Categories: Toys

Nerd Block: Buyers Beware

Nerd Block Logo \ Image:

Nerd Block is one of the newest mystery box subscriptions to hit the internet. Starting at $13.99 + shipping a month you can subscribe to a Nerd Block Jr., or for $19.99 + shipping you can subscribe to the classic, arcade, or horror boxes.

To get a taste of what a classic and a Jr. box (themed for ages 6-11 and come in a “girl” or “boy” themes) was like, Nerd Block sent me one of each to check out. After opening the boxes, I wish they had gotten lost in the mail.

Nerd Block Jr. Image: Dakster Sullivan

November Nerd Block Jr. (“boy” themed box) subscribers received a slap watch, an action figure (my son received Iron Man), a comic book, two puzzle erasers, and a wannabe-Lego brick mini-figure. To say my son was disappointed would be a massive understatement.

They guarantee that you will get at least what you paid for the box before shipping in each box.

Let’s add up what I received in the Jr. box:
Iron Man figure – $5.99
Puzzle Erasers – $6.05
Slap Watch – Average is $5.00
Comic Book – $3.99
Total cost: $21.03

The total cost shocks me because I wouldn’t have paid more than $4 for everything. The most worthwhile thing in the box was the comic and everything else has already been donated to Goodwill. In my opinion, this box was a major waste of time.

For $19.99 plus shipping, the November Nerd Block Classic subscribers received: a slap watch, one sheet of Star Wars car decals, an Iron Man mug, Deadpool shirt, a Batman or Robin 1966 plush (I received Batman), and there was a possibility of an authentic autograph from the actor who played Robin in the 60’s.

Nerd Block Classic \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

Let’s add up the cost of this box:
Slap Watch – Average is $5.00
Deadpool shirt – $18.00
Iron Man mug – $6.50
Star Wars decals – $30
Plush – $20 (according to Google, but I’m not believing it)
Total cost: $59.50

The total doesn’t shot me as much this time only because of the shirt and the decals having such a high price tag on themselves. I’m wondering what the designers of this box were thinking when they threw in a slap watch into an adult box. Of everything in this box, none of it is still in my house. The shirts only come in unisex sizes so that was donated to my brother’s t-shirt collection. My husband is giving away the decals, and the rest went to random people.

Even with the possibility of an autograph from Burt Ward, I still feel cheated (and keep in mind I got this for free). The boxes had no theme to them and I felt the contents were a bit chaotic in terms of what was chosen to be inside. How Star Wars, Batman, Deadpool, Iron Man, and a slap watch have anything in common is beyond me.

I guess I expected more high quality items in the box, or at least something that would make me geek out. Instead, I felt like the month-long wait to receive my boxes was waste of enthusiasm.

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If I’m feeling let down by these “surprises” I can only imagine what someone who paid for a box would feel.

Speaking of which, our own Cathe Post bought a couple boxes as Christmas gifts, and thankfully she and her husband opened them up to check the contents. Here is what she had to say about what they received.

We purchased the October boxes for Nerd Block Jr. and the Arcade box.

The Jr. box contained a small TMNT plush key-chain, a How to Train Your Dragon Comic Book, some face tattoos, a weird jumping bean guy, and a Yoshi miniature. The comic and TMNT thing were cool. The tattoos were “meh.” I guess I expected more “name brand” items for what we paid.

October Nerd Block Jr. \ Image: Cathe Post

The Arcade Box contained a shirt (in a kid’s size because that is what I asked for), Luigi, Hyrule wipe-off board, Portal key fob, Mario miniature, and “building blocks” (not Lego brand).

We purchased these to sprinkle in with the Christmas presents from Santa this year. My husband and I are in agreement that these are a neat idea, but overpriced for the few interesting bits that come in the box. The Arcade box was only a few dollars more, and had the shirt besides the other bits and seemed to be a little bit more reasonably priced.

October Nerd Block Arcade box \ Image: Cathe Post

The cancellation process is difficult to find. I wanted to cancel after the first box of each since we just wanted them for a single gift. I had to search to find the email address to cancel the subscription. I also couldn’t cancel until after the first box was delivered.

