Event Rules & Guide (2021)

These rules may change as the event progresses, to address questions, issues or anything else that may arise. You'll be notified of changes to the rules, and where possible we'll try to identify what has changed. – McCoy 2021-10-16

  1. Spend a minimum of $35 USD / £30 GBP on your recipient. This does not include shipping.  You can spend more if you wish.   Get your recipient a thoughtful gift because you’re getting one sent to you!
  2. You don’t have to get them what they ask for.  The provided suggested game system / faction / notes are just a guide.  It would make sense to stick to it, but if you get a crazy idea (that doesn’t suck), go for it!  Make some informed decisions but don’t worry too much, any gift is always well-received.
  3. Mail out your gifts by the dates set in the official event emails you recieve.  You have about a month to send a gift out – that’s a LOT of time, but plan accordingly.  Get tracking information, and save it.  If you don’t get tracking on your package and it doesn’t show up, you never sent it. Every year I have to chase down a handful of people that “swore they shipped it” but couldn’t provide tracking info, receipts, or anything.  These people are the kind we hate.  You can swear to me up and down that you mailed something, we can be best Instagram-buddies, but if you don’t have tracking to prove you sent a gift, and one never showed up, it will be assumed you never sent one.
  4. Follow the #hohohobbyvices tag and mention @hobbyvices (DO NOT TAG YOUR RECIPIENT) in any related Instagram / facebook / Twitter / Reddit / blog posts!  Like I’ve said before, this isn’t narcissism (it is), it’s a way I can track progress of the event, and a way for you all to share the good vibes for everyone participating!  Show some ‘teaser’ pictures of what you’re buying and packing up, get some hype going!  Make people wish they were paired with you, in the hopes of getting that awesome gift you’re showcasing!  Just don’t tag your recipient!  Don’t ruin the surprise!
  5. People don’t want your crappy backlog.  Unless it is brand new on-sprue, completely intact, people will be heartbroken to get your sloppy seconds of clipped sprues or halfhearted “conversions” or eBay rescues.  So, unless you’re a legitimate hobby micro-internet celebrity, people don’t want that “totally sick” conversion you whipped up with your spare bits.  Don’t ruin Christmas – you signed up for this knowing the expectations of purchasing. Adding an additional baggie of fun and useful bits is a great bonus, but the main gift should be something new and fun.  If you get a discounted brand-new-on-sprue kit on ebay, stretching your purchasing budget, that’s totally fine, it doesn’t need to be in a new factory box, per se.  It just needs to be new.  And no recasts - period.
  6. If your Instagram or Twitter is hobby-focused (or not!) consider setting it to public, if only temporarily.  This isn’t a requirement, but it’ll help your gift-giver spy on you a bit to get an idea of better gifts.  Don’t follow your guy yet, it’ll be a dead giveaway who you are!  Be sure to follow them after the event!
  7. Make it fun!  Adding a handwritten or typed note goes a long way in making the gift more memorable.  Encourage them in their glorious battles or tell them why they’re heretics!  The point is that the best gifts have that human touch, added notes, stickers, regional goodies and not just a shrinkwrapped box -- that makes all the difference.  Look at the hashtag from last year and you’ll see great examples of this.  I was genuinely blown away by some of the packages.  Get some good ideas!  Be one of the badass gift givers this year!  If the gift you sent looks just like the person ordered it from an online store themselves, a new kit in a cardboard box, then what’s the point!  Dress it up!
  8. WRITE YOUR INSTAGRAM / TWITTER HANDLE SOMEWHERE.  Every year a few people just put, “From John,” or whatever.  Which is totally fine, but if you want to connect, be sure to include a way to do it!  We can all get to know each other!  The best byproduct of this event is how many people we connect through the shared hashtag.  I’d even recommend following everyone that uses the #hohohobbyvices hashtag, because you know they’re legit hobbyists worth following!  Make friends with all of us!
  9. If you’re having legitimate unforseen trouble, contact us immediately and we will try to help you find a solution.  But this is entirely on you – you signed up for this.  If you flake, that’s 100% your fault.  Someone else is counting on you and this event doesn’t work if people get cold feet or are lazy.  The bottom line here is this: don’t ghost out on us and it takes a month and a half to figure out you flaked, with 13-year-old Johnny checking the mailbox every day after he sent out his gift to his recipient like he was supposed to in the hopes his present will arrive.  Sack up and let me know you have commitment issues early so I can do damage control.  It is incredibly challenging to arrange replacement gift-givers without asking people to double up, but I would rather go through that hassle than have some kid left wondering for months why his gift hasn’t arrived.  You signed up; you send a gift.  With over a month to handle it, no emergency excuse is enough to absolve your failure, so don't try.
  10. Enjoy it!  Make the gift something you personally would love to receive.  Make it clever, gorgeous, fun, etc.   Make it something other people wish they got instead.  Make it a good holiday!  Tell your friends!  Tell me how you enjoy it in my comments on Twitter and Instagram!  Stay active and hype it up!  The whole thing only works because y'all spread it by word of mouth.  We only had a couple dozen people the first year, and look at it now!