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!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for May 2015

It’s that time of the month again, my friends; time for a SUPER late Horror Block unboxing. You know the deal, so let’s get right down to it with the unboxing video:

That wasn’t so bad of a box was it? But is the value there? Let’s check out the breakdown:

“Will Graham” Funko Pop figure: I always love a Funko Pop, that’s no secret at all. It’s just unfortunate that I have no interest in this particular one since I’ve never watched the show. Perhaps in the future I’ll get around to it and then this Funko will be a welcome addition to the collection, but for now it’s just kinda gonna be there. Still, it’s a Funko, and it’s worth approximately $13.

“Silent Hill” t-shirt: Just so you know, when I was first looking at this shirt I totally didn’t notice that there’s a bloody silhouette of Pyramid Head behind the words. Blame it on the glare coming in from the window. Anyway, I’m actually pretty impressed with this shirt. I’m not always keen on shirts that have the main point (SILENT HILL!) emblazoned across the front, but the phrase and background image are pretty cool, and it’s something different! A video game reference (even though they’re probably thinking of the movie, themselves)! I can get behind that, for sure. As usual, I give this shirt a standard shirt price of about $15.

“Creature from the Black Lagoon” collectible print: I’m not the biggest fan of these mini-posters and the like, but at least it’s something a little different. You don’t usually see a whole lot of “The Creature” stuff around, and it should go nicely with my husband’s horror movie display. Even though they call it an “exclusive” collectible print, however, it’s just a piece of poster board with a picture on it, so I can’t really assign it a value of more than, say, $2.

Horror Block Short Film Festival DVD: This one is really hard to put a value on because it’s something that was made by Horror Block themselves, and as near as I can tell (correct me if I’m wrong), you can’t actually purchase this DVD anywhere. It’s a neat little addition and I’m interested to see what the winning short films are like, but since it’s a DVD rather than a Bluray I’m going to be what I feel is generous and give it a value of $10.

“Weird Stats and Morbid Facts” book: This is the second “Rue Morgue Library” book I’ve gotten in Horror Block, and it’s pretty neat. I already took a browse through it and some of the facts are pretty interesting. It’s definitely a step up from the supernatural romance that came a couple of months ago, and it adds a good value to the box with its retail price of $15.

Rue Morgue magazine: And, as always, the magazine. Honestly, I’m getting rather sick of getting these magazines. I know that they’re part of the box, and that’s something you have to consider when deciding to subscribe, but I personally don’t read them so it would be nice, in my opinion, if they were changed up for a different item every now and then. Regardless of my feelings, these magazines retail at about $10.

Total approximate value of box: $65
Total cost to me: $37

So right off the bat you can see that this was a high-value box – one of the highest-value Horror Blocks I’ve received, so that definitely makes person feel good. It’s very unfortunate that I can’t really enjoy the Funko because I’ve never seen the show, but it is still a Funko. The shirt was a pleasant surprise because it’s nice to see something a little different for a change. I reserve an opinion on the DVD until I get a chance to watch it, but it is definitely a neat idea. The book is probably my favorite item because I like books like this, and now I’ve got a little collection of them going.

All in all, I’m decently happy with this box, although I can’t say that there was any one item in it that really WOWed me. Again, I can’t help but mention that Funko…boxes with a Funko have huge potential for me, but they just chose the wrong line, in my opinion.

What do you think of the Horror Block for May? Do you subscribe to Horror Block? What was your favorite item in the box? Least favorite? Please share!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for November and December

I’ve had a busy month, but the business actually started all the way back in November, and that’s why I didn’t so much as glance at November’s Horror Block until I got home for Christmas break in December. But we can’t just skip one – that would be insanity! So today I’m going to do a double review of the Horror Blocks from November and December. First let’s check out the unboxing video for November:

And now let’s take a look at the breakdown:

“Hannibal” t-shirt: If I’m being completely honest, this may be the worst shirt I’ve gotten in a subscription box yet, not because it’s necessarily a bad shirt, but because it doesn’t appeal to either my husband or I at all. We haven’t watched Hannibal, so this one is a definite miss. That said, it’s still a shirt, so it gets the default value of $15.
“Godzilla” Scaler: These little Scaler dudes are actually adorable (we’ve got three now, since the hubby and I both bought each other one for Christmas) and it’s awesome that it’s Godzilla. These little dudes usually go for approximately $8, but this one is actually pretty hard to find and is therefore closer to $15.
Heart-shaped stress-ball: Dollar-Store fare right here. Kinda cute, but worth $1 at most.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie cell: This is pretty neat right here, and an interesting collectible to have. I’m assuming that it’s a Loot Crate exclusive because I can’t find anything like it online, but I did find a movie cell sheet with multiple cells and framed and everything, so based on that I’m assigning this a value of about $15.
“Tales from the Cryptkeeper” dvd: This is cute and nostalgic, but is also a dvd in a bluray world, and it’s worth approximately $10.
“Cthulhu on Board” sign: Funny, for sure, but certainly not something that I would personally use. Also, I can’t for the life of me find it online, so someone let me know if you know what the value is of it. Since I have to give it something for this post, we’ll say $5.
“Fangoria” magazine: As always, I’m not actually a huge fan of these magazines, but they make a bit jump in the value of the box, since they’re worth approximately $11.

Total approximate value of box: $72
Total cost to me: $33

Strangely enough, this box has a higher overall value than any of the Horror Blocks I’ve opened so far, and yet it wasn’t a huge hit with me. Mostly I just like the Godzilla Scaler and the Nightmare on Elm Street film cell. Everything else definitely bumped up the value, but it’s all stuff that is more or less useless to me.

So what about December’s box? Well check out that unboxing video:

Awesome, right? Let’s look at the breakdown:

“Dracula” Funko Pop figure: I love this little dude, I really do, and amazingly he’s a Funko that I don’t have (just wait…there’s another video coming on that topic). Funko Pop figs are a huge deal to get in a box for me, and this little guy is worth approximately $13.
“Overlook Hotel” t-shirt: Definitely a better t-shirt than November; at least it’s of something that is relevant to my husband and I. As usual, a value of about $15 goes to this item.
“Zomb-Ease” Antiseptic Hand Cleanser: This was a cute idea, and useful, technically, but this stuff also goes for about $2 at any Dollar Store or Walmart.
“Maggot-Eye Skeleton”: The grossest stress-ball I’ve ever seen right here. It’s kind of amusing and definitely different, but not a big hit with me. I can’t find it for sale online anyway, so I’m assuming that it’s worth about $5 max.
“Poltergeist” mousepad: Okay, first, I’ve gotta say…a mousepad? Seriously? Does anyone really use mousepads anymore? The fact that it has a Poltergeist picture on it doesn’t really save the fact that it’s an item that probably very few people would get any use out of these days. I’m not even going to look it up. I’m going to assign it a value of $2.
“Rue Morgue” magazine: And, as with the Fangoria mag above, this goes for about $11.

Total approximate value of box: $48
Total cost to me: $33

So as you can see, December’s box was actually way down on the value, but strangely I was happier with it. I guess that’s the power of a Funko Pop. But to be honest, now that I’m looking at them, neither of them was really that great. I think that if you combine the two, they’re pretty awesome, but all in all the big items were the Funko and the Scaler.

Do me better next month, Horror Block!