On the 28th of December, 2023, Alpha Investments (Rudy) released a video entitled "A Depressing Video" that angered some folks. I got an email about it from the man himself since I pay for his Patreon subscription service.
Below is that article, edited and cleaned up by yours truly to fix some spelling mistakes and minor capitalization issues.
After receiving over 1,000+ private patron messages, here is a response.
Due to mis-information and bizarre response videos popping up all over the place, I feel a response like this needed to ensure speculation doesn't run wild.
Yesterday's video was titled "A Depressing Video".
In this video, I go through Magic / FaB / Metazoo and the continued weakness in these markets.
I critized management of all companies and the slow reaction to a post-COVID world when I feel fast adjustments need to be made.
In the middle of the video, I transition from bashing Hasbro's managment and layoffs to discussing my frustration and concern that ALL Flesh and Blood Sealed boxes are selling below MAP (Manufacturer's Advertised Pricing) minimum levels on the open market (eBay and TCGPlayer) and even with the price declines, the actual sales volume is scary low. This is not good at all.
Since (May 2021) Monarch 1st edition and the large ramp up in print runs, the secondary market continues to struggle to hold on in the USA. Many LGS's continue to reach out to me, asking for me to buy all their sealed FAB boxes, since they are getting warning notices from LSS due to price declines online. As I started turning down all offers from other LGS's, word started to spread that I was no longer buying sealed FaB and speculation took over, that something is very wrong.
My theory is LSS has stronger data in other regions of the world that do not reflect the same data I see in the USA. This creates a mismatched perspective.
My next theory revolves around "Rudy" and the average person's negative view on me and my impact on CCG's.
As the years have progressed, LSS continues to receive public pushback from me selling boxes privately on Patreon and NOT to the public on a public platform.
After going weeks, then months with no patrons buying sealed FaB boxes, I started lowering prices in 2023. I realized my prices were way too high and patrons told me they were buying on TCGPlayer and were frustrated with me.
As the anger from people who dislike me grows this increases the pressure on LSS to back away.
The first indiciation that this process was starting was the removal of all Cold Foil promos after the Monarch 1st edition release. (Exluding Gemkeeper project)
Around 11 months later, I was notified about anger and pushback of having playmats made to offer the patrons. Playmats were the next item to get removed. I had no idea what anger that was happening due to exclusive playmats. This was a big learning experience for me.
Fast forward to the last 45 days, LGS's and other individuals always screen shot these messages and post them on social media. This led to the next update from LSS which was a request to raise all Patron pricing to \(88+ a box (\)356) a case. I expressed concern that sales were so low at the current pricing, that increasing all the prices by +20%-30% would essentially zero out all sales moving forward.
History has taught me, that any sale with patron pricing at or above market price, causes account closures and anger followed by the "Why am I paying $15 a month, what a scam - I'M OUT".
I continued to express my concern about the amount of supply in the USA, and I'm very worried.
Moving forward, we agreed to offer the new sets on release date to patrons and then wait for the next set. We agreed that removing the monthly list of FaB products is the agreeable solution.
I released yesterday's "A Depressing Video" expressing my frustration in the slow declines across the board in MTG/POKE/FAB/ZOO.
Legend Story Studio became extremely angry with me due to the FaB section of that YouTube video.
This also caused employees at LSS to close their own patron accounts due to the negative video on the overall industry including LSS/FaB.
I chose to delete the video from YouTube as the anger from LSS was far more severe than I ever imagined.
I have not heard back from LSS at this point in time, and I dont know if they are going to want to work with me moving forward due to my negativitiy on the overall market including FaB.
I feel the public's perspective on card prices and reprint policies have shifted so dramatically in the last 2 years, most "opinions" on social media have been begging for the banning and removal of "Rudy". This has already been attempted in MTG/POKE/WEISS. I expect this to continue with FaB until successful. I estimate I have 2-3 years before this shifts to the Sorcery TCG.
In a long enough time frame, I do believe the "loud voices" online will get their wish and succeed.
I hope LSS choses to still work with me and allow me to do unique cards and fun promos in the future. I hope to have a long term relationship and "do cool shit!" for many years.
If I get any updates from the James/LSS I will inform patrons what the future of FaB will be here.
I fully expect this to be screenshoted and shared all over the place.
If you want to watch the deleted video, you can click the link.
I fully expect this to be shared all over the internet, but I have no intentions of making the video public on YouTube due to how upset it has made other people I care about. I film so many videos in advance, I dont always realize how bad the video may feel to the viewers.
I am hoping for the best, but trying mentally preparing for the worst.
Happy New year
- Rudy 🐈