If you, Magic: The Gathering neophyte or otherwise, sat down and cracked open a bunch of the card game’s grand new Lord of the Rings crossover, Tales of Middle-earth, this past weekend and thought you were done? Good news/bad news: there’s even more very cool cards coming soon.
Today Wizards of the Coast revealed that the first “Secret Lair” drop—limited time collections of special variants of cards, whether through crossover collaborations, artist series, or other themes—tied to the release of its Lord of the Rings expansion is based on the beloved 1978 animated adaptation of Tolkien’s work by Ralph Bakshi.
The four card set—available in either standard or shiny foil variants—features “new” artwork for four cards from the base Tales of Middle-earth expansion: Slip on the Ring, Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, Mirror of Galadriel, and Shire Terrace. Their standard art is replaced by suitable screenshots from Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, selected by Wizards and the Magic team with the Tolkien estate.
“We were all excited that the Bakshi film was in bounds for this project,” Magic principal art director Tom Jenkot told Polygon, which first revealed the set. “It’s such a beautiful movie and it has some amazing technical aspects like the rotoscoping of the characters from live footage of actors and the beautiful color wash backgrounds. For longtime fans, it was the first visualization of Lord of the Rings.”
There’s no doubt going to be some people a little miffed that it isn’t the other theatrical take on Lord of the Rings getting some representation—the same people miffed that Tales of Middle-earth itself depicts its own spin on Tolkien’s world and characters—but this is a simple, but lovely spin on what is already a loving tribute of a set.
The More Adventures in Middle-earth bundle is available from Wizards directly now, with a standard set costing $30 and the foil variants $40. You’ve got over two months to order them, ahead of a late September 2023 release date.
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