2/5/24 | Conditioning Release Notes | All Product Lines | Roller Lines and Foil Bubbles

Conditioning Release Notes are designed to keep you informed about the latest updates on how specific imperfections and defects are handled in the conditioning process for the Direct by TCGplayer program. These changes will be implemented today, February 5, 2024. We anticipate occurrences of these defects leading to card rejections will be very infrequent, due to the distribution of these types of defects across printings. In this release, we took great care to ensure that the implemented adjustments would result in minimal disruptions to your operations.

2/5/24 Overview

These Conditioning Release Notes contain:

  1. Details about a common defect we define as “roller lines,” sometimes referred to as “roller marks,” and how they impact the conditioning of cards within TCGplayer’s Authentication Center.
  2. Details about a common defect we define as “foil bubbling” and how it impacts the conditioning of cards in TCGplayer’s Authentication Center.

Roller Lines Update

Definition

Roller lines, or roller marks, are a factory defect found on cards across many product lines, including all products carried in the Direct by TCGplayer program. They most often appear as perfectly straight hairline scratches across the length or height of a card. They may also appear as imprints or indentations, but they are always perfectly straight. They are caused by the machining process as cards are factory printed and/or sealed.

How Roller Lines Impact Condition in Direct by TCGplayer:

If a card has three or more roller lines within a 5mm2 area, the card’s highest condition will be Lightly Played. This includes parallel and perpendicular line groupings. Partial roller lines that do not extend across the entire card are treated the same as full roller lines.

  • When using TCGpalyer’s Point System: Each grouping of roller lines (3 or more roller lines within a 5mm2 area) will be assigned one point.
  • Reasoning: Most roller lines are quite common and faint when they are spread out on the card’s face or back, but if they are grouped together, they are much more noticeable and disqualify the card as Near Mint.

If you can feel the roller line because it has made an indent on the card, the card’s highest condition will be Moderately Played. Partial roller lines that do not extend across the entire card are treated the same as full roller lines.

  • When using TCGplayer’s Point System: Two points will be assigned to roller lines you can feel (indents), regardless of how many are found on the card. If grouped, add points together for both issues (number of groups + 2).
  • Reasoning: While a roller line that leaves a tangible imprint is still a factory defect that may occur on pack-fresh cards, there is some impact to the card’s integrity due to the fact that the line can be felt, which must be factored into its condition. This type of issue is in line with the general standards of Moderately Played cards.

Image Examples:

A single roller line that does not impact the card’s condition:

Single_roller_line.jpg

 

A group of roller lines that qualifies the card as Lightly Played (please note, this card appears to have additional imperfects that could impact its condition. The roller lines in this instance are the longer, straight vertical lines in the highlighted area):

Multiple_vertical_roller_lines.jpg

 

An indented roller line that qualifies the card at Moderately Played:

Multiple_horizontal_roller_lines.jpg

 

Foil Bubbling Update

Definition

Foil bubbling occurs when air becomes trapped beneath a card’s foil coating and its cardstock surface during the manufacturing process. Foil bubbles most often appear as small, raised “bumps” about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, but they may be larger and more severe.

How Foil Bubbling Impacts Condition in Direct by TCGplayer:

Foil bubbles smaller than 1mm in diameter do not impact a card’s condition. For visual reference, 1mm is approximately the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. They do not move when pressure is applied.

  • Reasoning: 1mm foil bubbles are fairly common among some newer sets, and they are difficult to detect without close inspection under intense lighting. They do not represent wear or have an impact on the card’s integrity.

If a foil bubble is larger than 1mm in diameter and visibly separates the card’s foil from the cardstock beneath, the card will be considered damaged. These foil bubbles can be easily felt, and may move or flex when pressure is applied.

  • Reasoning: Foil bubbles larger than 1mm in diameter impact the card’s integrity because the foil may tear due to its failure to adhere to the cardstock, and the bubble may disqualify the card from tournament play due to its tangibility.

Image Examples:

Foil bubbling that does not impact the card’s condition:

Small_foil_bubbling.jpg

 

Foil bubbling that does impact the card’s condition (Damaged):

Foil_bubbling_damaged.jpg

Foil_bubbling_significantly_damaged.jpg

 

 

Change Log

  • 2/5/24 - Conditioning Release Notes | All Product Lines | Roller Lines and Foil Bubbles - Published
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