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Friday, July 22, 2016

#StarWarsSmugglersBounty Review: July 2016

July's usually-reliable Star Wars/Funko Smuggler's Bounty sub box is a JABBA'S PALACE-sized disappointment.

Review by Matt Cummings

With our cancellation of Geek Fuel and Loot Crate, we're now committed to the every-other-month sub box model. For the most part, we've felt like we made a good decision, with boxes from Marvel Collector Corps and DC Legion kicking large amount of superhero ass. Unfortunately, the July submission for Smuggler's Bounty (JABBA's PALACE) provides the first disappointment in the oft-month model, and cements growing evidence of malaise and even outright cheapness with this particular line.

Before diving in, let's review the details:
  • The cost for a Month to Month is $25 (plus S/H), or $150 (plus S/H) for a one-year subscription.
  • You get one box every other month, with SB promising $50 in value and no fluff.
  • If you choose the Smuggler membership (yearly), you are promised an additional gift on your anniversary. Guess which one we chose.

  • Again, this month's theme is JABBA'S PALACE, highlighting the various races that graced the gangster's palace on Tatooine from 1983's Return of the Jedi. Check out our unboxing below and we'll meet you on the back end to share some thoughts:

    Winners
    Clearly, the best items here begin with the pin/patch set of Boushh and the Gamorrean Guard. They're both high quality, and continue to represent a strong opening for every box since the box's inception in 2015. The real saving grace to July's box is the exclusive Pop! fig of Jabba Skiff R2-D2. You might remember that R2 was outfitted as a drink server while on Jabba's skiff, complete with a rack and table for the drinks. Of course, he was also secretly holding Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, which this toy does not seem to incude. But overall, these exclusive Pops are always well-crafted: notice the attention to detail in the drink stand, which really makes the figure pop (no pun intended). It's already selling for a good price on the secondary market, and we could easily secure our money back for this month if we decided to sell it.

    Losers
    Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. A few months ago I lamented about receiving a crappy Funko C3PO mug (which was not easy to drink from) and was converted into a pen case at work. Apparently, Funko thought it would be nice to provide us with yet another terrible mug, this time of Jabba the Hut himself. The issues present in C3PO are the same with Jabba, but there's also very little detail to this mug as you can see. It's a real disappointment, but sadly not the only one. The hat is interesting, but not really my thing; in fact, I don't know of any geek who wears a hat that isn't a helmet of their favorite character. It's not a bad hat (as you can see from the Star Wars labeling under the brim), but it's just not something I'll wear. What's perhaps most disappointing is the fact that I can think of any number of Jabba-themed t-shirts that would have made a bigger impact. Considering the homerun with May's BOUNTY HUNTERS shirt, the hat comes off as a real disappointment. Granted, the idea of a 'wearable' does include hats, but again one could imagine a dozen different t-shirt designs that would have kicked ass. The plush is another yawner, an item seemingly thrown in as part of a Hot Topic raid. There's nothing 'exclusive' about it, and I'll be packaging it up with the hat and mug on eBay.

    An Unwelcome Change
    This outing of Smuggler's Bounty delivers the first disappointment in what's been a usually solid series of boxes. From the lame hat and plush to another undrinkable mug, it's clear that SB needs to take a moment to understand why lesser boxes like Geek Fuel and Loot Crate are no longer in my lineup. This is a matter of QUALITY and TIMING, two factors which now have given me pause about the course which Smuggler's Bounty has laid out. This more-mature sub box requires higher-quality items than a hat and mug, and with a merely decent May, July now establishes a trend towards cheap. I sincerely hope that SB realizes that our expectations are higher for an every-other-month box and will work to correct their course. If not, I could be adding Smuggler's Bounty to a long line of high-quality boxes that couldn't keep up with their own success.

    Want to read our other sub box reviews? We've got them all listed below:
    MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS
    May
    June
    August
    October
    December
    February
    April
    June

    GEEK FUEL REVIEWS
    September
    October
    November
    December
    January
    March
    April
    May
    June

    SMUGGLER'S BOUNTY
    January
    March
    May
    June


    Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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