Happy Hump Day – Let the Holidays Begin! Black Friday Edition

“Back in the Day,” (when TSTOAddicts, TSTOFriends, TSTOTips, and yes…even TSTOTopix) were all struggling to get “audience share” in what was then known as “the Great TSTO Blog-O-Sphere,” I used to write regularly for both TSTOTips (that is a long story of intrigue, mayhem, and backchannel espionage, because 4 years ago today, TSTOFriends hadn’t even launched yet), as well as TSTOAddicts.  For TSTOAddicts, I wrote three regular weekly posts, “ManicMonday,” “HumpDay” and “TGIF.” That was a loooooooooooooong time ago. And of course, we all know the sordid tale of how Alissa ended up being the “Godmother of TSTO” and TSTO Addicts came out on top as the de-facto “Legit Leading Syndicate” of TSTO Blogs. We are all better tappers for the journey…The right blog came out on top! 

If you don’t know all of the history…tough beans.  We aren’t going to rehash it all again.  Most of those who were in the middle of the “Great Blog-O-Sphere Wars of 2013″ are swimming with the fishes, or have skulked off into some corner of the ” TSTO Dark Web” (TSTO message boards, Facebook pages, Reddit, the Forum, or in the case of Ryan, got a real life!).  They now spend most of their time talking among themselves, to further mythologize their roles in the early TSTO history, or whine (through text messages or subtle comments on blog posts), when one of us who was actually on the inside, gets too chippy. But, I digress…

It’s HUMP DAY (also known as Wednesday…the day you get over the hump for the work week), and I am here to offer some helpful tips in making your Black Friday Sales Shopping EAsier!

I bring up the “history” of the “Blog-O-Sphere” because in TSTO terms, we have been tapping and blogging FOR AN ETERNITY.  If a human year equals seven “Dog Years,” then there has to be fifteen TSTO years in a human year…which means in TSTO Years, we have been blogging for well over 60 years (which ironically, crosses over into my human age, of “soon-to-be-64”).  What any of this means, is that we have been around the block for ALL of the TSTO Black Fridays and know our way around the BEST DEALS, that offer the BEST VALUES, for the BEST PRICES!!

***Which I am going to let Safi cover in upcoming  Black Friday posts…

But, I AM going to give you some GREAT GENERAL SHOPPING TIPS for making Black Friday the Best Black Friday Ever!!!

There are three general tips to understand about Black Friday shopping…

1. Don’t line up around the block…this isn’t Best Buy, or Walmart. There is no physical store. And if your neighbors see you standing outside for hours on end, tapping your padular device, or even worse, sleeping for days in a tent on a sidewalk to be “first in line,” they are going to have you hauled off to Calmwood.

2. IGNORE all of BOLD, BEST DEAL EVER, print in all advertising. Take it from someone who has been in advertising and marketing for their entire adult life (more than 40 years…ergh!!), There is NO SUCH THING AS “The Best Deal Ever.”  That Amazing “Deal” on a flat screen TV???  Check the fine print and the model number… it is last year’s model, repackaged with fewer features…and there are only 4-6 of them at any store location. They will be gone in the first 5 minutes, if you aren’t crushed in the rush to get to them at the back of the store (they are always at the back of the store, so you have to pass the rest of the deals on the way), or someone doesn’t set your tent on fire to divert you. Nothing is worth that. There are hardly any good shows on regular TV these days anyway…

In regards to TSTO…THIS IS THE SAME STUFF…repackaged to LOOK like a great deal. This is the third Black Friday from TSTO…and that should tip you off. They needed a couple of years worth of TSTO item gathering, to have enough to do a “sale.”  The first year fell just weeks after the game started, and the 2nd year was the the first time they actually offered real Thanksgiving stuff that wasn’t a turkey (but included the NPC turkey).

I don’t even have to look at the the list of stuff being offered this year, or try to dissect the “New  Black Friday Mystery Box” concept, to understand that this is ALL the Same Old Stuff being offered at “CLEARANCE PRICES”...sort of.

First of all…any Mystery Box denotes itself as a “Mini-Gamble” in that you MIGHT get the item you wanted from the box. MIGHT!!! That’s what gambling is all about...risking something to get something, or not. 

This would be like standing in line for Black Friday, running over to where the Flat Screen TVs are…plunking down your $199.99, and then finding out that you Didn’t Get the TV. but we are going to give you this Amazing Food Processor of equal or lesser value!”  Wait…you wanted a TV!!!!! But, the “good news” is that the Food Processor that you didn’t want, will only cost you $199.99, which is $100 off of the inflated “Suggested Retail Price” (which we raised right before Black Friday, so the “Discount” looked bigger).

Yes. This is why advertising is called the “darkest art form” in the modern world.

