I found this Pokemon TCG repack in my backpack. I must have bought it awhile ago and totally forgot about it. This repack has 20 cards plus 2 foil cards and 2 online codes. These repacks are usually about $5 so I am not expected much.
Nice! I pulled 2 Pokemon League promos cards, Celesteela and Empoleon. As for the rest of the cards, you can find the most random cards in these Pokemon repacks and this one is no different. There were old cards, new cards, energy cards and world championship cards (which aren’t tournament legal) but honestly there wasn’t anything else of note.
I also checked and claimed the Pokemon online codes. They are Regigigas and Rowlet promos from blister packs.
All in all, I am just happy to pull two Pokemon League promos cards. I have opened a lot worst in these types of repacks.
I having been finding these packs of Yu-Gi-Oh Invasion of Chaos from Yu-Gi-Oh repacks. It is of course a much older set but they are definitely not first edition but instead from a recent reprint of the set. I have 7 of these packs, each with 9 cards.
I know I was playing Yu-Gi-Oh when this set first came out but I don’t remember anything about it. Opening these packs, it is so weird to me to have so little text on each card but as expected there isn’t many cards worth putting in a deck anymore due to power creep. The only two I think that still sees play is Heart of the Underdog and Gren Maju Da Eiza (both in fringe decks). I actually have a Heart of the Underdog deck with Exodia and Igknights and one of my Heart of the Underdog is badly damaged so now I can replace that.
Also one card I am excited to pull (and I pulled two of them) is Mad Dog of Darkness. It is part of series of cards that tells the tragic story of Outstanding Dog Marron and I always wanted to build a that deck.
Overall I love these throwback packs and it was a fun break.
I check the thrift stores near me maybe once or twice a week and I have gotten quite lucky the last couple of weeks.
First up I found this Star Wars RPG: The Force Awakens Beginner Game from Fantasy Flight for $10 sealed. I actually ran a months long campaign in the Star Wars universe but I used the Fate system. I have finally gotten back to meeting in person for RPGs and I am definitely looking forward to check out the official Star Wars RPG system.
One thing I have always kept an eye out for in thrift stores but couldn’t find until now was Beyblade stuff. I got this arena, two Beyblades, one broken knockoff top (that I threw away) and two launchers for only $5. It is probably one of the best deals yet! I thought I was only going to get one or two Beyblades when I first started just to check it out and now I have quite the growing collection.
Finally I also always take a look at the books section and in the past, I have gotten a lot of random books. One of my favorite finds lately has been the 5th and 6th book of the Enola Holmes series. I wasn’t expecting much but I really enjoyed it and read both books in one day. I hope to find the rest of the series in thrift stores or used bookstores some time soon.
The Great Pokemon Card Shortage of 2021 is in full swing. Local card shops have marked up Pokemon TCG boxes and packs by 50%- 75% (scalpers on eBay and the like even more), big box stores have move what little Pokemon cards they do have to locked cabinets and some have even stop selling any cards altogether due to “troublemakers”. I have been buying trading card games here and there for decades and I have never seen anything like this before.
I actually went to the Nintendo store on release day to see if they have some of the new products. I went to the usual card section and they only had old theme decks on the shelves. Luckily as I was walking out, I noticed they had a few of the new products behind the counter and I got this Galarian Rapidash V box.
I have been looking to open more Sword and Shield Battle Styles packs and this box has two of them. The other two packs are Darkness Ablaze and Sun & Moon Crimson Invasion.
I didn’t pull any GX, V or V Maxes so that is a bit disappointing. The Galarian Rapidash V is not a bad card though and I think the card is exclusive to this box. The only card I need from the packs was Dedenne for my Mad Party deck. I wish they will stop adding a random pack from a really old set in these products. Darkness Ablaze makes sense to include but Crimson Invasion does not and it is a really weak set in general in my opinion.
I hope the Pokemon Company will finally get around to printing more cards soon but from what I heard the next set Chilling Reign would also be hard to get…
Dragon Ball Super Card Game seemed like a lot fun so I scrapped two decks together just to check it out. One of my friends had two demo decks from past comic cons which can be combined to one full deck and I got a bunch of freebie packs from Game Trade Magazines. It is Jackie Chun vs Future Trunks.
What drew me to the game the most is its simplicity. You basically just want to have a higher power than your opponent to win battles. I also like that there are no dead cards in your hand since all cards can be used as energy and most cards can be used as additional attackers or combat boosts. So the real trick of this game is using your resources as efficiently as possible. Card advantage is really, really important in this game. This game also has an interesting catch up mechanic (for most characters) where if you take enough damage you get to use the more powerful version of the character, gaining more attack and better abilities. Also this game sort of has prizes like Pokemon TCG (you set aside 8 cards in the beginning of the game to track how much life you have) but when your opponent wins a battle against your leader and deals damage, you get the card(s) and not him or her. When I think about it, I like this mechanic way better.
All in all, this game is easy to learn, plays fast (about 15 minutes a game) and has a great theme. I highly recommend it.
There has been a Pokemon TCG card shortage so it is rare to find any Pokemon cards for retail price and it is even rarer to find any packs for under retail price. There are tons Magic cards but no Pokemon cards in all the usual places. I have never seen anything like this before. In fact, I haven’t open any Pokemon packs since shortly after Christmas (excluding the McDonalds or General Mills cereal packs) but today I found this Sword & Shield Battle Styles Pokemon TCG 3 pack blister for 20% off. I would have gotten more but there was only one left on the shelf.
