Arcade Block Unboxing and Review for November 2015

Moving on, we have my last Arcade Block ever. I have no intentions on resubscribing any time in the future because I just haven’t felt that it’s worth the cost, so let’s take a look at this last one before it gets shuffled away for bigger and better things.

“Yoshi’s Wooly World” Ugly Christmas shirt:I say “ugly” because I believe that’s what they were trying to go for, but this shirt is actually pretty cute. It may not be for everyone because of the Christmas-shirt-esque design, but I actually like it and I’ll definitely wear it, at least through the holidays. I find the design isn’t actually that Christmasy, so you could probably get away with wearing it at any time of the year, but we’ll just have to see about that.
Approximate value: $15

Nathan Drake “Uncharted” vinyl figure from Titan Merchandise:
I’m getting more and more fond of the Titan vinyl figures (don’t worry, I’m not hoping on another collection; I waste enough money as it is), and this Nathan Drake is a nice addition to our collection of video game icons. My husband loved the games, and I had a blast playing the PS Vita one, so Nathan is definitely welcome in our household.Approximate value: $12

K’NEX Angry Birds mini-fig blind bag:
My daughter likes both Angry Birds and blind bags, so those are the pros of this item. The cons are that I don’t really like seeing mobile game stuff in my gamer box. Say what you will, but even though I do occasionally play mobile games, I don’t feel like they have a place among the likes of big, classic video games. Just my opinion!
Approximate value: $5

“Mansion Key” aka Roundabout way of including a Resident Evil item:
This item bugs me more than it probably should, but I don’t care. I think it’s dumb. Specifically, it annoys me because the Arcade Block team made a point of advertising that there was going to be a Resident Evil item in this box, but it’s not…it has no actual affiliating with Resident Evil at all, thus I feel like it’s an out-and-out lie. Again, just my opinion.
Approximate value: I dunno…maybe $2?

“Halo 5” Calendar:
This would be a cool item if I was still into Halo. Unfortunately it hasn’t been on my gaming list for quite a while, and since I’ve already got a Star Wars calendar from the Nerd Block I definitely won’t be using it, but I also can’t call it a bad item because it’s not really. Cheers to those who will be enjoying it throughout 2016.
Approximate value: $8

“The Master Cork”:
I might be being a little hypocritical here because I don’t think this is an official Legend of Zelda item, but this one I love because it’s just too funny. A wine cork that looks like the Master Sword is in the bottle…that’s awesome. Even if I have to preemptively open a bottle in order to use it, I am definitely going to stick this in something for my mother to come across when she’s visiting for Christmas. XD
Approximate value: this is an exclusive, but based on other wine corks I’m going to go with about $8

Total approximate value of box: $50
Total approximate cost to me: $40

So the first thing you might notice is that the value of this box is actually down from usual, but that’s actually proof that sometimes the retail value isn’t what matters, because there were some decent and fun items in this box. I still look closely at the value just because the cost of these boxes is so much right now and I want to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, but it’s just something to think about.

Personally I’m on the fence about this last box. I think the shirt is pretty cute, I got a huge kick out the “Master Cork”, and Nathan Drake will look awesome among our other video game collectibles, while I feel pretty strongly that the mansion key and the Angry Birds blind bag are stupid, cheap filler, and the Halo calendar is just not for me. So I guess it’s an even keel: three good items, three bad ones. And that’s actually not that bad, considering that I’ve been mostly disappointed with Arcade Block in general.

So there you go, my last ever Arcade Block. What did you guys think? Was it a good one? What did you like the most? What did you hate? Please share!

