I distinctly remember the first time I heard about FuncoLand. It was at some point in the late 90s. My dad came running to me after getting the Sunday paper and excitedly showed me that a FuncoLand was opening up in a nearby city. This ad showed off a bunch of retro games they were going to have in stock. At this point I had a PlayStation, but I was still into the Super Nintendo whenever I could find a new game for it. That was more my dad’s speed too. He could never really get into the 3D space starting with the PlayStation. Anyway the idea of a store dedicated to games was mesmerizing to me at this point.
When we got there it was like a dream come true. Toys“R”Us was great and all, but there was something more intimate about this small space. Every time I visited there I found a new treasure. It was where I discovered Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Mega Man Legends, and many others. Then, out of nowhere, it had turned into a GameStop. As I kid I had no idea why the name changed especially since the layout was mostly the same. It confused me, but since it was still all about games I didn't care. Over the years GameStop had become a pain though and every year it seems to get worse. Like it or not they are a necessarily evil especially since they have some pretty outstanding exclusives. There are also some not so miraculous. Let's see what I've discovered.
If I could make one wish come true I would get rid of all the Funko Pop figures. Okay so that would be a dumb waste of a wish, but I really do despise them that much. I guess a better way to put is I'm afraid of them. Those dark black eyes are like that of a soulless puppet. It's great random properties are getting some love so that fans can adorn their rooms, or offices with their favorite things, but there are better products for that.
Sony sort of announced this quietly at the beginning of the year, but they did indeed decide to copy Nintendo's Amiibo line of figures. There's just one problem. They don't have any functionality. They're just figures, but since Amiibo don't have much in game use anyway I'm okay with that. Some figures are better than others, but how cool is it to have a PaRappa the Rapper toy in 2018? That's pretty boss. I wish they weren't exclusive to GameStop, but hey, good for them.
I understand being nostalgic for crappy stuff from your gaming childhood and you can't get any crappier than the original Xbox controller aka the Duke. It's part of the experience if you truly want to play that console at its peak with the right gear. That said I'm not going to go out of my way and buy a new version for Microsoft's current system.
Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Xbox.
First of all, this thing is $70. On top of that, it's corded. Are you kidding me?
There is an original Xbox thing I do want though. This replica of the energy sword used by the Covenant. It's only $20, lights up, and makes noises. That's not bad and it looks pretty authentic too. That's a better deal if you want to have a nostalgia trip and scream, " I AM THE SWORD" to random passerby on the streets. Yeah, that quote is kind of a long story, but put simply it's tied to my memories of Halo LAN parties.
The Funko Pop disease has spread to cereal now. I would be pretty pumped to buy Capcom sanctioned Mega Man cereal, but why would I want to invite this into my house? First of all it's $8 and the box is pretty small. It comes with a mini version of the Mega Man Funko Pop figure, which is even creepier. The taste is not as bad as I would have thought, but it certainly wasn't worth the price either. I caved for Mega Man, but I immediately regretted it.
Gaius certainly wouldn't be my first choice for a Shadow of the Colossus figure, but it certainly isn't my last choice either. If you were curious I'd love a statue of Valus, as he's the classic. In fact there is one, but just not a GameStop exclusive.
Shadow of the Colossus is the best game on PS2!
Anyway this big beauty will set you back, wait for it, $250. I know, it's a lot of dough to fork over, but it's supremely detailed and the size is substantial.
Chess used to be my thing in High School. I loved it! I even taught my girlfriend at the time how to play, which gave us something new to bond over. My love of LEGO was also at a peak at this time so she put two and two together and got me a LEGO chess set for one of my birthdays. It was neat, but confusing. The same goes for this Fallout edition. It's just too hard to remember what pieces are which when you grew up knowing a knight is a horse for example.
That said I have nothing against card games with exclusive video game characters painted on. This UNO deck for The Legend of Zelda is only $7 and there's nothing confusing about it. The colors and numbers are still easy to pick out and the price is right. I will say nothing beats a more interesting deck, but I don't think they make those for UNO. I'm not entirely sure, but I bet there are plenty of fan editions with a more risqué Zelda.
This statue of Goofy is from the same line as Sora's statue and it also costs $50. While Sora is my boy and Goofy is sort of, well, goofy, I can't help but feel more attracted to this figure.
