Bootleg Chinese World of Warcraft merchandise is nothing new, though the latest example of blatant copyright infringement isn’t as grandiose as the illegal WoW theme park that opened up a couple of years ago.
Some enterprising Chinese folks have cooked up a real-life Hearthstone TCG, which comes complete with two copies of every class card and four copies of every other card (both pre-Naxx), lots of tokens, play mat, and health and attack wheels. The set sells for about $50 USD.
But how does it play? According to the reviewer — and this should be no surprise — the real game is optimized for the online realm and some elements are rather cumbersome in real life. While he says that it does have a way to handle random elements, like the priest’s Mind Vision, “What would be a thirty-second turn in the digital game took up the better part of five minutes here.” Also, as any card-flipper knows, making a deck out of real cards takes a good while longer than it does in the digital realm.
All in all, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see a physical Hearthstone set made in the West. The game’s just not designed to work that way. Still, it’s nice to dream, no?