Magic is Dying? Two New Game Stores Just Opened in Singapore

Despite Covid, new MTG shops in Singapore are opening in 2021.

Magic is Dying? Two New Game Stores Just Opened in Singapore

Being an incumbent heavyweight draws the most ire and criticism from fans. In recent months, Magic: the Gathering has endured (justifiable) claims of poor print quality, capitalist greed from the corporate bigwigs, and now the apparent death of professional Magic. Despite all that and what you may have heard, the game is growing bigger than ever even as it reaches its 30th anniversary.

MTG Arena has grown its player base dramatically since 2019, even if we aren’t sure how many of those are new players compared to current players just getting on the digital platform. There are certainly very encouraging numbers of how much money the game is bringing in for its makers Wizards of the Coast and their ultimate owners Hasbro.

In 2020, Wizards (who are also makers of Dungeons & Dragons), made US$420m in operating profit, at a 46% profit margin in comparison to costs. As a subsidiary, Wizards is pulling the numbers up for papa Hasbro. To us players, it’s increasingly evident that Wizards is expected to keep the cash tills ringing.

For example, there are lots of wild new initiatives such as Universes Beyond that will feature other franchises on Magic cards, and all kinds of new variant products being introduced every year. It’s all about seeing how much fans are willing to pay for the next flashy thing. Although Tap & Sac doesn’t encourage frivolous spending on every new product, we feel these initiatives will make big strides in expanding the player base, which is one of our website’s missions.

In Singapore, card games continue to grow in popularity. With at least 16 dedicated game stores already offering organised Magic events and products in such a small city-state, one might think the market is saturated enough. That apparently isn’t the case as even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve now seen 2 new local game stores opening within the first half of 2021. Let’s take a look see!

Mana Pro SG

Set up in a small alcove of the old Beauty World shopping centre, ManaPro was started in April 2021 by 2 friends who share a love for card games. As they’re both holding down regular day jobs at the moment, the store only opens on weekday evenings, and for the entire day on the weekends.

Apart from Magic: the Gathering, they’re committed to running events and products of other popular card games such as Flesh & Blood, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. They’ve gone off to a bright start, holding Modern format events as well as introductory sessions for F&B. The play area is unfortunately one of the smaller ones around so it’d be wise to check in with them to see there’s available space.

One of their best selling points is that it’s located right outside the Beauty World MRT station, and there aren’t many other game store options in the western part of Singapore.

Address: 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Beauty World Centre, #01-34, Singapore 588177

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 – 10:30pm, Sat & Sunday 1pm – 10pm

Mox & Lotus

Quaintly named after the most powerful Artifacts in the game, Mox & Lotus opened in May 2021, initially at a small shop unit about 10 mins walk from Eunos MRT station. But it soon became clear that the small space was not going to be enough for their ambitions. Within a couple of months, they moved to Paya Lebar, right opposite the old favourite Games Haven, another local establishment well known to Magic players.

The new Mox & Lotus store in Singapore is a literal wonderland for Magic: the Gathering players.

The M&L brand is all about colourful illustrations of rabbits and mushrooms, instead of menacing beasts or bursts or fire and energy. It’s a refreshing look you’d more likely find in a children education centre rather than a space to play games like Magic: the Gathering. Many stores also tend to have a more industrial and beaten-down look and so M&L certainly wants to revolutionise the perception of Magic within the community.

Like other game stores (ManaPro and Tanoshimou) that have opened in Covid times, Mox & Lotus has a comparatively smaller playing area, and can host about 16 players comfortably.

Address: 789 Geylang Road, 3rd Floor, Singapore 389675

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 3pm – 9pm

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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