Clix O’Clock: Gravity Falls
Hey everybody! Welcome to Clix O’Clock, the weekly feature on Heroclix from We the Nerdy Assistant Editor, Henry Varona. Each week, Henry talks about Heroclix, spreading his love for the game as far as he can! This week he talks about Gravity Feeds, the counter-top displays that are constantly enticing you to spend your petty cash. Are they worth the investment? Do they reap the benefits you so desperately desire? How does he feel about the upcoming changes to the gravity feed format? Read on!
For the uninitiated, Heroclix generally come in three different formats: Starters/Fast Forces, 5 Figure Booster Packs, or individual blind Gravity Feed packs. I’ll be talking about the latter-most format for this article. Gravity Feed packs are some of my favorite in Heroclix. As much as I enjoy the thrill of buying a normal booster, I always get excited for Gravity Feed packs. The odds sound better in my head that I’ll get something good, and since I only pay a few dollars for each figure, I am generally happier if I get something I didn’t want than if I pulled it in a standard pack. This year I poured money into gravity feeds, buying up a bunch of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, with the release of The Flash pending, I find myself in the trap again.
My favorite gravity feeds are the ones used as primers for upcoming sets. As I said, The Flash set comes out in a few weeks and I find myself frothing at the mouth with anticipation. The gravity feed display came out last week, and like clockwork, I ran to the store to buy up a bunch. Trying to restrain myself, I only bought 6, of which I pulled 5 unique figures. The one double I pulled was an army builder, so lucky me. Primer gravity feeds are my favorite, since all of the figures are a flat rarity. 10 figures with unique dials that offer alternatives to their main set counterparts. I often find that this is an easier way for me to pick up certain favorite characters of mine, since they have a flat rarity (Everybody has a 1/10 chance of being in a pack). Beyond that, as somebody who LOVES theme teams, it’s a great way to get alternatively key-worded versions of characters that fit different places!
Additionally, Marvel and DC (Along with other properties) love to release gravity feed sets to go with their movies and games. These are different than the primers, since they are all unique figures and have rarities. I have absolutely awful luck when it comes to these, so I might not love them as much as others do. However, I think that they are a really fun way to entice people into the game. A number of my friends got into Heroclix through these, latching onto the property and enjoying the cheaper price. These sets can often be a really nice way to spice up the regular comic sets. I’ll admit though, that these sets cause some ridiculous pricing. Since there are tiers of rarity but the distribution means you technically have a more limited chance of pulling something, the figures can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, and the common figures are essentially worthless. Ultimately they are probably better for casual fans, since they can be gateway drugs.
I think that one of the best uses of the gravity feed format is for complementary sets. These are less frequent, such as X-Men: Days of Future Past or Batman: Streets of Gotham. These are often littered with incredible figures, as Wizkids revisits characters they goofed up or overlooked. Days of Future Past was great for this reason, as it helped to fill out the Wolverine and the X-Men set from the year before. Unfortunately, these sets can often have a greater quality gap between figures. Streets of Gotham had some figures that were absolutely worthless or missed opportunities. For every brilliantly designed Calendar Man, there was a Tim Drake Robin. Similarly, Days of Future Past gave us awful renditions of Blob and Colossus, even with smart support pieces.
On the horizon we see the end of the primer gravity feed, as Wizkid has announced that Justice League: Trinity War will be the last set to feature this. I’m sad to see this go, but in it’s place are die and token sets, so I can’t be too upset. Ultimately they seemed redundant to many, who could find the figures in starters, fast forces, or the main set. Luckily, the gravity feed will live on as a slew of movies lies on the horizon. Yu-Gi-Oh!, Age of Ultron, and more will use the format, and as always, I’m sure it will be a success. However, Wizkids will be testing new waters as they release a gravity feed of the War of Light constructs. With a retail price of $1.99 for a construct, they will be a cheap and easily obtainable alternative for people who failed to get the constructs during Con in Your Store events. I know that there are LOTS of people who are furious about the decision, but I think it marks a bold new era in gravity feeds. I would LOVE to see more resources and complementary pieces handled in this way. It’s cheap, accessible, and allows for more variety in resources. Only time will tell if Wizkids follows through and repeats the strategy for more resources down the line, but I for one hope that they do.
Thanks for checking us out! Be sure to explore other content on We the Nerdy, and be back here next week at the same time (Tuesdays at 6:00pm EST) for more Clix O’Clock! The subject: War of Light Month 6! See you then!