Arcade Block Unboxing and Review for October 2015

And to finish off the Nerd Block family of boxes for October, we have Arcade Block, which I have been thus far a little bit mystified with. There have been cool things, and there have been stupid things, and there have been “oh my god, what were they thinking?” things. So what kind of things did we get this month? Check out the unboxing video to find out:

Breakin’ it down…

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” t-shirt:
As far as t-shirts go, I can’t say that this isn’t a nice one as far as design. Unfortunately, right out of the gate, we have a game that I am not a fan of. In the video I said that I wasn’t a first-person-shooter person; my husband pointed out that this is not really true since I like games like Bioshock and Metroid Prime. What I’m not is a “man vs man, military-style” first-person-shooter person. And this is one of those. So, while I appreciate a nice design, this isn’t an item for me. Approximate value: $15

“Fallout” Funko Mystery Mini blind box:
Now this is an item I can get behind, although I haven’t played enough of the Fallout franchise to have known the name of the guy I got (Super Mutant) and have been thusly called out. Still, I love me some Mystery Minis; these little guys are actually rather well made and painted, so I’m happy enough with my little dude. Approximate value: $8

“Atari” baseball cap:
Okay, I don’t really wear baseball caps, like…ever, but this is kinda awesome. It’s nice to see a different kind of wearable besides the usual t-shirts and the wristbands that subscription boxes seem to be obsessed with, and since this is a throwback to my first ever gaming system, that’s pretty sweet. I love how it’s Breakout…totally cool. I am actually rather amused. Approximate value: I couldn’t find this online, but I’m thinking probably about $15?

“Retro City Rampage DX” PC disc and download code:
Okay, I was disappointed when I found out that this game was going to be a big item in this box, because I already have it downloaded on my Vita, and although it’s also a physical disc for PC gaming, I don’t really game on my PC, like…at all, so it’s a bit of a bust. That said, I do appreciate the awesome packaging job. Making the box look like a Super Nintendo game and the disc look like an old floppy is pretty neat, so kudos to that. It’s just to bad it wasn’t a game I didn’t already have! Approximate value: $10

“Titanfall” K’NEX playset:
Okay, my feelings are kind of all over the place on this one. On one hand, it’s a blatant toy, which I’m normally not a big fan of in this boxes, but on the other hand it’s a building toy, and those are wicked. Back on the other hand, it’s K’NEX, which isn’t compatible with Lego (which my daughter has a bunch of), so that kinda sucks, but I can get over it. It’s also Titanfall, which is a game that no one in my household has played, so it loses a little bit of its glamour there. But still, building toys are awesome, so my final thoughts are definitely on the positive side. Approximate value: $7 (which is actually quite surprising because this same set, if it had Lego stamped on the box, would probably be closer to $25)

Total approximate value of the box: $55
Total approximate cost to me: $40

Okay, so as usual I have to talk about price and value, and the thing is that, depending on whether or not I high-balled the value of the baseball cap, this may actually be one of the lowest-value boxes I’ve ever gotten. And when you combine that with the ever-present pains of the Canadian dollar, that means that I didn’t really get my money’s worth on this one. When you take into account that I already had the game I really didn’t get my value’s worth on this one.

Is everything about market value? No, obviously. I do like the mystery mini, and the hat is pretty awesome even if I never wear it, and I’m sure my daughter will find use for the Titanfall K’NEX when combined with all her Lego. It’s just that those three items aren’t worth the $40 I paid, and additionally aren’t things that I would have picked up on my own, had I seen them in a store. Throw in a shirt for a game I don’t like and a disc for a game I already own, and wow…this box is actually even more of a bust than I was originally thinking.

Honestly, it wasn’t that bad a box; it’s just that two of the bigger items aren’t for me, and the remaining ones, while cool, don’t make the money I spent worth it. So I guess in the end I have to give a this one a “Meh”.

What do you guys think? Did you like October’s Arcade Block? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Don’t you just LOVE building toys? Please share!

Arcade Block Unboxing and Review for September 2015

Here comes my second unboxing and review for September, and this one is my third Arcade Block. I had my fingers crossed for this one because they kept hyping it up as a special box for “The Legend of Zelda”‘s anniversary. It did have a couple of decent items in it, but it also had…well, you’ll see when you watch the video:

If you watched the video, you now understand. If you didn’t watch the video, well, you’ll figure it out soon in the breakdown…

“Boo” plushie:
The first item in the Arcade Block was truly adorable. It was this cute little stuffed “Boo” ghost from the Super Mario franchise. He’s a decent size and is sticking out his tongue in true Boo fashion, and he’s just all around pretty great. The two options for this item were “Boo” or a “Goomba”, and I’m glad I got Boo because I’ve actually already got a big Goomba and a Paragoomba. In other words, this little guy goes great with my collection! You can get your very own little stuffed Boo on a number of websites, including Amazon, for approximately $10.

