Magic boosters now equipped with GPS signal

Okay, no, not really. But Wizards does have a new barcode on every English booster pack of Magic, starting with the Fifth Dawn expansion. The barcode will allow for easy authentication of Magic product, as well as help WotC track down “illegal parallel importation” into the European Union and elsewhere. So beware: big wizard is watching.

Text of Wizards of the Coast press release follows:

RENTON, WA, JUNE 4, 2004 – Magic: The Gathering® trading card game packaging will soon include a new feature signaling the product’s authenticity with the quick swipe of a scanner. Beginning with the June release of the Fifth Dawn™ expansion, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), will include a 2-D barcode on every English language booster pack and theme deck. The code will enable Wizards, its distributors and retail buyers to easily identify the Magic product as authentic and Wizards will be able to securely track it from warehouse to the store shelf.

In addition to ensuring the product’s authenticity, the new coding system will support Wizards’ authorized distributors by aiding enforcement against illegal parallel importation of Magic product into the European Union and other affected areas by unauthorized distributors.

“Our new packaging will enable us to accurately track the distribution of Magic products to the marketplace, which will assist customers in identifying that the product is genuine,” explained Joe Hauck, vice president of Wizards-owned trading card games. “Wizards created the trading card game genre more than a decade ago with the release of Magic. We owe it to our retail and consumer customers to continue to innovate, propelling the category forward.”

Wizards plans to expand the new 2D barcoded packaging to all Magic SKUs in all languages in the near-term and will eventually rollout the same packaging technology for all of its trading card games.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, MAGIC: THE GATHERING®, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at