Nerd Block is a monthly pop culture subscription box service designed to appeal to geeks and gamers, and catering to a variety of interests with the Classic Block, Arcade Block, Horror Block, Sci-Fi Block and more.
I decided to take a gamble on Vinylpalooza 3.0, a limited box (now sold out) that offered 4 Pop Vinyls and 2 Dorbz figures for $19.99 USD plus shipping. That seemed like an incredible deal, considering the franchises that were supposedly up for grabs! Every box was meant to be different with 6 Funko products from a variety of pop culture sources, including the following:
Spoiler alert – this was not the case at all. Most people ended up getting the exact same box, which was very unfortunate for those who ordered MULTIPLE boxes after being reassured on Facebook that each box would have completely distinct pops and little chance of duplicates.
Even worse, only a couple of the popular IPs from their promotional material featured in the boxes – look, nobody EXPECTS that the pops they love and hope for the most will be in the box, but based on the advertising, we do have a reasonable expectation that there is at least a CHANCE that some people will be receiving pops from, say, Suicide Squad or Captain America or Star Wars. We purchase these boxes in the hopes that we will be lucky enough to be one of those people, but that was not even a remote possibility here.
Aside from the box I received (the most common one sent out), there were only two variations: Exhibit A and Exhibit B. These weren’t wildly varying either, mostly different characters from the same franchises.
OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS
I like Gamora, but I’m not a fan of humans in Dorbz form. The squat rounded structure of the figure just doesn’t look right to me, and personally, I prefer non-human Dorbz (the Rocket Raccoon and Groot Dorbz were so much cooler).
Not keen on either Dorbz, but I knew going in I probably wouldn’t love them, I bought this mainly for the Pops. At least both Dorbz are from a listed franchise.
No idea who this is – Borderlands was NOT one of the listed franchises. I’m not sure what’s going on with his face…is ‘Handsome’ Jack meant to be ironic?
Another franchise that wasn’t in the promo. I actually enjoyed this movie, the sequel was much more fun to me than the prequel, but Jake was my least favorite character. This is also a very generic pop, I wouldn’t know who this was without being told.
Okay, this is pretty neat! I don’t watch Game of Thrones anymore, but I do like the merchandise for it (I bought the $55 Daenerys & Drogon pop!) and I’m fond of Oberyn (RIP). His outfit’s quite detailed and it’s cool he comes with a weapon, hehe.
Why. WHY. Sixteen Candles?! Nobody was checking for this! What a slap in the face, ugh.
Quality of Curation: 0/10, very unsatisfactory.
Worth It? Objectively, the value is there – if I bought these locally, it’d cost $105.94 AUD. In USD, the value is $49.37, which is surprising to me – pops are so expensive here that seeing the prices on Amazon was a bit of a shock. But this was about twice the cost of the box, to be fair.
Personal Feelings: The problem is that I’m not keen on most of these figures and the $45.74 AUD I spent could’ve gone towards buying two pops I actually like. I know, I know, you could say that about any mystery box – the problem here is that the ONE pop I like is from a listed franchise, whereas the other 3 are not. If they’d actually followed through with what they promised, I probably would’ve loved this box. As it is, I wouldn’t have thrown money down the drain if I’d known that I wasn’t going to be getting pops from the IPs they were using to promote this.
To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Nerd Block obviously wanted to clear old stock, which is fair enough, however misrepresenting to the public what they might be receiving in these boxes is extraordinarily deceitful and I am so furious at the lies in their advertising campaign.
I reached out to Customer Care to express my irritation and received this response:
Thanks for reaching out to Nerd Block.
We completely understand your concerns and have been taking every step to rectify it, especially with our clients who have ordered multiple Blocks.
There is no excuse for this miscommunication between our production team and marketing team.
We have been offering customers who’ve ordered more than 1 block 400,000 Punch Points (a $20.00 value) per block on our sister site, http://www.shirtpunch.com , and would like to offer you the same regardless of only ordering the one block. If you are unfamiliar with the site it has a toy section where there is a variety of POPs and other toys (and clothing).
Please accept this offer as an apology for a situation we strive to make sure never happens again.
If you are OK with the opportunity to select some of your own toys from our site, please create an account and let us know the email you used to sign up so we can get the credits on your account as soon as possible.
We appreciate your email and concerns.
That was pretty decent and it helped soothe my ruffled feathers. At least they acknowledged they were at fault and offered some measure of compensation to smooth things over. However, then I heard from a friend of mine who’d also contacted Customer Care and had the exact opposite experience – her case was handled by another employee who ‘apologized for any confusion’, but that it had always been the case that pops would be randomly selected and not necessarily from the named franchises.
Which begs the question – why lead your consumers to believe that they may get something when there is ZERO CHANCE that will happen? Obviously to entice people to purchase something that they wouldn’t have wasted their money on had we been aware of the truth. It’s like saying someone who purchased a Game of Thrones mystery mini should be satisfied with receiving a Barbie mini instead because hey, there’s no obligation to include one of the items on the packaging! It’s really quite appalling.
The worst part is that their themes for next month look amazing. I’m really agonizing at the moment whether or not I can justify spending more money with this company after this debacle.
The Classic Box is featuring items from Ghostbusters, Batman, Star Trek, Attack On Titan, Star Wars and Harry Potter!
And the Sci-Fi Block has TWO items from The X-files, as well as others from Star Trek and Star Wars! I love all three franchises, damn it! I’m a bit puzzled that they’re doing both Star Trek and Star Wars in the Classic AND Sci-fi Blocks, though. O.o