Review – Funko Smugglers Bounty Star Wars Subscription Box The Resistance

 Geek Gifts, News and Info, Reviews  Comments Off on Review – Funko Smugglers Bounty Star Wars Subscription Box The Resistance
Jan 282016

The second Funko Smugglers Bounty Star Wars subscription box has arrived. I’ll break down the contents and tell you what I think about this subscription box now that I’ve received two of them. If you’re interested in reading my review of the first Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty box you can find that here.

Just What Is the Funko Smugglers Bounty Subscription Box?

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance subscription gift box

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance subscription gift box

If you’re familiar with Loot Crate, Nerd Block or other gift subscription boxes then you’ll have an idea of what this is. It’s the same idea, you sign up for a subscription and receive a box of random goodies every so often, as defined by the terms of your subscription. This is typically once a month, every other month or quarterly depending on the service.

The Smugglers Bounty box comes every other month and is a partnership between Funko and Lucasfilm that is themed entirely for Star Wars and contains items made by Funko and available exclusively via the subscription box. The cost for this box is $25 plus an additional $6.95 for shipping in the US. If you’re outside the US you may be subject to a higher shipping fee and/or taxes and import fees depending on your location. The Smugglers Bounty box bills and ships every other month. You can subscribe month to month or sign up for a longer subscription term. Funko promises to deliver at least $50 worth of goods in every box.

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance, What’s Inside The Box?

The Smugglers Bounty box for January 2016 was themed “The Resistance” and was delivered the third week of January. The contents of the box were similar to the first box but there were five items in the box this time instead of six.

There was a BB-8 patch

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance BB8 Patch

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance BB8 Patch

A Poe Dameron Pin

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance Poe Dameron pin

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance Poe Dameron pin

A Star Wars The Force Awakens movie poster themed T shirt

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance t shirt

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance t shirt

A ceramic C3PO coffee mug

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance C3P0 Mug

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance C3P0 Mug

A Chewbacca Funko POP figure

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance Chewbacca POP figure

Funko Star Wars Smugglers Bounty The Resistance Chewbacca POP figure

I don’t know if there were any other “rare” items that were randomly added to this months box like there were last month. I’ve looked at several other reviews and unboxings and they all contained the same items as the box I received.

Funko Smugglers Bounty The Resistance, Thoughts and Comments

Normally I’d try to follow a review format where I’d have a couple more sections titled “what I liked” and “what I didn’t like” about the box and then sum things up. I’m going to do things a little differently this time.

First up I’m gonna skip the “what I liked” section because I’m just not crazy about the contents of this box at all. If I have to choose a favorite item then it’s got to be the t-shirt. I like the idea of a Star Wars The Force Awakens movie poster themed t-shirt and I think the Funko art style is cool. I expected a Funko POP of course and that was fine, however I was a little surprised that it was Chewbacca. Being that theme is “The Resistance” I was expecting a BB-8, Poe Dameron or even a Rey POP figure. I’ll be honest and tell you that I found the coffee cup a little disappointing and wasn’t that thrilled about it. I also think the patch and pin in every box are going to get old really quickly. To be fair, I like the BB-8 patch a lot but the pins so far are kind of lackluster. My other issue here is that Funko pushes this as a box of items that exclusive to this subscription and I don’t see anything to indicate that this Chewbacca POP is different than ones you can buy online at places like Amazon. Lastly, and I complained about this last month, there is no paperwork in the box. There is nothing here to tell you anything about the items in the box or to even confirm that you’ve gotten everything you’re supposed to get. My first reaction on viewing the contents was “only 5 items, are there supposed to be 5? Are there supposed to be 6 like last month and I’m missing something?”

In terms of value, I usually try not to judge too hard on the dollar value of the box contents when it comes to these subscription boxes but this definitely does not feel like it’s $50 worth of stuff and to be honest it barely feels like a good value at $32.

I’m gonna be honest here, two boxes in and I don’t think the Smugglers Bounty box is a very interesting subscription box. When I opened the box this month my reaction was “very underwhelmed”. I’m actually starting to think that the fact that these boxes are exclusively Funko makes them worse than they could be if they were a mish-mash of Star Wars items from varied sources. A quick search on Amazon for Star Wars will result in a thousand items that would fit in one of these boxes with other items. Think of the possibilities, small LEGO sets, a small ship from Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing game, a book, PEZ dispensers, dice, keyrings, flashlights, you get the idea, I could go on forever with suggestions. I love the idea of a Star Wars themed subscription box but I think the box being all Funko items is too limiting to be interesting for very long.

