Black/White Test Sheet? Revised Uncommon? Unique Piece!

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BadMagic
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Black/White Test Sheet? Revised Uncommon? Unique Piece!

Post by BadMagic » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:38 pm

All - I recently received this (thanks to eBay!) from an old-school WOTC employee & play-tester. I really wasn't sure what I won based on listing & now that I have it... I'm equally puzzled!

There are 4 Black/White sheets of glossy thick photography-like paper (w/o any paper stamp on the back). As pictured, these are taped together to form an 11x11 grid.
- Sheet 1 (Upper Left) is 5x5, handwritten code of 'VK Set 2' in bottom Right corner
- Sheet 2 (Lower Left) is 6x5, code of 'VK Set 2 VM1'
- Sheet 3 (Upper Right) is 5x6, code of 'Set 2 02'
- Sheet 4 (Lower Right) is 6x6, code of 'VU Set 2 01'

Illustrations show a wild mix of:
- Alpha-cut corners as laid out on the sheet [Alpha]
- White-Bordered cards with the old 'Tap' in text instead of the Tap-Symbol [Unlimited]
- Many cards from the original set, before being removed in Revised [Unlimited]
- - - Icy Manipulator
- - - Ice Storm
- - - Consecrate Land & several others
- Some cards are from Arabian Nights! [-> Revised]
- - - Sandstorm
- - - Flying Men
- I can’t spot any Antiquities cards pictured, test-print printed before release?
- Mostly Uncommon cards

Several of the core Uncommons pictured were removed in Revised (Icy, Ice Storm, Consecrate, etc). Also, Sandstorm (made it into 4E) and Flying Men (made it into Time Spiral) weren't part of Revised... which leads me to believe this is an early Uncommon Test Sheet for Revised Edition (11x11 as taped), where they didn't want color at the added expense (in '93 color was $$$)... so one of the first test-prints?

Can anyone confirm this hypothesis? Does anyone have a similar Rare or Common sheet? I do plan to keep this & wouldn’t mind getting the full set :)

Two pictures are attached, along with several links.

Many thanks in advance!
Tony


Image
Image

http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/ ... eets-b.JPG
http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/Sheet_1.JPG
http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/Sheet_1-Code.JPG
http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/Sheet_2.JPG
http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/Sheet_3.JPG
http://www.firstturninc.com/Rarest_MTG/Sheet_4.JPG

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jamesbond
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Post by jamesbond » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:31 pm

So you're the one who overbid me >:-(

I don't know too what's this (thats why I bidded)

The curious card on the sheet are the flying men (bottom right of last picture), it's the only non-alpha/beta card...

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BadMagic
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Sorry...

Post by BadMagic » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:04 pm

Yea - I got it :)

There's a Sandstorm as well... also from Arabians. I didn't look through in detail, but believe those are the only two non-Unlimited in the mix.

T

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pp
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Post by pp » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:39 pm

Brass Man and Desert Twister too

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Post by l0qii » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:39 pm

Me and another member were discussing this item. I think your hypothesis is correct that this is from between UL and RV. I wouldn't necessarily call this a test print, but it is a (fantastic) example of the kinds of artifacts generated during the creative process. I would assume many items like this exist briefly before being destroyed as confidential waste. You should submit pictures to Ask Wizards and see if you can get any history on it.

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BadMagic
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Ask Wizards = Brilliant!

Post by BadMagic » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:47 pm

Good eye on the Brass Man & Desert Twister... I'm so numb to seeing them in Revised... forgot they were printed in AQ! :-O

Great itea on Ask Wizards - Just sent them an email w/ pics & will keep this thread updated with any info.

T

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BadMagic
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Ask Wizards Responses

Post by BadMagic » Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:15 am

Here's what Ask Wizards came back with so far - Very fast responses!

Wizards Response 1:
Unfortunately, we don't have any idea what this is. I'm going to forward it along to someone who works a little more closely with Magic than I, and he might have some idea for you. I can't say for sure if he'll respond (as he's a pretty busy guy) but I find I'm curious as well what this might be.

