This week, the Pop Culture League is talking about blind boxes and mystery packs. Other than the LEGO mini figures and Minecraft blind boxes, I try to avoid blind buys at all costs. Dropping four or five bucks on something blindly is not my kind of collecting. I do enjoy the thrill of the reveal, but that feeling is fleeting at best, unless you are lucky enough to get a rare prize.
There is one area of blind buying that has always appealed to me though — trading cards. As far back as I can remember, I have picked up a random pack of non-sports trading cards, just to try my luck. Recently, my kids and I discovered the Dice Masters game from WizKids. I’m sure this game is old news to most gamers, but as my sons are just becoming old enough to actually know how to play this sort of thing, these shiny foil packets have been drawing us like moths to a flame.
If you’re not familiar with the game, Dice Masters is a strategy deck/dice building game that features popular comic and fantasy characters. The game itself can be confusing but we tend to modify the rules to suit our own playing style to make it less cumbersome and more straightforward.
Want to know the real reason why I have no problem buying these blind bags over other mystery packs? The price. These packs are one dollar — the perfect price point for a mystery packet. There’s NO REASON why a LEGO mini figure should cost almost five dollars. If they were a buck, I would probably buy hundreds of them. For a single dollar, you get two playable Dice Masters character cards and a matching die for each card.
Let’s face it, the best part about blind bags is the act of opening them, and opening ten packs of something is way better than one or two.
The starter sets can be purchased on Amazon for around $12, which gives you 44 dice, 38 cards, and a few other items you will need to play the game.
Another advantage that Dice Masters has over blind bag toys is that you use them to play a game — the contents don’t just sit on a shelf. Much like Magic or Pokemon, the cards can actually give you an advantage in the game. The game has its weaknesses, but my kids use the cards and dice to make up other games on their own, when they don’t feel like playing the actual game.
The dice are pretty nice — as a graphic designer, I can appreciate how difficult it can be to boil down a character to a single icon that has to be legible at less than a quarter inch in size. Some of these icons are great — some are not.
A fun aspect of this game is that there are versions from both Marvel and DC, and they are fully compatible. Want to take on Batgirl with Kitty Pryde? You can do that. Batman vs. Punisher? Yep. Oh, and you can get really creative and throw in a few monsters from the Dungeons & Dragons series. This game might finally be the entrée into the world of comic books for my kids. They get excited to learn about each of the characters they unveil after tearing open a new packet — maybe now they’ll finally take an interest in dad’s stack of comics!
I’m not the only one buying blind these days. Check out what the rest of the League thinks of this trend.