The Curious Case of the Out of Print Legendary: Fantastic 4 Expansion
Over the holidays, my friend and fellow Marvel Legendary fan Jamaal brought it to my attention that the Fantastic 4 expansion was no longer in print. Admittedly, I haven’t been keeping my fingers to the pulse of this game of late, but its been out of retail for over a year now. While I was lucky enough to get my copy for retail price, Jamaal isn’t as fortunate. When it appears on eBay, the asking price for this $20 expansion is usually in the hundreds.
Normally, when a relatively new or modern game skyrockets in asking price, it’s due to the game being sold out and in between prints. Supply is scarce, allowing for re-sellers to jack up their prices. I can’t tell you how to spend your money, but it’s usually not worth it to pay well above market value in these cases. Odds are, if you wait a few weeks (or months in a worst-case scenario), you’ll be able to buy the game at retail price.
The Fantastic 4 case is different. The reason why we’re in this predicament shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone following the ongoing movie rights squabbles between Marvel and Fox. Due to them not being able to come to terms in regards to the X-Men and Fantastic 4, Marvel has done everything in their power to sabotage those franchises as hard as they can. One of their tactics is to exclude characters from both franchises from all merchandise, including Legendary: Fantastic 4.
Until Marvel and Fox sort this out, this expansion isn’t coming back. Considering the fact that this conflict has been going on for well over a decade, don’t hold your breath. Whatever is in market now in the trade or re-sale space is going to be it for the foreseeable future.
As a Legendary fan, how far are you willing to go to add these cards to your collection? I will say from my time playing with the expansion, it’s nice to have. It’s also cool to have Galactus as a Mastermind, as he’s pretty daunting with his 20 attack points. But is it worth the extra money to play with them? I don’t think so. With so many other expansions on the market for this game with characters that you’re probably more interested in anyway, I don’t think this one justifies its premium asking price.
As an owner of the set, is it time to flip it? That depends. I haven’t played with the set in a while, but I also threw out the box ages ago, greatly decreasing whatever value I would have gotten from selling it. Even if my set was in otherwise mint condition, I think I’d hold onto it because I enjoy playing with it. However, if I had two extra copies lying around, I’d give one to Jamaal and sell the other.
If you have a sealed copy, should you store it in a vault for a few decades and try and flip it for thousands of dollars? Good luck with that. I think it’s hot now because it’s tied to a game that is currently popular. 20 years from now, will people still care enough about Marvel Legendary to pay top dollar for an expansion? Also, while these are hard to find now, it’s not like Upper Deck only printed a handful before Marvel shut them down. Maybe someday I’ll be proven wrong, but my gut says that this expansion won’t pay off as a long-term investment.
It’s a shame that Legendary: Fantastic 4 is out of print. Fans of the game who didn’t scoop this up early are missing out on a cool addition to the game. That said, it’s not the only expansion in town. With so much other great content available for the game, its hole in your collection isn’t going to be that pronounced. At this point, let’s keep our fingers crossed that maybe someday Marvel and Fox will sort their mess out so that more gamers can experience the expansion for themselves.