In my opinion Funko would be better off long term if they placed one or two Funko exclusives in the box, say a unique POP figure and/or a t-shirt and then partnered with other companies to round out the box with other items. Part of the appeal of these boxes is the “wow factor”. You want the box you’ve just received to be exciting so that it immediately leaves you with a sense of anticipation for the next box. The Smugglers Bounty subscription box as currently constituted isn’t varied or interesting enough for me to be all that interested in continuing my subscription long term. If you love the idea of an all Funko, all the time themed box then I’d recommend it but if you’re not completely sold on that idea I’m betting that you’ll lose interest after just a couple of boxes. I’ll likely stay subscribed for one more box just to see if there are any changes but if the next Smugglers Bounty box is the same uninspired effort it’ll probably be my last.


Get your own Funko Smugglers Bounty subscription here

Missed Opportunities: SWTOR’s Gambling Problem

 News and Info, Online Gaming, SWTOR  Comments Off on Missed Opportunities: SWTOR’s Gambling Problem
Jul 022014
swtor 2.8 spoils of war in game gambling

This kid doesn’t think much of SWTORs gambling implementation either

SWTOR Game update 2.8 “Spoils of War” was deployed a few weeks ago and while I wasn’t able to get in and play a lot right when the patch first dropped I have had some time in the last week to do some serious credit destruction. Here are my thoughts on this event.

SWTOR Update 2.8: Spoils of War

Update 2.8 brought about a few changes and features and of course the casino event. For completeness sake I’ll list the major features here:

  • Double Rewards for PvP and GSF
  • NIM Dread Palace
  • Group Finder Changes for Story Mode Ops
  • An assortment of mostly minor class changes
  • Bounty Contract Week & Relics of the Gree

You can check out the complete list of SWTOR 2.8 Patch Notes here.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t PvP much and I don’t do any serious raiding at this point so none of these changes really feel monumental to me although I do like the changes to the Story Mode Ops Group Finder as I occasionally am up for those. Bounty Contract Week….eh, well. I think BioWare seriously needs to revisit this event at this point as most players that have been around for awhile seem pretty ambivalent about this now. Same for Relics of the Gree.

The Housing is Coming But We Want You to be Broke When it Gets Here Event

First off, I’m not sure we can really call this an event. I mean, yeah the content is supposed to be for a limited time and BioWare has to call it something but can we really call what is clearly intended to be a means for BW to manipulate the economy by taking a significant amount of credits out of the system an “event”?

To be clear, I don’t really have any problems with the attempt to manipulate the economy. MMO economies tend to suffer from rampant inflation. I have no doubts that this is an ongoing issue in most persistent universe games and that devs spend a fair amount of time analyzing this and trying to determine how best to deal with it without driving players crazy (well, crazier than we all tend to be about changes made to the games we play on a regular basis).

I also don’t have any problems with the idea of gambling or casinos in online games. I think when it’s well executed it can be fun. Herein lies my problem with SWTOR’s gambling event. It is neither fun nor well executed. In fact I’ll go on record as saying this may be the laziest implementation of an in game gambling system I’ve ever seen.

star wars, swtor, gambling, game update 2.8, spoils of war

If only those were space fruits and Gungan heads…with lightsabers through them.

For the uninitiated, you can pick up a mission on your fleet station that will send you to your factions casino on Nar Shaddaa. They start you off with five free Smugglers Chips (first taste is free, right?) and send you to a bank of slot machines where you can spend the chips to try and get gold certificates which can be traded for event gear or more importantly the elusive Kingpin Chip that can be used at Kingpin slots which reward speeder mounts, a Rancor mount or more golden certificates. You can of course buy both Smuggler and Kingpin chips from conveniently stationed casino droids but you’re better off just buying the Smugglers chips and converting them to Kingpin chips via the gambling mechanic. (If you’re a numbers person and want to know the specific odds of winning, check out Dulfy’s here where there is a breakdown of rewards and odds)

Gambling in SWTOR feels very slapdash. There is nothing actually entertaining about it either (aside from observing player behavior, which is remarkably similar to real life degenerate gambler behavior that I’ve witnessed during trips to Las Vegas). When you click on the machines you get a spinning wheel and after a few seconds either a red or green light indicating whether you’re a winner or on your way to bumming the price of a ticket off of Nar Shaddaa from a sympathetic player.

