Christmas Cracker Mayhem Review Page: 1

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Variety is rarely a bad thing and with this in mind, we saw nothing inappropriate about deviating from enthusiast hardware reviews. We at OC3D are led to believe that even the most deprived and socially unaware individuals have an interest in the festive period of Christmas. During the next few days you are likely to meet your loved ones, tolerate them (within reason) and sit around a table with a delicious and sleep inducing meal. This is great, unless you're the poor sod that has prepared this delightful reunion.

Over the last week or so, you may have had to have sourced a fine turkey, vegetables and sides as well as assorted alcohol and desserts. Forgetting something? But of course; the infamous Christmas Cracker.

One would be a fool to not incorporate this noisy addition to the dining table. After all, whats there to dislike? Not only do you gain the opportunity to show off all that braun from "gaming", you get to hear a real life explosion and even stand a chance at winning a prize for it!

So here's the dilemma. You need to purchase Christmas Crackers and all you use a computer for is to visit Overclock3D and play games. What do you do? What is the finest shop bought Christmas Cracker on sale today? Why aren't there any in depth reviews?!

Thankfully we had the foresight to prepare this article in advance. Its fine, you can thank us later!

So without further a do, we would like to present to you our explosive candidates.

Christmas Cracker Mayhem

In true OC3D style, we shall kick off our tests with a comprehensive spec list

  Tesco Value Crackers
Tesco Crackers
Tesco LUXURY Crackers
Stream Cracker Count
Small MediumLarge
Instruction Sets
Joke, Gift, Hat
Joke, Gift, Hat
Joke, Gift, Hat
Colour Scheme
Cream + Festive Cartoons
Cream, Gold, Imitation jewels

...and herein lies the problem. A single supermarket alone will stock multiple types of Christmas Cracker, from £1 no frills fire arms, through to the luxury big guns at a staggering £15. So what sets them apart? Which pack should you buy during less than steller economic times? Read on.

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A Closer Look


Bargain Snaps...

We don't live in the best economic conditions and so it is no surprise that people aren't spending their hard earned money on novelties such as these. However at just 10 pence a pop, the Tesco Value Cracker set is kosher with just about everyone's wallet.

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They aren't the most exciting items to look at however with some luck, they should do the same job as its dearer siblings...

The Middle Man...

The conventional Christmas cracker may be more expensive than the Tesco Value offering but as always you get what you pay for.

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At £6, the crackers are larger and also superior in aesthetic design. Out with the plain red and in with the obese snowman and confused reindeers.

The Pretentious Exclusive...

For those of you who are a little bit "rahhh", you might be looking for something a little more sophisticated. This is exactly where the Tesco Luxury range springs to life.

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Forget about silly snow men and crimson themes. These items use subtle intricate designs of snowflakes, tinsel and christmas trees. Finally the handles are wrapped with two thick ribbons.

With the excessive aesthetic analysis complete, lets finally put these novelties to the test.

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The Ultimate Load Test

Here at Overclock3D, we love to test our systems hardware to destruction; despite our expansion into festive products, our principles remain unchanged.

Without further a do, we set about breaking our test samples. Below is our first attempt.

Christmas Cracker Mayhem

Just to remind, from top to bottom we have the Luxury, Value and Standard Cracker. During our first test, only the value cracker succeed in its loud "BANG". The Luxury Cracker had to be tugged on a second time while holding onto the cardboard strip and disappointingly the Standard Cracker broke on both on both ends on first attempt. Upon closer inspection it appeared as though the internal cardboard strip was broken on arrival; disappointing effort.

The process was repeated until we had exhausted our rediculous stockpile of party crackers. The "POP" success rate can be found in the graph below.

On the whole, these results are fairly acceptable. While the 67% rate for the luxury cracker may not seem brilliant, one must remember that they arrived in a smaller sample of 6 rather than 10 and 12. One's mileage may vary and will also depend on technique.

Next up, the gifts.

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The Jokes


There's nothing like a terrible joke in a party cracker to induce some laughter (or disgust) at the table. We grabbed a sample of joke cards from each cracker set.

Christmas Cracker Mayhem

As expected, the jokes are about as lame as each other, however the more expensive sets include a little bit more; for the midrange buyers, you will be gifted with a piece of trivia, while the big spenders can cease all conversation at the dinner table to complete a word grid.

From a social perspective, we believe that the standard cracker wins here, while the luxury edition wins from a sophistication point of view.

The Gifts

There's no point in spoiling gift surprises for you, so we decided to show just two samples of each cracker.

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From cheapest to most expensive we have two turtle doves, some form of paper clip and a padlock. Meanwhile the second sample offered a clapping musical instrument, a tweaser (which does not work according to the housemate) and a yoyo! What seemed quite clear is that the Tesco Value gifts are targeted heavily towards children, while the other two contain slightly higher quality novelties.

The Party Hat

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Unless you're scrooge, you will probably land up placing your party hat on your head. Unsurprisingly, you will find that the more expensive crackers sport higher strength hats; ideal for those with large/odd shaped heads.

Let's conclude.

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First of all, we hope you all enjoyed our very first Party Cracker review.

So which cracker set is the one to buy? As much as we hate to say it, it depends. The perfect Christmas cracker should suit your dinner table and its gifts should be targeted towards the nature of your guests. Finally they should actually be functional.

Beyond aesthetics, we can't help but wonder how easy it is to justify spending £2.50 per cracker. For most of the part, the infamous cracker has quite a deterministic fate. Cracker is tugged, cracker snaps, cracker goes in the bin. One may say that the gifts are of greater quality in the Luxury set but with the exception of just a few items, most of these items will either find themselves swimming with the rest of your house clutter, or yet again in the bin.

With this in mind, the conventional and value crackers have gained the most OC3D Brownie Points. The decision is much more simple now. If you care for the fundamental snap & laugh factors, then the Value crackers are for you. If however you find them a little boring to look at, then the Standard crackers are for you.

Have a wonderful Christmas from all at Overclock3d folks!

Tesco Value Crackers

Tesco Standard Crackers

Tesco Luxury Crackers

You can discuss this highly technical review in our forums.