Seems I was rather optimistic with my last comment!
The second retailer took my money and then…nothing. After waiting almost a week with no shipping notification I emailed them asking for an update and they replied saying there’d been some mixup between the ebay-like auction site I’d purchased through and their own order system. Not to worry, they said, we’ve now processed it through and the goods should be on their way shortly.
Another week passes…and still nothing. I ping them again and, after a day to chase the warehouse team, they respond somewhat sheepishly saying that they no longer had stock and were unable to fulfil my order. Sigh. They promptly refunded my money but the wait meant my choice of retailers was narrowing.
I picked another site and, after my order (and money) was accepted, I got an automated email informing me that due to the sale they had on I should expect a slight delay. After four days of nothingness I asked for an update and was told it would be sent within the next five days. While settling in for the wait I noticed that the booster box had changed to out of stock. Uh oh, deja vu all over again…
The five days came and went. Another email and another reply indicating that things are simply taking longer than normal.
My resolve breaks.
I look at the one remaining retailer with stock and decide to pick up a box from them as I can sense things are going south with the other order. Although the cheapest shipping option they offer is significantly dearer than any of the other stores I’d dealt with, they do get the product out the door promptly and I spend this week tracking its travels from their country to mine. The extra expense pays off as the shipment arrived, cleared customs, and was delivered to work today (Friday) just in time for the weekend!
As I walked to my car for the commute home I noticed an email on my phone. It was the customer service rep from the next-to-last retailer I ordered from. Good news he said, your order has shipped! Oh, I thought, I…never actually cancelled that order. Mmmm, I’m sure my wife will be pleased…
My 8 y/o son certainly was when I walked in the door with the much anticipated booster box this evening though. He wolfed down dinner and then asked if he could crack a few boosters while I did the dishes. Three packs in and he cries “Dad, I got Vader!”, holding up a dice. I put down the tea towel and wandered over, expecting to point out that just because it has a picture of Vader it could be something else eg Force Choke (still very cool!). But no, he’d pulled the man himself and was already tallying up the points to see if he could field the Sith Lord and Kylo Ren from the starter deck (he can).
Dishes quickly forgotten I sat down and said it’s Dad’s turn to have a go. Three to four packs later and I saw the purple legendary symbol appear. Leaning in towards my son I said “It’s on”…and dropped Luke Skywalker on the table! :)
As it was nearing bed time I agreed to opening up half the box tonight and the rest tomorrow after his morning sports. If the first eighteen packs are anything to go by, I think we’ve done more than okay:
2x General Grievous (my 7 y/o daughter was particularly excited when these dice came out as she’s been watching the Clone Wars animated series with us and the general has featured heavily in recent episodes)
IQA-11 Blaster Rifle
To be fair, this wasn’t a cheap exercise (note that I was ordering from overseas):
First box (only sent 6 boosters) - US$132 - was refunded the difference, so total cost US$22.
Second box - US$108 - the cheapest price and free international shipping(!), but no stock after an order mixup and a two week wait. Refunded.
Third box - US$136 - two week wait, and was dispatched today (no tracking, so who knows when it’ll turn up).
Fourth box - US$164(!) - yikes, crazy expensive but I was desperate and most of the price difference was purely down to the mad shipping option I had to pick.
If I’d known it’d end up costing this much I might’ve considered stumping for a Team Covenant saga set (US$300 playset of all cards sans a second copy of legendaries) instead but I was much too late to the party (only discovered the game at Xmas) and even then shipping would add on another US$66.
Only a couple of our local retailers listed the game (with no stock when I started looking) and their prices for the booster box were in the US$130-140 range (without shipping), so I don’t feel I was gouged by store owners raising prices due to the global stock shortage. That’s just normal pricing down this way…
Plus the game’s great. It’s mostly me and my son, but my daughter likes to join in as my designated lucky dice roller and hands out the resource tokens when acting as the ‘banker’. Games are quick so we can usually squeeze one in after homework and before bed, and it strikes a nice balance complexity-wise - enough to keep me engaged, but not so much that my son can’t figure out good plays on his own. And everyone loves rolling those dice! :)