Wizards of the Coast Hiring Pinkertons Controversy depicting a box of "march of the machine" magic the gathering cards.

Wizards of the Coast Hiring Pinkertons Controversy

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Updated Apr 28, 2023 at 06:36PM EDT by Zach.

Added Apr 28, 2023 at 02:30PM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

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Wizards of the Coast Hiring Pinkertons Controversy refers to reports that Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, hired the controversial private security and detective agency "Pinkerton" to retrieve a leaked booster box set of March of the Machine: Aftermath trading cards from YouTuber oldschoolmtg after he posted a video unboxing them. Oldschoolmtg alleges that Pinkerton used threats of fines and jail to get him to comply. He shared news that "the Pinkertons" purportedly came to get the set from him in April 2023, inspiring backlash towards WOTC and memes about the situation online.


On April 20th, 2023, YouTuber[1] oldschoolmtg posted a video in which he unboxes a yet-to-be-released Magic the Gathering booster box set called March of the Machine: Aftermath. In the video, which has been deleted, oldschoolmtg explains that he got the boxes from a friend who claimed they were collector's boxes if March of the Machine, the set prior to March of the Machine: Aftermath. The video was reported on by TheGamer[2] that day. YouTuber[3] Jake and Joel are Magic reacted to the video that same day, where you can view the majority of the footage of the oldschoolmtg unboxing (shown below).

On April 22nd, YouTuber[4] oldschoolmtg uploaded a video titled, "The Aftermath of The Aftermath … Everything Is Gone!" where he explains that he deleted his video after Wizards of the Coast sent the Pinkerton detective agency to his house to retrieve the cards (shown below). He claims they called the cards "stolen product" but says he doesn't believe anything was stolen, hypothesizing that someone at Wizards of the Coast sent the wrong boxes to the person he bought them from, thinking they were from the regular March of the Machine set rather than the Aftermath set. He reiterates that his friend only called them March of the Machine cards and did not say "aftermath." He says that he called someone at Wizards of the Coast on a number provided to him by the Pinkertons and they apologized, offering to send him some other products as compensation.

That day, the YouTuber talked with Kotaku,[5] telling them that the Pinkertons threatened him with jail time, a $200,000 fine and that they "cited several statutes about copyright infringement" to try and get him to hand over the cards.


On April 25th, 2023, YouTube[6] oldschoolmtg posted an update video claiming that on the day the Pinkertons arrived, after going to oldschoolmtg's house and realizing nobody was home, they went door-to-door to the neighbors and asked for information about the YouTuber, claiming they had an appointment with him and he wasn't there (shown below, left). On April 27th, the YouTuber[7] posted another video on the situation, encouraging people not to believe everything they hear about the story, that there is misinformation floating around and that you should only believe things from his videos as the truth (shown below, right). He also claims he's talking to legal counsel about the situation to see what he should do about it.

Online Reactions / Memes

The story spread online, inspiring numerous reactions, including backlash towards Wizards of the Coast for hiring the Pinkertons, who have a controversial past that involves threats and intimidation.[8][9] Notably, the Pinkertons are portrayed as the antagonists in Red Dead Redemption 2. [10] On April 25th, Twitter[11] user @ThirstTrapMoth posted a thread on alleged controversies about the Pinkertons. On the same day, Redditor Awkward_GM posted a things we're bringing back meme about the situation to /r/DNDMemes,[12] garnering over 22,300 upvotes in three days (shown below). It was shared by the DnD Rollers Facebook[13] page later that day, garnering over 7,200 reactions and 4,100 shares in the same span of time.

THINGS WE'RE BRINGING BACK IN THE 2020 ший FLAPPERS Wizards Of The Coast Raids YouTuber's House To Take Back Magic: The Gathering Cards A Magic: The Gathering YouTuber found Pinkerton agents at his front door on Saturday morning By Sisi Jiang Published Yesterday | Comments (208) | Alerts Literal Pinkerton agents!!! 끔 u/Awkward_GM ART DECO THE CHARLESTON SHEN COMIX

Memes about the situation became increasingly popular over the following days, often taking a critical stance against Wizards of the Coast for hiring the Pinkertons (examples shown below).[14][15][16]

The Pinkertons on their way to bully a guy, his wife, and his dog over a card game What are you doing Arthur? MAGIC MARCH THE MACHING AFTERMATH BUNDLE Whell, Dutch wanted to teach a lesson to them Pinkertons, and I got the perfect bait to trap 'em with. Now we wait. Hasbro Agent Creature Human Citizen When Hasbro Agent enters the battlefield, send actual Pinkertons to your opponent's house - Wait, what? Actual *Pinkerton* Pinkertons? Those guys are still around? H-------- 002/281 C SNC EN AARON 1. RILEY 1/1 & C 2022 Wizards of the Coast

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External References

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Top Comments


If you get a hold of something that people would probably conduct corporate espionage to get [or, at least, whose owner treats as seriously as the things worth espionage], maybe don't publicly go 'ooh ahh' over it for your lower-mid-tier youtube channel.

Similarly, if you fuck up and accidentally release your own secrets to somebody who is being very public with them but is otherwise irrelevant, maybe don't call the fucking Pinkertons.

Also, if you ARE the fucking Pinkertons and are now owned by a Swedish conglomerate and possibly want to be a legitimate detective agency, maybe stop calling yourself something synonymous with corporate evil.

If this was a movie it'd be textbook idiot plot.


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