Question about different Mirage printings

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Post by l0qii » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:11 pm

Independently verified by 2 people. I wonder if WotC made them change the glue and remove their name from the packaging, or if these simply weren't produced by Shephard Poorman

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Post by dragsamou » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:01 am

l0qii wrote:Independently verified by 2 people. I wonder if WotC made them change the glue and remove their name from the packaging, or if these simply weren't produced by Shephard Poorman
With Shephard Poorman name on the Package

The Rivals Quick Start Set was released in July 1996. Being the first box set in the history of Magic which featured preconstructed decks and extensive game guides,

Traditional Chinese released late August 1996

To find with Shephard Poorman name on the Package

Mirage
prerel. 1996-09-26
release 1996-??-??
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Post by berkumps » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:50 am

We know from here:

http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... php?t=2496

and here:

http://mtgarchive.net/wiki/Shepard_Poorman

that Shepard Poorman printed T-Chinese 4th (says so on the box), and possibly part of the print run of Mirage.

I suspect that my "made in USA" Mirage starter boxes are printed by Shepard Poorman, but there is no indication. I did, however, notice that all three boxes bear the same stamp inside:

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So my theory is, the first two numbers indicate something about where it was printed, with the remaining numbers indicating something to do with the product being printed.

Now let's look at a T-Chinese 4th Edition starter box:

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Hmm, the 19's are similar, I wonder if that means they were printed in the same place? Now let's check some more "made in USA" boxes from around that time:

Korean Visions booster box (nope):

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Korean Exodus booster box (nope):

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T-Chinese Portal booster box (notice both numbers are the same, but a 14 instead of 19, so nope):

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So none of those other boxes from '97 and '98 printed in USA bear the '19 XXXX' stamping, let's check the next set after Exodus:

Korean Urza's Saga starter box

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What?!? :-O Shepard Poorman strikes again with Korean Urza's Saga??? Wasn't there an English printing of Urza's Saga made in US? If so, I wonder what the stamp on the inside of those boxes looks like?

And even up until T-Chinese 8th Edition they were using this numbering system stamped inside (remember, to see where it was made, you have to look for the characters 美 國 that follow the colon after the Renton, WA 98057-0707 nonsense, just like the T-Chinese 8th 2-player starter pictured first):

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In fact, I have a Japanese Saviors of Kamigawa theme box with similar stamping (albeit different numbers).

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Post by dragsamou » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:16 am

Hi Mark

Do you know that Mirage Sealed Starter Box, have 2 different Stamps on the sealed on top.

Version 1. Made in USA
Image

Version 2. Made in USA
Will add a scan later as I need to get it from a friend who has it

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Last edited by dragsamou on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by magic-belgium » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:42 am

CSI : Magic the Gathering :-D

Thanks for all your investigations :) They are really helpful.

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Post by berkumps » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:56 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention that my Korean 4th Edition Starter box appears to also be a Shepard Poorman product with 19 6994 stamp (assuming my hypothesis is correct about the '19').

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Image

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Post by berkumps » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:32 am

I recently purchased this starter box, and should be arriving to me soon I hope. It contains an interesting stamp/logo on the wrapper. Could it represent Shepard Poorman Corp?

Image

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Post by berkumps » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:42 am

Also found this tidbit of information about SP from Nov.7, 1996:
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Mail-Well, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLWL) announced today that its subsidiary, Graphic Arts Center, Inc. (GAC), has signed a purchase agreement to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Shepard Poorman Communications, a high-impact color printer located in Indianapolis, Indiana
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Mail-Well ... a018840346

Could be that their facilities were still used for printing cards after said acquisition by said company, but also why there's no mention of Shepard Poorman on some product that they are suspected of printing.

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Post by cataclysm80 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:14 am

berkumps wrote:Also found this tidbit of information about SP from Nov.7, 1996:
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Mail-Well, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLWL) announced today that its subsidiary, Graphic Arts Center, Inc. (GAC), has signed a purchase agreement to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Shepard Poorman Communications, a high-impact color printer located in Indianapolis, Indiana
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Mail-Well ... a018840346

Could be that their facilities were still used for printing cards after said acquisition by said company, but also why there's no mention of Shepard Poorman on some product that they are suspected of printing.


That's interesting about the Shepard Poorman acquisition, but with the papers being signed in November, and nothing actually changing hands until later in the 4th quarter (of the year), I don't see any way that this could have affected the Mirage print run.

Mirage being released in stores during September, printing would have been completed before then to give the distribution chanel time to get the product to the stores by the release date. Even if any printing continued (for more than two months?) after the release date, it seems unlikely that they would redesign the wording on the boxes mid print run, as that would require making new printing plates.

Tav

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Post by berkumps » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:27 am

cataclysm80 wrote:
berkumps wrote:Also found this tidbit of information about SP from Nov.7, 1996:
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Mail-Well, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLWL) announced today that its subsidiary, Graphic Arts Center, Inc. (GAC), has signed a purchase agreement to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Shepard Poorman Communications, a high-impact color printer located in Indianapolis, Indiana
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Mail-Well ... a018840346

Could be that their facilities were still used for printing cards after said acquisition by said company, but also why there's no mention of Shepard Poorman on some product that they are suspected of printing.


That's interesting about the Shepard Poorman acquisition, but with the papers being signed in November, and nothing actually changing hands until later in the 4th quarter (of the year), I don't see any way that this could have affected the Mirage print run.

Mirage being released in stores during September, printing would have been completed before then to give the distribution chanel time to get the product to the stores by the release date. Even if any printing continued (for more than two months?) after the release date, it seems unlikely that they would redesign the wording on the boxes mid print run, as that would require making new printing plates.

