Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Mantic Crazy Box, 2014

Introduction


Every December, at least for the past few years, Mantic have put a "crazy box" into their online shop.  This is, according to their own description, "a massive box of goodies for next to nothing".  Well, £25 plus postage isn't really my definition of next to nothing, but you do tend to get quite a lot of stuff in these boxes.

This year, I was curious to see what I might get in this lucky dip, so I ordered a box.  I was hopeful that I might get some Dreadball models or some of their new sci-fi zombies.  Even some more fantasy elves would be welcome, since my middle son has decided that he wants to build such an army for Hordes of the Things (though to be honest, I don't think that he wants to put any real effort into painting them himself).

I'm full of cold this weekend and feeling pretty rubbish, really.  However, my crazy box arrived on Friday and I've had a day to look at it now.  So, what did I get - and did it cheer me up?


The Contents

Firstly, there was a Kings of War poster in the box.  However that doesn't even appear in any of these pictures because one of my sons snaffled it immediately.  I haven't seen it since.  However, here's the rest of the stuff:

A sprue of 10 elf archers

A packet of 10 (?) Basilean cavalry.  Think "nuns riding giant panthers" and you won't be too far wrong.

One Dreadball figure.  I believe that this is a Keeper from the female Corporation team (the Void Sirens) and therefore this model will be immediately useful.  It does have a considerable amount of flash, sadly.

An introductory, pocket-sized version of the rules for Kings of War.  Seems nice and simple, but I don't think I'll be playing this game - I've already got too many other sets of rules.

2 terrain accessory sprues.  I've got a couple of these already; they have a good collection of sci-fi barrels and crates on them, as well as a lamp-post and a ladder.

2 strange creatures, a bit like giant wolves with mechanical heads and chainsaws instead of tongues.  I believe that these are Deadzone "mawbeasts" and I really don't like them at all.  Too silly...

A pack with 3 figures: 2 sci-fi humans and a small, crouching alien (something like a chimpanzee).

Another alien.  This time it's a giant, floating squid/jellyfish thing.  Interesting.  I wonder how I could use such a creature in one of my games?  Perhaps as a space monster in Full Thrust

A sci-fi Orc with a cloak and a peaked cap.

3 single-piece, 28mm modern humans.  I think that these must be from the newish Mars Attacks range.

Conclusion

There are some interesting models here, though not as much as I'd hoped that will be immediately useful.  The really big item is the panther cavalry (the Mantic website gives them an rrp of £19.99); I'm wondering whether I can re-purpose these either as beasts for my embryonic Hordes of the Things Barbarian army (by adding a figure or two as handlers/beastmasters), or use them as exotic cavalry for my son's elf army.  The supplied mounted figures really aren't right for the latter, though and I don't think that I have any suitable spares.

I've no use for the Orc or the mawbeasts.  Of the rest, I can use the Dreadball keeper straight away, the Mars Attacks people can be used as survivors of the zombie apocalypse and most of the other models have possibilities for the future.

So, was it worth it?  There are some models here that I can use, most certainly!  If I ever get round to selling the bits I don't need then the answer is probably yes, it was worth it.  On the other hand, if they just end up taking storage space forever more then perhaps it wasn't?

28 comments:

  1. Hmmm... I must confess when I saw your shot of the open box I thought 'Hell its two-thirds empty!!!'. I suppose there is some nice stuff to be had. All of the DZ stuff looks terrific, and I have one of the floating aliens from the KS. The Orx cyberbeasts I like too. But I get the distinct impression with all of these boxes (and I've read a few reviews/openings now) that Mantic simply fill them with whatever isn't selling well - The cavalry unit being a very example of this and Nuns on Panthers is a first class description of them :-) Hopefully though there's enough there for you to feel you've got vfm. You've certainly convinced me to steer clear. Thanks for posting this though. Nice to see what your thoughts are and what you got :-)

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    1. Well, for someone with eclectic tastes like me, there's relatively little here for which I cannot think of *some* use :-) . As for the package - it's the contents that matter, not the size of the box!