“Wind Waker” t-shirt:
I’m on the fence about the t-shirt that was included in this Block. On the plus side, it’s a “Zelda” shirt, so that’s nice. On the negative side, it’s one of my least favorite Zelda games. Don’t get me wrong; “Wind Waker” was different and cute, but it just wasn’t one of my favorites. I would have preferred something from “A Link to the Past” or “Ocarina of Time”, or maybe even something from the very first original “Zelda” game. That said, the shirt is still acceptable, and I’ll still wear it. Standard value of $15 for this one.

“Cucco” Springz Dashboard Accessory:
Okay, this is kinda funny. I kept using the word “chicken” in my video, but what this is actually called is a “Cucco”, and it’s one of the chicken-like creatures from the “Zelda” universe. In several of the games if you’re crazy enough to attack these cuccos a number of times, they’ll team up and attack you right back, usually slaughtering you miserably. It’s a funny little dashboard accessory, but as I said in the video it’s a little bit dumb because as soon as you take it out of the box and out of the context it just looks like a chicken sitting in your car. This item also seems to be an exclusive, so it’s hard to put a value on, but the average price of similar items I can find is $10, so we’ll go with that.

“Hyrulean Shield” keychain:
This one is pretty cool, although my keys are pretty damn crowded at this point so I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit it on. It’s a silver keychain accessory in the design of Link’s shield from the “Zelda” series, and it’s not too bad looking at all, to be honest. I’m pretty okay with this item; I just don’t know where I’m going to put it since my keys take up half my purse already. This is supposed to be another exclusive item, but I’ve been finding keychains online that appear to be identical, so I don’t know what’s up with that. Those keychains retail for an average of $6, so that’s what I’m giving this item.

“Galak-Z” 7-inch record:
And here it is: the item that made my head explode. Right off the bat, I’ve never heard of this game, so I can’t really comment on that, but when I figured out that this music collection is actually a record I seriously almost had a breakdown. Two months in a row I was complaining that Arcade Block keeps sending CDs, a medium that is pretty rapidly dying out, and now all of a sudden…RECORD. This is a very niche item. There are definitely people out there who love records and collect them, but the chances that many Arcade Block subscribers both love records and are into this video game…they just don’t seem very good. To make it even more ridiculous, Arcade Block included a coupon code for 15% off a turntable at Crosley. Basically, they’re admitting that there is a better-than-excellent chance that you don’t have the equipment required to actually listen to this thing, so they gave us a code so that we can go buy said equipment. Guys, seriously, if I have to go buy something to be able to use the item, it’s kind of a horrible item.
I don’t even know what kind of value to assign to this because it’s exclusive AND it’s a freakin’ record. So, I’m just going to go with my gut and say $5. The 15% code adds a few more bucks, but I refuse to count it as value in the box because it’s something I would have to pay a ton of money for in order to make use of said value (the cheapest turntable on the site is about $90, before tax and shipping).

“Master Sword” canvas print:
I wasn’t terribly impressed when I first saw this item, but it’s actually grown on me. It’s a canvas print of a very minimalist portrait in which Link is standing in the forest, pulling the Master Sword from the Triforce-adorned stone. The reason I wasn’t impressed at first is because it’s so minimalist that at first glance you wouldn’t even really notice what it was. But I actually do like it, and I think it’ll look pretty nice next to some other nerdy pictures down in our geek room (once we get it all finished up). It’s a print from Russ Moore, and it’s another Arcade Block exclusive, so it’s hard to put a value on, but based on similar items (and working with the fact that those items are generally larger in size), I’d wager the value at approximately $15.

Total approximate value of box: $61
Total approximate cost to me: $41

So right off the bat, the value is there for this particular box, although as usual I have to say that a good part of that value comes from things that I would never, personally, pay that much money for. The “Cucco”, for instance, is pretty funny, but since it’s just a chicken once it’s out of the box I would definitely never waste $10 on it. So, okay, the value is technically there, but my personal assessment of the value isn’t that great.