I realize presentation is everything, but I would be more likely to purchase again if they spent less on the packaging box and more on the quality of goods that goes into the box.

If you have money to burn and don’t mind playing Russian roulette with getting something you will like or a theme you enjoy, this service is for you. Of course, there are other geek box subscriptions out there that I feel are more worth the cost (LootCrate comes to mind).

Well, there you have it. Buyers beware of Nerd Block.

Disclaimer: GeekMom received a review sample.

Special Editor Note from Ken Denmead: I, too, had a terrible experience with a Nerd Block Jr. review box. The picture below is of the Hot Wheels car that was included in the box. Not only was the packaging covered in crusty filth, I was able to verify via the SKU that the toy was over 10 years old. It’s rather suggestive that Nerd Block may just purchase overstock items and remnants at discount prices and pass them onto subscribers. Not good.

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This post was last modified on November 23, 2017 12:44 am

View Comments

  • This is exactly how I feel about LootCrate (minus the merchandise being old and filthy, at least). They're slow to stop billing, and don't make it particularly easy to do.

  • So you clearly got more than the value you paid for it, but are just unhappy with the items.... sounds more to me like the problem is you want specific items..... stick to buying single items in stores or amazon you mouth breather. Obviously the idea of a blind box is you never know what you're going to get. I'm a huge TMNT fan but know most of the items are never tmnt, do I cry about it and complain on a blog about it. No! You find forums and groups you can trade collectables for things you want. Or like I stated earlier, clearly you had a pre cognitive idea of what you wanted to receive (whether its was Marvel, Nintendo, Star Wars etc.) And there in lies your issue.

    • What Guts says sounds about right to me...also...cancellation process on Nerd Block is super easy. I Started Nerd Block in Sept. First box was awesome and I have some great stocking stuffers. Cancelled the next month and picked it up again in Nov. It's as easy as emailing the word CANCEL to the address for the box you are getting. As long as you send it before the current subscription date is up ( the 15th for classic block) you will not be charged. Simple. I just got Dec. and I got a Val Kilmer autograph on a willow happy with the Dec. block! They sent two shirts this month too!

      • i totally agree with jc i also got the december block it was amazing 2 shirts sighned photo and a little gremlins plush (gizmo)
        geekmom should just stop complaining she obviously would of had to put some time into researching them to know they werent scams she would of had to of known it was a blind box

  • I subscribed to Nerd Block for six months. I had to quit because I was cutting expenses. Some months were good some were bland. The last one I got was the Kevin Smith October box with Agent Clouson's Vintage Captain Cards and a Funko Deadpool.

  • I have been pleased with nerd block and agree with guts on this. I have gotten the passed several months and have been very happy. Loot crate on the other hand sucked in comparison to nerd block but to each his own.

    • Unfortunately your wrong. you didnt do much of a job of attacking his real argument.. which is that it is a total ripoff especially when you add in shipping costs. the shipping is more than two thirds of the cost of the crate when you buy a 12 month sub. once you add in exhange rates, it would have cost me around $382 canadian to get a 12 month sub. so 31.83 when the contents are usually just junk.. i wish they would focus more on limited edition stuff. even if that means there is less in the box.
      But i hope no one listens to you anyways.. since you apparently have a job that allows for you to do nothing except waste time and essentially steal money. people that work hard for their money, value it a little more than those that do not.

  • This review is wildly inaccurate and shows a lack of any type of research on the reviewers side…and that gets under my skin. When I see a website that wants to have a voice, clearly misinterpreting the information, I feel it's my right to say something.

    I'll just dissect this review in order so it makes sense (ps, I have lots of spare time at work today):

    In the first sentence you stated "Nerd Block is one of the newest mystery box subscriptions to hit the internet.". Well, that's incorrect. Nerd Block is the second after Loot Crate, and GeekDad/GeekMom you yourself already reviewed Nerd Block on December 19th, 2013…almost 1 year ago. Did you forget about that? You loved them when you reviewed them last. Here's the link to your own review (…yep, YOUR OWN REVIEW.

