I was lurking around the internet when—hit the brakes—I saw a Reddit post about an apparently new, unadvertised, limited-edition, exclusive-to-certain-Target-stores expansion for both Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity.
According to the Reddit thread, some Targets have a special end-cap display with a secret door(!!!), behind which is a $4 pack of cards. Plus, it’s associated with some kind of mysterious “website”—cardhole.lol.
This immediately brought to mind all of the past Cards Against Humanity expansions that I’ve missed out on, as well as every other awesome, limited-edition board game promo that I don’t have and can’t justify paying outrageous prices for on eBay.
Following the links in the thread, I looked up the exact inventory at my closest Target via another website called BrickSeek—how does that even work—and they supposedly had nine of the packs in stock.
Still, adding a sense of urgency, the subreddit was full of posts from people unable to find the pack, and others discussing whether it’s ethical to buy out your whole Target.
I determined to see if I could get my hands on one of these, so I headed to the store.
As I’ve written before, I was extremely skeptical about Exploding Kittens at first, but I’ve come to enjoy it. I have a love-hate relationship with Cards Against Humanity. It’s horrifyingly vulgar. It’s always baffled me that they even sell Cards Against Humanity at Target, that it’s just sitting there in the toy section, two steps away from Lego and Barbies and baby rattles. But, the game is funny, and once you get past the point where cards are funny just because they’re vulgar, there’s a surprising breadth, complexity, and poignancy to its humor.
I arrived at Target and made a beeline for the back of the store, suspiciously eyeing the other customers, wondering if any of them were there on the same quest that I was.
When I got to the toys, sure enough, there was a huge display for Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens. And, somewhat anticlimactically, there was the slightly cracked open, not particularly secret looking hatch at the bottom, sort of obscuring a whole stack of card packs. There was no clamor of people peeking in. No surrounding crush of disappointed or elated faces. Just an ordinary store shelf, partially concealed by a flap of cardboard.
What have I done, I thought to myself. I’ve fallen for a marketing gimmick. I’ve just driven for miles to give away some of my money in exchange for a handful of cards for two games that I like but aren’t necessarily my favorite. What was I thinking. Every Target in the state has several of these in stock. This isn’t buried treasure, it’s ordinary merchandise, a shrink-wrapped box mass-produced in a factory in China.
Anyways, I bought two of them.
It turned out to actually be an expansion for three games: Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, and the Exploding Kittens Party Pack. It consists of 15 white cards for Cards Against Humanity, three cards for the Exploding Kittens Party Pack, two cards for Exploding Kittens, and one instruction card (for either version of Exploding Kittens).
The Exploding Kittens cards are called “Blind as a Bat” and essentially give you the ability to force someone else to play their cards at random for a turn. Unlike promos for some games that just don’t fit and ruin the whole experience, it actually seems like an interesting, screwy, Exploding-Kittens-y addition. Also, counterintuitively for something that comes packaged with Cards Against Humanity, there’s nothing indecorous about the Exploding Kittens cards, so you can add them to any version of the game.
On the other hand, the Cards Against Humanity cards are, in the words of Cards Against Humanity, “exactly what you’d expect.”
In the end, yes, selling cards out of a secret card hole in store displays is a marketing gimmick. But it’s fun, and $4 actually seems like a reasonable price for what you get.