It is always nice to pull a V or V Max in a 3 pack blister and I got a Necrozma V. I am also pretty excited about the foil Rapid Strike Energy. Because of the Pokemon cards shortage, I actually haven’t been following the Pokemon TCG news as closely as I have in the past so I don’t know what are the good cards in the set. But Necrozma V seems pretty strong since it can deal 220 for only 3 energy without that big of a drawback. Orbeetle also seem pretty strong and it should some powerful combos possible. At the very least, Orbeetle should be the glue for a fun deck revolving around underutilized Stage 2s.
As exciting as finding this blister pack is, the set I am really excited for is Shining Fates. It really feels like that set doesn’t exist at all…
I recently found one of my white whales of board games, Perplex City at a thrift store. Best of all, it was only $3! It is a good trivia board game with a very interesting story.
So Perplex City was a big global Alternative Reality Game (ARG) with a lot of innovative ideas. It was sold in booster packs like a Trading Card Game (TCG). Each card had puzzles which leads to a seemingly endless rabbit hole. Due to the collectible nature of the game and the fact many puzzles are very hard (one of the puzzles was just solved, Finding Satoshi), it encouraged people to work together. Also it had a cash prize which definitely help build the buzz around it. Long story short, the Receda Cube that was invaluable to Perplex City was stolen and it is hidden somewhere in our world. The person who first finds the cube and returns it to Perplex City will get the big prize. The game started in 2005 and I wished I knew about the game then. This type of game is right in my wheelhouse and it would have been so much fun. I am pretty sure there hasn’t been anything like it since.
To be clear, this board game is not part of the ARG but it has some story elements and references to it. It even has its own puzzles that seem to lead to its own scavenger hunt but unfortunately all the websites that this game points to are no longer active. In the rule book, I count at least seven websites to explore, one email and a couple of other puzzles that probably lead to something bigger. I tried the Wayback Machine to check out these sites but with a quick glance, it seems to be missing too much to go any further.
I have been trying to track down anything related to Perplex City at a reasonable price but I had no luck until now. Despite how innovative the game was, it only had one season (the second season was teased but was never live) so everything related to Perplex City has been long out of print. I am happy to find the board game but I will also continue to look for the cards relating to the ARG.
I have a couple of Pokemon TCG packs left over from Christmas. I have 3 packs from a Flareon promo blister, 4 packs from a Polteageist V Box, 4 packs from a Copperajah V Box, and 5 packs from a Zamazenta V tin.
I pulled a few of staples that I still needed but for me I was just looking for foil trainers, secret rares, Vs and V Maxes from these sets. I did OK and pulled a Salamence V from the Flareon blister, a Cinderace V and a foil Sonia from the Polteageist V box, an Aolan Ninetales GX and Falinks V from the Copperajah V Box and a Ninetails V from the Zamazenta V tin.
I have two Standard Pokemon TCG decks now (a Sirfetch’d V deck with Bea and a Turbo Zacian deck now with a Zamazenta V) but I have no idea when I can play them in person. Probably not for awhile. Of course I can play similar decks online and I just got a bunch of digital packs to trade to get the cards I need.
Pax Unplugged is easily my favorite convention of the year and I am still sad it was canceled. I had big plans this year too including renting out a huge Airbnb apartment so I can play board games with my friends from around the country all weekend. But all that feels so weird just thinking about it now. Anyways I wanted to get a little taste of my Pax Unplugged experience. I can’t resist mystery boxes so every year I get a Board Game Booster mystery box and they were selling these mystery boxes online this year. I actually picked it up about a month ago but wanted to opened on Christmas as a little gift to myself after a tough year.
It is guaranteed 4 board games and it can be anything!
The four games I got are 100 Swords (with 4 promos cards and a small expansion), Leaders of Euphoria: Choose a Better Oppressor, Ortus Regni and AssassinCon. I haven’t heard of any of these games so I had to look them up on Board Game Geek. The game I am probably going to try first is 100 Swords. It is a tiny deck builder with a dungeon crawl theme and it can be play with 1 or 2 players. Leaders of Euphoria is a retheme of Good Cop Bad Cop which is probably one of the very few social deduction games I like. Ortus Regni is a massive game and it is described as “a deck-design game, rather than a deck-building game” with a medieval theme. It is the most complicated game of the bunch so I don’t know when I will get to play it. Finally the game I am least excited about is AssassinCon, a hidden identity deduction game with elimination but it seems like a light, easy to learn game so I am willing to give it a shot.
Overall I am very happy with the games I got with this Board Game Booster mystery box.
I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday. Fingers crossed crossed for a better 2021!
Another store that I am sad to see go is Flying Tiger Copenhagen, a home, toys and knick knacks store. It is always a ton of fun to see what weird items they have but they are unfortunately closing every store in the United States. I wanted to go there one last time before the store closed and they had an insane deal. Every item in the store was only $0.50! (But the lines to get in were massive. It took me 2 hours to get in and I was one of the last people to get in before the store closed for the day.)
I bought a bunch of random stuff but these are the items I am most excited about. I got two games that look fun, two decks of cards (always useful), a couple of stuff to hopefully organize my board game collection and two locks I am thinking about to use for my escape room in the box games that I make. I have only tinkered with the football game so far and it is a fun fidget device. It is definitely worth $0.50!
[Update: I just went back to Flying Tiger Cophenhagen and got lucky. They just restocked when I got in and I got a bunch more games.]