    You then go on to say "The shirts only come in unisex sizes"…no, they don't. I get mine in fitted mens, and my wife gets hers in fitted womens. Again, you didn't do any research on this.

    "The boxes had no theme to them"…ok, but Nerd Block has stated time and time again that they don't theme. Since that's the case, why are you holding this against them? If you're going to review them in comparison to Loot Crate (who themes) then you need to state that at some point in your review. You can't arbitrarily expect people to know that the box's theme is a thing or not.

    "Why would they put a slap watch in an adults box?"…At first I thought "maybe I'm the only one who, as an adult, liked the slap watch?"…then I did a quick check on Instagram to gauge people's reactions to the box and in all fairness the slap watch and the mug were a huge hit. There's a lot of pictures of people's wrists just wearing the watch. So, GeekDad, thank you for your thoughts on how we should all feel with regards to the slap watch, but you certainly don't speak for me or everyone else who liked it. What you're stating as fact is an opinion….as a reviewer, you should know this.

    The title of your article is extremely harsh as well. "Buyer Beware"? Really? Shouldn't you reserve that for places that scam you out of your money? Nerd Block is a pretty reputable source and has hundreds of thousands of followers. Actually, you didn't even buy the Blocks you reviewed.

    You then go on to describe how all of the items are horrible, but apparently your friends all liked them because you also stated you've given them all away. So as said above you just didn't like the items you received as opposed to this being a bad service. A professional reviewer would have made that distinction.

    Lastly, you mentioned that you had the chance of getting a Burt Ward signature this month. Nope, incorrect again. It was Bruce Campbell, and if you're going to say "well it's the same thing" let me save you the trouble as it's not. This is a review, where facts are important. Additionally, it's a pretty big deal to be working with Bruce Campbell. Burt Ward is a totally different story.

    This review, amongst a few others I've seen on here lately, have made a place I hardly visit anymore. If you want to be taken seriously as a review website, I suggest you put on your big boy and big girl pants and actually spend 10 minutes doing research on what you're reviewing.

    As for the dirty product…sure, that sucks, but I think anyone with any sense can assume that if you're moving 50,000 - 60,000 of multiple items, some of them are going to go out that perhaps shouldn't. Things sneak past quality checks all the time…that's why stores have returns. It was a dirty package, with a perfectly intact product…get over it.

    This review comes across as less of a review and more of a Witch hunt. If I had to give a review for the GeekDad blog, it would be "GeekDad: Readers Beware".

    I would hope that you would at least have the decency to reach out to Nerd Block and apologize for this joke of a review, but admitting fault on the internet is like finding a needle in a haystack.

    TL:DR - This review is full of inaccurate information. The reviewer spent no time at all researching the product they reviewed and should be embarrassed to have even posted this.

    • I agree completely with you! I picked up on those errors too and instantly stopped taking anything I read as serious. Things I disgreed with this silly review 1) I get women's fitted lg aka not unisex 2) it's was Bruce Campbell!!! Not Burt Ward... Not even close to the same 3) I was pleasantly surprised and happy to get the Boo snap watch, I am looking forward to wearing it at ComiCon to know when it is time to head to sketch duels and talks 4) I like the non-theme because I don't want to get a whole box of stuff I won't like such as Doctor Who or Walking Dead. Getting random stuff in a random box, there's a good chance of at least getting a few items I enjoy. Out of the whole Nov block, the Star Wars decals are the only thing I gave away an only because a friend at work is a big fan of Star Wars.

    • Wow perfectly put!! The geekdad review came off as negative biasad "review". I get nerdblock and have never been upset. Talk about a person begging for attention by putting down a company who does good..

      • I love receiving classic nerd block and arcade block, there are usually some items I don't like but there are items I do like in each box. I always have friends who are happy to have the ones I don't like as the only reason I don't like them is that I just never bothered with them in the past (that didn't make any sense).

