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Author Topic: Grab Bag Commentary for First Time Buyers  (Read 95990 times)
Master Bluespike74
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« on: July 13, 2014, 08:45:07 AM »

From the Realm of Chaos, I bring you a quick commentary on Grab Bags.  This is based on some recent Facebook commentary.

1.  Combat capable sabers are expensive when compared to Hasbro.  Expecting to receive a Sherman tank for the price of a pogo stick is illogical and unreasonable. 

2.  Unless you have had the opportunity to go to a convention to physically handle a saber, you are relying on someone else's opinion, photos, or video to make your saber purchase.  Everyone's style and preference is different.

3.  The owner's of Ultrasabers have repeatedly stated that grab bags are not to be main purchase options.  They are like going to the store for a burger, fries and drink and then deciding to add dessert on the side.  Grab bags are the dessert, not the meal. 

4.  In my opinion, a grab bag is a neat way to check out the quality of the company prior to investing $300 or more.  This is the only company (that I know of currently) that has this option.  More than one buyer I know has been skeptical of Ultrasabers based on the Facebook and YouTube hate out there.  They feel more comfortable getting their hands on the grab bag and most that I have had contact have not been dissatisfied with what they received.

5.  I know of one forum member along with myself that have a hard time deciding what to purchase when we have the itch to purchase a hilt.  The Random Grab Bag gives us a saber with random color that we can get opinions concerning.  I was not personally pleased with the Purples and I was very glad that mine came as grab bags rather than direct purchases.  Now I can order LED units (or rewire my current ones) to make colors I am happy with. 

If you are in the market for a particular saber, then you need to purchase outright the saber that you want.  If you have trouble making up your mind, then a grab bag is a nice way to point you in the right direction.  Whether you see it as a sample or dessert, the thing to keep in mind is that the Grab Bag was never meant to be the meal (your end product saber). 

I think too many people want to get something for a discount without waiting for the sale.  The forumites have put up plenty of reviews to help new buyers and some have been kind enough to put up stats for what are the most likely to receive of the grab bags. 

I know there are plenty of companies that produce sabers.  Some are more movie accurate than US.  Some cost more than US and have more features.  I believe that US has two things not currently offered by others:  samples and speed of delivery. 

I used the Grab Bag option for my first saber purchase.  I received the very last of the PVC sabers, the Archon Version 1.  Fell in love with the design & as soon as US offered the Archon Version 2 with recharge port, I jumped on it twice. 

Grab Bags are a great way to get into the hobby.  You get a taste and can then make a more informed decision.  It is not a way to get a fully loaded saber for a basement price.  Sales and promotions help with the prices but you often have to wait for them. 

I want people to be happy with this hobby but you have to do some research when making a serious purchase.  In my financial situation, I would not be prudent to spend over $100 without doing some serious contemplation.  Grab bags allow me to increase my personal collection without getting in too deep on credit card debt. 

In closing:  Direct purchases are the main course.  Grab Bags are samples or desserts.  Don't confuse the two and you'll be happy with your hobby. 

Returning to the realm of chaos, this is Blue signing out.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 08:59:12 AM »

Good comment on that, Blue. Definitely needs to be stickied!
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 09:15:02 AM »

Very well put, Blue!  I have several grab bag sabers and I have not been disappointed with any other them, it was a grab bag saber that made me really like the color SRD, I'd never really considered it before I got it on a grab bag and saw it in person, looks great with a UE blade! The same can be said of the DSI, I had never really thought about getting one and I've gotten two as grab bags (one with vertical grooves and one without) and now I'm really fond of the hilt. A grab bag is a great way to find a hilt that you might like that you hadn't really considered getting before, same with blade colors.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 10:25:40 AM »

I got my loaded Aeon v3 (just loved the simplicity of the hilt design, so it was perfect for a first saber) and came in under the budget the wife and I had agreed on.  I had more to spend and so I popped on a totally random grab bag, ended up with a Dom v2 in Fire Orange and absolutely love the feel of the hilt and the color of the blade.  I think I actually spend more time swinging the Dom than I do the Aeon just because that orange is so hypnotic.  I still love my guardian blue Aeon with the blazing red FoC and the really awesome obsidian soundboard, but my family does get tired of listening to it awful quickly (though I don't, I just get tired of listening to them asking me to turn it off.)
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 09:42:51 PM »


Ive been getting addicted to buying grab bags lately. After I bought my two initiates with sound I bought a Archon as well. Is cool when I get a random grab bag full of mhs parts I can swap out with my archon. Plus I almost get a brand new blade I can throw on my good sabers and swap the ugly old used blade out. Saves my nerves when friends wat to battle with my sabers I say NOPE heres your grab bag lol don't touch my preciouses LOL!
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 06:07:24 AM »

Good post and I think a lot of newcomers will find it useful.