Wizards Response 2:
Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what you won! I've sent the link around the office to see if anyone can identify it, but as we're currently closed for the holiday break, it may take a while to get an answer. If I hear anything, I'll let you know. Awesome piece though! Have fun!

Will keep the thread updated with anything new.

Thanks again!
Tony

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magic-belgium
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Post by magic-belgium » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:34 pm

How much did it go for ?

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l0qii
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Post by l0qii » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:42 pm

magic-belgium wrote:How much did it go for ?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0303186873

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Post by magic-belgium » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:43 pm

Pretty cheap :wink:

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Re: Ask Wizards = Brilliant!

Post by mystical_tutor » Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:35 pm

BadMagic wrote:Great itea on Ask Wizards - Just sent them an email w/ pics & will keep this thread updated with any info.
If they don't come up with anything you might send some pictures to Peter at Peter.adkison@gencon.com.

Compared it with a Beta sheet. Layout is exactly the same. For those interested the replacements are (as near as I can tell from the photos here):

Desert Twister for Berserk
Brass Man for Jade Statue
Sandstorm for Camouflage
Flying Man for Psyonic Blast

But what is REALY interesting to me is that Sacrifice is still in!!!!!! This must be VERY EARLY.
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l0qii
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Post by l0qii » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:21 am

So while we wait for WotC to get back to us about these I did some more searching on my own and was reminded of the little tale of woe called "The Arabian Nightmare". This was originally posted to the GG-l mailing list back in 1994 by Dave Howell (production manager at the time). It is fantastic reading on its own, but is also goes into great detail about the production process for the sets around Arabian Nights, Unlimited and Revised. It is thankfully still online here for anyone who wants to read it

http://howell.seattle.wa.us/games/MtG/A ... tmare.html

It is a bit long, so here are some of the more telling quotes:
"I took the art back down with me that night, and spent the entire night printing out black and white proof sheets, so that everybody could check for quirks and problems"

"It typically took the imagesetter about 30 minutes per sheet, four sheets (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) per quadrant, four quadrants per plate. "

"We don't have an image setter that can print film for an entire printing plate, so we break it into quadrants."

"Each printing plate was broken into four quadrants. Printing plate 1 had 1a (6 cards by 6 cards), 1b (5×6), 1c (6×5), and 1d (5×5)."
I believe this solves the mystery of what exactly these are and why they exist.

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Post by BadMagic » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:02 am

l0qii wrote: I believe this solves the mystery of what exactly these are and why they exist.
Eureka - You nailed it! Kudos for your diligence & efforts to help!

Thanks a bunch for everyone's assistance in this!
T

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Post by mystical_tutor » Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:38 am

BadMagic wrote:
l0qii wrote: I believe this solves the mystery of what exactly these are and why they exist.
Eureka - You nailed it! Kudos for your diligence & efforts to help!
Thanks a bunch for everyone's assistance in this!
T
Man, what a memory l0qii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is great reading and I really appreciate the reference.

But the question that has my attention, in not the what but the when. Obviously this "set" was never printed but it intrigues me to know when this specific mock-up was put together.

I remember Peter complaining about not having a printer large enough to make a complete sheet and how proud he was to show me the first one they bought and installed that did. It was at their first "official" office (which they outgrew very quickly) before moving to the old Boeing complex.
Gary Adkison
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Knowledge is proud because it thinks it knows so much; wisdom is humble because it realizes it knows so little.

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l0qii
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Post by l0qii » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:20 pm

It could really only be a Revised print. If it was after revised the Icy and and Ice Storm would be long gone. If it was earlier it would not have the arabians on it. Or are you trying to get more specific than that? I'm sure it was very early on like you said.

Unlimited was released in Dec 93. Revised in April 94. That gives us a 4 month window when these could have been produced. Obviously changes to the cards can be made all the way up until the very last minute so I don't think we can narrow it down any further without input from someone who was there.

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