And a commitment it is, as all such subscriptions are. They're the ultimate blind pack — at least 5 times more expensive than a single Mystery Mini, for a payoff that therefore has the potential to be five times more disappointing. Here's how it's gone so far.
Smuggler's Bounty 1 - November 2015
The theme of the first Smuggler's Bounty was the First Order from The Force Awakens. I knew this going in, well ahead of the movie's release. I had mixed feelings about the then-upcoming film (and still do), but I wanted to get in on the ground floor so ordered anyway. (My feelings toward this first box, I suspect, are in no small way influenced by my ambivalent feelings toward the new movie.) Funko had promised that all SB merch would be exclusive to the boxes, and while this sounded really great, my worry was that "exclusive" would mean "repaint." That was only partially the case with November's box, which, as Funko promised, would contain items other than Pop!s.
|Smuggler's Bounty Exclusive Captain Phasma (Chrome) Pop!|
|Smuggler's Bounty Exclusive First Order TIE Fighter Pilot Pop!|
|Smuggler's Bounty Snowtrooper t-shirt|
|Smuggler's Bounty Star Wars lanyard|
|Smuggler's Bounty First Order patch|
|Smuggler's Bounty Kylo Ren pin|
November's box wasn't the most spectacular premiere it could have been, but it wasn't entirely disappointing, either. And, as is to be expected, some boxes will be better than others.
Smuggler's Bounty 2 - January 2016
The theme for this box — the Resistance — was announced soon after (or maybe even before) I had received the first one, so I knew I was in for another box full of Force Awakens products. As I suspected this would be the case for the first few boxes I had lowered my expectations. I'm sorry to say I did not lower them enough for January's box.
|Smuggler's Bounty exclusive flocked Chewbacca Pop!|
January contained only one Pop!, a flocked version of the previously released Force Awakens Chewbacca. What can I say about flocked figures? I don't think I can say anything more fitting than what Roger Ebert said about the movie North, so I'll adapt his review to my need:
"I hate flocked Pop!s. Hate hate hate hate hate flocked Pop!s. Hate them. Hate every simpering stupid vacant collector-insulting aspect of them. Hate the sensibility that thought anyone could like them. Hate the implied insult to the collector by its belief that anyone would be interested in them."I didn't mean for that to sound so harsh. No, I did. Flocked toys, even when brand new, look like something you would find in your grandmother's attic, something so decrepit that you can't tell if it ever looked new or dust-free in all its life — "What was this thing? Was it always this way? Did it once have longer fur that wore off over time? Or is it covered in mold or some strange 1940's version of rubber that has since been found to cause defects in mice? Keep it away from my other toys, lest it spread its plastic virus among them!" Of all variations of repaint, flocked is my least favorite, less desirable even than "holographic" or "glow-in-the-dark." And since I had already purchased the much nicer original Force Awakens Chewie, this Pop! was completely superfluous.
|Smuggler's Bounty C-3PO mug|
|Smuggler's Bounty Resistance characters t-shirt|
|Smuggler's Bounty Resistance patch|
|Smuggler's Bounty Resistance pilot patch|
The remaining items were a Resistance patch featuring BB-8 and an enamel pin bearing the likeness of either Poe Dameron or a nameless Resistance pilot. Both items are nice companion pieces to November's patch and pin, but after two of each shape and design, I really hope things are changed up a next time.
"Cantina" has been announced as the theme of the next Smuggler's Bounty box, and Funko's Facebook announcement suggests that by "cantina" we're talking original Tatooine cantina, not Maz Kanata's place from The Force Awakens. I thought I would have to wait longer to get an Original Trilogy box, so this is great news. I really hope we get a character that has not yet been given the Pop! treatment, like Myo, Hem Dazon, or Hrchek Kal Fas. My fear is that Funko will include a third Modal Nodes Pop!, which would be a terrible thing for non-subscribers who have already purchased the first two. Looking forward to March nonetheless!