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Blind Bag Collectables

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In The New '10s, a new type of toy became popular: the Blind Bag (or Box). The idea existed even prior to the 2010s, but the idea really hit it big in the early half of the decade.

Blind Bag toys are toy sets where you don't know what you get until you open them. This brings an element of surprise to them. It also makes them highly addictive because it's difficult to complete collections.

Many companies make original Blind Bag toys, but there are also numerous licensed tie-ins. Blind Bags are usually very small and cheap to buy. They're inexpensive to make, but they make back their money by people buying over and over in an attempt to get the ones they want.

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Compare Loot Boxes, the video game equivalent, and Collectible Card Game, the trading card game equivalent.


Examples:

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     Film — Animation 
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet features a scene where Ralph tries to make as many memetic videos as possible in order to make enough cash to buy a new steering wheel for the Sugar Rush arcade machine. Amongst the gags is Ralph doing a blind box unboxing video for a fictional brand based off of a Show Within a Show. He opens the box and is instead swarmed with a bunch of bees (hitting two memes in one as "bee puns" are a trend in-universe).

     Franchises 
  • Animal Jam Adopt-A-Pet: A plastic house-like container containing a small pet figurine which can be used to unlock the Virtual Pet in-game. There are about 200 of them. Good luck.
  • Disney has dabbled in this genre quite a few times:
    • Disney Animators Collection: The Disney Animators' Collection Littles come in pencil-shaped packages that connect together as holders for the toys. They come with toys based off Disney Animated Canon and feature very basic tutorials on how to draw the characters.
    • Disney D-Lectables: A line of Disney-themed ice cream cone-shaped toys in an ice cream tub-shaped container.
    • Disney Doorables: A line consisting of 78 Disney toys that come in door-shaped boxes.
  • Hatchimals: Hatchimals has a series of blind bag eggs.
  • Flick-to-Stick Bungees: These figurines have little magnets on their bottoms, allowing them to stick to the magnetic disks, cards, and game boards that are included in certain packs.
  • Flush Force contains various gross creatures and mutated objects, with a water-activated opening gimmick.
  • Funko Pop!: Funko has a spinoff line of Mystery Minis vinyl blind bag toys of various properties.
  • GoGo's Crazy Bones, a series of little plastic figures which are primarily made to be used to play games. There are two versions - a 90's version and a 2000's version.
  • Gormiti began as a blindbag collectible series.
  • The Grossery Gang: A blind bag series themed after gross, rotten food.
  • Hairdorables: A blind box/unboxing series of dolls with cool, unique hairstyles.
  • LEGO: Did this with the collectible LEGO Minifigures line, with an assortment of characters; some inspired by history or fiction, others more random. Most came with some new mold that hadn't been seen in an existing set. As well as generic series, they also had series focused on the GB Olympics, The LEGO Movie, The Simpsons, Disney, German Football, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise.
  • L.O.L. Surprise!: A blind package/unboxing series based on pop culture with baby dolls. The first of girl-aimed toys to really take off in the era.
  • Lost Kitties: A series featuring cute cat characters. The toys come in milk cartons and, to complete the theme, they come inside creamer-shaped packages full of putty.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Toy giant Hasbro has released blind bags based off the most recent iteration of their My Little Pony tv show. Characters range from the show's mane characters to secondary characters to recurring background ponies.
  • Poopsie Slime Surprise: Slime-themed blind bags in the shape of brightly coloured unicorn poop.
  • Sesame Street: The Sesame Street Surprise Plush Boxes have tiny plush version of Sesame Street characters.
  • Shopkins: A series of grocery-themed blind bag series.
  • Star Monsters: Similar to GoGo's Crazy Bones, in that they're little plastic figurines intended for use in their own games.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine: In 2015, Fisher-Price released MINIS, miniature plastic models of characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine television series. Although certain engines and rolling stock can be bought together in multi-packs (where they can be visibly seen), they can also be bought individually in sealed opaque bags.
  • The Trash Pack is a blind bag series where the characters are discarded junk and creepy creatures.
  • Transformers dabbed multiple times into the craze:
    • In Japan:
      • From 2003 to 2007 exclusive redecoes of Mini-Cons were released in blindboxes under the "Micron Booster" name.
      • In the same time period, the Micromaster combiners (which were sold on cards in western countries under the Universe and Energon lines) were also released in blindboxes, alongside a reprint of the Multiforce from Transformers Victory as their final wave.
      • From 2005 to 2014, the Legends class molds from the Cybertron, Universe and movie trilogy lines were sold in blindboxes under the "EZ Collection" name.
      • From 2005 to 2014, the Legends class molds from the Cybertron, Universe and movie trilogy lines were sold in blindboxes under the "EZ Collection" name.
      • During the Transformers: Prime toyline (whose Japanese release featured transforming weapon robots known as the Arms Microns as an addition), four waves of Arms Microns featuring both new animal-shaped characters and small-sized renditions of the main cast of the show were released as Gachapon surprises. The first two of them also got a limited release in Europe as blindbags.
    • In Western countries:
      • The Loyal Subjects (a toy company specialized in vinyl blindbags of licensed characters) did three waves of Transformers figures. The character cards included with them are infamous for copypasting the opening paragraphs from the Transformers Wiki for the character bios, to the point that one of them (Swoop's) used a joke caption found on one of them as the character's motto.
      • KRE-O (A short-lived competitor to LEGO made by Hasbro) had a few waves of blindbag minifigures.
      • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise toyline featured the Tiny Titans, a series of blindbag minifigures featuring characters from both the Robots in Disguise cartoon and G1, with the addition of a pair of Beast Wars characters.
      • The Alt-Modes line is a series of Super Deformed figures sold in blindboxes whose bodies can be replaced with small renditions of their altmodes by flicking the Autobot/Decepticon insignia-shaped tabs behind their heads.
      • The Tiny Turbo Chargers are another line of chibi Transformers, this time transforming and based on Transformers: The Last Knight (but also featuring characters from the other live action movies).
      • Transformers: BotBots are a line of chibi Shopkins-esque characters that transform into common objects, sold in blind packages or in multipacks where only one of them is hidden.
  • Uglydolls has had a wide range of blind bag collectibles, from small and simple ones that came in a large color variety, to larger boxed ones based directly on the artwork designs of the dolls. The movie was also given a line of blind bags, using characters from the toyline that have either a minimal appearance, or no appearance, in the movie itself.

