Wizard and ToyFare Magazines Cease Publication

Wizard and ToyFare Magazines Cease Publication

wizard-issue-234Longtime comic magazine Wizard, once one of the most popular publications in the industry, has folded. Its sister magazine ToyFare, dedicated to pop-culture toys and action figures, has also ceased publication. Both magazines were owned by Wizard Entertainment.

Wizard was launched in 1991, near the height of the “speculator boom,” fueled by the arrival of Image Comics and the rise of superstar artists such as Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee. Dedicated to covering news, pricing trends, and personalities in the field, Wizard quickly captured a large readership and brought real production values — including glossy paper, full-color interiors, and rock-star journalism — to comic fandom for the first time.

With its regular Wizard Top 10 and Market Watch columns, which reported on the “hottest back issues” of the month and predicted future price trends, Wizard catered to a new generation of fans and buyers who purchased comics chiefly for their collectability and perceived future value.

It also shared much of the blame when the comic marketplace collapsed as those speculators, burned by numerous bad investments, fled the market in the late 90s.

toyfare-16111Two-thirds of comic book stores across the country closed between 1993 and 1997,  many major publishers were driven out of business, and even Marvel Comics declared bankruptcy in 1997.

For most of its life every issue of Wizard also had a price index, allowing collectors to track the price of their latest hot comics month-to-month (but I only read it for the articles).

At the peak of its popularity Wizard sold over 110,000 copies/month through Diamond alone.  With its final issue, that number had dropped to 17,000.

Publisher Wizard Entertainment made this announcement yesterday:

Wizard Entertainment is ceasing publication of the print magazines Wizard and ToyFare. Wizard World, Inc. will begin production of the online publication ‘Wizard World’ beginning in February. We feel this will allow us to reach an even wider audience in a format that is increasingly popular and more readily accessible.”

Wizard Entertainment continues with its other ventures, including the Chicago Comic Con and many other conventions. Their website is here.

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David-J-West

I used to read Wizard for its great interviews, previews etc – but as I gradually moved to graphic novels over monthly titles, I realized I never read Wizard anymore.

Scott Taylor

They say that when a Wall Street tycoon got advice about stock from his shoe-shine boy he bailed on the market before the crash that caused the great depression.

I remember doing the same when I found out Wizards were being valued as collectors items with inflated value.

Crazy, but hey, they had a nice 20 year run and I’m sure someone made a million during that time.

darangrissom

I fondly remember Scrye Magazine, which covered collectible card games. My friends and I spent hours reading about deck strategies. I think they folded last year. Sad to see them go.

pmcnamee67

I had a friend who believed comics were investments. Unfortunately, they really aren’t. The only ones that have ridiculous value are the old ones where the comic creators didn’t know what they had. Early 60s Marvels that were tossed out with the weekly newspapers – or go back farther to the DC comics and the WW2 paper drives where they were almost all tossed on the scrap heap. It is the unintentional rarity that make those valuable.

Modern comics, though they certainly can be limited in release, could probably be recreated at any time in future. And, once digital comics take off, then short of wiping everyone’s disk drives, you can’t force rarity.

I came to comics late – like, now. I did the weekly trip to the shop for a while, but now I prefer graphic novel collections.

I’m always behind with my reading anyway. 😉

Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

Wait–John, are you seriously saying that you haven’t READ the Simonson Thor’s?

They didn’t just fly off the stands because of speculators — they flew off the stands because they kicked serious butt. The Simonson run on Thor is one of the best runs of any Marvel series, ever.

I missed them the first time around and didn’t discover how fine they were until a friend loaned me his incomplete collection. I liked them well enough that I tracked them down, and now have the graphic novels on my shelves. Good stuff.

Mister_Alex

pmcnamee67: Comics today are worth nowhere near as much as the ones destroyed in bonfires, but some modern comics can fetch a few extra bucks. I was shocked to see that one of my Archie TMNT comics was out of stock on most sites. Some collectors would might pay $10.00 for it. 🙂

John: “There’s an exhilarating optimism in those magazines, the sense that your obsession really ISN’T just a frivolous hobby. . .”

That was the beauty of Nintendo Power. . . .

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