Review: Zbox Harry Potter Special Edition Unboxing

So in June Zavvi announced that they were creating a Zbox special edition mystery box theme on Harry Potter, with each item being Harry Potter related merchandise. The price for this box was £29.99, £10 more than Zavvi's usual mystery boxes, and limited to 500 pieces, with my wife's birthday coming up, I thought it was worth ordering since she is a big Harry Potter fan.
The way these mystery boxes usually work is enticing you with the contents of the box being of higher value than the selling price, but because what is included is random, that's the risk you sort of take. In the US, Subscription crates like Loot Crate and Marvel Corps offer exclusive items to make the purchase worth while. While nothing was advertised as 'exclusive', with this being a 'special edition, I was at least hoping some good contents, or good value for money. I have my opinion of that, but I'll let you judge for yourselves.
Upon opening this box,which is a large box for these mystery boxes, my first impressions are that it looks rather empty. It looks like the a lot of the box is padded out by padded air pocket packing. The artwork in the box is nice, but that's not what you're paying for really. Zbox hasn't got the reputation as a brand to be seen as a Collectible item itself.
Removing the padding from the box, the contents become clear. 4 items. Just 4 items. £30 for 4 items. Nothing unique, nothing particularly exciting. For a special edition box, I thought on appearances,this was pretty poor. Maybe the retail value of these items exceeds £30, but judging from first impressions, I was not impressed.
So the first item was a Hugglepuff woolly hat. It's well made as official merchandise should be, and it's colourful, but it's a seasonal item of clothing. Not everyone wants to wear bright yellow hats in winter. Not everyone wants to wear a Hugglepuff badge. I think this is a niche item and won't appeal to everyone. The hat is retailing right now for £13.99 on TruffleShuffle. I wouldn't pay half for this and imagine it will appear in sales a lot cheaper.
Next up was an A5 Premium Notebook with the Hogwarts crest etched into a leather looking cover. This is a nice looking product, and something my wife will definitely use. I would think something like this would be around £10, and digging around, that's how much you can pay on eBay. It's an expensive notebook with the price probably putting me off from buying it in a shop.
This is a little unfair, as my wife already has this quidditch Funko Pop. And that's the problem with Funko Pops. Everyone has one. No matter what Harry Potter Funko they included in this box, someone would have it being a Harry Potter fan. The only way to prevent this is it's an exclusive item, but with a limited run of 500 boxes, that is not sustainable. Funko so can be picked up for £9.99. It's a good figure sure, but predictable to include a Funko, while Zavvi should really expect many fans would have these easy to find collectibles.
Lastly we have a large 500ml Hogwarts glass. It's a nice product that anyone can use, and will be the second item my wife will keep. It's another £8-£10 retail product. Again, expensive for a single glass. It's a mixed bag, because had she didn't already own the Funko, it would have been 3 of 4 items kept. However, had it been any other Funko, there's no guaranteeing she would have been happy with it. And while the suggested retail of these items is around £40, I don't think there's good value for money for those items. I don't think we would pay £10 for a glass or notebook. I think we will struggle to resell the Hugglepuff hat on eBay, or find anyone to regift it to. I think I could do some digging and buy all these for £30, but the thing is, I don't think they would have been items that we would have searched out for. They aren't essential collectibles, and there is nothing special about them. For a special edition Zbox, everything is so dull. I feel very disappointed and a little robbed for paying £30 as they are nearly retail value items that are still overpriced. It certainly isn't value for money. To make matters worse, this box was delayed for a month! So what was supposed to be a birthday gift came very late. The original date was 31st July, and it wasn't delivers until 3rd September! No compensation, no apologetic gesture. The excuse was there being a delay in one of these products, but because they are all just off the shelf items, I don't see what the hold up could have been. This was a disappointing expensive box with overpriced items to try justifying it's value, but there's no value for money here, and for a special edition box to just be 4 items that can be bought easily off the shelf, no exclusives, and only going to keep 2 items just for convenience rather than wanting them to begin with, well it's a pretty poor outcome. I've been tempted by Zbox for some time, but this is the last time they will get my money. I would have preferred to have kept the £30 to have spent on Harry Potter merchandise she would have wanted, and that's the problem with these boxes, you can't trust what's in them. It just looks like excess stock that someone is trying to clear out. Don't waste your money on these special editions again folks. And if you have money to burn, look up some subscription boxes that offer something exclusive to get value for your money, or just search for someone you actually want to spend your money on rather than gambling on a mystery Zbox.


Rumble Slam - KickStarter

Rumble Slam is a Fantasy Wrestling board game with fantastic looking miniatures currently on Kickstarter that I have been pretty excited about. It's past it's funding goal and unlocking stretchgoals as we speak, but I kept mentioning about the character designs and to make them look more like wrestlers by adding more wrestling type attire.

