(Final update December 23rd)
I’m guessing that most music fans were bombarded with Facebook ads for Advent calendars featuring a number of popular bands. My wife, a huge Guns n’ Roses fan, saw that one and thought it looked cool, so I surprised her by ordering it.
Now mind you, I did so expecting a rip off. The ad showed Funko Pops and Rock Iconz statues, both of which do not fit inside the box and are too expensive. But I thought it could at least be a fun December activity, and that I could get an article out of it. At $58.98 USD, I was most likely headed for disappointment, but I was more interested in the experience than the value of the items.
It took a while, but the box made it to Canada early November. The calendar is housed in a large plastic container, and the shipping container was inadequate so I received the box with a broken corner. No big deal, except that two items fell off. A rubber bracelet, and a nice keyring.
The only problem was that the keyring bore the logo of the Miami Heat basketball team. The item isn’t even related to Guns n’ Roses. Oh boy, this isn’t off to a great start.
I contacted the company who promised me a 20% refund, which I accepted. It still hasn’t materialized.
So December finally arrived, and with a mixture of anticipation and dread, my wife opened the first box.
The first item is a Lego mini figure. That’s cool! Our first impression was that it was Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, but my wife quickly supposed it was an iffy rendition of Gilby Clarke. But a quick Google search turned up the fact that it’s supposed to be Bumblefoot. OK, let’s go with that. A bit disappointing that it’s not the classic lineup, but it’s OK. I think it’s a safe bet that she’ll end up with the entire lineup in mini figures by Christmas.
Second day, she pulled a pendant. Nothing fancy, but it feels solid and looks OK. At least it says Guns n’ Roses!
Today’s items are a pair of earrings featuring Slash and Axl. Not the greatest image, but still cool. And no one would notice it’s GNR related unless they scrutinized your ears, which would be weird, let’s be honest.
Another pendant. This one’s not obviously Guns n’ Roses related, but upon close examination, it is. They couldn’t find a better image on the internet?
Cool, another Lego figure! I told you we’d get the whole band. Wait. It’s freaking Bumblefoot again. 5 days in, and we’re getting duplicate items. That sucks.
And it’s another pendant, featuring a vintage band photo with a fish-eye look. I’m sensing a pattern emerging here.
It’s the first double day where the little box occupies two squares. What could it be? I’m assuming an oversized object.
Nope. It’s two regular items. Another minifigure, this time it’s Tommy Stinson. And a rubber bracelet. Underwhelmed again, but my wife, in all her wisdom says “17-year old me would have flipped out getting all these”. So maybe we’re not the right target audience for this calendar. Or it came (redacted) years too late.
Today’s item is a keychain and, lo and behold, it does feature Guns n’ Roses! You have to take the wins you can. It does look cool, even though they reused the image from one of the pendants.
More earrings this morning, to match the earlier pendant. Not great, but not bad.
Today’s another over-sized box, and it looks like it once agains holds 2 items. That’s awesome and unexpected and OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?
This is the first item my wife pulled out of the box. At first we’re in denial and try to convince ourselves it’s supposed to be current GNR keyboard player Melissa Reese, but she has blue hair, not pink. No, it’s a random anime girl and once again it has nothing to do with Guns n’ Roses. Sigh. What else is in there?
Alright, this minifigure of drummer Frank Ferrer is bad ass. This is cool. Day saved!
Tragedy strikes! Someone poked holes in many of the upcoming boxes, trying to see what was coming up.
I do have a suspect in mind and… HOLD… she’s confessed. I think the thrill is wearing off for my wife. She’s pinning all her hopes on getting minifigures of Axl, Slash and Duff. Were any of them planned for the day we got a second Bumblefoot? That would be bad.
Anyway, today’s item is a pair of earrings, to match one of the earlier pendants. Geez, this box would suck for a dude.
And today we get… another stupid pendant. Worse: it’s a duplicate from an earlier item, except that the chain is bronze instead of black. Yawn.
Another minifigure and it’s… well, I’m not sure. A quick Google search confirms this is supposed to be DJ Ashba. OK, if you say so. What’s that supposed to be on his forehead? Oh well…
Today’s box holds a logo keyring that…wait a minute. It’s the same fucking keyring we got on the 8th. The nerve on these guys.
More bland earrings using a bad image. Boring!
Oh yeah! Now you’re talking. A minifigure of bassist Duff McKagan. Clearly this builds up to a complete band by Christmas, and honestly, I’m banking on this to salvage the box, notwithstanding the fact that you can get these bootleg minifigures on Ali Express for about $1 each. Yes, I’m clutching at straws at this point.
Oh, and still no sign of the promised partial refund. I’d single out the company but these things were offered through many shells, dropshipping straight from China so what’s the point. Support agent is identified as being from CY Network, and the website I bought it from (http://www.fnfnoo.com/) is no longer active. Classic take the money and run scam!
Two items today, one of them being… unexpected.
I don’t know what that bejewelled ring is. And I don’t need to know. Let’s focus on the other minifigure, which represents guitarist Richard Fortus. Or a member of the Ramones. Whatever. But this seems to confirm my theory that they’re building up to the full band. I found the set on Ali Express, and we’re only missing Slash and Axl. At least we have something to look forward to.
Another pendant. We’ve seen that classic GNR logo a few times in a washed out version, this time it has the yellow ring we’re all used to. It actually looks nice, and proof to that: this is the first item in 18 days that my wife has decided to wear. Win!
Like clockwork, it’s another pair of earrings. You need a microscope to figure out what the image is (might just be me getting old though) and while it looks like a nice image, it has no business being shrunk this small. But was anyone expecting any less?
This morning brings with it some good news: I finally received my 20% refund. I had to email them again, but it’s here now. This lessens the sting a bit.
Today’s a weird day for two reasons. One, the box for the 20th is inexplicably shared with the 24th so both items are available. Two, the item we took out is the Miami Heat keychain I mentioned in the opening, and it has nothing to do with GNR. Maybe it’s Axl’s favourite team? Ugh. And to make things worse, this is one of the nicest items in the box.
This again shows the total lack of care that went into making these calendars.
More earrings, reusing the same motif as the ones from the 11th, but in a different shape. The image really doesn’t translate to such a small object.
On the positive side, I finally received the partial refund I was promised. This box is still a slap in the face, but now it’s like they held back a bit and didn’t put in all their strength in it.
Another pendant, and for once it looks cool. At this point, might as well consider it a win.
Yet another pair of earrings, this time with a band portrait that is so small you need to zoom in to see what it is. But the worst part is that with one day to go, it’s now official: we’re not getting Axl and Slash minifigures. That would have been the only way to end on a high note, but no, they couldn’t even do that. I went on Ali Express to see if I could find them to complete the band, and they’re sold out everywhere so clearly they used these calendars to get rid of what was left.
You know what? Might as well get it over with. Let’s see what’s behind the last door. No need to ruin Christmas Eve with this crap.
Aaaaaannnnnnd it’s another rubber bracelet, identical to the one from the 7th. Honey, we can wear matching bracelets! (Not)
Alright. As I said in the beginning, I expected this to be a rip off. But never in my wildest dream did I expect it to be this bad. The lack of effort in designing items and assembling the box is stunning. We had fun opening it for maybe half the month, and then the constant disappointment just became too much. I’m still glad I bought it, but never again. Fool me once, etc.
- I bought one of those music Advent Calendars so you wouldn’t have to. - December 5, 2021
- The Music Addict’s Band Name Challenge - October 11, 2021
- Book review: Rainbow in the Dark: The Autobiography – Ronnie James Dio - September 24, 2021
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