July Subscription Box Roundup

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SubscriptionBoxesJuly2016

“Wait a second,” you’re probably saying. “Isn’t it August?”

Yes. Yes it is. However, due to vacation, shipping issues, school starting, global warming, Brazilian judges, and whatever other excuses I can come up with in the next few seconds (Gremlins! And solar flares!), we were not able to unbox them all until this weekend. I apologize for the tardiness of this article. Rest assured, those in charge have been sacked.

Also, a point about licensing, copyright, and the like. Many times, these subscription boxes will include items that, for legal reasons, are not referenced by the property name we all know they’re representing. While I will use the non-IP-violating name of the product in the bulleted list, I’m not going to pretend that “Time Travel Police Box Shower Curtain” is not a TARDIS Shower Curtain, and I may call it such or talk about Doctor Who in my summary. If you’re wondering whether an item is licensed or not, go with the description in the bulleted list and use some basic deduction.

Anyway, on to the unboxing.

Super Geek Box

SuperGeekBoxJuly2016

Super Geek Box “Sidekick” (July, 2016) – $19.92 ($12.92 + $7.00 s/h)

What’s in the Box?

  • FUNKO POP Vinyl Marvel: Dancing Groot
  • Super Geek Box Beer-Mo Can Cooler
  • Super Geek Box Loyal Buddies: Dual-Tag Necklace
  • Super Geek Box 16 Bit Gaming Pop-Art Decal
  • Super Geek Box PocketPal T-Shirt Modifier
  • Super Geek Box Exclusive R8-D8 Droid Fusion T-Shirt

Product Quality

GD_BoxReview_Rating_45

Once again, Super Geek Box does not disappoint. Authentic FUNKO POP vinyl, quality material T-Shirt, and even the filler items felt pretty well made. I knocked off a half point because I felt like they skimped a bit on the dog tags. Two “buddy” tags should include two necklaces, not two tags and a single necklace.

Price / Value

GD_BoxReview_Rating_4

I feel like this one fell just short of a decent value. A decent print instead of just a sticker could have pushed the extras beyond penny trinkets. Still, Super Geek Box remains one of the most affordable geek sub boxes, so a solid four.

Theme Appropriateness

GD_BoxReview_Rating_5

Nailed it. Groot, BB8, R2-D2, Yoshi, Pikachu, Jake, Beemo. All excellent Sidekicks to be sure. I would have liked to have seen perhaps some more comic references rather than two Adventure Time characters, but no doubt, Adventure Time fans will be very pleased.

Unboxing


Geek Fuel

GeekFuelJuly2016

Geek Fuel Monthly Mystery Box (July, 2016) – $23.90 ($17.90 + $6.00 s/h)

What’s in the Box?

  • Badland “Game of the Year Edition” Downloadable Steam Game
  • Badland Biohazard Air Filter
  • Boo-Busters Button
  • Time Travel Police Box Shower Curtain
  • Alien Playing Cards
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Repositionable Wall Decal
  • “It’s a Trap” T-Shirt

Product Quality

GD_BoxReview_Rating_4

I have to say, a shower curtain in a sub box is a new one for me and surprised me a bit. It’s your basic vinyl shower curtain, rings included. While hanging it will not make your shower bigger on the inside, it is guaranteed to increase the cool factor. The T-Shirt is decent, and the trap box was a fun touch, but I’m not in love with the quality of the artwork. Usually, there is some kind of geeky mashup or artistic interpretation of a well-known geek icon. This one feels like a straight up knock-off. The Boo Button, on the other hand, is exactly what the T-Shirt is not: a classic mashup of two well-known geek properties. I’d have taken off more for the T-Shirt, but the other items were really quite nice.

Price / Value

GD_BoxReview_Rating_35

I had every intention of rating this pretty low on the price / value scale because of the T-Shirt and the shower curtain. While it is true a TARDIS shower curtain will run you $25 at Hot Topic, this is not a TARDIS shower curtain. Despite being relatively decent quality, it is missing the classic white “Free for use of Public” sign. Combined with the knock-off T-Shirt, you’re not getting much value out of the two large items.