Gawrsh, this is a cool statue.
The detail on the lovable stooge is incredible and his pose is a lot better too. I wonder why Donald doesn't have one. Hmm, maybe another store got that exclusive. Whatever the case may be I think I'm going to be set back another $50.
I just started getting into collecting pins. A couple of the Kingdom Hearts re-releases came with pins and I also got three with my copy of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse. They kept piling up so I decided, what the heck, I'm going all in. I display them proudly on my truck's ceiling to give my ride a nerdy edge. The Figpins are pretty boss, but not this one. The full-color Kratos is superb, but I'm just not a fan of fake gold.
Okay, so this is not as cool as the replica Energy Sword from Halo. For one, it looks a lot more plastic and thus fake. Secondly, you can't get that satisfying "shing" noise as you can with a real blade. That said I don't want to go around creaming anybody so I'm okay with this being non-lethal. It's a great way to supplement your Ezio costume for Halloween without freaking anyone out with a real blade. Plus it's only $20!
Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be good. I know it! So trust me when I say I'm not trying to pick on it like it’s going to be terrible, or something. I just can't help but make fun of these GameStop exclusives.
For the classy gamer with no taste.
This glass tray is $90! Again, like the blanket, what gamer is going to walk into a GameStop, or browse their website and think, yeah, I think I'll buy a fancy plate. Wrong!
It's been a while since I last talked about Disney Infinity, but it somehow always bounces back into conversation. I have all of the figures and playsets from the second and third game, or so I thought. This GameStop exclusive eluded me. I didn't even know it existed. Why would you play this on your PS Vita? I love the handheld, but attaching a portal to a portable seems silly. That said I really like the alt Spider-Man figure in his Venom suit.
The appeal of Five Nights at Freddy's baffles me. What's more bewildering than the craze behind the game is the fandom with the merchandise. I joked about several of the items earlier being creepy, but any item from this series is legit freaky. The game is about animatronic animals that go haywire and destroy people. They didn't suffer some horrible tragedy and have a backstory. No, they're just straight up robots that want to harm you. Who wants to cuddle that?
Don't hold me to this, but I think Xenoblade Chronicles was the first GameStop exclusive game. In the Wii's heyday, there were a few games fan wanted Nintendo to bring over. This was the biggest, which had a delayed date of 2012 in the West compared to a 2010 release in Japan.
The best "Xeno" game ever.
There was a limited print run, but when they sold out, GameStop jacked up the price to $80! It's since dropped to $50, which is still crazy since it's on the Wii U eShop for just $20. Can't beat the physical appeal though.
When it was announced at the end of last year, I couldn't have been more excited for the Secret of Mana remake. Unfortunately it's not that great and the budget is pretty lame. Characters talk now, but their lips don't move. It's creepy.
A secret letdown for fans.
The game is still fun, but not $40 fun. The physical edition exclusive to GameStop doesn't even have any flair behind it. You're better off buying a Super Nintendo Classic with the original game installed.
I have not played this Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course Board Game, but it looks rad. I'm not even into Sonic that much and even I can admit it looks fun. The game pieces alone look like cool mini figures I would proudly display in one of my many cases. I'm also at a point right now where board games are becoming an increasing hobby of mine as there are more and more tabletop versions of video games like Bloodborne and Deadly Premonition.
As I mentioned earlier I was big into LEGO. It started in my childhood and yes, progressed even into high school. It helped me clear my head. So what? Anyway the one thing I never understood is why someone would pay for an inferior copycat. For example something like these Mega Construx. They are cheaper true and feature Pokémon, but they lack quality. Also who wants a LEGO type Pokémon anyway? You barely get to build anything with these. Where's the fun in that?
Tales of Hearts originally launched in Japan for the Nintendo DS in 2008. It wouldn't be brought over to the West until 2014 via this PS Vita port, Tales of Hearts R. While you can buy it digitally on PSN, true fans could buy a physical edition at GameStop.
Believe in the heart of the Vita cards.
Like Secret of Mana the box isn't anything special, but the game is good enough where you can just ignore that fact. If you haven't played it yet it goes for pretty cheap now, well, digitally at least.
