Are you sitting down? There’s something I need to tell you. As Christmas draws nigh, many of you may find yourself doubting, asking questions like, “How can GeekDad recommend one kid’s tablet in one article, and on the same day publish an article saying a completely different one is the best?” or “Why does GeekDad mock Black Friday in one breath and advertise Black Friday deals in another?” The truth is, no, Virginia, there isn’t a GeekDad.
Check out the masthead to the right. There are nearly 100 people who write for GeekDad, and each one of us has our own opinions. There is no groupthink, no hive mind. There is no specific line we have to toe in regards to a movie, product, or point of view. Some of us don’t like Star Wars, and some of us don’t really care for Dungeons & Dragons. Heck, there are even heretics who think Kirk is a better captain than Picard. There are only a few specific ideas that we try to follow as a whole. Everything else is fair game.
I tell you this so that when I say that I wholeheartedly disagree with one of the most popular articles on GeekDad, you understand that it is the difference of opinion between two individual people, and not a single, schizophrenic “GeekDad.”
Nerd Block: Buyers Beware… of the Awesome
In an effort to find the ultimate Geek Subscription Box, I subscribed to three well-known services. Because I wanted to find the best overall, I purposely skipped the specialized boxes such as Marvel Collectors Corps and went with Nerd Block Classic, LootCrate, and GeekFuel. While I think all three have their merits, in light of the previous review on GeekDad it’s the Nerd Block box I want to specifically address here. In short, I couldn’t disagree more with the other article. The quality of the items in the November Nerd Block Classic box were superb, and Nerd Block was the clear winner among the three for the month of November. Running the gamut of geek fandom, every single item in this box was a hit.
- Bill Murray print
- Marty Moose National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation shot glass
- Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock vinyl figure
- Firefly Serenity ornament
- 2016 Star Wars calendar
- Nightmare Before Christmas / Back to the Future mashup T-shirt
Will I find all of these items useful in the long run? Probably not. I’m not a fan of paper calendars, and I don’t have much use for a shot glass (although modding that into a Christmas tree ornament should be a piece of cake). I’ll also readily admit that, having paid for my Nerd Block box myself, unlike the other review, it’s reasonable to assume I’m experiencing post-purchase rationalization. That said, one of the criticisms from the previous review that I am unable to address is the ease in cancelation, as I have no intentions of doing so, which somewhat negates the rationalization assertion.
To directly address a few of the other points from last year’s article:
“I guess I expected more high quality items in the box, or at least something that would make me geek out.”
I find it difficult to imagine any self-professed geek feeling like a box containing Deadpool, Iron-Man, Batman and Robin, and Star Wars is a failure, but to each their own. That said, it is the nature of a subscription box that you will rarely love everything in the box, and if you are looking for specific items, subscription boxes are most likely not your cup of tea. The entire purpose is to be surprised every month with toys, clothes, games, posters, etc. that appeal to a wide geeky audience. For my boys and I, it’s like Christmas morning every month as we sit down to do an unboxing, never knowing what treasures are in store. Are we ever disappointed? Sure. Sometimes they throw in cheap trinkets that are obvious marketing ploys. Other times we’ll receive an item from a property that we are either not fans of or are not even aware of. It is unfair, however, to measure the quality of the entire experience by our disappointment at one or two items. We’re not paying $15 – $30 for “stuff,” we’re paying for entertainment, for the fun of sharing our excitement, for the joy of geeking out with our friends and classmates.
“The shirts only come in unisex sizes…”
This is factually incorrect. Nerd Block offers men’s, women’s, and children’s shirts, and for their adult shirts you can choose standard or fitted. This is also not a new policy, as comments on the original article also pointed this out.
“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.”
The “chaotic” nature of the box is intentional. Nerd Block offers theme-specific boxes like the Horror Box, Arcade Box, Comic Box, and Sci-Fi box. The reviewer received the Classic Box, which is designed to offer a variety of geeky goodies in one box.
While everyone has their own opinions, I felt it was important that I clear the air regarding any one article speaking for the whole of GeekDad and give Nerd Block another chance. It was a fun box to open, which is entirely the point, and I’m super excited for December’s box.
Disclaimer: I did not receive a sample from Nerd Block for this review. The link to Nerd Block above is a referral link that gives me a few dollars off of my subscription if someone uses it to subscribe, but if you prefer not to click the referral link, you can go directly to Nerd Block via http://www.nerdblock.com.