I've been on the fence myself as to whether or not to invest in exactly what I want (Prophecy, sound, flash on clash, the works), or try a Grab Bag just to appease my hankering for a saber (since I've got bills to pay, haha!).
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 06:19:42 AM »

Good post and I think a lot of newcomers will find it useful.

I've been on the fence myself as to whether or not to invest in exactly what I want (Prophecy, sound, flash on clash, the works), or try a Grab Bag just to appease my hankering for a saber (since I've got bills to pay, haha!).

If you have the money definitely get a Prophecy.  Almost everyone that has one loves it and out of my 15 Ultrasabers it is in my top 3 favorites.  Or if you can't quite afford it right now, do as Blue suggested and go grab bag to get an idea of Ultrasabers quality. 
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 02:45:32 PM »

Thanks Blue.

This post is the reason I made my first US purchase (first lightsaber at all, for that matter) a grab bag purchase this morning.
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 09:52:29 AM »

Excellent post blue.  I can see myself using grab bags to nab a couple of sabers in specific blade colors that I don't yet have.  Fire Orange comes to mind.  :-)  Also, my daughters are growing up.  there will soon be sons-in-law and grandkids that will need sabers so they can duel with grandpa.  LOL

Yes, I will be that grandpa.  There will be very loud US sabers with sound installed under the Christmas Tree.  Which they will play with incessantly ... after I am safely home and away from the noise.  LOL
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 04:41:28 PM »

Excellent post, Blue! Thank you so much for posting this.
I have been considering buying a US over the last couple days, as I have a convention that I plan on going to in a StarWars cosplay. I've been on the fence about ordering a Dark Initiate V3 LE, or ordering a completely random grab bag with an UltraEdge Heavy blade. In fact, I just joined the forums today so that I could seek out the input of others as to what I should do. I believe this post, however, answered my question. I think I would rather get a grab bag with an UltraEdge Heavy blade and be surprised by what I get, than to order an Initiate.
To be honest, I really have no preference at this time, so maybe getting a sample is the best option.
One question, though... Are the Initiate length blades a possible outcome for grab bags? I have not found an answer to that, but I have not done too much extensive digging, either...

Alpha-77
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 04:57:35 PM »

Excellent post, Blue! Thank you so much for posting this.
I have been considering buying a US over the last couple days, as I have a convention that I plan on going to in a StarWars cosplay. I've been on the fence about ordering a Dark Initiate V3 LE, or ordering a completely random grab bag with an UltraEdge Heavy blade. In fact, I just joined the forums today so that I could seek out the input of others as to what I should do. I believe this post, however, answered my question. I think I would rather get a grab bag with an UltraEdge Heavy blade and be surprised by what I get, than to order an Initiate.
To be honest, I really have no preference at this time, so maybe getting a sample is the best option.
One question, though... Are the Initiate length blades a possible outcome for grab bags? I have not found an answer to that, but I have not done too much extensive digging, either...

Alpha-77

Full sized blades are what you get when you request on with a grab bag, however you can put in the order comments for a shorter blade. Just to let you know, Initiates do not come in grab bags anymore.
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 06:47:54 PM »

Full sized blades are what you get when you request on with a grab bag, however you can put in the order comments for a shorter blade. Just to let you know, Initiates do not come in grab bags anymore.

Excellent, thank you again for your information. If I buy a grab bag, I would not want an Initiate nor an Initiate size blade.

I also did some searching and discovered that V3's are becoming more common in the grab bags, which would be excellent considering that I would like to have the opportunity to buy the staff extensions.

Alpha-77
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 07:22:56 PM »

Excellent, thank you again for your information. If I buy a grab bag, I would not want an Initiate nor an Initiate size blade.

I also did some searching and discovered that V3's are becoming more common in the grab bags, which would be excellent considering that I would like to have the opportunity to buy the staff extensions.

Alpha-77

You can get couplers for V2 sabers as well.  You can pretty much make a staff out of any saber US sells.
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 07:37:12 PM »

You can get couplers for V2 sabers as well.  You can pretty much make a staff out of any saber US sells.

Yep, I have a coupler for connecting my Aeon v2 hilts, they make a great staff.  I like it more than my v3 staff.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 08:20:07 PM »

I'm personally a fan of the Grab bags for the reasons stated. It allows me to simply try some hilts that are not the one I am looking at to outright purchase. I've had 3, and I've found some real gems.

My first was a PVC Malice in consular green, bought simply to get my feet wet before making a bigger purchase.

My SI was a gb, that I tacked on to a main order, just because. I already was interested in that hilt, however I had never even entertained the idea of a VA saber. Now I am in love with the color, but likely would not have even seen it in person if not for the grab.

My other, a guardian blue Initiate V2 LE, is the exact opposite, a color I already had and loved on a hilt I never would have entertained the thought of even buying. I find my self swinging the Initiate now as often as, if not more than, my other hilts. And to think I only bought it as a cheap way to use up some rewards points before they expired. Cheesy
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