff in everyones closet or we would not see these shortages
  3. Modern collectors open modern, sealed modern isnt as popular as everyone thinks
  4. New generations of collectors dont care about old stuff
  5. Hype sells more than rarity/scarcity