Friday Night Shots – Big Boxes, Are They Worth It?

It’s Friday, so you know what time it is, right?

The whiskey along with me looking at Boardgame Geek is making me think about Big Boxes and Collectors boxes and games, which makes for a perfect Friday Night Shots post.

Are they worth it?

First, I have to say that I’m excluding Garphill Games from this discussion because all of their Collectors Boxes are well worth investing in (even if the inserts suck, but Folded Space has our backs!). They actually are the size of a normal Ticket to Ride box at most, so their “collectors boxes” are “normal” size for a lot of games.

These boxes are still easy to cart around to game night without giving yourself a hernia.

As long as you get a good insert for them! (Have I said how much the inserts that come with them actually suck?).

But what about normal big boxes?

It’s becoming a trend now that when a game gets too big with a bunch of expansions, they inevitably put a “Big Box” or “Collectors Box” or something like that on Kickstarter.

Teotihuacan just did that, from Board & Dice.

Of course, these crowdfunding campaigns inevitably put a new expansion in the mix which makes those people who own all of the previous stuff a bit annoyed.

At least Board & Dice is offering a “Beauty Pack” for those people who already have everything, which just gives you the big box, all of the upgraded components, and things like that.

It’s still expensive, but not as expensive as buying the game itself in the campaign!

I have to say that I’m a bit burned out on Big Box campaigns, and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to back another one.

Bezier Games offered two Big Boxes, for both Suburbia and The Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

And the boxes are huge!

I haven’t been able to bring Suburbia to a game day since I received the Big Box, even though I did punch everything and sort it (and I traded away my original with both expansions). The Suburbia Big Box came with another expansion, which I’ve never played with.

The damned thing is really heavy! And didn’t fit in my bag, though my new bag may be able to fit it.

I haven’t tried it yet.

As for The Castles of Mad King Ludwig? When I received the Kickstarter, I still haven’t opened it and punched it and all of that. It’s been months!

It’s the same size as Suburbia (i.e. fucking huge) and I’ve just been really intimidated by it.

There’s also the Snowdonia big box, which I punched and put away but have never brought to game day, mainly for the same reasons.

I’ve ordered two more big boxes, which I will hopefully be able to bring out. Castle Panic and The Pursuit of Happiness are going to arrive at some point.

Who knows when?

But after seeing the ones I have, part of me is wondering if this is kind of the law of diminishing returns.

One of these days, with my new game bag, maybe I’ll bring Suburbia to game day, or I’ll actually open the Castles of Mad King Ludwig box, but all of them are just so huge that I’m almost scared to try and use them.

The bag will fit them, but just barely. And I won’t want to be carting anything else in the bag.

They are also so expensive, and I’m not sure (for me, let me reiterate, since I know some people love these) if they will ever be worth it to me.

I have everything for Teotihuacan packed (rather badly, I admit) in the base game box. I’ve never actually played any of the expansions.

Would the Big Box even be worth it for me? When I haven’t played any of the other stuff, not to mention the stuff that would be in the Big Box?

Sure it comes with an insert which supposedly will organize things in a logical manner.

Isn’t that what I want?

But the bigger the box, the harder it is to bring out.

A friend bought the Terraforming Mars big box (yes, thank you for all the blog hits when news of this came out).

He does occasionally bring it to game day, and it is kind of neat.

But he doesn’t just bring it on a whim anymore, like he used to. He used to bring it just in case somebody wanted to play it.

Not anymore.

Instead, he has to plan to bring it. If people want to play Terraforming Mars, he brings it.

Otherwise, if the games for the day are still undecided, he doesn’t bother.

And why would he?

I wouldn’t.

I may have better things to report now that I have a bag that can bring one of these monstrosities to game day.

But even then, I am going to have to plan for it.

They are too heavy to bring to game day on a whim.

I don’t think I will be buying any more big boxes or collectors boxes (other than Garphill Games, though the South Tigris games are in a box where it seems like they won’t be doing collectors boxes anymore anyway).

The expected return on these boxes, in regards to getting them played, just isn’t there for me.

Of course, I may succumb to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) at some point and still buy one, but that will be my failing and I’ll probably regret it in the future.

What do you think of this “Big Box” phenomenon? Are you buying these when you get the chance?

Let me know in the comments.

And wow, this Grant’s scotch is pretty good.

8 Comments on “Friday Night Shots – Big Boxes, Are They Worth It?

  1. Excellent points, especially on the practicability of these behemoths!
    I’ve wondered who exactly is the target audience for big boxes:
    Fans of the game likely own it (and maybe a few expansions) already, so the big box is just duplicating a lot of that.
    People new to the game have to pay a hefty price for something they can’t be sure to like.
    So, people who liked the game playing a friend’s copy but don’t own it? That seems like a niche market.
    Anyway, I suspect it’s got nothing to do with either of that – and rather with collector consumption and the FOMO you also mentioned: Fans want the three bonus cards or whatever that only come with the big box. And gamers who haven’t played it convince themselves that classic game/newest hype X is a “must-have”, even if they don’t know it (and frankly, might never play it), and that the big box gives them best value for the money.
    Am I too cynical?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not too cynical at all! I think you nailed it pretty good. I admit that I kind of fell victim to that mindset. For me, it was also an organization thing. I found it difficult to get Pursuit of Happiness to the table with all the expansions in the box and I was having trouble determining which parts to use if we didn’t want to play with everything.

      The organization aspect was really appealing. Hopefully when I finally get it, I can make it work

      Liked by 1 person

      • Organization is a good point! I have managed to shove the base game and one big and small expansion each into the Eldritch Horror box, but the next expansion will pose a problem in that regard!
        (Not that there is an Eldritch Horror big box… or is there?)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The only time one existed for a property I loved and would have been semi-attractive based on how little of the property I owned physically was when the Sentinels of the Multiverse collector box came out.

    You know me. I’ve put a ton of time into Sentinels. But that box won’t fit on any shelf I own. Thus, I collected a couple of expansions, condensed them into one SOTM box, and called it a day.

    The only box like this I own is the recent Mystic Vale big box, which collected MV and three expansions for MSRP $80. My FLGS was clearing it out for $50. I’d been familiar with the app and wanted to introduce it to my group, so that price point made sense. We’re eight plays deep on the base set and about to crack the first expansion this week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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