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 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!