Mystery Box Review

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by SamK, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. While admittedly, most people are aware of the basics of what's inside, there's more than a few secrets and surprises inside that box. ;)
  2. I've seen a lot of debate about this box. On one hand I can totally appreciate the dedication and passion that have gone into this project from T11. The team and JB also is a huge fan of JJ Abrams so this must have been a dream come true. I have my heroes and I can only imagine how I would feel if I could to create something with them.

    On the other hand, T11 can't lose sight of the fact that just because something is really personal and important to you, doesn't mean your buying public will feel it as deeply. Its really cool that JB, the CEO of T11, responds in forums and social media; but the answers I've seen are rather robotic and rehearsed. I can remember a dozen or more responses where the verbiage is essentially the same. It feels very scripted and rehearsed and often times doesn't answer the question that is being asked by a potential customer. No matter what business you're in that turns people off.

    From a marketing standpoint when I saw the teaser photos for the box and found out there would be cards wrapped in paper with a question mark, I thought we would know there is 1 Bad Robot deck and the other 11 would be mystery decks...similar to Dan and Dave's brick where each one is different and you don't know what you're going to get till you receive it.

    I think that probably would have satisfied a lot of criticism and boosted more sales of the box. I think the verbiage of "more than meets the eye", "the choice to open or not is yours" and "this goes to charity to inspire wonder" doesn't really satisfy the consumer's decision to part with their money. It's going to come across as a little too much of a marketing gimmick and I think that's the opposite of what this project was trying to convey.
  3. I'm just gonna briefly mention that I received a little something special in the mail today all because of this mystery box (deck)! In my opinion this is 10,000,000,000% worth getting!!! I love what I received! :D
  4. Interesting.
  5. Hey b_08, I totally respect and appreciate your opinion, but I don't think it's fair to characterize our passion for this project as uniquely adoring of JJ (which we are!) - he's among the most successful and most talked about individuals in the entire entertainment industry right now, and not only is he supporting the magic industry by way of this collaboration - he LOVES and respects magic. Regardless if you buy this product or not, I think that's something that we can all agree is AWESOME. This project has already been featured in Entertainment Weekly (twice), Uncrate, Fast Company, and TED.

    This response is neither robotic or rehearsed. I'm typing it on my couch in socks. I respect your suggestion of having random other decks inside the box, but for us, that would be far less meaningful than a NEW product that we worked on in direct collaboration with JJ over the course of a year. Just because you know that they are playing cards, of some sort, inside, does not mean there is no mystery. As Matthew (matthewwhitt2) figured out this past week, to those willing to seek and discover, there is far more than meets the eye.
  6. Enjoy! Amazing.
  7. Thanks a lot! I'll be sure to save the note and use the gift for a bunch of randomness! I'm definitely going to have fun with it... Starting with using it to help with an application to be an intern with Bad Robot... (Or maybe T11?) ;) (trying my hardest not to reveal anything here lol)
  8. #28 SamK, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2014
    :/ I'm starting to think I'm trying too hard to solve this mystery.

    *EDIT* HA! You sneaky devils.
  9. Finally save enough to take the plunge on this. Ordered today and looking forward to it.
  10. I love mysteries... But 150 dollars for something that I don't know if I'll be able to fully appreciate... I'll pass on this :(
  11. If you can appreciate a handmade wooden box with 12 identical decks of well-made cards, then you won't be disappointed. If not, save your money.
  12. If you can appreciate having something to always wonder about and to inspire you to dream, this is for you. If not, it is just 12 decks in a wooden box. The entire point of the Mystery Box is much, much larger than 12 decks and a box, but if you buy it just for the physicial product, that is all you end up with.

    If you leave the box closed, you will always wonder about the specifics of the deck design, if there is anything hiding in the box, if there are other mysteries inside to unlock. You can dream about what they may be. They could be ANYTHING. The moment you open the box and start looking at what is inside, no matter the quality, the mystery is no longer a mystery. Infinite possibility is replaced by simple facts. There is nothing wrong with what is inside the box. We are as proud of the contents as we are of any other project we have done. What we are more proud of, however, is that the Mystery Box can be so much more if you let it be.

    We won't ever tell you that you can't open the box, however if I wasn't involved with the project long before it became a reality and I didn't know the specific details before hand, I would leave my box sealed. If you haven't seen J.J.'s TED talk on the subject, check it out here -

    "Maybe there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge." - J.J. Abrams

    // L
  13. Well said.
  14. Couldn't have said it better myself.....
  15. Received. Only had a chance to look through it briefly. Not sure if I want to open everything up. It's actually much nicer than I anticipated. Very pleased so far aside from the brokerage fee I received. :-( T11 really should look into inclusive shipping options for this. Ouch.
  16. Justin how bad was the brokerage? it is one of the last factors keeping me from placing an order.
  17. It was awful (though I would have expected more because of the weight). It was an extra $46.69.

    From the little I understand, companies can arrange a shipping option to include this factor. You may extra shipping initially, but overall you save. I could be mistaken though. It always takes some of the excitement out of the order when you are hit with that on delivery
  18. Hey Guys!

    Yea, brokerage fees can be a drag. Any international shipment is subject to VAT, but brokerage charges are additional charges (from UPS specifically) that are charged because UPS physicially assigns a person to your package who then walks it through customs. The idea is that your package won't run into delays or issues, it gets a VIP treatment of sort. UPS does not charge this fee up front, but rather charges you upon delivery. This occurs only on the cheaper UPS Standard ship method.

    The good news is that there are ways to avoid this. US Postal Service (USPS) shipments do not charge brokerage fees like this (though you will be charged VAT). Other UPS shipments (like UPS WW Express and WW Saver) do not charge brokerage fees, though they are more expensive. The fees are based on the value of the package. Depending on the cost of your order, you may be able to select a more expensive shipping option that arrives faster that ends up costing less in the end because it avoids brokerage fees. I did some digging and found this guide to these brokerage fees on -

    We are always on the lookout for other possible shipping options that can save you money. There have been a few different options we have seen that allow you to pay VAT and any other fees at the time of ordering. If we find one with a good track record that looks like it would be a good option to save our customers money, we will certainly check into it to see if it is possible. If you ever see something you think would work, let us know at There is a good chance we have already looked into it, but you still may find something that one day becomes one of our shipping options.

    Have a great week!

    // L
  19. Interesting. Thanks for the input. So am I understanding correctly that only the cheapest shipping option has to deal with this? Would the next option avoid this? (USPS Priority Mail International - $47.05 (as opposed to $33.78))
  20. #40 Lyle Borders, May 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2014
    Yep. USPS doesn't do this odd brokerage charge. USPS Priority Mail International (the cheapest international option from USPS for this size of package) does not charge brokerage fees. UPS (as a private courier) does. The benefit is that it (usually) arrives much faster, but with the additional cost of brokerage. With PMI, you would expect to see the initial shipping charge through our store, and then VAT/Taxes when it arrives (if applicable), but no brokerage like UPS Standard.

    I hope this helps. As always, if you have any questions at all just us know at

    // L

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