Ravensburger & Disney Lorcana Were The Breakout Stars Of D23 Expo
When it comes to conventions, there are always the booths and the merchandise and the drops that take everyone by surprise, including the people that work at the said booth. Last weekend, at the D23 Expo, the breakout stars of the convention were absolutely Ravensburger and Disney Lorcana. In retrospect, it completely makes sense that a trading card game based on Disney characters would be a massive hit. Still, even the people at the Disney Lorcana booth were overwhelmed by the demand for the exclusive cards they were selling and giving away at the convention. By day two, the word was out, and they had to give away wristbands at the beginning of the day, and they were selling out within ninety minutes of the show floor opening. When the time came for the Mickey card giveaway, the team at Ravensburger needed show staff to help control the massive line of people swarming the booth to try and get their hands on the cards. How much of that was sheer interest in the product and how much of that was the massive resale rate on secondhand sites remains to be seen.
We got the chance to speak to the people at the Ravensburger booth as they showed off the first few cards for the game, and those that are worried this is some sort of cash grab should rest easy. It was clear within moments of speaking to anyone at the Disney Lorcana booth that they are true fans that are so excited to bring the world of trading card games to a whole new audience of gamers.
"Disney Lorcana is the result of the powerful alchemy of Disney magic, Ravensburger game excellence, and several years of dedicated work and investment," said Filip Francke, Ravensburger North America CEO and Global Head of Games in a press release sent out by the company. "This potent combination has poised Disney Lorcana to be a game-changer in the billion-dollar-plus trading card game market."
"The breadth and scope of Disney characters represented in this game will be unprecedented, and it will contain more original Disney artwork than any other single product ever created," said John Balen, Vice President of Product Design at Disney added in the press release. "Our dedicated Disney product design team has enjoyed collaborating with Ravensburger and our Walt Disney Animation Studios partners to create a unique Disney experience for fans of all ages to take home."
As they were explaining the game to me, I brought up how I never managed to get into Magic: The Gathering myself because the barrier to entry seemed a bit too large and unforgiving to someone completely unfamiliar with the idea. They were sympathetic to that and said they want Disney Lorcana to be approachable not only to fans of trading card games but to people who have never played one. The team is very aware of the idea of being approachable to everyone in terms of gender. MTG and other trading card games can feel male-dominated and hard to break into for women and gender nonconforming individuals. The team at Disney Lorcana wants everyone to experience this game, and intersectionality is something they are aware of from the top down.
The game is set in the rich and fantastical world of Lorcana, a combination of the words Lore and Arcana. Players will take on the mantle of Illumineer, a powerful sorcerer, and band together Disney characters from Lorcana's "The Great Illuminary," a treasury of all Disney songs and stories ever made.
"The Disney Lorcana team is an incredible and passionate group with over a century of combined experience creating trading card games," said Ryan Miller, Disney Lorcana Co-Designer and Brand Manager at Ravensburger. "Great care has gone into delivering an unforgettable world and gameplay experience that will be equally fun for Disney superfans, trading card game beginners, and the most enthusiastic and advanced players."
By the time the convention ended, Disney Lorcana was the talk of the town, and even heading into the final hours of day three; the booth was still swamped with people [as seen in the pictures below]. If you missed out on the cards at D23 Expo or weren't at the convention, the cards weren't entirely exclusive. The cards will be available when the game launches in fall 2023, with four new card sets released each year. They just won't have the D23 Expo logo at the bottom and won't be foiled, so there's no need to drop the insane flipper prices on one of these bad boys. Ravensburger shared some of their ideas about bringing the game to the fans when they launch next year, so keep an eye on this as we head into the latter half of next year.