Saturday, March 3, 2018

Whatcha Got - Building a section at the TCDB

So, on and off for the last couple months, I have been working to add images and bolster the Magic The Gathering section at the Before 2018, I added a number of checklists to the site, and a few card images, but not many. I also added some of the packaging for unopened packs I picked up recently, but over the past couple months what I have done is go back and look at the old checklists (ones I didn't enter), and start to "fill the holes".

I was contacted early in the year by a fellow member who was looking for a few people to start to beef up the section, and with it being my busy season at work, I said I would help where I can, but wouldn't be able to do a lot until after April.

For those who know the site and use it regularly, I figured this may be a quick way to show how some of the little things can be done to help with the site (not just in Magic, but any of the sections that interest you), and for those that don't use the site, this may give a bit of a view on how it can be used, and how you can help it grow.

So, what have I done this year so far? Well, let's break it down and show some examples...

Scanning Packaging
Want an example of what old packs look like? There is a link for each set to put in scans of the packs, sets, boxes, any manner of what the cards look like in unopened form. I hadn't originally scanned some of my packs, or even the backs of the ones I did scan, so I worked through doing all of that scanning, for example...

Adding front and back scans for old packs like Chronicles circa 1995.

For show are the fronts of some of the other packs I scanned in, and because old packs of cards (any cards) I always find interesting:

Homelands, 4th Edition

5th Edition and Unglued....the first set where Magic was....BROKEN....

Urza's Saga, which is probably the second most expensive single booster pack I have (the Revised goes for about $80-$90 these days, this one goes for about $70).

For quirkiness I like this one:

These were sampler packs - same cards in each pack and were for promotional use as you can see on the back.

Here we get into the early 2000s...

I find it interesting to see how the packaging has changed over the years. Very basic in the early 90s, then to this type of design which lasted until the more current year multi-art fronts.

After these we stat into the more current design, with more of a full art feel...

The 2015 Modern Masters set bucked the usual trend for packaging as it was a hard cardboard shell to go with the premium tone of the set (boosters were about $12 compared to $4 for normal sets).

All in, added 61 fronts and 59 backs (including the different artwork for some sets, so multiple packs for some).

Fixing Checklists
Some of the early checklists weren't quite right - different pictures for cards were entered as separate cards in the set instead of as variances to a card. Though they were not short printed like the alternative sports cards of today, they were not counted as separate cards in the base set, just like the photo variances of today.

Checklists revised for such issues: 2 - though I have notices some others which may be problematic for later - "Promo" sets by year.

Adding Checklists
I haven't gotten to adding any more, other than for sets I have cards in. This is more just a time issue than anything else.

Card Scans
Honestly, haven't kept track, but I have moved to scanning the Magic cards individually to try and ensure easy adding if they are missing, since many are at this point.

Anyway, that's a glimpse of the Magic card packs I have, and summarized in a way that was useful to helping along the TCDB website.


  1. That's a lot of work, thank you for doing it! I wish my storage unit wasn't such an awful mess, I'd be able to do just about every box and pack for both the NBA and NASCAR from roughly 2000-06.

    1. Would be nice to put more time to it, but that'll have to be the second half of this year. Besides, I don't do nearly as much as others (like yourself), though of course it is all appreciated.

  2. Thank you for adding the scans of the packaging. I'm not into the card games like Magic but I'm glad you and others are putting a lot of dedication and time into it for the site. I've recently got some other card games that aren't Magic and not in the database yet, but I already scanned the packages once the sets are added.

    1. I find the packaging is a bit underrated sometimes for the usefulness - and thank you for the adding you have done as well - it's a great community of collectors involved at the site.