It’s undeniable one of the most attractive attributes of Magic: the Gathering is the overwhelming vastness of it all. I’ve played, collected, and been part of the MTG community since I was a youngster (dating all the way back to the first year of the game) and I am still constantly amazed to encounter incredible, unique items I’ve never seen before.
Today’s article is going to be a fun one, because it deals with MTG toys! Some of these will be official releases, some unreleased, and some custom made. Although I’ve never collected MTG toys, I am a fan of Vintage toys and collectibles, and enjoy seeing, collecting and learning about them.
As I’ve started working on some of my collectible hobbies again during Covid, and reading various collectible boards, I started to take notice of a lot of MTG toys I had never seen before and I thought it would make an interesting article topic. At the very least, it’s fun to see the characters I’ve dueled with in cardboard form represented as a 3-D object.
It’s also interesting that MTG toys span the entire history of the game and date back all the way to the mid to late 1990s. One of the things I find most interesting about any long produced collectible line is how it changes and evolves over time to reflect consumer’s changing preferences in aesthetics. So, that’s something to keep in mind as well as you are looking at the sweet collection of images I’ve put together for today’s column.
MODERN MTG TOYS
Magic is primarily a collectible card game and the emphasis has traditionally rested on collecting the cards. MTG has never offered an overwhelming number of toys at any given game. In fact, toys are a bit sparse, but 25 years of a few figures at a time adds up to an impressive gallery.
These Funko Planeswalker figures are likely recognizable to a lot of readers. They came out in 2014 and were fairly popular.
Overall, the line is impressive even by today’s standards. The figures look distinctly and recognizably like Magic characters, have unique weapons and accessories, and are overall detailed and well-articulated. I remember I was working at the LGS when they were released and they sold a lot better than we expected them to. People don’t generally buy tons of toys from a game store but these seemed to resonate with MTG fans as display items.
Another MTG toy staple that you’d be likely to see at a LGS:
In terms of Modern toy releases, the Funko Pop series are also quite popular. Funko “POP” already had a wide collecting audience, as does MTG, which gives the line a cross appeal. It’s hard to deny they are pretty cute.
The Nicol Bolas was an exclusive item that could be bought at Pro Tours. I definitely remember my toy collector friends asking me to pick them up for them when I attended PTs. I kinda wish I had kept one for myself now!
In 2018 WOTC teamed up with Wizkids to produce these Token Creature mini figure sets called MTG Creature Forge:
I’m obviously inclined to like mini figures, as I have a huge collection of vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and Kinkeshi, and there are definitely some nice sculpts in the line. The flavor option to represent tokens with actual monsters figures is kind of neat. The big problem is the impracticality of lugging around a bag full of toys in a tournament but they are neat display pieces nonetheless.
OLD SCHOOL MTG TOYS
Magic figures as memorabilia have been part of MTG collectables going way back into the mid 1990s. For instance, this Serra Angel figurine from 1998.
Clearly, more of a display piece than a “toy,” the 1998 Serra Angel will set a collector back $400+ on the secondary market.
Or, these pewter, paintable, Reaper style Minis from the early 1990s:
Because seriously… Who wouldn’t want a Wormwood Treefolk figure?
Imagine replacing every instance of Jace in the MTG narrative with Wormwood Treefolk as a central protagonist and trying to market it. Now that I think of it, why isn’t there a Swamp Thing Planeswalker?
I remember these pewter figures fondly. I enjoy playing Warhammer 40K in the present, but the first minis I ever painted were these MTG ones.
These are also pretty interesting. I love the Ernham and the distinctly 7th Edition Serra Angel and Lord of Atlantis. These figures have a very Masters of the Universe feel and flavor.
Another interesting MTG Figure line are the unreleased Resaurus figures. I’m not an expert on the history of MTG figures, but I did some digging and reading on collectible toy boards. Resaurus had a contract to do a line of figures for WOTC and got to the prototype phase, but unfortunately around the same time Hasbro was in the process of acquiring WOTC. Since Hasbro is a toy company, the Resaurus line was tabled until the contract ran out and never officially released.
There’s also apparently a substantial market for custom figures as well. For instance, this custom Grimgrin, The Corpse Born won a custom monster figure contest by poster Enulmerfigs:
There are actually a ton of sweet customs on display here that most probably haven’t seen before:
I spent at least a full half hour enjoying and appreciating these incredible images of customs that artist fans have created.
I’ve been out of the “competitive bubble” for several years now and it really occurs to me that MTG is more than just a bunch of competitive formats and earning invites to whatever the Pro Tour is called in the here-and-now. It really is a culture and community of fans who appreciate and enjoy a whole huge array of different attributes of the fantasy world, collectible line, history and nostalgia of Magic.
No MTG toy collection could possibly be complete without the gigantic Nerf “Garruk’s Axe.”
I won one of these by taking first place at my LGS’s M2015 Prerelease and it’s displayed at RIW Hobbies.
Standing 5 feet, 6 inches the Wizkids Full-Sized Foam Chandra is the largest saleable MTG figure I’ve heard of to date.
It’s certainly a noteworthy inclusion in a discussion of MTG toys and figures since it is so massive in size!
Rounding out my spotlight on MTG toys are some of the neat Plush figures that have been released or custom made over the years.
I actually have one of these Monster’s Inc, err I mean, FBLTHP dice bag plush figures on the desk in my office. He’s a cutie.
Or, if you’re a fan of Gremlins from Kaladesh this is also a pretty sweet dice bag:
I like the randomness of making such an obscure card character into such a well-articulated plush.
In the process of compiling all these different toys, I purchased one of these Bolas Phunny from Kidrobot. An impressive plush!
The line also includes other characters such as Garruk and Ajani.
As I was looking through mountains of images of MTG plush (if you think these are cool, do a google search for MTG Plush or check Pinterest) and I was really impressed by the quality and imagination of the customs. The artistry and craftsmanship fans put into bringing these creatures to life in 3D really amazes me.
Who among us wouldn’t want a pet Thragtusk to remember the good old days?
Or these adorable Myr.
(Needs a Battle Sphere!)
I’m going to end with an image I thought was insanely cool:
It’s a handmade “Stuffy Doll” character that is used as an Infect counter! When an opponent takes Infect damage the corresponding number of infect pins are stuck into the Stuffy Doll to keep track.
The items I’ve selected to highlight in today’s article only scratch the surface of incredible MTG toys and dolls that are floating around in the world. The deeper one looks, the more neat stuff they’ll find. I highlighted some of the most recognizable ones, as well as some of the neatest fan-made customs I was able to find, but if you enjoyed looking at these there are certainly hundreds more out there!
I hope today’s article demonstrated that there’s more than one way to play Magic. These are certainly toys that would be fun to play with, or be an eye catching display piece in any MTG collection.
If you have a MTG toy collection, I’m sure other MTG fans would love to see pictures of your favorite pieces in the comments below. Heck, I WANT TO SEE THEM! Or, you can @ them to me on Twitter (@briandemars1) and I’d love to RT them to share with the rest of the MTG community.