     Western Animation 
  • The episode "Onion Trade" from Steven Universe features Steven buying out an entire Gacha machine just to get the last Ranger Guy from his collection— one particular figurine that Onion has but is stingy about trading away. Calamity ensues when Steven starts getting Gem technology mixed up in the trading. In the end, Steven finds out that the missing figure from his collection was the one that Onion originally stole from him in the first place.
  • The Simpsons episode "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life" begins with the Simpson family driving out to a gas station in the middle of nowhere just to get Maggie a very specific Happy Little Elves figurine found inside a blind box that is given away with every 10 gallons of gasoline purchased. Homer wastes half the day burning off dozens of gallons of gasoline just to get another box, but fails to get the one Maggie wants. He later returns at night and just breaks into the gas station until he finds the right one.
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     Other 
  • The practice of the Blind Box has existed in Japan through the Gacha machines — the devices that Loot Boxes are named after — since at least the 1960's. There are arcades filled with nothing but gacha machines, and they usually have receptacle bins to reuse the plastic capsules the prize comes in. After the turn of the millennium, marketing practices spawned from the idea by featuring series of collectibles that comes in packaged boxes. You could buy one blind box, or you could buy the entire package with the promise of getting the complete set, but many do not offer this, particularly those only available at special events. Some, such as Tsukiuta, have started offering these in packs of three, guaranteed to be three different ones, so even if there is no guarantee that you get one of each, there is at least a guarantee that, out of 9, you won't get more than 3 of the same one.
  • They have been around in Austria for decades. In the 1970s there were so-called "surprise bags" ("Überraschungstüte" in German) sold for small money, containing simple toys, crayons etc.
  • Similarly, France had "pochettes surprises". Often mentioned in the same sentence as driving licenses whenever a French driver insults another.
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