My Secret Lair Experience

Making the sacrifice, so you don’t have to.

TL;DR: As a product, these are just shit.

… but let’s go through this step by step. And this will be very, very nitpicky.

I made the decision to buy in mid-October. The three Drops I ordered came in last week, so in just over four months. It’s weird that we think this is acceptable. However, that’s only the first thing that’s weird in that sense.

So, here’s why I finally decided to test this out: I have been collecting the different versions of Liliana for a while now, so I bought the two products, which include one of those – Thrilling Tales of the Undead and the Foil Edition of the same. I also bought Read the Fine Print, because while it doesn’t include a Liliana card, it is thematically a Liliana collection of cards.

How much did these cost? I don’t actually know. Okay, I could probably check this from somewhere, but the pre-order confirmation only lists the total price and the postage. Why? I mean, a coder would need to work a whole few minutes to make each the prices visible, but they still decided to leave out that information, which is actually proably illegal in many parts of the world. Also, this is the closest thing to a receipt I was provided and the lack of one is definitely illegal in the EU. There was a delivery note in the packaging, but again: no receipt.

Read the fine print includes a total of five cards: Liliana’s Contract and one of each of the demons she made the contract with. The other two only include three cards: Liliana, Death’s Majesty, Rise of the Dark Realms and, for some reason, Gravecrawler. I guess there was some value there, but for me that was not the point. I doubt I’ll ever play any of these.

The packaging is fairly nice, but unnecessarily big for the purpose, which also explains why the postage is so high for a few cards, which would otherwise cost around a quarter of that and you would likely get insurance anyhow. So you are paying extra for the packaging to make the whole thing look more important just to pay more for the postage as well.

And the niceness of the packaging ended there. There’s a piece of cardboard holding the cards in place. For some reason, the stylistic black is replaced by a weird brown color in this cardboard. Weirder yet, the inside of that cardboard is black, which makes it seem like the things were put together the wrong way around. If this is true, the QA is probably horrible.

Well, even if that was just my speculation, QA is still horrible in one key way: the foils are already curled like potato chips. Not the etched foils, mind you, so they know how to do this correctly, but for some reason they have still decided to just let their product lapse in this way. And this isn’t just normal curling. My other foils in my collection (of which there aren’t very many) don’t curl in this way. So, I’m guessing it’s that one or some of the production facilities they use have this problem, but other don’t and they just aren’t using the ones that don’t mess this up.

But wait, what about the bonus cards?

Yes, there are in fact bonus cards. Each of these did have a bonus card. The first one was the stained-glass version of Liliana, Dreadhorde general. Sure, it was, again, curled very badly, but sort of nice anyhow. Thematic and all that. What about the other two? Well, there was a Swamp and a Forest. Wow. I needed one more curled foil basic land of each of these types. And you know what? These are still sealed and they are still curled. One of them is even still on the piece of cardboard, which probably should help keep it straight, but no. It’s curled.

Why do you have those bonus cards, if you are just going to let your audience down with them? I guess the lands are from some Jumpstart, but who wants a basic land from a random Jumpstart booster? They are actually making us pay around ten dollars for each card, but still can’t shill out a nice bonus card. Even though there isn’t a real difference in cost per card for them.

There are positives. The art is… fine. I generally use whatever card I have available for my decks, so in that sense the art is not important to me, but they are still nice…. except that the small space they have for the supposed movie posters of Thrilling Tales of the Undead just isn’t enough to make that theme shine.

So, all-in-all, I don’t see myself buying any more of these. It’s just a shoddy product that’s trying so hard to appear high-end, but just can’t actually put in the work.

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