Some days in your life are very special. The birth of your child, getting married. Earlier this week, I had one of those special moments you will never forget.
My card sets called Dungeon Discoveries that raised 30.000 on Kickstarter a while ago, are currently being manufactured at Cartamundi, and I got the rare chance to visit them, get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look. I am still a little star-struck to be honest!
If you are unfamiliar with Cartamundi, they have been the sole manufacturer of Magic the Gathering and other high caliber products. Being a massive Magic fan myself (oh nostalgia) it was more than a little surreal to walk through the factory, and seeing sheets of uncut magic cards roll of the press, of a new unreleased set. Wow!
Due to the level of security to prevent leaks of magic cards and the process of randomizing booster contents, they don’t allow many visitors. In fact, I was told that I was one of about 20 or 30 customers who get to visit the manufacturing plant every year. Everything is under super tight control, so it was all the more unique to see magic cards being produced before my very eyes. The staff was very, very friendly and took a lot of time to tell me all about the process going from digital files to printed paper, cutting, sorting and packaging.
Seeing those familiar backsides really choked me. For obvious reasons, I was not allowed to take pictures, but trust me, seeing how new mythical rare cards being made and handled right then and there, was special. The photo’s don’t really convey that feeling, it was a classic case of “you had to be there”.
Dungeon Discoveries cards rolling off the press
We turned a few corners inside the massive production hall, and ended up at one of the many machines. There, thousands of Dungeon Discoveries cards whizzed through the huge machinery. From paper sheets being cut to ribbons, then sliced into cards, to being pressed in a cutting mold to get the nice rounded corners. The man operating the process shook hands and told me how much he liked the cards graphic design. He seemed very passionate and proud to ensure top quality. I did not anticipate how special it would feel, seeing your own product being made like that. The past half year I sat here at home behind a computer looking at a screen. Now, all of a sudden it was real.
The production manager walked up to us and told me again how much they liked the product design. He also explained how Cartamundi goes out of their way to work with young, upcoming brands. “The first Magic cards were printed here you know“ he said. “They started out small too.” I have no illusion to become as popular as Magic cards, but it was nice to hear for sure.
Our visit came to a close. I walked away super proud and managed to grab a few faulty cards from the trash bin, and I got to snatch the first ever sealed deck from the assembly line. I hope you enjoyed this little update.
I want to thank the kind folks at Cartamundi again for welcoming me inside and allowing some photos of the process.