Tav
I agree with you. I meant for future sets that I suspect used that facility, like Urza's Saga. :)

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Post by cataclysm80 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:38 am

Why do we think that Shepard Poorman was involved with Mirage?

Carta Mundi opened a facility in the US during 1996. Couldn't they have printed the US Mirage?

Here is some info from the Carta Mundi website...
In 1994, Cartamundi, Inc. was created to enter the U.S. market as a sales office in Kentucky.
Shortly after that, in 1996, the U.S. headquarters (manufacturing facility) was established and began production in Kingsport, Tennessee.
In 2006, as a result of the tremendous growth in the U.S. market, Cartamundi acquired Yaquinto Printing Company in Dallas Texas.
In mid-2007, Cartamundi USA Headquarters was relocated from Kingsport to the Yaquinto facility in Dallas. To accomodate the growth, a new state-of-the-art building is in development for 2008. Renovation of a new 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Dallas began in September 2008. By January of 2009, after more than a year of engineers, contractors, inspectors and movers, Cartamundi USA fully occupied its new home.




Regarding the card corners, the Belgium cards were die cut, while I suspect the US Carta Mundi cards used a different corner rounding method. I've no idea how Shepard Poorman did it.

More info on corner rounding in the miscuts thread...
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... sc&start=0

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Post by cataclysm80 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:22 am

The "19" on the Traditional Chinese 4th, Mirage, & Korean Urza's Saga certainly is interesting. It looks like the same format and font.

At first, the 4 digit portion reminded me of a julian date code, but looking at the numbers on different products vs. the time frame between printings, they are deffinately not julian date codes. Product identification is certainly a possibility.

The vertical alignment of the numbers in relation to one another is not uniform because each digit is individually replaceable. Two production lines using the same number sequence for product identification would typically show differing digit alignment (vertical). Those 3 Mirage boxes appear to have the same alignment from box to box, indicating that all 3 were made on the same production line. Have these 3 boxes been together for their entire lives, or did you get them from seperate sources?

It's interesting that so many different products have the same format of six digit number sequence, and also interesting that the Korean Visions (also US printed) does not show that same format. (Do the Belgium made boxes show the same format?)

So far we've seen the numbers 19, 15, 14, & 12. If the 19 represents a factory (Shepard Poorman), then what factory do the other numbers represent? Do that many US factories exist? I think it's starting to look less likely, although I'm sure that the number means something. I wonder if anyone currently at Shepard Poorman would be able to tell us what those numbers are used for? Maybe Shepard Poorman printed all those boxes, but not the cards?

Very Puzzling

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Post by cataclysm80 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:32 am

cataclysm80 wrote: For English Mirage (Pre-Released on September 21, 1996), the textbox & power/toughness font was changed from Plantin to Bold Plantin. Along with this change, the textbox was enlarged to the same width as the artbox. This continued through 7th Edition until the card frame was redesigned.

Looking over the foreign 4th cards with 1996 copyrights, I see that the textbox was enlarged before the font change happened.
Chinese (Traditional) 4th was designed first as it uses the older smaller textbox.
Japanese (both black border & white border) & Korean were designed after the change to the enlarged textbox, but still have the older Plantin font for power/toughness.

Interestingly, although the Japanese set was designed AFTER the Chinese set, Carta Mundi and WotC were able to print distribute and sell out the Japanese black border print run (It sold very quickly!) BEFORE Shepard Poorman and WotC could release the Chinese cards.
Perhaps there was a delay at the Shepard Poorman printing facility?
Perhaps Carta Mundi was on best behavior because they knew WotC was shopping around for other printers? (Shepard Poorman & United States Playing Card Corporation)

I haven't compared the textboxes of all the 1996 Introductory Two-Player Sets yet, but from what I've seen so far, all but the Japanese one use the older smaller textbox (and also Plantin font). The Japanese Introductory Two-Player Set uses the larger textbox of coarse.

For comparison, the Alliances (small textbox & Plantin font) Pre-Release was May 18th 1996.
This seemed somewhat relevant here. It's from the What Order Were The Sets Designed thread.
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... sc&start=0

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Post by cataclysm80 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:56 am

Regarding the blue vs. black glue layer inside the card. Yes, it is glue to hold the front and back together. I suspect that the glue is not applied by Carta Mundi though. I suspect that Carta Mundi is a printing company, not a paper mill, and that they would purchase their cardstock just like they purchase their ink, made by someone else.

Boardgamegeek is a website for people designing their own boardgames. I've seen discussions there about whether to purchase black core, blue core (sometimes called purple core) or no core cardstock for home printing boardgame parts. The product differs depending on who makes it, but it IS available outside of Carta Mundi. Shepard Poorman with the black core seems to have used a different cardstock vendor than Carta Mundi.


On a related note, I've heard that due to concern over the MTG cardbacks matching, when the US Carta Mundi plant opened, the cardbacks were all printed in Belgium and then shipped to the US for printing the card face, cutting, packaging, etc. This would mean that US Carta Mundi would have the same cardstock that Belgium used. (possibly these same preprinted sheets could have been sent to Shepard Poorman for Mirage, who knows, maybe Mirage was printed all three places?)

I'm not sure any of this info helps, but I put it here just in case.

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Post by dragsamou » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:24 pm

berkumps wrote:I recently purchased this starter box, and should be arriving to me soon I hope. It contains an interesting stamp/logo on the wrapper. Could it represent Shepard Poorman Corp?

Image
Hi Mark

This is indeed the different Starter Box, I was talking about in my previous post. From Sib51, it appears that this stamping is an intermediary between Editions without Stamp (Alliance) and the Sealed Editions WOTC (Visions). It happened that Miage got both.
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