    • I'm not a nerd block user/subscriber nor a geekdad reader. As a matter of fact, the whole 'how did I get here and why did I decide to care?' is pretty unclear to me. But I guess that's the beauty of the internet ;) To be honest, the entire review hits me as a 'if-we-rant-enough-we'll-get-more-reads' kind of piece. However, I felt the need to give you (Pete) some advice. So here it is: the next time you have the opportunity to actually WIN a discussion on the internet by saying 'you're wrong, you know you're wrong, and here's a link to the proof you know you're wrong', and can top that off with "YOUR OWN REVIEW", just end it at that ;) Those 4 sentences SLAYED the entire review, and killed any chance they had at recovering ;) In fact, I'm still lolling about it, and I read it over 2 hours ago, but had to go to the grocery store before it closed, so I couldn't respond right away :P

      So remember: next time you get a unique opportunity like that, take it, leave it at that, and shut down your computer and smartphone, because you're done for the day! You've done the impossible and won the internet ;)

    • After reading the old review, I noticed something. The first box that they got, which they had nothing but nice things to say about, was not nearly as good as the one that they reviewed in this article. Reading the new article only made me want to buy nerdblock even more than I did before. The article, while not pleasantly put and containing numerous inaccuracies, did state that nerdblock kept their word. The boxes were each worth nearly triple what you pay for them and they are not themed other than being quite nerdy. Another thing that I wanted to point, out which is not quite related to your reply, is that the car with the junk on it should not have been sent in that condition, however, there is a reason that it was old. In the subscroption boxes, not just nerdblock, you often recieve collectables that can no longer be purchased. Hot wheels are usually more valuable to adults when they are old because, as adults, we don't usually play with toy cars. We collect them. New hot wheels will eventually be collectables, but the old ones already are. They hold more value than the $0.97 hot wheels that you can go purchase at walmart.

    • This review by itself made me want to try nerdblock. I currently have the classic, comic and horror headed my way. Thank you!

  • The items & quality in this box concern me. Some are cute & look nice but the majority look cheap & not worth the postage. I will keep my money & do my shopping personally.

  • Perhaps you aren't really a nerd, I have a family of four and we fight over who gets what! We share the t shirt, I get anything Star Wars, my kids each get every other plush toy! The mystery is the fun of it all! I have been very pleased and very exited about some items! The Jay and Silent Bob t shirt I got two months ago makes me the envy of all my nerd friends!

  • Loot Crate and Nerd Block have some months which are "okay" and some months that are "super" but it all comes down to personal preference. That's why all of these boxes and reviews exist: to let people decide what is right for them and what is not.

    I review 30+ boxes a month and some are hits and misses. It comes down to personal preference. Essentially, we are paying the premium for the excitement/surprise. Everything right down to the packaging, the box, the tissue paper, the surprise/excitement, etc...we paid for it with our subscription money.

    The author has a right to their opinion but it shouldn't stop anyone from subscribing to what they like. This is just one of many different opinions.

    • I enjoy the thought of random, the thought you just don't know what you are getting is an awsom thought, thing that bothers me is that even though it's a canadian company in my own back yard of Alberta Canada, I got billed in USD, the initial was $19.99 Can, then on my bank statement it showed $40/USD, to me if its canadian company selling in candian dollars then it should be billed as canadian funds right??? If I shop down in the states I get billed for usd, on my statement it shows canadian funds then the usd. For supporting a canadian company is an A+ but to be charged in USD is a kick in the nuts. no thanks, If I'm being billed in USD then I should be shopping in the US. it's all about the dollar n I know where all mine are going.

  • I've ordered the Classic for the last couple months for my 11 year old son, but we both enjoy receiving the boxes. Some months are better than others, but over all there are things we both enjoy. You have choices in t-shirt styles, but we get the unisex. My son loved the Deadpool tshirt, and he absolution loved the November block. It's understandable that one isn't always going to like items in the boxes, but your review is unnecessarily hateful and ultimately uninformed. It was a Bruce Campbell autograph, and while we didn't get one, my sister and a friend did - and they were stoked. We don't get the Jr. because it caters to much younger than 11, but in about 2 years I may order the girls for my daughter.

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