Assassin’s Creed Collection: When Figurine Partwork Magazines Attack

So, in news I am still not quite ready for and haven’t had enough coffee to take seriously, GamesRadar have pointed out that the Assassin’s Creed Collection has turned out to be a hideous partwork figurine subscription service.

Is it wrong that it’s kind of so terrible that I’m now really into the idea?

I have a soft spot for things that are so dreadful and badly conceived that they go beyond dreary or tedious and become sources of ongoing joyful fascination. This looks like it might become one of them and I’m in genuine danger of subscribing. I don’t even like Assassin’s Creed. In fact I can’t stand Assassin’s Creed – it’s boring as all hell and the wall running is bad and the Abstergo stuff is utter bobbins that gets in the way of meaningful exploration of a world: DON’T GO OVER THERE OR YOU WILL DESYNCHRONISE FOR SOME REASON – YOU KNOW, SCIENCE OR WHATEVER.

But my ongoing irritation at Asscreed can’t compete with my love of trashy terrible things that seem like the product of some kind of fever dream involving a Ubisoft wiki and an explosion at a tat factory. I mean, you get a belt buckle. And a tankard. And a BINDER.

God, it’s been years since I collected a partwork magazine. It was called Treasures Of The Earth and I was really intrigued by it because you got a little gemstone and presentation boxes and factsheets and things. This was pre-internet so to explain it in modern terms, I basically subscribed to a print-out of the gemstone section of Wikipedia and got some “free” rocks for my trouble. In my defence I was also only nine years old.

But the cost began to mount and the publishers extended the magazine beyond its initial run leaving me torn between completing it or tapping out as it felt steadily more money-grubbing and empty. I was also a primary school kid so the entire endeavour was sapping, like, all of my pocket money.

I should know better. I mean, this looks so dire. Ezio looks like a cautionary tale from Botched, which is a US reality show where a couple of surgeons try to undo plastic surgery disasters. Cesare Borgia’s outfit has given him a Kim Kardashian hourglass figure. Altair seems to have some kind of bloating and a feverish sheen to his skin.

But the belt buckle.

“Proclaim your allegiance to the Assassin Order by proudly wearing this metal belt buckle. Worth £14.99”

Leaving aside the eyebrow-raising valuation and questions about the use of the word “worth” in this context, you get to proclaim your allegiance to what, in the fiction, is supposed to be this highly secretive order ON A BELT BUCKLE. It’s like wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m an undercover cop – AMA” while pretending to be on a stakeout.

Also the content teasers for the upcoming issues are… yeah. Issue 2 features “Renaissance Italy” while issue 5 is apparently “Beyond imagining”. Issue 5 is the one with Kim Kardashian Cesare Borgia and it also has “PATRICIDAL MANIAC’S RISKY ROMANCE” which is a cover line you’d probably find on Take a Break or Chat magazine.

I’m also fond of the horrifically complicated pricing and gifting structure:

  • You will receive your dispatch within 28 days from the acceptance of your order.
  • With your 1st delivery, you will receive 3 issues (1 FREE), with your FREE Assassin’s Creed The Official Collection Binder and FREE Assassin’s Creed Belt Buckle.
  • Thereafter you will receive 2 issues packed together every 4 weeks at a price of £9.99 per issue.
  • Issue 1 comes at the special price of £2.99.
  • Issue 2 comes at the special price of £6.99.
  • Issue 3 onwards is priced at £9.99.
  • With your 2nd delivery, you will receive your FREE Assassin’s Creed Tankard.
  • With your 4th delivery, you will receive your FREE Assassin’s Creed Display Stand.
  • Gifts are reserved for customers starting their subscription with issues 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • As a subscriber, I will automatically receive any special issues, though I will have the option to opt out of these beforehand.
  • You are free to cancel your subscription at any time. You will be able to keep your free gifts and you will not owe any money for goods not yet delivered.
  • Please hide my credit card.

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    1. SamLR says:

      Oh gods I used to have ‘Treasures of the Earth’ when I was a kid. Took so long to accept that I should get rid of the whole thing.

      • Mags says:

        Me too. In fact, I think I still have part of it around somewhere. I used to get the dinosaur one as well, and didn’t ditch that until they started doing the t-rex skin.

      • Asokn says:

        Ah, Treasures of the Earth. I must have bought over 200 editions of that magazine and it still showed no signs of abating when I cancelled my subscription.

        My brother gave it the more catchy title of “Rocks from the Dirt”.

    2. Premium User Badge

      Awesomeclaw says:

      I was always kind of interested in the car/tank/plane style partwork magazines when I was younger. Luckily I realized in time that you could buy a really good model kit for £20-£30 (with some costs for paint and materials), rather than paying £5 per issue for 100 issues and receiving a single tank track per week.

    3. Premium User Badge

      distantlurker says:


      Edinburgh, Waverley Station. Tannoy office.

      Hey! you can’t be in here!
      Get out of my way! IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!
      *bing bong!*

    4. Juan Carlo says:

      I’ve never heard of partwork magazines before. Are they an exclusively British phenomena?

      That figurine looks sub-McDonald’s happy meal toy level cheap, though.

      • Barchester says:

        Not exclusively British. I remember partwork magazines from my childhood in the Netherlands. Might still exists even, no idea.

        • Juan Carlo says:

          Yeah, apparently they are mostly British and European: link to

          A strange phenomena. I don’t understand why anyone would want to stretch, say, building the Millenium Falcon out over 25 months for the low, low, payment of 60 dollars per month: link to

          What if you lose your job 6 months in?

