Sunday, May 28, 2017

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty May Unboxing: A New Hope 40th Anniversary

Anniversaries are a hell of a thing. They're an understandable achievement when it comes to something like marriage or the continuing existence of a business because it takes work to keep such a venture going for so long. With items like art, an anniversary doesn't seem quite as notable. I mean let's face it, the original Star Wars would still be turning 40 this year regardless of whether or not it spawned a massive franchise. Even so, May marked the four decade mark for A New Hope and Smuggler's Bounty themed itself in kind.
If luck or or decent shipping had been with me, this unboxing would have been written up last week, but alas a combination of DHL and USPS sluggishness held back delivery until a mere hour before work on Thursday afternoon. This gave me just enough time to check on what it is I spend my duckets on before heading out to deal with the world. Was I lucky enough to nab something extra special? Let's dive in and see.

I took this month's photos in front of our entertainment center to give some sense of the massive scale of this box. This thing is huge! A cardboard titan that fuels the imagination as to what treasure could be housed inside. On top of that, is the illustration of Leia, promising the potential of an item commemorating the space princess lost to us back in December. Clearly there was some real potential within this crate, so what's inside?

As always, the standard issue patch and pin come first. Usually I have very little to say on this front but there's no way I can resist pointing out how lame this patch is. It's supposed to be Luke in his X-Wing flight gear but it looks more like some derpy kid dressed up for fun. You know what I'm talking about, your neighbors cousin who would show up every couple of months and couldn't take the hint that you didn't want to entertain him. Now that your mind is swimming with awkward childhood memories, I can at least say the pin is a decent, albeit fairly standard looking Chewbacca.

As always, I tried to blindly pull items from the box in order to sustain the mystery and surprise for as long as possible. Such an attempt proved challenging this time as one giant item dominated over the others. I figured this was the Pop that had already been spoiled to me by advertisements. I'd have to forgo my usual ritual to get this thing out of the way so I flung open the box, and that's when things took a turn for the bleak.

Let's talk about that Pop first. Continuing a theme from the previous Empire Strikes Back box, we're treated to another deluxe Pop. This time it's Luke in his landspeeder. No complaints here as this is a nice item. The paint, detail, sculpt, and size make for a winning collectible. Plus it continues a potential series of deluxe items for the main characters. Most likely, I would have been more thrilled with the item had it not already been spoiled. Still an awesome exclusive all the same.

The rest of the box is where the problem lies. First up is a Pop Home item, Han Solo and Greedo salt and pepper shakers. Now I've previously defended the inclusion of Pop Home Mugs as they have a variety of potential applications be that a drinking vessel, food bowl, or pot for small plants. Salt and pepper shakers on the other hand only have one function and who in this day and age even uses these things when proper pepper grinders are readily available? These were practically designed to show up at yard sales within the next few years.

Next was a little package that I first thought might be a wallet or something similar. Nope, sweat bands......honest to god, fucking sweat bands. Talk about a gross miscalculation of what costumers want from a Funko box. People subscribe to these services because they're into collectibles that can be displayed in some form or fashion. Items like Pops and Dorbz are easy to show off, t-shirts can be kept, hung, worn and still kept moderately fresh, or even turned into a damn quilt down the line. Even those salt and pepper shakers can be showcased in some way. Sweat Bands have no worth as a collectible and they're only purpose as an article of clothing is to become smelly and disgusting before being tossed in the garbage.

So what else was on tap in this massive anniversary box? Nothing at all. What's worse is looking at the outside of the box we were teased with the potential for a Princess Leia item even though she's nowhere to be found. Every single Funko box I've received thus far always includes the character on the box, even if they're just on the shirt. So why hint at Leia, only to leave a surprising amount of empty space inside? There isn't even the usual information sheet about this months items. Just one great Pop and a some junk.

I try to give Funko a boost whenever I can. By and large I like the company and their products. I've largely enjoyed they're subscription boxes as even the weaker offerings tend to have enough quality to make up for any misgivings. I just can't give them a pass here though. This was a poor offering to begin with, made even worse by failing to live up to the potential of the theme.
On a personal note, I'd already been planing to cut off my subscription in the hope of using that money elsewhere (and saving shelf space) so I really hoped to go out on a good note. Instead I'm leaving with a bitter aftertaste. I can only hope that whenever they decide to make a Return of the Jedi box, someone will have the good sense to make a deluxe Pop of Leia on her speederbike to accompany the two guys.

That's all for this month's unboxing folks. Over the Summer I'm planing to try out a couple different services that have caught my eye. Later in the year, I'm actually thinking of trying out Funko's Disney box as there are plans for a Haunted Forest box. For now though I offer the advice to anyone interested in Funko subscriptions that Smuggler's Bounty still fails to be as solid or consistent as the Marvel and DC options. Now you'll have to excuse me, I've got about ten things to do in the three hours before work. Tah.

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