Review: Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty Resistance Box – January 2016

 

Star Wars: Smuggler’s Bounty
Resistance Box – January 2016

Jan 2016 Box

 

The Force is still strong with this subscription box.

After the success of the First Order box from Funko’s Star Wars subscription box service, it was a no-brainer for me to upgrade from the month-to-month to a full year subscription. This time around, the service was still capitalizing on the global success of The Force Awakens, but they shifted gears from the bad guys to the Resistance.

The box’s form factor is the same as the First Order box, including durability and the treasure chest layout. The UPS driver who serves my route left this one out in the intermittent Georgia winter rain, and even though the box was damp, the contents were unharmed.

 

Jan 2016 Top Tray

 

Similar to the last box, the top tray for this go-round contained a patch and a pin. The plastic envelopes were both opened on one side due to what looks like a production issue, and as a result the pin was bouncing around in the box. Since the box is well compartmentalized and the pin is quite durable, nothing was damaged.

 

Jan 2016 Patch

 

The patch is embroidered with BB-8, the adorable little hero droid from the new movie and the focus of the marketing for this box. When my wife saw it, she beamed, so I know that it’s a winner in our house. The pin is of Poe Dameron, the hot shot star pilot of the Resistance, although at first it kind of looked like Jessika Pava, the female X-Wing pilot from the film. One can dream, right?

 

Jan 2016 Pin

 

Under the platform that housed the pin and patch was a navy blue Funko t-shirt. This time, it was a movie-themed shirt focused on the heroes of the Resistance. In my opinion, it is much more attractive than the simple figure shirts from the last box, although I would have liked to see Rey more front and center. Regardless, it is still a nice shirt design. Based on what I’ve been able to find so far, it seems that every box is the same this time, so there are no shirt variations or chase figures.

 

Jan 2016 shirt

 

The big ticket items this time were one exclusive Funko Pop figure and a Funko Home ceramic mug. The figure is of Chewbacca with his bowcaster, and while I have never really been impressed with the figures of the Wookiee before, this one really caught my attention. It’s actually furry, and that somehow makes it adorable.

 

Jan 2016 Chewie

 

The ceramic mug is modeled after the protocol droid C-3PO, right down to the detail of his red arm as the mug’s handle. It seems like a sturdy, wide 12-ounce mug, but it is hand wash only and not microwave safe. Those two criteria are killers in my house, so I’m not quite sure what I plan to do with this item.

 

Jan 2016 Mug

 

In the end, remember that the promise made by Funko is that this $25 box will contain $50 worth of merchandise without any filler. By my estimation, Funko has once again delivered on their promises of value and content. The figure is about $10 in stores, and the t-shirt is in the $15-25 ballpark depending on the vendor. The pin and patch are around the $5 price point each, so the real wild card this time is the mug. Most of the comparable mugs online go for about $10, which places this box in the $45-55 range. All of that without any mini-comics or postcards.

The next box, which is due to arrive in mid-March, is centered on the cantina from A New Hope, and the spotlighted character is Greedo. The order window closes in early March. If you’re on the fence, I recommend the $25 “pirate” plan, but if you really want these kind of items with a Star Wars flair, I fully endorse the annual “smuggler” plan.

Review: Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty Premiere Box

 

Star Wars: Smuggler’s Bounty
Premiere Box – November 2015

Smugglers Box Nov 15 1

 

The subscription toy box by mail model is nothing new, but it is certainly an expanding one. Popularized by Loot Crate over the last few years, the concept is simple: In exchange for a periodic fee, a box will arrive filled with collectibles focused on a theme. What started as a monthly box of collectibles for geeks has expanded into regular boxes of toys for pets, health food aficionados, doomsday preppers, and even more kinky pleasures. Whatever you want, there’s probably a subscription box for it.

Now there is one for Star Wars fans.

Powered by Funko, the same company behind the adorable cartoonish vinyl bobble-head dolls with oversized noggins, Star Wars: Smuggler’s Bounty promises to deliver completely exclusive items, valued at double the subscription price of $25, with a guarantee of no filler. One of the things that prevented me from investing in Loot Crate or similar boxes were reviews from friends who were disappointed; the boxes tended to have one or two big ticket items like t-shirts or action figures surrounded by the detritus or miniature five-page comics, stickers, and generic paper bookmarks or postcards. Funko’s promise that the entire box would effectively be a big ticket purchase sold me on trying the first installment.

The premiere box, focused on the villainous First Order of The Force Awakens, was shipped via UPS and was transferred to the USPS for delivery, and it made no bones about what it was. It boldly stated on the outside that this was a box full of goods from a galaxy far, far away – or at least as far as the CollectorCorps.com headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The box was very durable and was sealed with a strip of packing tape.

 

Smugglers Box Nov 15 2

 

The front flap of the box pulled out and opened the top like a treasure chest, revealing two items attached to an intermediate platform. The first was an embroidered patch showcasing a TIE pilot from the new movie. The second was a collectible Kylo Ren trading pin. Both of these items looked like something of the same quality that is found at the Disney Parks.

 

Smugglers Box Nov 15 3

 

The platform folded up to reveal the depths of the bounty, including a simple badge lanyard and a navy blue Funko t-shirt with the First Order stormtrooper, along with two Funko Pop figures. A friend of mine who also signed up for the box received a Kylo Ren shirt instead, so they appear to be randomized around the First Order theme.

 

Smugglers Box Nov 15 4

 

I received the chrome-plated Captain Phasma and a pure black TIE pilot, and after looking at the back of the boxes, there is another TIE pilot with red stripes in the series. I wonder if it was randomly packed or if it will be an hard-to-find exclusive available later on.

After it was revealed to be in the box a month ago, the Captain Phasma figure was one of items I was anticipating most. The figures on store shelves are painted a metallic gray, which isn’t quite the same chrome effect we’ve seen on the character in the trailers. The chrome Phasma adds an extra (forgive me) pop to the figure.

The Star Wars Funko figures have all been on attached to a logo-branded pedestal, which is fairly unique in the brand. Other figures I’ve purchased stand alone, and the TIE pilot I received in this box is removable from its pedestal. I don’t know if this is a unique feature, or if it didn’t get a couple of dabs of glue before leaving the assembly line.

 

Smugglers Box Nov 15 5

 

By my estimation, Funko delivered on their promises of value and content. The figures go for around $10 in stores, and the t-shirt is of the same quality you’d find at sites like TeeFury for $10-15. Hot Topic sells the Funko Pop shirts for $20-25. The pin, patch, and lanyard all go for about $5 at Disney Parks, and while they are the low end items of the box, they certainly beat the socks off mini-comics and postcards.

In addition to the $25 every other month plan, Smuggler’s Bounty also offers a yearly plan for $150 (payable all at once) with an exclusive gift on the anniversary of subscription. The January box has already been announced with a Force Awakens Resistance theme and a focus on the spherical droid BB-8.

The Force is strong with this box, and I’m definitely willing to take home my share of the bounty once more.