The items themselves I’m up and down on. Five out of the six items were exclusives, which sounds pretty awesome, but are they really exclusives? As I mentioned, I found keychains online that look identical to this one, so it makes me wonder about some of the other items as well. The best item, in my opinion, was the only one that isn’t exclusive: the stuffed “Boo”. He’s definitely adorable. And the worst item? Obviously the record. I mean…seriously, what the hell? As one of my YouTube viewers commented: “They’ll be sending you an 8-track tape next!”

All in all, I give this box a hesitant one-thumb-up. There were three nice items, an okay t-shirt, one funny-but-ultimately-kind-of-dumb item, and one brain explosion that I may never get over. It was definitely a better box than the first one I received, and probably about on par with last month’s. At least they stuck pretty closely to their “Zelda Anniversary” theme, but there’s just absolutely no excuse for the record. 😛

So what did you guys think of September’s Arcade Block? If you got one of your own, did you get a Boo or a Goomba? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Please share!

Arcade Block Unboxing and Review for August 2015

Here cometh the last subscription box for August 2015, also late but also not my fault! What’s with the mail lately? I don’t know, but just as long as you guys understand that it is the subscription box services and not me, then we’ll all be fine.

So this is my second Arcade Block, and after last month’s disgrace of a box I wasn’t expecting too much from this one. Were my doubts confirmed or was I pleasantly surprised? Go ahead and take a look at the video:

So clearly you can see that I wasn’t exactly reeling with joy, but it was definitely better than my first Arcade Block. Let’s take a look at the breakdown:

“Counter Strike” NES parody t-shirt:
This is an item that is sitting firmly in the middle of the fence. On the one hand, it’s not a bad shirt at all, and my husband actually rather likes these NES parody shirt designs. On the other hand, the game they chose to make this shirt was Counter Strike, which is not only a game neither my husband or I play, but also a genre of game that we hardly ever touch for any reason. We’re just not first-person-shooter-war-simulator people, so there are many other games that could have been used that would have been better in our opinions.
As usual, valuing this shirt at a standard $15.

“Scorpion” from “Mortal Kombat” plush figure:
This little guy is all kinds of freakin’ adorable, and he’s the one item that made me glad to have gotten this box. The two available options were Scorpion and Sub-Zero, the two infamous colored ninjas who have existed since the first ever Mortal Kombat game, and either would have been totally acceptable in this household. In fact, I kinda want to buy Sub-Zero now so we can have both; they’re that adorable, and they’d look awesome on a shelf together.
This little guy seems to be some kind of pre-release since every website I find them on gives only the option to pre-order, but it looks like they’re going to be available in October if you’re looking to get one for yourself. They’re going to go for about $15.

“Rock Band” sweatband:
Always quick to correct me, my husband informed me that this sweatband does, in fact, feature the Rock Band logo, not Guitar Hero like I was thinking. Either way, there’s not a great deal that you can say about a sweatband. It’s a bright red-and-white one, which is a little different from what I’ve seen (most of the ones I’ve seen tend to be dark colors like black), but that’s about all I can tell you. I can’t see me wearing it, unless I suddenly get the urge to start accessorizing on a daily basis, but I’ll have it in case that day ever does arrive.This was a Nerd Block exclusive item, so I’ve got to give you an estimate based on similar items; we’ll go with about $5.

“Boston Vault Dwellers” pennant from “Fallout”:
My husband tells me that the reasoning behind this little sport pennant is that the new game is going to take place in Boston, so there you go. There’s not a great deal to say about this item either, although it is cute. It’s basically just a little flag with an imaginary post-apocalyptic sports team logo emblazoned on it. It features Vault Boy, so it’s immediately recognizable, so it’ll probably look pretty cute hanging up above one of our collectibles…perhaps my little Vault Boy Funko Pop. ^_~
This item is also exclusive to the box, but I’m feeling that it’s probably not worth more than about $3 or so; it’s just a little fabric flag, after all.