Trying to get someone to buy this, or anything related to the train wreck that was Justice League, would be a feat of nature. This isn't the only trident replica you can buy either. This costs $70 and plastic ones made for kids look indistinguishable from it. Also, besides that fact, who is a fan of Aquaman? I will admit that Jason Momoa is a cool dude and he genuinely looks like he's having fun playing the part. I bet he's crying inside though. If only the script was better.
Okay, I admit it. The dark is a scary presence that to this day even creeps me out. I no longer require a nightlight, but that's mostly because I can whip out my flashlight app on my iPhone to illuminate my room in case I hear a noise in an instant. That said if I still were in need of a nightlight, I would be on this like ham on rye. That said buying a glowing bottle of poison is in itself pretty unsettling I guess.
We all cried, or at least gasped when Barb was offed in season one of Stranger Things. She was a sign that even the nice ones aren't safe in this universe, which is contrary to most fiction of this nature. This cruel twist continued into season two when Bob was destroyed too.
They were both twists in the gut. However, I was never itching to buy an action figure of either of them. Of all the exclusives to get you acquired Barb, GameStop? You must have lost a bet.
GameStop may have fudged with their Stranger Things contract, but they scored big with Nintendo on Amiibo. Most, if not all, of the exclusives have been top tier. EarthBound's Ness and the Advent Children version of Cloud we're both awesome. Plus there is the upcoming Solaria of Astora from Dark Souls, and a Mega Man 11 exclusive Switch bundle with a new version of the iconic hero. I've also been pretty fortunate in acquiring them all through pre-orders without canceling, which feels rare for this website.
That box set isn't the most expensive thing you can buy from GameStop in regards to Red Dead Redemption 2. Check out this blanket. It's pretty cool, yes? How much would you pay for it? $30 max? Yeah that seems high, but okay. Nope. This sucker is $200! That is insane for a blanket. This better somehow make my body react better to the game, or something because otherwise this is a rip-off. No blanket you can buy from a game store should be worth that.
The Blue Yeti Microphones are often hailed as some of the best equipment you can get whether you're a streamer, or you record and edit reviews and retrospectives like I do. The normal price for one of these babies is about $140, but this GameStop exclusive is a great deal.
Assassins love Blue Yetis.
You get the mic and a PC copy of Assassin’s Creed Origins for $140. But wait, there's more. As of this recording it's on sale for $99, which is a steal!
I love Rick and Morty as much as the next guy. Trust me on that one. The episode this slug bus, horse thing was also pretty good. However, I do not want that creepy thing in my room let alone glowing in the dark. That show is messed up enough and can often affect my dreams upon first viewing. I do not need this reminder every night to get me to start screaming again. I have plenty of baggage already for that.
I have a pretty tepid history with Dragon Ball Z. I loved it as a teenager when anime was really starting to appear on Adult Swim and Toonami in full force in the early 2000s. I've seen everything through the Frieza saga about a billion times because it took forever to get new episodes. So long in fact that I gave up and never finished post Frieza until just this year. I was late to the party on Trunks, but now that I'm all caught up, this statue would be a touching tribute of my accomplishment.
So collector’s editions are a way for companies to get more money up front for pre-orders on new games. Some are cool and others not so much. By and large they usually come with the game though.
What's in the box?
That is except for these box sets at GameStop, which are just literal boxes, or tins filled with related merchandise. Marvel's Spider-Man, for example, comes with a hat. If the boxes were cheap that would be one thing, but they get crazy expensive for junk. Red Dead Redemption 2's is $100 and has no game!
I know that name is super long, but it doesn't really matter. All you need to know is this statue of Sora is glorious. It's not a static, stand up pose. Sora is poised and ready for action! The stand is great too, with the stars shimmering like Sora is launching off like a rocket. $50 for a figure may some steep, but it's a quality piece I would gladly pay into. GameStop surprisingly has some pretty amazing Kingdom Hearts exclusives.
As I said earlier, GameStop has some pretty rad Kingdom Hearts exclusives. They also have some pretty ugly ones too like this Vinimate figure of Mickey. What is wrong with him? He looks like a giant, bootleg version of a LEGO Mickey that got left in the sun and melted. This isn't the only Vinimate figure either. And here I thought my war started and stopped with Funko Pop. A new challenger enters the ring and it too is frighteningly subpar.