Commercial Flashback – Magic: The Gathering

It’s an odd week when I can say that Magic: The Gathering has been a major topic of discussion among denizens of the Internet. A few days ago, now-former Gizmodo intern Alyssa Bereznak published a snarky blog about an ill-fated OkCupid date with former Magic world champion Jon Finkel.

Not surprisingly, she was given the full tar and feather treatment by Gizmodo’s user base and even became the subject of her own not-so-flattering meme. Suddenly, people were coming to the defense of a game that I love, and have struggled to explain to many of my friends. Emboldened by this recent development, I thought it fit to bring some Magic content to the Strange Kids Club clubhouse!

To those who aren’t familiar, Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game published by Wizards of the Coast that was created in 1993 and is still played all over the world today. As the name suggest, the game centers around the use of magic spells, and takes place in any number of dozens of worlds that are fleshed out through multiple expansions to the game every year. It’s widely considered to be one of the most popular trading card games worldwide due to a large, diverse, and fervent player base along with extensive tournament support. In short, it’s AWESOME!

As evidenced by this past week’s OkCupid fiasco, Magic carries along a stigma of nerdiness, rivaled perhaps only by D&D (Dungeons & Dragons), and has struggled to market itself effectively for most of its lifespan. Despite the struggle Wizards of the Coast has churned out some pretty awesome commercials over the years, including this masterpiece featuring Orgg, one of the game’s original iconic creatures:

This TV spot has all of my favorite 90’s toy commercial tropes: stop motion animation, cheeseball acting, and a complete lack of footage of the game itself. The days of Orgg have come and gone, but this commercial will always stick with me through the years. I’ll always secretly wish that there was an Orgg chamber where I could send all of the “Bob(s) from Accounting” in my life. Only in sweet, Magic-al dreams.

Written by Mark Newell

Mark Newell is a co-owner, designer, developer, writer, and podcast personality at Bloody Good Horror, a website dedicated to the best and worst that the horror genre has to offer. In his spare time, he’s lighting things on fire in Skyrim, contemplating his next wacky lucha libre tattoo, and trying to bend the space-time continuum in a way that allows him to play Magic: the Gathering Online for days at a time without losing his day job.

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  • Instead of leaving a comment, I’ll leave a 10 point Howl From Beyond!


    Seriously though, I love Magic and my wife digs it too. It’s strange to see how horribly some of these things go down outside their intended fanbase.