One of the more amusing things with the Invitational is that the competitors travel from all over, hundreds of miles, to battle for no tangible reward. The only thing to show for that we even came is that it's the only tournament where each player gets to bring a card for the other participants to sign, and then keep it to play with. Player-signed cards are very rare in the northern European meta, and even though they are technically close to worthless, the player-signed cards in circulation are considered "bling" due to their implication of solid performance.
So why do we go? Because the people involved make it a great experience. I arrived in Arvika Friday night to stay with KungMarkus and his family for the weekend. Markus was also invited to the tournament, and this year it was to be hosted by Mällroth in Karlstad, a little less than an hours drive from Arvika. We spent the evening before the tournament catching up and playing The Haups Cube with Loff and Berntsson.
|The deep end.|
|You know where this is going?|
Now, regarding most Magic rarities, I usually have some idea of whom to ask or what to look for. Like when I looked at early Khalsa-Brain mats Japji Khalsa helped me out, and when I dug down on Summer Magic, I could ask the people who collected sets of the cards. I've asked Matt Tabak about flipping Chaos Orbs and Keith Adams about Garfield Alters. But for this I didn't really have a good starting point. Two well-known collectors at the Magic Librarities forum mentioned having Hurloon jackets in a forum thread from 2009, but judging from the discussion, even they weren't that certain about their origins nor distribution.
Beth Moursund maybe? Mark Rosewater? The only other person I know by name who owns one is Nicola Leonard-Beeson, an early Mtg artist who painted e.g. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and Karakas.
|Here seen showing off the jacket at her signing table.|
- There are two different types of jean jackets with the Hurloon Mintaur embroidment. One is kinda terrible and the other one is swag as a swashbuckler.
- The Hurloon jackets weren't publicly available, but a handful were made for employees at WotC. They were nicknamed Hurly jackets.
- In addition to the Hurloon jackets, there are two different Nightmare jackets. One black and one blue.
- When Alexander Blumke won the second ever World Championships in '95, his prize was "a box of Legends boosters, a Hurloon Minotaur jacket, [and] a couple of Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Beta boosters". So the Hurloon jackets existed at least as far back as August 1995, and were considered a somewhat valuable prize even back then.
- There exists a Hurloon petticoat, with the same embroidiment. It was made as a prototype.
- The Nightmare jackets were slightly more available, and a few were given to regional tournament organizers. There are e.g. reports of Nightmare jackets given out at Alliances pre-release tournaments in Northern California in 1996.
|Mail from Beth Moursund to regional tournament organizers in April 1996.|
Until then, I'll enjoy the early Christmas present I found and rock this swag at upcoming gatherings like it's 1995.