Game companies often goof up when it comes to marketing their products in ways that portray them as hip or cool, but Magic: The Gathering's Wuberg, the Magic-playing Muppet, is a high water mark when it comes to completely beefing it.
Editor's note: A video that appeared in the original article has since been removed.
Evan Irwin, a host of the Magic Mics podcast, dug up these puppet videos and put them on Twitter this week, calling the Muppet "cursed". It's hard not to agree.
After all, Wuberg (named after WUBRG, the colours of Magic) is almost painful to watch. Both of the videos featuring the character are meant to be educational and they have the clear plotting and bolded dialogue words of a Sesame Street segment. They're meant to teach you about what Friday Night Magic is, what to expect from it and how to behave at the event.
Wuberg is also a massive jackass. He insults his friend, Todd, constantly: he calls him a noob, he says he slept with his mum and he declares that Todd doesn't have any friends. When they get to Friday Night Magic, he immediately ruins a game and reveals himself to be an unrepentant thief.
Wuberg is also revealed to have pancakes in his backpack after being accused of having waffles. "Why the fuck would I bring waffles?" Wuberg shouts, although Wizards of the Coast obviously bleeps the foul language from this little furry troll.
He screams around the shop, laughs about the deck name "White Weenie" and generally just makes life worse for everyone in the store. I think it's clear that Wuberg is meant to be that player, the person who is very common in the Magic community who thinks their highly selfish antics are the apex of comedy and who needs to be a part of every conversation and moment in a given tournament environment. He hates losing.
He constantly says "your mum" jokes. He spews memes. And, to be frank, in his jackassy way, Wuberg is a great representation of that character type that has somehow infested the Magic hobby from coast to coast.
However, nothing bad happens to Wuberg because of this behaviour. The video suggests that, like Todd, we just grin and bear it, even when Wuberg says "You bet your **** I do!" when asked if he wants to return. Can Wuberg not say arse? Is there something more horrible than that?
This video came out in 2010, a full three years after the apex of foul-mouthed puppets, Crank Yankers, had been cancelled because there is a relatively low threshold in media for rude puppetry. Even The Jeff Dunham Show had been off the air for a year before this video released. I have no idea why this happened.
Wuberg also appeared in a slightly less embarrassing video about the Mirrodin Besieged set, although mean Muppets are still the focus of the edutainment.
With the benefit of hindsight, we know on a deep level that Wuberg was a mistake and we have to hope that humanity steers clear of this monstrous activity forever more.