Barnes & Noble Mystery Box Break

Today I got a Barnes & Noble exclusive mystery box! I got for 75% off (only $7.50) and it has pop dolls, pocket pop keychains and random mystery minis. So in my box, I got…

Barnes & Noble Mystery Box

Killer Croc Pop! Heroes (A Barnes & Noble Exclusive)
Oscar the Grouch Pop! Sesame Street
Hulk Avengers Pocket Pop! Keychain
Olaf Pokemon Pop! Keychain
Marvel Avengers Age of Ultron Mystery Minis Box

Wow that was a lot better than I was expecting. I don’t really collect pop dolls but I love the Oscar the Grouch one.

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I Hate Those Baseball Card Puzzles

I hate those baseball card puzzles that require you to collect 9 (sometimes more) cards because I just know I will never finish them and it kind of bothers me… Here is a puzzle of Ichiro from 2012 Panini Triple Play that is only 1/3 finished.

Ichiro Puzzle (1)

Ichiro Puzzle (2)

And here is a leg from an Ichiro puzzle from 2008 Topps Opening Day. This puzzle has 28 pieces!!!

Ichiro Puzzle (3)

Ichiro Puzzle (4)

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A Review of the New Legends of the Hidden Temple Board Game Along With Some House Rules

I loved, loved the Legends of the Hidden Temple TV show and when the board game came out it, it was an easy buy for me. But a huge red flag for most gamers is that this board game is made by Pressman Toy which hasn’t had the best track record for board games especially after the Oregon Trail Card Game. As it, yes Legends of the Hidden Temple isn’t a good board game.

Legends of the Hidden Temple Board Game

But its biggest strength is the nostalgia factor and playing this brought back all sort of warm memories of the show. All in all, I think the Legend of the Hidden Temple board game does replicate the show well… almost to a fault. The show made the contestants do some silly things so likewise this board game made you do some silly things. For example, you have to flip a cup in one challenge and play sort of a simple version of beer pong in another. I actually don’t mind this but this is why I recommend playing this with only people who have seen the show. If they never seen the show, this would just be a bad party game.

The biggest problem though is this game is too long and it kind of drags on. If you play with a large group, many of the eliminated players will have a lot of time to kill. Some of the rules are a little vague too so I recommend some house rules.

  • In the first moat challenge, you have to quickly roll dice to match your team’s side and move up if you do but if you roll the opposite team’s side you lose some of your progress. I would just do away with this rule so you always make forward progress. Also it is a bit unclear but I play it as ten spaces you have complete to win and only the first two teams to finish gets to move on because…
  • I only played one of the three temple games challenges which each playthrough which means you have to award the two other pendants elsewhere. The first team to finish the moat challenge get the first pendant (the next player to finish just gets to move on). The two teams then play the steps of knowledge challenge and the first team to get three questions right gets the second pendant.
  • For the Smashed Printing Plate of Frederick Douglass challenge (basically the card game slap), there is no reason to play through the whole deck. I just play with 40 random cards which is a little more than half the deck.
  • Finally in the temple run challenge, the silver monkey rules are a little vague. I play it as a memory game. You can only look at one card at a time and have flip the card face down before you look at another card. When you know where the base, the middle and head are, point it out and flip the cards to see if you are right. If you are wrong, flip all the card face down again and shuffle it and start over.
  • This is not really a house rule but I always play the Temple Run song in the final challenge to add to the suspense. It is a good way to keep track of time too.

I think all these house rules speed up the game and gets to the good part (the temple run) faster. It also adds a little variety and replayability to the game since you can play a different temple game each time. All in all, this board game isn’t for everyone but there is something there and I wished it was refined just a bit.

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Some Interesting Cards I Pulled from Repacks

Most cards you pull from repacks aren’t even worth a second look but from time to time you can can pull some interesting cards that you probably wouldn’t come across elsewhere. So here are a bunch of interesting cards I pulled from repacks in recent weeks. I guess this can show you the wide range of cards you can get.

Repack Pulls

Repack Pulls 2

And yes you can pull some hits from repacks from time to time and here are two I got.

