Factory Sets

All trader / collector's issues regarding specific cards and other MeCCG products: is this one especially valuable? what's in this box?; is this a fair trade?

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ActualNewby
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Factory Sets

Post by ActualNewby » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:30 am

I have a couple of questions about factory complete sets I have seen floating around.

1) For what sets were factory sets made/distributed?
2) How many factory sets were made for a given set?
3) Why were factory sets made/distributed?
4) To whom were factory sets given or sold?

On a related note - where do uncut sheets come from? To whom were they given.
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Leon
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Post by Leon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:43 pm

I think Wolfgang Penetsdorfer (Thorondor) or Wim van Heemskerk (Gwaihir) should be able to tell you some more about this. All I know is the few full sets that I bought: French Lidless Eye which was only sold in factory sets and a White Hand set.

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Gwaihir
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Post by Gwaihir » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:14 pm

I wouldn't label the French MELE set a "factory set". It is a fixed format, like the Balrog (English) and MEAS in German. Note that a "factory set" is not strictly a set, but each cut print sheet x1. For this reason they are at times refered to as "factory bricks" instead. For example for Dragons it means over two whole sets. For Dark Minions it comes close to two sets, but you'll have each C1 common only once.

Factory sets and uncut print sheets are not retail products. They were never distributed in the normal way. Therefore they are not in any catalog or such that will give us definitive information. Also, they are not very nicely packed. They are just stacks of cards with rubber bands around them, held together with a crude plastic wrapping.

That said, I know factory sets / bricks to exist for English METW limited and unlimited, METD, MEDM, MELE and MEWH. (Note that MEAS is the strange exception here. Never printed? Completely lost?) I also know them to exists for German METW and Dutch METW and have it on good authority that they do not exists for Italian METW and Finnish METW. Based on info available to me, I estimate that the number made (for each given set for which any were made) to be between 100 and 250.

I think they were made for the convenience of the manufacturer (ICE for English, Queen for German, etc.). I guess they didn't like having to open up packs to assemble sets of their own product when they needed them. I have heard of / seen them being used for promotional purposes, for artist copies and as prices in major events. It also appears that in their later days Iron Crown gave their factory sets as collateral to contractors they were unable to pay at the time. Eventually, when it became clear to them that they would never be able to trade them back in at ICE for their paycheck, these contractors sold them off.

Uncut sheets are part of the quality control process. During printing sheets are routinely pulled out to verify quality and adjust ink settings and such. For this reason many of them are printed on one side only. Some have been sent to the manufacturer (ICE, Queen, etc.) for quality assessment on their part. Many of them may well have been thrown away somewhere along the way, but also some were used for promotional purposes or eventually sold when these companies ended their involvement with MeCCG.

P.S. The name is Wim Heemskerk, no van.
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tbadiuk
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Post by tbadiuk » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:36 am

Wow!! Italian METW as a factory set!  Why-oh-why couldn't I find any of these for sale!  :lol:  Would have saved me some pain.

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Post by Gwaihir » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:43 pm

tbadiuk wrote:Why-oh-why couldn't I find any of these for sale!  :lol:
Eh.. cause they do not exist? ;)
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tbadiuk
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Post by tbadiuk » Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:40 pm

Ah, whoops!   :lol:   Not sure why my brain skipped over the "do not exists for Italian METW and Finnish METW" part of your post!

Ah well, only 4 more fixed cards for IT METW to find and I'm done! (It's like looking for a needle in a haystack though!)

Merry Christmas!
Ted

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