          • muptup says:

            A 1:1 scale Millennium Falcon for 25 x $60? Bargain!

            • Holderist says:

              Hyperdrive sold separately.

            • Shuck says:

              It’s a 1:1 scale replica of the original movie model (31 inches long). That made me laugh. Especially given that for a total cost of $3374.50, a full-sized Falcon would be more appropriate.

          • Gunrun says:

            Jesus christ that’s $1500 total, thats like what i paid for my first car.

            • Press X to Gary Busey says:

              I doubt your first car could do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs though.

          • Ksempac says:

            The thing is largely due to marketing. “First issue is free !” “Second issue half off !” And usually, the first issue would have a fairly significant item like…i dont know the body of the car, while later issues would get ridiculously small items.
            So you get in for the first issue, then maybe buy the second one, and then sunken cost fallacy would kick in.
            Also, they were careful to never tell you how many issues you would need to complete the model.

        • MrPete says:

          They’re still kinda alive here in Germany.
          Every now and then another series starts to build the “original, high quality replica” of either the Bismarck or a StuKa or some such. But I don’t think it’s more than two at a time.
          …thinking about it, maybe there’s only two companies left making these high quality magazines here?

      • muptup says:

        Possibly, I did some growing up in America and when we moved to the UK I got suckered in to some Star Trek encyclopaedia thing and spent too much of my meagre sums on it. I was old enough to know better and eventually realised it was a scam (for a start the same “facts” kept appearing again and again in the articles) but was glad when I saw them still selling new issues years later, some were obviously more sucked in than I!

        • muptup says:

          Just checked, there was a total 304 issues at £2 a pop. People selling the 19 binder collection for £30 on ebay.

          I’m sure I didn’t get passed one binder worth before I caught on, probably not bad value for the learning experience!

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        It’s a beautiful exploitation of the sunk cost fallacy. Not especially evil when compared to gambling though.

    5. Spacewalk says:

      I’ve got a Snaggletooth belt buckle and a Judas Priest buckle that’s shaped like the British Steel album cover so this one is pretty lame in comparison.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I’d proudly walk around with a Snaggletooth belt, lol. So much cooler than Assbutt Creed.

        Ubisoft keeps thinking of ways to avoid having me as a customer.

    6. Scumbag says:

      I now want to play an ass creed game with Emperor Palatine as the assassin.

    7. Sarfrin says:

      Ezio reminds me of a Kerbal somehow.

    8. rabbit says:

      oh my god that belt

    9. rabbit says:

      also, i love that it says that if at any point you decide to cancel your subscription to crazy-expensive-crap monthly, they won’t repossess the magazines and figurines (and belt buckle) from you

    10. Ross Angus says:

      Pip, please start a Patreon just to cover this cost. This is what it was made for.

    11. Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Wait, you get a BINDER? As someone working in an office, it is now taking me all my will power to not subscribe and then bring my ASSSASSINS CREED binder to work and replace on of our boring ones and see how long it takes for someone to notice!

    12. klops says:

      That figurine looks like something bad made in the late ’70s.

    13. Someoldguy says:

      On the plus side, if you get new AS tat each month at least you have some cheap tat when you wise up and cancel. Nothing worse than realising you have been a fool and cancelling with your exclusive model of the Eiffel tower / world globe / tiger tank forever only 32% complete and you cannot even donate parts to another collector because you all have the same ones.

    14. Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Coming soon to a Loot Crate near you.

    15. genoforprez says:

      “I don’t even like Assassin’s Creed. In fact I can’t stand Assassin’s Creed – it’s boring as all hell and the wall running is bad and the Abstergo stuff is utter bobbins that gets in the way of meaningful exploration of a world: DON’T GO OVER THERE OR YOU WILL DESYNCHRONISE FOR SOME REASON – YOU KNOW, SCIENCE OR WHATEVER.”


      • Juan Carlo says:

        I thought pretty much everyone hated Ass Creed. And the ones who didn’t initially, now do.

        I do know people who like it, but they tend not to post on RPS or any of the video game forums I post at. So maybe I live in an echo-chamber of AssCreed hate.

    16. seroto9 says:

      Has anyone noticed that there are no lady assassin models? Not even Evie Fry! The HORROR.

      I bet they were hoping that the controversy would do their marketing for them. #sexistass

    17. Asokn says:

      Does anyone else think that Ezio’s face looks quite a lot like Michael Jackson’s?

    18. thekelvingreen says:

      you get to proclaim your allegiance to what, in the fiction, is supposed to be this highly secretive order ON A BELT BUCKLE

      To be fair, in the games all the assassins run around in conspicuous white hoodies, so it could be worse.

    19. Zekiel says:

      Not sure whether to laugh or cry. This raises so many questions… Why are they selling merchandise for AC Brotherhood and not one of the half dozen more recent AC games? Why do you get sent two issues at once? Why do they describe items you are paying for as FREE? Why isn’t this sort of scheme against the law?

    20. Camerooni says:

      link to

      Your figurine:
      Take a closer look at your figurine and focus on the final detail of clothing and weaponry.”

      Translates to .. don’t make eye contact.. burn it all with fire!

      • Camerooni says:

        Damnit if there is no edit button we need at least a preview to make sure we get the formatting right :(

        – sad cam

    21. Nick says:

      Whats wrong with his faaaaaaaaaaaace?