This is a question I have asked myself since I first attended a comic convention, because these things are everywhere and I swear each time I go they get even more plentiful… There are almost as many stalls selling some kind of mystery box or blind bag as there are people selling Funko pop figures… in fact almost half the boxes claim to contain at least 1 pop figure… I even once purchased a mystery box which just contained 10 pops!
I’ve purchased a lot of these now and to be honest I still don’t really understand them, even though I feed the demand further by not only buying them every time but increasing the number of boxes I purchase at each event.
The reason why I bring this up is that tomorrow I’ll be heading over to MCM comic con in London again and no doubt I’ll be bringing back some mystery boxes and I’m still debating as to whether I should do an unboxing video. My “home office” still has in it most of the rubbish we put in there when we cleared out the baby room, so there’s a good chance that I won’t but at least I will make sure to post some unboxing reviews with pictures.
There are a few different options to go for, and they can vary wildly in price!
Specific supplier mystery boxes
You get this a lot with smaller supplier at these cons, such as those selling hand made jewelry, art or bath products etc. and with these you can usually get a fairly good feel for what might be in such a package or if you’re likely to like it based on the other stuff they make / sell. These are usually also the cheaper kinds of mystery boxes.
Specific theme mystery boxes
A second safe-ish bet is getting a box with a theme. As I said I’ve purchased a mystery box just containing Funko pop figures before and the same supplier also twice has sold me Fallout mystery boxes. These boxes are usually great quality and value for money but the risk with buying multiples on one theme is that you might get the same product twice (which i did several times with just 2 boxes a year apart), whilst the other risk is that if its something you collect anyway that it might already be elsewhere in your collection at home. But of course at least you know that everything will have some kind of appeal to the theme you collect.
Wild mystery boxes
These can contain literally anything! They will usually tell you how many items are in there, how much it is at least worth and sometimes give a clue such as that it contains at least 1 pop or a t-shirt etc. These are the highest risk as they can represent so many different fandoms that the chance of you liking all of them isn’t that great! They could have anything from Batman and Gotham to Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, Nintendo and Sony to BBC and Sky Atlantic or from Star Wars and Star Trek to Tekken and Street Fighter… The list of things that could be in there is almost endless!
Yet still we lap them up!
No one else buys them in that quantity… It’s just us nerds, geeks, gamers, cos players and other lovers of of everything a little bit nerdy!
They are a lot of fun and the fun of it is that you really have no idea. And the thing with nerds is that we do usually like a wide variety of STUFF and that these boxes are bound to contain enough STUFF that we at least like one or two things, have a use for some of the rest and know someone else who’d appreciate the remains!
Also it doesn’t just end with mystery boxes, it also includes mystery vinyls, which there are plenty of whether its a Funko pint sized hero, a Dunny mystery pack or a mystery mini from Titan, amongst tons of others! There really are a lot of these on the market, and I think our love of these goes back to how we love collecting these kinds of things (whether they are figures, game cards or stickers) as kids. It’s exciting then and it should stay exciting now. I think one thing which nerds go very well is that we hold on to our childhood passions and remember what it is to appreciate and seek out fun. After all comic cons are places designed for people to go in fancy dress, buy toys and get comic books… These are all things which wider society will tell you are things for kids to do! Yet comic cons have very little for sale or activities to do for people who bring children – figure that out!
So has that answered my question?
No… Well maybe a little.
I’m still stuck at nerds like mystery boxes cause they’re a bit of fun but you risk spending a lot of money (my big Funko mystery box and to date still my most expensive was £90) on a pile of clutter we would never buy or actually want in our homes. It really is perplexing, but guess what…
I’m definitely buying at least one more tomorrow!
If you want to get your mystery box fix, check out the awesome subscription service at Zavvi!