Cool Stuff We Bought This Week: Misprints, Oddities, and other Weird Stuff

Happy Friday everyone! Another week has gone by, and that means it’s time to take a look at some Cool Stuff! Normally we examine the hot finds from the week, and while we had lots of sweet vintage cards like Black Lotus, some graded Summer Magic, and a whole lot of Ultimate Masters Box Toppers come through our doors, one reader convinced me to talk about something a little off the beaten path this week.

“You know, I read your article every week, and it’s cool to see Power and Duals all the time. As funny as it sounds, that gets old after a while. I wanna see some of that weird stuff.”

Challenge accepted! I did some digging around through our buylist office and dredged up some crazy stuff I’d never seen before, as well as some stuff I’d gotten in buylists.

Misprints and Errors

Hard to believe, I know, but the print quality and quality control in the production of Magic cards has varied widely over the last 25 years of Magic. With card quality being at a relatively high level at the moment with the new printing process that started with Dominaria last year, it was interesting to see some funny mistakes and packaging errors while digging through our Funny Business section.

“Pink Bottom Ponder” sounds like it could be a new radio banger.

An interesting one from the Modern era, this M10 Ponder is a pretty common one. Nothing too fancy, but the pink bottom is somewhat rare, but not super hard to find. I found several of these in the misprint box. Misprints like this are pretty common across all sets, where the inking of the cards just went wrong somehow. In newer sets, common misprints have either too heavy, or extremely light inking.

How do I know these are real? – Joe

Looks like somebody forgot to sticker these up! The authenticity stamp introduced in M15 is missing from the bottom of these foils, but I hear you can mail them to WotC and get them exchanged for good copies if you ask nice enough.

Perhaps one of the most famous misprints in Magic’s history, here are two Tempest cards that have a strange artifact left behind in the printing process: A Charlie Brown Peanuts comic strip!

Perhaps the printer forgot to clean their machines and left a permanent stamp of a previous job on several of these cards. These comics can be seen on Sapphire, Emerald, and Ruby Medallions, and are known to show up on English, German, and Portuguese printing of the cards.

Joe wouldn’t have even noticed.

Another strange error, here’s a Shivan Dragon from 5th edition. It might not jump out at you, but a good number of red rares from 5th edition were accidentally printed with the copyright text at the bottom in Portuguese. The rest of the card is otherwise in English.


Another common blunder in the packaging process is crimping of cards. This occurs when the foil of a pack of Magic cards is pressed a little too close to the cards inside, resulting in several indentations across the top or bottom edge of the cards.

We had a ton of crimped cards sitting outside the inventory to look at, but this one was by far the most interesting and rare. There aren’t too many Beta Birds out there as it is, but this crimped bottom edge adds a bit of uniqueness to make this one ‘special’.

Miscuts and Misaligned Printing

These are a little more rare than the previous categories in more recent sets, but more and more common the farther back you go into Magic’s history. Many graded vintage pieces from the ABU sets and the rest of 93/94 can look perfect, but get dinged several points to overall grades when found to be off center in cut or printing alignment per BGS’ standards. I’ll let you guess what these might get.

I don’t know how you could possibly mess it up this bad, but there you go. Imagine getting super hyped up for the latest Commander decks to play with your friends on opening day, and you see these straight out of the package.

Your guess is as good as mine. Blurry text, miscut, and completely out of whack. Funny enough, the back looks as inconspicuous as possible.

Sealed Product

Sometimes, you crack a pack, only to find that there is no rare at the end. What a stinker of a pack. I’ve only had that happen to me once in the decade I’ve been playing Magic, but I’ve never forgotten it. This next one may be the exact opposite.

This pack of Chronicles doesn’t look too suspicious, but upon holding, it’s super evident that there’s only (1) ONE card in here. What a bummer. Chronicles was universally panned as the reprint set that would kill Magic(apparently it almost did), and led to the creation of the Reserved List. A garbage pack from a terrible set. Hopefully, it’s a Blood Moon!

Artist Alters

The last thing I’d like to show you are these artist alters from Steve Argyle. Normally, when we get artist signature cards in, we treat them as otherwise unmarked when looking at the rest of the card, and can grade them with our normal Near Mint to Heavily Played scale. We verify the artist signature with a quick cross-reference of known signatures and move from there. If a card is altered in any way, we are likely to send it back or offer a reduced value based on our Heavily Played price.

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. The Liliana pictured here is a very cool paint pen alter done by the artist (I think that’s supposed to be the Psychic gym leader Sabrina from Pokemon) that we would count as Near Mint. The Jace on the right is a different story. While it appears Steve Argyle altered both of these cards, the original art of Jace Beleren was done by Aleksi Briclot. We consider this one to be Very Heavily Played or Destroyed.

Some pretty weird stuff comes into our buylist, but I really enjoyed taking a break from the normal format to talk about it. Before I take off, I’d like to note that if you’re interested in trading something like this through our buylist, we request that you confirm with us by email along with a description and pictures before sending in your order.

That does it for this week! Join me next Friday to get another sweet dosage of cool Magical Cards. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @chroberry or Instagram @chroberrymtg if you want to see extra goodies and spoilers for next week’s article. Peace!