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Tournament Kit Status & Ordering Updates

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

6th December 2012

One of the greatest and most exciting innovations during the CC era has been the ability for us to print and produce virtual foils. Since their debut in 2009, they have become more and more popular and a bigger and bigger feature around the community. However, as most of you know, we have been unable to offer tournament kits for some time. Before we get into the details of why they were unavailable, let me cater to the impatient: they're back! Or rather, they will be back in the new year. Scroll down to the bottom if you want to skip the history lesson and find out all the details.

Over the years we noticed that our "scrap booking parties" were becoming longer and longer - i.e. we were producing more and more promos. Our volunteers were happy to print, assemble and ship the promos as long as it was vital to the survival of this organization. There was no doubt that the foils were more popular than ever, and as more and more play groups popped up, we were producing thousands of cards at a time. It made for long weeks for our printer, and long days for our assembly volunteers.

When our huge batch of promos (designed to last us from July through December) ran out in August, we knew that something had to change. As much as we would like to be, The Continuing Committee is not a foil production company nor a prize fulfillment warehouse. We stepped back and took time to reevaluate our situation, and were forced to make the decision to cut back our foils.

Eventually, we decided that we would discontinue tournament foils entirely, and focus our efforts on making high quality virtual promos for championship events (Regionals, Continentals, and Worlds). It wasn't an easy nor a popular decision, but it would allow us to continue to operate and get some special prizes into the players hands.

Unfortunately, we hit an even bigger snafu: we lost our ability to print on the foil we use to produce the promos. Suddenly, we went from announcing a major cut in promos to announcing that we would have to cut them entirely. In either case, it was not an announcement we were looking forward to making.

But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In speaking to many of the assembly volunteers, we discovered they felt we could continue to produce promos - albeit at a reduced level - with careful planning and limitations. That just meant that we needed to find a new source of printing. After quite a few trial runs, we were able to do just that. And thus, our tournament promos live on!

I want to take this moment to thank everyone, past, present, and future, that's helped to make these tournament kits a reality. They are something that players truly seem to enjoy, and they wouldn't exist without the many hours of volunteer time and the hard work of our designers, artists, printers, assemblers and shippers. To all of you: kudos!

The Plan

So, here's the plan. Tournament kits will be returning to The Promenade for requisition in 2013. (We may put them up for pre-order before that if we get everything ready.) The restrictions for requisitioning a kit won't change; you must have run at least one (1) tournament in the previous six (6) months. Though we don't know what it will be at this time, there will still be a monthly limit on the number of kits of each type you can requisition.

Because we are using a new, non-local printer, the production expenses have increased. Again, we are still working to finalize the details, but this will likely result in an overall price increase. We're also eliminating the separate "large" and "small" kits - there will be one kit for First Edition, and another for Second Edition. Tribbles kits are a possibility in the future, but it will depend on our production levels and community desire.

Oh, and one other piece of good news - we have new and different (and really amazing) buttons! We reached out to Johnny Holeva, our Art Director, to create new buttons to supplement our tournament kits. Starting with the new kits in 2013, you'll see buttons based on card types, icons, and keywords! Here's a small preview:

But don't worry if you're still chasing a few skill buttons - they aren't going anywhere. We'll be using all of our buttons in all of our kits, giving them more collectible value and making sure everyone gets a chance to get a hold of them.

But What Are the New Promos?

When we put this plan together, we realized that it's been nearly four (4) months since the current batches of promos (Series E and Series IX) were available. We have decided to continue the current series of promos into 2013 instead of releasing new series. It is our hope that this will allow players and collectors across the world the opportunity to obtain the virtual foils from these series that were only available a short time.

This means that Series F and Series X of virtual promos will be released in July 2013. However, we are not planning on delaying the previously announced print dates for Series E and Series IX. Therefore, they will become printable as scheduled on 1 July 2013 - at the same time as the new promos rotate into production.

We want to thank everyone for your support and the passion and desire you've shown for our virtual foil program. It's a testament to your drive and good nature that the program has been so successful. As we move forward with these changes, there may be more changes as we learn exactly how much production we can support, and we appreciate your patience as we work to ensure all parties are satisfied with this program.

Later this month, Shipping Manager Dan Hamman will be back with an article covering the specifics of our new tournament kits - and of our new virtual raffle program which is replacing the paper raffle tickets. In the mean time, if you have questions or comments, please post them on our forums and join the discussion about virtual foils and promos.

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