Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Redakai Continues to Fail at All Levels: Redakai Multi-Pack

So today at work I noticed that Spin Master had put out yet another product for the doomed Redakai line which continues to hog space in many stores with no returns. Walmart seems to be the only store taking the series seriously anymore, with Target and Toys R' Us either shuffling them away into a corner or putting them on clearance. I have already seen the larger action figures appearing at closeout stores in my town.

In this case, the product was fairly straight-forward: 3 "Power Packs", their term for Booster Packs, in one package for about $16. Now, merely the price causes this idea to fall flat on its face, but for a minute let us look at the bigger picture. Redakai is a game that from the very start has cost 50% more than all of its competition such as Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon, a position they seem hesitant to back down from. One might blame the plastic cards, but a full deck of clear Star Wars playing cards that have the exact same gimmick as well as coming in a snazzy tin goes for just one dollar more than a Redakai booster of just eleven cards.

Other franchises have booster pack sets similar to the Redakai Multi-Pack, but most have an added incentive to buy a bunch of packs rather than just one, usually in the form of incentive promo cards or other items such as cards or tokens, while still costing less than Redakai and remaining a bargain. This Redakai set has no such bonuses and even lacks the hologram puzzle cards that come with single boosters and starter packs.

But this multi-booster pack has deeper problems than that. Walmart sells the "Starter Pack", a set that contains two booster packs and an "X-Reader" plastic case (Which cannot hold a full deck) for just $10. This means that one can either choose to pay $5 per pack and get a plastic case and puzzle card to go with it or pay $5.33 a pack and get nothing extra. It's sad when the pricing situation is so bad that the card game isn't even competitive against itself. Per pack, the starter set is by far the cheapest and people have no reason to buy single or multi-boosters unless their prices fall to be competitive with their own "Starter set". The tin's only boon is the guaranteed Ultra-Rare (The tin itself is poorly designed), but for bulk it is utterly inferior to everything else, pushing $10 per pack!

This is another example of Spin Master's hubris getting the better of it. Not only is the pricing high, it is inconsistent and is a symptom that the company knows nothing of how to run a trading card game. The thing is, they have no excuse for this ineptitude; there are plenty of working business models for the successful sale of card games and accessories as well as organized play that Spin Master could take notes from. As long as they have this attitude that they know better than companies that have been making card games for 10~20 years more than them, they will continue to churn out garbage like Redakai.

Still, as long as stores are willing to indulge Spin Master in their little problem child, it'll be a long time before Redakai and its problems are gone for good. Target and Toys R' Us have the right idea sending this ruffian of a toy to sit in the corner; if only the company I work for could get the same idea.

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  1. In the UK the show has started (Came out February) and the cards are not going to be released until July! They should either start the show in July or release the cards in February! And they already have plans to not release it at all in the UK.
    I hope they don't release it in the UK!
    I recorded one episode on TV and watched it (It was the first episode I watched) And it was soooooooooooo Bad!!!

  2. The show is pathetic. Marathon Media should have followed the same formula that worked so well for Totally Spies and Martin Mystery- campy, lighthearted and witty shows. Redakai could very well be a contender for the worst cartoon I've seen in the 20 years I've been on this earth. And I've seen Fanboy and Chum Chum.
    I was in the next town today to apply for a new job. I did window shopping at the Walmart overlooking the highway, and they still can't get rid of price-slashed Redakai cards and figures. If there's any way I can share the photographic proof, please tell me. Note: said picture also contains a sweet Thundercats Mumm-Ra figure that I probably should have snagged when I had the chance.

    1. No need. I've seen Redakai Champ Tins as low as $1 recently. I got picture proof right here:

  3. I bought the X Reader Starter Pack a couple of months ago because Walmart had them in the clearance aisle. Actually it wasn't an aisle it was an end cap. Anyway I gave it a try and it's quite possibly the worse TCG I've ever played. The show isn't/wasn't? so bad but I never really watched it since I don't like anime/Japanese cartoons.