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    2. "As for the package - it's the contents that matter, not the size of the box!" - truer words were never spoken C6 :-)

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  2. I hope you are happy with your selection, Hugh, but I must agree with Blax, this is not something I'd be interested in purchasing. It seems far too much like a lucky dip. Yes, you may get some useful stuff but you're just as likely to end up with stuff you don't want. By the way, I can confirm that the three red plastic heroes are from "Mars Attacks."

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    1. Thanks, Bryan. I wasn't trying to sell this to anyone else :-) , really!

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  3. I've always been curious about these boxes. I was surprised by how empty the box looked, but the list of bits does seem to add up quite nicely.

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    1. I think that if you add up the rrp of each item in the box then it will come to greatly more than the cost of the crazy box. Of course, the *value* is different from the cost and is probably based on how much of the stuff is actually useful :-) !

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  4. I think the "crazy Box" refers to the buyer having to be crazy to buy one - just kidding.
    I do think though that in any "lucky bag" you're never going to get a lot of anything that is immediately useful. I doubt I would ever take up this kind of offer as I'd invariably be disappointed with the contents.

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    1. Well, each to his own. I quite enjoy the excitement of finding out what I've got (and my gambling in this manner is strictly limited!). I'm sure I'll be able to offload the bits I really don't want on eBay - or perhaps as competition prizes? Muahahaa!

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    2. (I have to admit chortling at your evil mastermind laugh !)

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  5. I got my box this friday as well. Took the SCIFI only box. I liked it. But then again I play Deadzone as well so have more use there.

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    1. Are you planning on doing an unboxing yourself then. I's be very interested to see what sort of thing comes within that one? All DZ and scenery?

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    2. Yes, I'd also be interested in hearing what you got in the sci-fi box!

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    3. Damn...should have done as an unboxing. Well I got some rebs and plague for deadzone. as you got, a female dreadball palyer, a juvanite and a terratron. forgefathers and their jotin big gun. The cholar model in metal. And the same as you in scenery.

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  6. You don't seem all that excited. And you did take a chance on a "Lucky dip" so I hope you can find a use for it all. Clearly not for me but I do hope you can use it all.

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    1. I think some of that is the thick head cold I'm suffering at the moment - it's difficult to get excited about *anything* right now!

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  7. Mate, contact me on lordsiwoc@gmail.com

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  8. Hmm.. Sounds like a bit too much of a mixed bag.. But perhaps if you can make some pennies back it will be better..

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    1. A mixed bag, for sure. However, for someone like me with eclectic interests, still quite interesting.

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  9. You pay your money and you take a chance, but certainly some interesting bits and pieces and a fun element to boot.

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    1. Thanks Michael. You're right: there's some useful stuff in there and it was fun taking a chance!

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  10. Some different things to play with than what you normally would can be good for cleansing the palate. Its an interesting collection of items especially for someone who has a wide variety of projects you can use bits here and there and it becomes quite a useful selection really. I have to wonder if its a way of getting rid of items that don't sell to well perhaps as well.

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    1. I agree entirely - sometimes it can be inspirational just to be given something that you hadn't thought of buying for yourself! I'm still undecided on whether this is just the unsaleable stuff. It seems very cynical to believe that without the possibility of better motives on Mantic's part.

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  11. Nothing like the fun of a mystery box, eh C6!
    All in it doesn't seem too bad?

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    1. Thanks, Bob. Not too bad at all, I think!

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  12. Been pondering about buying the 'Sci-Fi Only' version, but decided that I had by far used up my hobby allowance for December, ordering SAGA C&C + dice from Wayland, and some brushes and empty pots from Black Hat (besides, I just got my KS DB Extreme package, so...). I think that most of such a mixed lot not bought for a specific purpose would go in the Lead/Plastic Alps for quite a while, anyway, but you never know.

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    1. Sounds like you have quite a lot going on there! Possibly even more than me :-) .

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