So, while you MIGHT get the    Donut Truck – Originally 40 donuts, which comes with 2% bonus to XP and cash for just 20 donuts (the price of a Bronze mystery box), you might ALSO get an IRS drone, or Mr. Sparkle (who apparently has turnips the size of a large radish).  So…if you WANTED the Donut Truck, it may take you 2 or 3 attempts at 20 donuts each, to get what you wanted in the first place…and you may actually end up spending more than the original price!

Now…do the same thing, with mystery boxes ranging up to 80 donuts a pop…

GREAT DEAL???  I don’t think so.

If you check Safi’s Black Friday preview posts, you will see that there are a handful of items that have Bonus % Multipliers associated with them. But, even in this case, you need to do the math, in that you have a One in THREE chance of getting the item you want.  Yes…getting a 5% bonus item like Springfield Gorge for 80 Donuts might seem like a “great deal” as the original price was 250 donuts.  However…if it takes you three times to get it, that’s 240 donuts…a lousy 10 donut savings.  BUT…watch for the Bonus % Items. At least they are the “gift that keeps on giving!” 

Look…I could go on and on about how most “Great Deals” just aren’t.  Or how people have been conditioned to “jump at a bargain” on loads of clutter and crap that actually complicates their lives, rather than makes them better. But the sad fact is…after decades spent manipulating “sheeple,” for a living…I know that a large majority of you haven’t read most of this post, and have only read the stuff that is in BOLD...because that is how our brains have been conditioned to buy. Read the headline...ignore the small print.

And to all of you who want to call me “cranky” or a “kill joy,” I say….pffffffttttttt.  I LOVE Black Friday!!! Because it is the one day of the year, when I pretty much have the house to myself as my wife and daughters “hit the sales,” and I can just watch football…or reruns of “the Simpsons” or actually wait for the BEST DEALS….which happen on CYBER MONDAY! 

But, for all of you…who are bound and determined to “GET IT ALL at the BEST PRICES EVER!!!” I will actually say, Read Safi’s Posts that break down all of the best Black Friday Deals.  You will SAVE A BUNDLE!!!

Oh…and if you want some leads on REAL BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING…and CYBER MONDAY SPECIALS... Here are a couple of great links to help you Beat the Crowds (not really) SAVE  A BUNDLE (spending money isn’t saving money) and MAKING YOUR HOLIDAYS THE BEST EVER! (if you need a bunch of clutter to make your holidays whole…then thank you, for keeping the GDP popping at the end of a lackluster retail marketing year).


 (because if you haven’t become an Amazon Prime customer yet…you will be assimilated).

HAPPY HOLIDAYS (and for Alissa….MERRY CHRISTMAS!!)...let the Spending Begin! 

56 responses to “Happy Hump Day – Let the Holidays Begin! Black Friday Edition

  1. I have had a frozen screen on the Gold Mystery Box for three days. I just spent $50 on donuts and I can’t play at all! I have had two phone calls and an email from EA. No help at all. Any suggestions to get this fixed?

    • uninstall…reinstall…

      • I have uninstalled and reinstalled many times, to no avail. I may just let my game be hacked, if I can’t play before the end of the event. I have tried to be honest and earn donuts with the monorail, daily tasks, and Maggie. I have spent real money. I don’t really understand farming. Perhaps someone could explain it to me, if I ever get to play again. Down 5 days now.

  2. I was pretty happy myself as my free token gave me the only thing I wanted, which was the nerds. Hit the character box and got all bu dia betty and the wicvans which I didn’t want and a few other things that I got out of one of the other boxes which which is ok. Otherwise I’m saving for Christmas. All in all I’m happy.

  3. Cranky is more of a term of endearment than a criticism for you Patric.

  4. I did read this, and thought about the wisdom in this post as I bought a few boxes. Didn’t a single item that I wanted! I think I was disappointed with every box but one. I was hoping luck would be on my side. It was not. *sad trombone* My gripe is that there are far too many items in a box, to have a decent chance of getting what you want. I want at least a 50 50 types odds I won’t get something that I’m not disappointed in. Then the hurty wallet feeling won’t be so bad. I was suckered in by Black Friday. You were 100% right Patric.

  5. Amen my pal, amen.
    The only box worth it to get all tems from is the character box. Each one for 80 with or without building is a hell of an offer.

  6. Debbie Dovenbrink

    Thanks for pointing that out to those who fall for stuff like that. As soon as I learnt it’s mystery boxes, I knew I’d pass. Why burn money on gambling, it just makes no sense. Springfield is already filled with some stuff that came along the quests but that I don’t need. Why gamble, burn money, in order to get more stuff I don’t need?

    I won’t buy any token.

  7. I used to work in production on infomercials, you wanna talk about false advertising?

  8. Oh I AM SO HAPPY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had lots of bonuts saved up (thanks to Maggie, Monorail, Sideshow Bob game, Daily Challenges, main events) and donut farming (which I do every 2 months once Ive re-collected a decent amount of in-game cash) .

