Not too long ago, I saw a post on a Funko site, wishing for more Hot Topic blind boxes from Funko. No thanks. I’m not interested. As I said on the post, I’m not after an adventure, I’m after a collection, and to me, that means getting one, and only one, or everything.
But the blind box thing is nothing new, it’s been a marketing tactic for many, many years and it works out a whole lot better for the manufacturer than it does for the consumer. Here’s why.This goes back at least as far as the CCG craze of the 90s, although I’m sure it’s been done before that. Load something into a blind pack that nobody knows what’s inside and it increases the amount that people buy as they chase that one rare card/toy/whatever they need. Once you throw rarity into the mix, once the best cards or whatever are hard to get, people have to keep buying absurd numbers of packs, racking up absurd numbers of common items, in hopes of getting that singular thing that completes their collection.
Yeah, it doesn’t work out well for the consumer who spends thousands of dollars for a 50-cent piece of plastic. Pass. I mean, I used to go to a convention and buy Japanese blind-boxed gashapon (and I know they’re not strictly gashapon), hoping to get a full set of Godzilla or Gamera or some anime figures and it never, ever works out well. I can’t tell you how many where I have 3 out of 4, or 4 out of 6, and a drawer full of duplicates that I don’t want. When Funko started putting out their Mystery Minis, I fell into that trap too, buying tons of boxes and racking up tons of extras that just lay in a drawer.
So a while back, my wife and I decided we’re just not going to do that anymore. We won’t buy blind boxes, we’ll just wait until someone advertises a full set on Amazon or eBay and buy them that way. Will we pay a premium? Yes. Will it be as much as buying tons of blind boxes and getting tons of extras? Not remotely. But if the goal is getting one of everything and not wasting money and space on extras, that’s the only way that makes any sense.
I mean, that’s what I wound up doing when Funko put out their Hot Topic Exclusive Fallout Pops. I bought a couple in the store and luckily got no duplicates, but then the odds of me getting the last few I needed without buyng ones I already had were very low. So I went straight to Amazon and bought the ones I needed. Sure, they cost a little more, but I got what I wanted and it would have been cheaper than rolling the dice and taking my chances. Would I have rather bought them in a store? Yes. The fun of the chase matters to me, but given a choice between wasting time and money and getting what I want, I’ll always take getting what I want. There simply wasn’t any other logical choice.
So no, Funko. I don’t want you making more blind boxes. I won’t buy them. For new series, I’m not even picking up a single one off the shelves. I go straight to Amazon or eBay and get a complete set. I know you don’t care because you still make your money, but as a collector, I’m out. As I said, I don’t want an adventure, I want a collection. I’ll do what I have to do to get one. I’m sorry to say that local stores, at least for blind boxes, simply won’t get my money anymore.