Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth is the last Hellraiser film that one could argue is worth seeing, and the series has since descended into straight-to-video oblivion. But the world of Hellraiser still has a number of diehard fans — including myself — which is why I was so interested when I received an email about a Hellraiser 3 puzzle box that will be released near the end of this year.
Then I opened the email, and saw one of the worst-conceived tie-in products in recent history. Let’s explore all the ways that this is a bad idea.
It’s not actually a puzzle box
This was absolutely my fault for not reading the email correctly. It turns out that this isn’t a Hellraiser 3 puzzle box, it’s a Hellraiser 3 puzzle blox. It’s that hidden “l” in there that got me.
A mechanical puzzle box is one of the most important items in the film franchise, as it’s the method by which characters summon forth the Cenobites themselves. The Cenobites are the demonic monsters that then show up and drag whoever opened the box into hell, to be tortured in manners that are hinted to be rather enjoyable if you’re into an eternity of unendurable but slightly kinky pain.
Anyway, this is what the item — also known as the Lament Configuration — from the movies looks like:
That’s what I thought the company was going to be selling; a reproduction of the in-universe puzzle box that’s so well-known to fans. But no, this is the puzzle blox that was being advertised. See if you can tell the difference:
Yep. It turns out this is just a knock-off Rubik’s Cube. This is the official description:
Mezco Toyz is proud to introduce Puzzle Blox — a pop culture game.
These 3D combination puzzle games are chock-full of colorful images featuring some of pop culture’s most famous and infamous characters!
The Hellraiser Puzzle Blox features Hellraiser — the High Priest of Hell and leader of the Cenobites.
Mix the pictures up and see if you are skilled enough to put them back together. Rotate the square puzzle on both the X and Y-axis to reassemble the iconic imagery. Time yourself against a friend or break your own record.
This is like advertising a Star Wars Light Sword and having it turn out to be a claymore that blinks red. Or maybe a Thermal Device that ends up being a space heater. Imagine an Iron Man helmet that ends up being a silkscreened picture of Robert Downey, Jr. on a motorcycle helmet. Think about advertising Thor’s hammer only to have it actually be a standard ball-peen that says “Property of Thor, used to hang pictures around Asgard and stuff” on it.
I’m not even angry, I’m just really impressed that a product can try this hard to sound like one thing you’d really want only for it to be something else that’s still technically the thing being described, but in the most disappointing manner possible.
And you can pre-order one now, if for some literally ungodly reason you’re still interested.