This month, however, Geek Fuel made up for their lackluster large items with some real quality filler. The button is cute and a nice large size, the playing cards are licensed and made by the United States Playing Card Company, and the Steam download is a $10 game that is actually worth $10. (It really was a Game of the Year in 2013.) Even the Plants vs. Zombies repositionable decal is of a higher quality than any other sticker or decal I’ve received in a sub box. This might be the first sub box I’ve seen where the filler items come close to the value of the large items, although since that’s largely due to the lackluster larger items, it’s a bit of damning with faint praise.

Theme Appropriateness

GD_BoxReview_Rating_25

Geek Fuel is unthemed, so we fall back to the basic “Is it geeky? Is it timely (or timeless)?” metric. I feel like everything in this box, with the exception of Doctor Who (which is timeless, no pun intended), fails to meet the timeliness criteria. Ghostbusters has already come and gone, tanking at the box office. PvZ: GW2 released six months ago and Badland three years ago. I can give Alien a pass since there is a new Alien movie coming out next year, but it’s still a bit early for that. I don’t feel like this box capitalized on anything that is going on right now in the geek world. If you’re not going to theme your boxes, you’re going to have to find some other hook.

Unboxing


Nerd Block Classic

NerdBlockJuly2016

Nerd Block Classic “Squad” (July, 2016) – $29.90 ($19.95 + $9.95 s/h)

What’s in the Box?

  • Exclusive Ghostbusters T-Shirt
  • Exclusive Transformers Autobot Pin
  • Attack on Titan Blind Bag Backpack Hanger
  • Exclusive Harley Quinn Black and White FUNKO POP! Keychain
  • Exclusive Suicide Squad: The Joker Plush
  • Awkward Family Postcards
  • Arrested Development Tobias Dress Up Magnet
  • Titans Vinyl Figures: Alien, The Nostromo Collection Exclusive Twin Pack
  • $10 Shirt Punch Credit
  • $50 HelloFresh.com Coupon

Product Quality

GD_BoxReview_Rating_5

OK, this one threw me for a loop. As item after item was pulled from the box, I was beginning to think that my Nerd Block rep had decided to throw two months’ worth of loot into one box. I even went online after unboxing and watched other reviewers just to be sure that this is what actually came in the box. In short, this is far and away the best subscription box I have received to date.

Where to start? First, the exclusives. Titans Vinyl Figurines, T-Shirt, pin, plush, and FUNKO POP! keychain. That’s five exclusives in one box, all of them licensed, all of them quality. Awkward Family Postcards is a book of 35 postcards all based on the bestselling book, and the backpack hanger, while not exclusive, is still a licensed product. In fact, there’s not a single item in this box that is an unlicensed knock-off. That is virtually unheard of in the geek subscription box world.

Price / Value

GD_BoxReview_Rating_5

Again, eight different products, all of them licensed, and five of them exclusives. That alone would earn a rating of five, but then they tossed on top a $10 Shirt Punch credit and a $50 HelloFresh.com coupon. This is easily the best price / value for a sub box, even if it’s a bit more than the others

Theme Appropriateness

GD_BoxReview_Rating_45

squad: a small group of people having a particular task. team, crew, gang.

Suicide Squad, the Nostromo crew, Ghostbusters, Transformers, Survey Corps. All fantastic examples of a squad, and all very geeky. Geek Fuel take note, this is how you include Ghostbusters and Alien items in a subscription box and make it relevant. I think “family” might be a bit of a stretch for the “squad” theme, but even so, Arrested Development and Awkward Family Postcards were still a fairly decent fit. Plus, these two were a pleasant comic relief to an otherwise fairly dark collection of items. Overall, it was a great mix, and this is going to be a tough act to follow for any geek sub box.

Unboxing


I received a Super Geek Box and Nerd Block Classic box gratis for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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