    So there were 12 characters (stand-alone & with buildings) in the Character Mystery Box that I did not have, so I spent 960 bonuts and got all 12 of them

    So no actual money spent, and I got GREAT SAVINGS on 12 premium characters that will now earn me in-game cash & which (directly/indirectly) increased my bonus percentage which will now help me earn more cash & XP, which will help me in leveling up & donut farming

    THIS WAS THE BEST DISCOUNT SHOPPING FESTIVAL as it cost me no actual money/cash ……. THANK YOU EA for the great approach this year (The last 2 year hourly rotating deals format sucks compared to this year’s)

    I am so happy that I’m treating my family to pizza & ice-cream for dinner. Sharing the joy with them = )))))

    Suggestion to other players: Spend your donuts/bonuts on Character Box first. It is the best of the lot, where you are a winner with each item you get

  9. Uuugggghhhhh, boxed crap. Sometimes you just want to buy an item, not gamble on it.
    I took the free token and my prize was the godawful bandit hideout. Thank #$#@% I didn’t spend real money on that and it’s probably a foreshadow of the rest

  10. I’am playing on an emulator on windows because the app is really slow on my cellphone. so i coincidently discovered that when i buy a mystery box and close the emulator immediately after i’ve seen what “price i won” (happened first time because my emu crashed. so much to black friday SALE by the way…) and started the emu again that i had all my donuts back and the item i previously won also wasnt in my inventory. so i tried again an got the same price again. after that i tried it a few more times on other boxes with the same result. i got the same item every time.. wont say that the random lootboxes arent that random but the whole thing looks a little suspicious to me.. sorry for my bad english 😉

    • Yeah, I’ve noticed the same thing in the past. I guess it’s either pre-determined what order you’ll get them in (random for each person though) or it’s a drawback of trying to game the system. I gave up trying to force it to change and just accept whatever it gives… or if I really only wanted one item I can test my luck and still roll back the purchase like it never happened.

  11. I used my free token and got Curves. Really wanted the Shadow Knight but oh well it’s free. I would have paid donuts for shadow knight if offered straight up. Your loss EA.

  12. Has anyone else lost Muscle Marge? I had purchased her last time round but now she is showing up in the Golden box and I cannot find the building?

  13. As tempting as some of the Mystery Boxes are? I’m sticking to the Discounted Character with Building – some of these are Bargains (and that’s all thee Black Friday I need!)

    Happy 🦃 Day gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble every body

  14. so the boxes just showed just showed up this morning… but i was disappointed that the gold box needed ‘tokens’ to open as well. I bought the 132 donuts to have for the Black Friday deals now i need tokens in addition..will these items in boxes stay the same all 3 days?

    • Safi had made it clear that donuts should purchased on Black Friday (or Thursday), not in advance. For sake of the tokens 😉

      The contents should stay the same for the four days of sale.

      • I noticed 132 donuts for 9.99 is the only one without tokens combo. i went into my sons account and no tokens in his version either. Is that because I purchased the 132 so now no longer a token option?

  15. Boxes dropped.
    Spent 2300 donuts & bought everything I didn’t have except for the 20 donut box.
    Maybe tomorrow.

  16. Either I’m blind, or Barney isn’t anywhere in the black Friday deals. Seriously?! I’ve missed him because of work the past two years, finally get time off to catch him when he’s supposed to be discounted, and he’s not even an option?!
    EA needs to get back on track and fast. Lousy Halloween, boring turkey day mini event, and now they throw black Friday to the mystery boxes? I’m seriously losing interest in the game I’ve wasted several years of my life playing.

    • If ever you were entertained or the game brought you joy, if you made friends here in the community, can you really call it wasted? I love designing my little Springfield, there’s usually some character interaction that makes me laugh every day. After this weekend, I’m going to have a lot more design opportunities. I was hoping they’d have Coolsville as an offering but they don’t, C’est la Vie. There’s a heck of a lot more content offerings than previous Black Friday’s and before the weekend is up (doing a gratification delay here) I will have Guinea Pig Rescue Center. Yasss! Barney will be back around (maybe a Christmas Plow King bundle) in the meantime, hope you get something else that makes you happy. Be Well. 😊

      • I didn’t mean that I feel like I’ve wasted time on the game. The ‘wasted my life’ part was more from the video ad for the game in the app store. The video jokes about ‘are you too successful in life? do you need a way to waste your time?’ I’ve enjoyed playing, I’m just finding it hard to keep enjoying these blah events lately.

  17. The free token for the gold box was a bonus though. Got the donut boat & a nice percentage increase in my experience.
    Free donuts also handy, thanks EA.

  18. sure if you are saving up for brandine or something that helps you in getting more donuts than you should save your donuts.