Relic Cards

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Fake Pokemon TCG Cards

I was at a dollar store and I saw “Pokemon TCG” packs for only a dollar! But I know what you are thinking and yep I knew these cards were fake aka knockoffs aka bootlegs but curiosity got the best of me and it was only a dollar! So I have this sketchy Breakpoint pack.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pack

Of all the bootleg cards (baseball cards, Magic cards etc), Pokemon TCG ones are probably the most readily available. I remember you can get fake Pokemon TCG cards when it first came out in 1998-99 and they were being sold all over Chinatown. But these first generation bootleg cards were horrible. They were super faded and paper thin. The sure shot way to see if you have fake card back in the day is if you can see light through the card aka the light test.

I also found it weird when fake Pokemon cards had different fonts, weird translations, different card designs or even different artwork. Kind of like this bootleg I had in my collection.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pikachu

I wonder why they can’t just get a scan or photocopies of the actual cards.

Anyways, these fakes are a bit better.

Fake Pokemon Cards

The box it came in was spot on. The text had the right font and it wasn’t faded like you would expect. I wonder if they just “recycled” the box from real Pokemon TCG packs and replaced it with these bootleg packs. The wrapper is a little more sketch. The pictures are too dark but you really have to look carefully to find anything else off about the wrapper. It is when you look at the actually cards you can easily tell these cards aren’t real. They don’t have the right gloss and feel different when you handle them. The collation is also really weird and the foil process is different. The picture and text also aren’t as sharp the real cards especially on the back. The cards though are a bit thicker than the ones I remember as a kid and it passed the light test.

So all in all, you can still easily spot the fake cards but they are getting a lot better.

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Spring Fever Baseball Cards Repack Break

I had some luck with repacks in the past so I gave it another shot. This Spring Fever baseball cards repack has 10 packs and 1 “special” bonus card.

The special cards included in these repacks seems to be of Beckett Baseball covers. It is two sided and the one I pulled has the Cubs winning the World Series on one side and the Indians on the other. It is numbered 1739 of 1908 and it also miscut.

Beckett Baseball Card

The packs in this box are:
2006 Topps Baseball Series 2 Hobby Edition
Leaf Babe Ruth Collection
Panini Triple Play
2x 2015 Topps Opening Day
2006 Fleer Ultra Hobby
1989 Score Major League Baseball
2013 Panini Golden Age
2x 2010 Topps Baseball Update Series Hobby

Random Baseball Cards

More Random Baseball Cards

My favorite pack of the bunch has to be Panini Golden Age. It is Panini’s take on Allen & Ginter and any time I pull a Three Stooges card out of pack it is a win. Finally do you remember the Topps Million Card Giveaway?

Topps Million Card Giveaway

That was a lot of fun and I got some interesting cards out of that.

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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: 1313 Dead End Drive

13 Dead End Drive was an awesome board game that came out in 1993. In this board game, you want to be the sole inheritor of a huge fortune and you do that by killing the other characters with deadly traps sprinkled around the mansion. What is unique about this game is you can control any character on your turn (perhaps to lead them to a trap). I describe it as Mouse Trap if it was a good game. It had a very visual board that definitely draw your attention. I remember playing it when I was in elementary school and this youtube video reminded me of it. 13 Dead End Drive is unfortunately long out of print so it now fetches a pretty penny.

13 Dead End Drive was a fairly popular mass market game but did you know it had a lesser known sequel 1313 Dead End Drive that came out nine years later?

1313 Dead End Drive

1313 Dead End Drive actually streamlined the game and fixed a lot of the flaws of 13 Dead End Drive. First off, in the original game the traps broke way too often and it isn’t a problem I believe with the sequel. The board in the sequel was also easier and faster to set up and while playing the game, it had less things to keep a track of.

As for the rules in the original, there was a portrait on the wall which said which character is the going to inherit the fortune and if he or she escapes the mansion, the player who controls that character wins. So if it is your turn and if you don’t own that character, you have to kill him or her. 1313 Dead End Drive takes that out and replaces with a money track aka the will. Certain characters start off with more money but as characters start to die the money trickles down and you also don’t instantly win if you escape the mansion with one of your characters. Instead the player with the most money after the last card of the deck was drawn wins. This works a lot better.

Both 13 Dead End Drive and 1313 Dead End Drive are still fun games to play. There is a bit of deduction, a bit of bluffing and a bit of take that in this game, all mechanics that I love. If you want a unique light filler I highly recommend either game.

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