MUGWATCH: The Age of Sigmar: Stormbringer Mug

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Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. This week, in a surprise sequel to Beanwatch, we bring you Mugwatch, an article that began as an article within an article, but now stands alone. Think of it like a standalone expansion pack to Stormbringers 11-14. This mug, as well as the entirety of Stormbringer, was supplied to Goonhammer for review.

As a subscriber to Stormbringer, Hachette Partworks’ Age of Sigmar partworks magazine, I am the recipient of quite a few gifts. Amongst the expected paintbrushes and hobby supplies comes one outlier: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Stormbringer: The Mug. To properly review this mug, I have broken down this review into a number of phases akin to a tabletop wargame. By speaking the language of simulated violence, I hope to better understand this bean juice crucible.


Age of Sigmar Stormbringer: The Mug. Credit: SRM

This color-changing 12oz ceramic mug claims to be dishwasher safe, but if the deeply faded silhouettes of the USS Enterprise’s crew on my dad’s Star Trek teleporter mug is anything to go by, the color changing design will not remain intact. It also advises not to microwave the vessel, likely also in the interest of preserving this color changing print. The final warning emblazoned beneath tells us this is food safe; a good thing as I quite enjoy food and the safety thereof.

The Cold Beverage Phase

The anonymity of this glossy black cup gives voice to your modern sensibilities, with but the faintest texture giving away its color-sensitive secrets. One could use this mug to enjoy a cold refreshment, such as water, iced coffee, or the covert daytime boxwine of many a Wine Mom and Problem Uncle. I also would recommend a mug of this size for ice cream, yogurt, or a snack-sized portion of a small cracker or cereal. A cup with a handle provides a novel form factor that a bowl just can’t compete with. Milk and cereal doesn’t have to be a breakfast food or even a sometimes food. You’re allowed to eat it whenever, and a mug allows you to make that whenever wherever. Try eating your 9pm Boy Dinner of Honey Nut Cheerios and store brand oat milk in a bowl while you stand over the kitchen sink. It’s a mournful experience, tethered to that spot by the bowl’s permanence, fumbling with a large concave dish while you juggle a spoon in your other hand. Now a 12oz mug? That’s built-in portion control. You’re not going to be in any one place for long. You’re on the move. Hell, you could even drink gazpacho out of this thing.

The Hot Beverage Phase

Age of Sigmar Stormbringer: The Mug. Credit: SRM

At this point the mug’s heat-changing design reveals itself: On one side, an image of this magazine’s original Stormhost, The Iron Thanes. On the other, the Iron Thanes are doing battle with an Ogor. As we have learned precious little about these particular Stormcast Eternals at this point in Stormbringer‘s run, this is at best a mug for a sports team you are dimly aware of. This is akin to a New Britain Rock Cats mug being gifted to a Minnesotan. These cats and their baseball may indeed rock, but a Midwesterner would be amongst the last to know.

Age of Sigmar Stormbringer: The Mug. Credit: SRM

To best simulate the color changing process, I set my entirely too expensive SMEG kettle to 175 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for a green tea. I filled the mug and determined, using the stopwatch function on my phone, that the design takes approximately 28 seconds to fully reveal itself at this temperature. As you may be able to tell from these photographs, both sides have a milky white film over them. The battle scene side is simply desaturated, but the other is downright ghostly. It’s got me thinking that perhaps these designs aren’t the best choices for thermochromic ink and its apparently limited color range. Perhaps simple lineart, or a sarcastic cartoon Stormcast saying “Thank Grungni It’s Forgeday” would have suited the material better. With how severely it impacts the design, one must wonder why they even bothered with the color changing aspect at all.

The Beverage Drinking Phase

Much to the continued consternation of my enemies, drinking from this container did not kill me. Liquids, both hot and cold, were sufficiently transferred from cup to mouth. One can assume that the inverse would also be true, but my wife doesn’t need to watch me baby bird this matcha back into my cup, even in the interest of critique. I don’t even particularly like matcha, but I am trying to be thorough in my research methods. The handle makes holding the mug easy, keeping your hand off of its cylindrical body. Alternately, you can tuck your fingers into the handle and keep your hands warm if you’re chasing an immersive warm beverage experience.

The Dishwashing Phase

In truth, I began with this phase, as is good practice with any newly acquired dish or utensil. The ceramic material means foodstuff does not generally stick to it, and some soap, warm water, and a sponge will clean out whatever needs removing. Despite the manufacturer’s permission that I could put this in the dishwasher if I wanted to, I will continue to refrain in the interest of preserving the print on the outside.

Conclusions and Comparisons

The Mug Terminatus. Credit: SRM

While this mug may be adequate for the needs of casual beverage enjoyers, it has stiff competition in my own cabinet. I don’t know what your local mug meta looks like, but my drinkable kitsch jamboree contains challengers in every corner. The Stormbringer mug is beaten by my both the novelty and sentimentality of my wife’s distinctly shaped Powell’s Kitty of Books mug, our 10oz 1976 Montreal Olympics mugs, and our Red Arrow Diner mug purchased in Manchester, New Hampshire. In the nerd mug category, it lags behind the bootleg Crux Terminatus mug (deemed the Mug Terminatus) gifted to me by Dylan and almost certainly infringing no fewer than one copyright.

The Rocketeer Mug. Credit: SRM

Nearly all of these pale next to my 14oz commemorative mug for Joe Johnston’s seminal 1991 film The Rocketeer, a two decade-early working interview for his directorship of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. In such a meta, the Stormbringer mug cannot hope to compete, even with the added functionality of its color changing mechanic.

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