    But if you are not saving on some special item that you totally want/need, it just depends on the ratio of things you want, you might want and you don’t want (for the price the box is offered).

    For me the outdoor and retail boxes are really catching my eye. in each there are only 1-2 items I do not want but, some that I really want. the rest is okay. so all in all i’ll give it a try.

  19. I got the Nerds as the first free offer. Im not sure if i got lucky. But they’re
    Free and three! so it’s a super great deal for me. I dont have enough donuts to enjoy more of black friday since i used the little donuts i had to purchase grandma bouvier at a discount. But I’m content. Feels like after having an ok thanksgiving dinner. No drama, just good food with family. Then back to my room and tap tap tap away.

  20. I will shop at Best Buy for Black Friday since they have 1000s of deals are here.( That my add sorrry Best Buy I would be working instead)

  21. Uhh, something weird just happened. I had 13 donuts saved up (I don’t KEM farm because my multiplier is WAY too low), and even though I really wanted the 20 donut box, I knew I couldn’t afford it. So I bought 2 mystery boxes instead to raise my multiplier. First one gave me Chalmers’ car, second one… wait for it… 30 donuts! I bought the 20 donut box and got the donut truck! Then I bought one more mystery box and got an Itchy and Scratchy bilboard.

    Best thanksgiving ever! (for me)

    • 👍👍

    • I keep seeing comments about mystery boxes for 6 donuts that have decorations with multipliers. I have scoured my game looking for these, but I can’t find them. This may be an obvious question, but where are they?! Thank you 🙂

      • In the Store, click on the arrow adjacent on the right to the three icons on the left that represent Characters, Buildings, and Decorations. This will open the Store menu with all the categories. Click on the Gold Buddha Homer, representing Premium items. Scroll all the way to the end and you’ll see Mr. Burns and his 6 donut Mystery Box.

  22. I’m getting a negative vibe off this post which I think is not needed. Yes, you may have to gamble a few times before getting what you want, but you will always win something. In the line of the post, you may not get your flat-screen but instead get a blender, a home cinema set and a smart phone for 199,99. If you don’t have a blender, a cinema set and a smart phone, is that a bad deal? I don’t think so tbh.

    • 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

    • You’re getting a “negative vibe?” Lol.
      So…the point that you are missing…is that spending donuts to get something, then not getting it, 1-2-3 times…is not shopping, it’s gambling.

      I’m totally happy if you are happy… but, I hope you don’t pay cash for those donuts.

  23. Well today started with an outdoor feast table, 10 donuts and the gold box token bringing the three nerds.
    As for the rest, still undecided on a gamble but the timer is at 3 days and 22 hours and I’m still thinking Quinn and Chief right now.

    When our American friends wake and this passes moderation…

    Happy Thanksgiving

  24. So basically those who read ALL of the article and not just the BOLD are… not normal? :-)))

  25. I don’t like the way EA is heading. I was certainly hoping after BF2’s backlash they’d back off from the mystery boxes concept. And well do they know colorful, cheery images attract a more impressionable young crowd than a shooter. It stinks to me.

  26. Opened my game and saw that the mystery boxes were there. Clicked on one to see what was in it and the game is now stuck on the box. I can’t do anything, tried everything but reinstalling. Darn it to heck

  27. Gorgeous writing, Patric 😂
    Personally I’m interested in characters for this time and will empty box 7 (12 in there for me, being an overall bargain).
    I don’t regard Jimbo with 120D (store) as a real bargain for 80D Jimbo-in-the-box, but the character-building combos in the mix make the complete box 7 a good deal.
    I’m farming donuts like hell all the week, maybe I have to buy some more to get all… there we are, a victim of dark art 🤑
    633 this morning, expecting 850 or more Saturday morning. Then I must buy or quit – golf 🏌️ in Andalusia – only twice a day in the game via hotel wlan.

    • UPDATE

      Black Friday is actually a Black Thursday.
      The boxes hit the store Thu 11/23 8:00 GMT and will be gone (for good or bad: your decision) Mo 11/27 8:00 GMT.

      8 of 12 already mine. Dia-Betty, Bandit Babysitter, Sophie Krustofski, Shary Bobbins yet to come. 33D left. Golden box free item was meh, Health Spa.

  28. I’m going to officially trademark black half day Thursday cause that is what it is now.

  29. As the man says, it’s a gamble. I’d rather they extended the vault or had a list in store of donut deals, say 30% refunded or even plain was…, now… pricing so if I want 3 or 4 things from the (is it) 50-odd on offer then that’s what I get.
    Choose, Tap, Buy – simples.

  30. What if in the game EA offered the same mystery boxes, but also offered the items at full retail donut price. This would seem to get the best of both worlds, as people wanting a deal (and aren’t particular with what they win) could do the boxes, and if you only wanted the one specific item, you could buy it at full price.

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