Occasionally you’ll get a song and fireworks indicating you’ve won something better than chips or rarely your machine will explode giving you an achievement. A few minutes of this becomes mind numbingly boring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not griping about the win percentage or the prizes. Those seem pretty much in-line for what I would expect out of something like this. (Although I have to agree with some folks in the SWTOR Twitter community that this games RNG mechanic doesn’t really feel like it’s truly RNG. It seems super streaky at times and this doesn’t just apply to the gambling mechanic, it’s noticeable when you’re crafting and reverse engineering as well).

BioWare chose to go the easy route and give us the equivalent of slot machines for its first foray into making the casinos places that you can actually gamble away your credits and self respect (and if you’re wondering, slot machines in Star Wars are legit. They’re called Lugjack machines). Yeah I would have liked Pazaak or even a Jubilee Wheel but I also get that this is BioWare’s first attempt to implement gambling and is probably a bit of an experiment. What’s really bothersome is that they weren’t willing to put enough resources into this to make it even sort of interesting to watch while you’re standing there for hours grinding credits trying to get a Rancor. Where are the spinning reels with space fruits or Gungan heads or even Aurebesh characters? Come on BioWare, I had slot machine games on my Atari 2600 30 years ago that were more inspired and creative than what you’ve foisted on your players. This implementation was quite frankly the laziest lazy that ever lazied.

star wars, swtor, gambling, game update 2.8, spoils of war

Even this would have been a more entertaining visual than what we got for slot machines from SWTOR

Opportunity is Knocking but BioWare Can’t Hear it Over the Sound of Jangling Cartel Coins

What’s really disappointing is that this feels like another missed opportunity by the SWTOR design team. Nar Shaddaa is supposed to be a hub of commerce and activity (legitimate or otherwise) and we already know that player housing is going to be implemented there. I think BioWare should also add services to Nar Shaddaa that are similar to what is found on the Fleet Hubs.

With a little more effort, they could have made even this simple slot machine gambling implementation entertaining. This could have been the start of making the casinos places for players to congregate and socialize, places that players would actually want to go to and hang out at. The Casinos are already attractive areas that seem like a ripe opportunity to turn into a hub of player activity. Instead what we have is a grindy boring pit stop where players will only stay long enough to get their reward and likely never return to once they’ve gotten what they came for.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any comments feel free to leave them below or you can hit me up on Twitter @HolyCrapItsLate

Images: Two, Three

Custom Glassware For The Geek That Has Everything

 Beer, Geek Gifts, Geek News  Comments Off on Custom Glassware For The Geek That Has Everything
Mar 072013

Looking for that unique gift for the geek in your life? Look no further, as Decoy’s Dork Decor has got you covered! This Etsy shop has a wide variety of geek-o-centric items but my favorites happen to be the etched glassware with designs from lots of different geek-appropriate genres.

Game night drinking just got a whole lot more magical

Game night drinking just got a whole lot more magical

There’s a wide variety of glassware that includes shot and drinking glasses with Magic the Gathering mana symbols, Marvel and DC comics superhero logos and Star Wars themed glassware. There’s also a selection of glasses that feature some of your favorite video games and movies. These glasses are perfect for game night beverages (adult or otherwise) and are a great way to keep track of which glass belongs to which person.

Game of Beers

Game of Beers

Game of Thrones fan? They’ve got you covered too with a set of GoT beer mugs etched with designs from the great houses. These 16 ounce mugs come etched with the designs facing you when held in your right hand but can be custom ordered so that the design faces you when held in your left hand.

Coasters, bringing civilization to game rooms everywhere

Coasters, bringing civilization to game rooms everywhere

While you’re there check out the selection of “8 bit” video game themed coasters to go along with your drinking glasses, which will help you avoid wife aggro caused by leaving drink rings on the furniture!

Avengers Assemble...for cocktails!

Avengers Assemble…for cocktails!

The glass items are described as etched using an abrasive blasting technique making the designs permanent. All items are made to order and custom designs are available. When ordering keep in mind that items are hand made and may take a few weeks to arrive on your doorstep. Decoy’s Dork Decor has been in business on Etsy since December 2009 and has a 99% positive feedback rating.

(Note: I don’t have any connection to Decoys Dork Decor, I just wanted to share something neat that I stumbled across)