Below are te original artwork for Rumble Slam, with my tweaks done over the top of them. Just minor changes to make them either look more like wrestlers, or to make them a little different than generic wrestlers that are part of the regular teams.

Find out more about Rumble Slam here: http://kck.st/1m3xuwA
Original artwork belongs to TTC.


Female Assassins

A quick edit of the Dragon Tides preview of the female assassin sculpt.
I opted to give her sais and changed her leg position. I also tried removing her boots to give her heels, a mask, and changed her boots into a cool gauntlet / arm protector.




Bruce Lee themes

Dragon Tides is down to it's final 48 hours and asked backers to suggest themes for fun. 
For a martial arts themed game starring Bruce Lee, main characters from Street Fighter were an obvious link, as well as a nod to Dragonball Z. But doing Ryu made me think of another beat-em-up, Tekken, and the artwork was easy enough to adapt.

Just quick fun doodles.

Click the links and back the project!

Return of the Dragon -- Kicktraq Mini


The Sparring Program

So I posted a graphic I mocked up for the Kickstarter game 'Dragon Tides'.
Well a few of us were discussing dream expansions and characters we would like to see, and one that stuck out was the Sparring Program scene from the Matrix. 

So I quickly whipped out photoshop on some pictures to make them look 'arty', and here we go. It's sort of 'in-style' with the artwork in Dragon Tides promo art. The names of the characters are from te actor's filmography. Anyway, just something fun.

You can check out the Kickstarter page and compare the original image here - http://kck.st/1CVDjPV


Dragon Tides Kickstarter

So I visit Kickstarter a lot and I am always on the look out for great looking games. 

One I came across was Dragon Tides, a role playing game with miniatures that was fully licensed with Bruce and Brandon Lee featuring, a long with many more exciting characters and miniatures.

The project just successfully funded and still has 16 days to go. However I thought the main image could do with an update to show off the painted minis and display a more eye-catching 'funded' sign, as well as add some description in the picture. This is what I came up with.

You can check out the Kickstarter page and compare the original image here - http://kck.st/1CVDjPV


Celtic Claw...again

Another drawing of my character Celtic Claw. Decided to draw the last costume version in a more serious style to see how it works. I like it.

Celtic Claw Redesign

Did a quick sketch of an old character, trying out a different design for him. Looks more like his 'classic' look, but looks more sensible.


More Pants Action!

pent an extra half hour to 45 minutes to finishes this picture off. Glad I did, think it looks much better.

Pants Action!

Been a long time since I have drawn this guy. Underpants Boy, a character I made up in 2006 during my Art Foundation course. Last time I drew him was probably 2 years ago. Just cracked this out for fun. Around 90-120 minutes? Gotta work faster. Still thinking of adding some lighting. We'll see.


Happy Hour

My character AngelCrusher having a drink, all for a Happy Hour art jam on deviantArt.


Hela 'va good Figure

After seeing the final sculpt for the last figurine of the THE CLASSIC MARVEL FIGURINE COLLECTION, and how brilliant it looks, I was feeling creative.

Ok, I was too tired to do any commissions so thought this would be easier just to get something creative done before bed. Anyway, this is an alternate costume for Hela. I didn't go all out modifying the costume properly, so its more of just a digital repaint.


Cute Avengers Framed

Signed and framed for sale especially for the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Show tomorrow.

Doctor Who Are ya?

Quick and crappy Matt Smith Dr Who Caricature before bed.
Keep meaning to do a proper picture of him.

Ah well. Make do.


Avengers Assemble

Some cute Avengers fan-art.

Started as a sketch of Captain America while at a crafts fair while I was bored. Went to another crafts fair, and drew Iron Man and Thor. Then Hulk and Black Widow the next day. And so it ended up with this.

All traditional pencils. Didn't use any reference as I wasn't too picky about it.

Hope y'all like anyway.


Fisticuff Animation

Didnt work. Maybe a deviantArt link will...

Fisticuff Animation by *AngelCrusher on deviantART

Exported flash animation as a gif to see if it has a transparent background to post on deviantArt. So essentially, this is a TESTSTETSTETSTETETSTETSTEST.



Skurge II

After seeing some fantastic quick renders of the character, most of us on the blog thought it didn't look very dynamic and I thought there didn't feel like enough power in the stance. So I changed it up with him leaning on his axe, and lowered his face to make his glare look more intimidating. I also flared out the shoulder pads more and filled in other details.



My edit to the recently uploading concept art of Skurge for the CMFC. Just removed guns, put axe in both hands, cut away the screaming, although it does work also but I was just messing around.THE CLASSIC MARVEL FIGURINE COLLECTION: The truth is out there...


Character Mentor 2

Helping others with their drawings and design work. Have a read on all the tips I gave.