The “blind box” is a relatively new concept. You buy a toy, sight unseen, based on the chances of receiving one of a series of items either common or rare as depicted on the back o f the box. Your purchase could net you a rare variant or a common hunk of vinyl.
For the retailer it’s perfect. No longer do they have a surplus of the non-popular figure. No more clearance racks of Sinkor and Power Droids…every box has that slight glimmer of hope to be a Bumblebee Man or a Bender.
In any other industry, the concept of a blind box wouldn’t work. If you walked into Foot Locker and they had a flat price that you pay and then you got a randomly selected pair of shoes would you buy in? What if there was a chart on the wall showing you had a 1/144 of getting those Marty McFly style Nikes but had a 2/24 chance of getting some Keds high-tops?
But for some reason it works well with toy collectors. Whether you’re into DC characters, The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Futurama or just some funky Kid Robot vinyl creations you get a shot to get a really cool item. But that’s what it is, just merely a chance. You’re also getting the chance to get duplicates when buying multiple boxes (ie you could be 3 for 4 with getting Darryl Dixon in a TWD box). Toy collecting is one part fandom and three parts addiction and these blind boxes give fanatics that feeling of doubling down on an 6/5 draw. Toss in $6 and if you don’t pull your favorite Simpsons character, then toss in another $6. Chase that dragon (sometimes literally) one 3 inch figure at a time. Plus if you really want one specific item then just take to the web and buy it sans-box.
So dive in. Pick some up for whatever line you dig the most. And if you pull a “Lisa”, you’re bound to get a Disco Stu at some point.