Blind boxed products are not a new thing, in fact they have been around for many, many years. You take something like a hit anime show and make a product based around it and then sell it in boxes with no window display so each product could be anything in the range!
About twenty years or so back, I collected a large number of blind boxed products from shows such as Robotech, Star Trek and a few others, each was a real pain in the neck to complete the collection as doubles were quite common and some models were only available one pack in thirty six (or a case)!
So last year I saw a post on a friends Facebook wall that led me to check out Space Marine: Heroes, a product that Games Workshop had been marketing in Japan to try and break the toy market over there! The Japanese toy market is huge with some of the biggest names coming from the country and at one point was the third largest on the planet.
Games Workshop are no stranger to Japan as they have had stores over there for a good few years, but trying to release a product that is aimed directly at Japanese consumer and is competing against the likes of Bleach, Gundam and Naruto is very difficult.
So last year Games Workshop released the Space Marine: Heroes line in Japan and they sold extremely well! These miniatures featured blind boxed models that made up the heroes of a chapter (in this case Ultramarines) from Battlebrothers to Commanders. Each miniature came with its own stat card and history and as mentioned was a blind box so you didn’t know what you were getting inside, especially seeing as the artwork on all the boxes seems identical.
Despite this fact they sold so well over in Japan that they are going to be rolled out to the rest of the world very shortly, as announced at Warhammer Fest Europe this weekend! The announcement is below taken from the Warhammer Community blog!
Due to overwhelming popular demand, Space Marine Heroes is going global. First introduced in Japan last year, we’ve had loads of feedback on social media that you guys want a chance to grab these models for yourself – and soon, you’ll have your chance.
Space Marine Heroes are highly collectable Space Marines that you’ll be able to pick up in blind packs at your local Warhammer and Games Workshop stores (as well as participating retailers). With a range of unique new designs, these guys are great for kill teams, adding some character to your squads or just guarding your desk while you work.
So what does this mean? Well as mentioned you will be able to get the packs directly from your local Warhammer store, as well as local games stores who stock Games Workshop products most likely! But to be honest I would not be at all surprised to see them popping up in supermarkets here in the UK as I have it on good authority that Games Workshop has been trying to get a product placed in UK supermarkets for a very long time!
They are not the first to have this idea, but may be the first to actually pull it off! Games Workshop has had one of its best years on record, with amazing sales and seen the company grow under its new CEO Keith Rountree and new avenues such as toys and television are on the horizon ( a whole slew of children’s books is due out aimed at young readers!).
Details are still unknown on pricing, but I would imagine them to be less than £10 in the UK per box, with the ideal price being £6.