“Scott Pilgrim VS the World: The Game” soundtrack CD:
Honestly, there is no end to how shocked I am that I got two Arcade Block boxes in a row that had CDs in them. I don’t know if I’m more shocked over the fact that they’re choosing to include CDs over something like a digital download code, or if I’m more shocked that CDs are actually being produced of things like this. I mean, the Scott Pilgrim game is not that old…surely the people who recorded the soundtrack realize that we’ve entered an age in which very very few people bother to buy music on a physical medium. Really, I can’t say enough about this. CDs. CDs!
Anyway, I’m going to assign this item a value of about $10, after going online and seeing that the movie soundtrack is apparently retailing for $12.

“Retro” video game magazine:
You guys know that I’m not a fan of magazines in my subscription boxes because I simply don’t read them, but I might make an exception for this one, given the genre that it falls into. Can’t go wrong with video game literature, right? Especially retro video game literature. Also I took a quick look through the magazine and I’m thoroughly amused by the feature that shows you how to properly clean old video game systems. Two thumbs up for that article.
This magazine retails for $8 per issue in Canada.

Total approximate value of box: $56
Total approximate cost to me: $40

So right off the bat you know what I’m going to point out: the value versus cost ratio, which is pretty poor. Of all the subscription boxes I’ve gotten, the value of this one is down there with some of the worst ones, but it also wouldn’t be that horrible if it weren’t for the fact that the cost is so awful. I had originally thought that Nerd Block was a Canadian-based company, but apparently I was wrong because their cost has been skyrocketing along with the lowering of the Canadian dollar, which definitely sucks.

Looking at just the contents of the box itself, this one was definitely way better than the last one I got, but it’s still not overly amazing. There was one item that was awesome (the Scorpion plush), two items that were kinda cool (the magazine and the Fallout pennant), two items that were “meh” (the shirt and the sweatband), and one item that causes the box to actually lose points as a result of its inclusion (the CD, obviously). All in all it definitely wasn’t a horrible box, but it also definitely didn’t wow me at all, so take that at face value.

So there you go! Those were my thoughts; what are yours? What do you think about Arcade Block? Which item was your favorite? Which item could you have definitely done without? What do you think about CDs in your subscription boxes? Please share! Cheers!

First Ever: Arcade Block Unboxing and Review for July 2015

Rounding out the late unboxing videos and reviews comes a brand new contender to the Tobin household. It’s always fun to check out something new, and since I’ve cancelled Nerd Block and Horror Block my husband suggested that maybe I might want to try Arcade Block. I was a little skeptical, since it comes from the same family of the two boxes that I cancelled for not being worthwhile, but last month’s Arcade Block was so hyped up that it sounded amazing. The ad emails told of two t-shirts, a Funko Pop, a Mega Man item, a Sonic item, and “much more”. But did it live up to the hype? Why don’t we answer that question by watching the unboxing video:

Oooh…ouch…so it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for…at all. Turns out that there were a lot of things to complain about in this particular box. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.

Hannibal “Bonus” t-shirt:
So right off the bat, Arcade Block gave me a big old frown with the item that was on the very top of the box. This shirt was listed on the inventory card as a “bonus”, which is the Nerd Block family’s way of saying, “We had a bunch of leftover junk from blocks that didn’t sell, so we’ve tossed one in this box to give the illusion of increasing its value”. After last month’s Vinylpalooza box, I’m starting to get a nervous twitch over this business practice. For one thing, I’m frustrated by the fact that I got a Hannibal shirt in my gamer box. For another thing, they keep putting stuff from old Nerd and Horror blocks in other boxes, which means that if you already subscribe to those boxes you’re getting doubles. Long story short, I don’t consider this a “bonus” so much as a way for the Nerd Block people to get rid of some leftover junk while pretending to have done me a favor. Normally I assign a value of $15 to t-shirts, but since this is a shirt that I already got in Horror Block – and with very little effort they should have been able to figure that out – I refuse to assign it any more than $5 toward the value of the box.

The Last of Us t-shirt:
Now this shirt, on the other hand, I can get behind. This caution sign design featuring a Clicker from The Last of Us is totally acceptable in a gamer box, and I’ll definitely wear it. The Last of Us was an absolutely amazing game, beloved by many, so this is at least one item from July’s Arcade Block that gets the seal of approval, along with the standard $15 value.

