So here at San Diego Comic Con, or any con for that matter, you will come across a variety of merchandise booths. You may come across a wide plethora of booths selling mystery boxes. Spend $20+ and get $40+ worth of goods and maybe even win an XBOX! Most of them time, at least from my experience, the stuff you get is either things you don’t care about or is just plain ol’ crap. Hell, that’s why I even stopped getting Loot Crate. Another booth you may have seen might be Stylin Online’s booth. Stylin Online is a website that deals in pop culture, from shirts to hats to swimwear. This year Stylin Online had a second, smaller booth selling mystery boxes. Their boxes are filled with 11 single comic issues, 2 graphic novels, a Pop! Vinyl figure and a chance to win a prize. Normally, I pass on mystery boxes, but after talking to the worker at the booth, Jari, and hearing about how much thought that they put into creating their boxes, that you won’t be getting the Adventures of Captain Random #1 from 25 years ago but something you might actually be interested in. Something that is from at least the last 3 years and usually related somehow to a recent event or movie. They said about mystery boxes,
“There are a lot of mystery boxes out there and a lot of them do aim to rip the customer off and that puts negative faith on mystery boxes but we’re not looking to rip you off. You’re getting a lot for your value. We want to put people’s faith back in mystery boxes because it makes me really sad to hear when somebody come by and says, ‘Oh, it’s probably just some trash’, you know, and they just move on. We take a lot of time to select very good comics.”
I thought, “what the heck” and I’d give it a shot.
First the box the it comes in is pretty sturdy, with a fold over velcro lid The front of the box has a little slot in which a comic is placed (which happened to be the Old Man Logan Gwenverine variant), decorating the box, so technically you get 10 mystery comics. Hidden in random boxes is a ticket that states that you are a winner and what prize you won. On their table it shows all the the prizes you can win. So can you actually win one of the big prizes? Yes. It happened that my box contained a winning ticket for a
coffee table Marvel King Size Kirby Collected Edition. You might say, maybe they gave it to you for a stellar review? Nope, because nobody in their right mind would give Captain Random from a small website a $200 coffee table book.
Seriously, that thing is huge and heavy.
So the books. The books consisted of:
- Spider-Girl presents A-Next: Second Coming
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #2
- Convergence #5-8
- Lobo Annual #1
- Jungle Girl Season 3 #4
- Edward Scissorhands #10
- Wonder Woman #42
- Batman #35
So aside from the graphic novels, the single issues are all definitely from within the last 3 years. They are all related somehow to a recent blockbuster movie. Most of my box consisted of mostly DC Justice League related comics. Jungle Girl has dinosaurs so I am assuming it is in for Jurassic World. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad because who doesn’t love Disneyland. The novels I am kind of hit or miss about. On one hand I probably wouldn’t give them a second glance at, but one is written by Neil Gaiman (who is awesome) and the other has that 90’s comic art style that I grew up with, so I’ll give them a shot. The only real problem I have is with what particular issues they picked for the single issues. For Batman, Wonder Woman, Edward Scissorhands and the Lobo Annual, they’re good because they are at the start of an arc, or at the very least start with a story that is accessible, that doesn’t make you seem lost. The others are in the middle of an arc, so it is kind of like, “What’s going on here?” At least, in my case, I needed the last half of Convergence, so that’s good. All in all, it is a pretty solid box and you can see how much thought went into actually deciding what goes into the boxes. At $30, or $20 but without the cool box, I do honestly think it was worth it for 11 single issues, 2 novels and a Pop! Vinyl. Most of which I’ll check out (don’t care for that crazy Mr. Scissorhands).
And just to prove you actually do win big featuring: yours truly.
You can find the Stylin Online mystery box booth at booth #415 in the main exhibit hall at San Diego Comic Con which, as of this writing, will go on for 2 more days.
You can also buy all your shirts and more at their website: www.StylinOnline.com
Stylin Online SDCC Mystery Box
There is clearly a lot of thought put into what goes into the making of these boxes. For $30 (or $20 without the box) you definitely get your money’s worth out of this box.