Cut the Rope “Nommies” blind bag:
I have a hurricane of feelings on this item. On the one hand, I generally enjoy blind bags. On the other hand, once we opened them I found that these “Nommies” are pretty small and junky. Back on the first hand, at least this is a gaming item. But then again on the other hand, it’s a mobile gaming item. I feel pretty strongly that, in the end, this item is a loss because, seriously? A Cut the Rope item? Of all the real video games out there, you guys chose a cheap blind bag toy from a smartphone game? For shame. Believe it or not, these particular blind bags go for $8, and can I just take a moment to express how insane that is?

Coin Op Crush CD:
Okay, I’m sorry, but I’m seriously laughing at this item. It’s not the fact that it’s video game music because, honestly, I rather enjoy video game music. It’s the fact that it’s a CD. Who the hell listens to CDs anymore? I mean, I can understand that some people would probably prefer the physical item, but to me it would have made a lot more sense to send a digital download of the album. Seriously, I don’t even know that many people who own a CD player, but everyone has a phone capable of downloading music. I’m not sure what they were thinking with this one. Between the fact that this album was put together specifically for Arcade Block, and the fact that it’s a freakin CD, I have no idea what kind of value to assign to this, but since it seems like you can actually download the music for free, I feel I can’t assign more than $2 for the physical item.

Evolve “Val” Funko Pop:
I can’t really say anything bad about this item because, hey, Funko Pop. You guys know I love Funko Pops, and they definitely add a bit of value to any subscription box. It’s just unfortunate that out of all the games that Pops have been made for, they chose one of the only ones that I know absolutely nothing about and honestly have no interest in. It’s still a Pop, though, so I can’t complain too much. As always, Pops go for approximately $12.

Classic Console Cartridge Coasters:
Okay, I’ll admit, these would be pretty humorous if they were a little more sturdy, but I’m not really liking their viability as actual coasters. These Nintendo-game shaped coasters are of the type that are made of some kind of paper-like material; in other words, they feel like they would dissolve the second a little condensation ran down your glass. I’ll definitely find something to do with them in our geek basement, but they’re definitely a cheap item. They’re also an Arcade block exclusive, and thus difficult to put a number on, but let’s say $4…I think a buck per coaster is pretty damn generous considering how flimsy they feel.

Sonic the Hedgehog “Worlds Unite” comic:
When I was doing the video I implied that this wasn’t a bad item. I don’t mind getting comics in my subscription boxes, and Sonic is definitely one of those big things from my childhood. But I feel I have to point out something that annoys the hell out of me. Arcade Block hyped that there was going to be a Mega Man item in this box, but I didn’t see one, until my husband let me know that the comic is, in fact, a Sonic x Mega Man crossover story. That doesn’t make the comic any less acceptable, but it annoys the hell out of me because in all their email ads and social media hype Arcade Block constant said that there was going to be a Sonic item and a Mega Man item. There was no indication at all that these two items would actually be one. It just feels like false advertising to me, and is yet another thing that gives me a bit of a twitch. $5 for this comic.

Total approximate value of box: $51
Total cost to me: $41

So right off the bat, you’ll notice that the value of the box is pretty damn low compared to other boxes. The reason for this is, of course, that Arcade Block is factoring their “bonus shirt” into the value calculations which, in my opinion, is total bullshit. It is not a gaming item, and if it were truly a “bonus” it wouldn’t factor in to the value of the box. If I take away the $5 I assigned it it brings the box down to $46, which is barely more than what I paid. That makes it NOT a bonus at all, and makes the rest of the box look weak as hell.

There were a couple of items that weren’t bad – the The Last of Us t-shirt is pretty cool, and despite my frustrations over the Mega Man issue the comic is okay as well – but there were also a few items that were little more than junk. The Pop doesn’t even really make up for anything since it’s from one of the only lines they could have chosen that does not interest me in the slightest.

All things said and done, I can’t say much good about this box; I was actually rather disappointed in it, and I can’t see myself continuing on with Arcade Block if the value is going to be so low compared to what I’m actually paying for it.

What do you think? Did you receive an Arcade Block for the month of July? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? What did you think of the “bonus” t-shirt? Please share!