The letter was open on the counter, the printed font nearly handwritten, its contents both personable and mysterious. With it was a well-used, marked map, found and returned by a helpful concierge from a motel in which we had never stayed.
“Have we been to Wonder Caverns?” asked my boys, one standing over the note while the other held the map toward the light.
“What was the name of that place we stayed outside the national park?” I asked. The details of our summer trip were already fading with the onset of fall, and while there had not been any caverns to speak of, the wonders had been real enough. The wonders weren’t going anywhere.
“The note says they saw us with this map, but why would we need a map of the whole world just to go hiking?” asked one son.
“And someone circled different locations all over it. They wrote the longitude and latitude of each in the margins. Some of the coordinates say ‘confirmed’ next to them,” reported his brother. “What was confirmed?”
“This is strange,” they agreed.
A few days later the box arrived.
Wonderful Objects is a mystery box subscription service from the family entertainment site Wonder and Company that asks what if you could unbox a story? and then sends the very thing to make it happen. It is a parcel full of whimsy, and there is a new one available every quarter. Teasers (like the aforementioned map and letter) are shipped “days to weeks ahead.”
Wonder and Company is greatly inspired by their love of Disney, and it shows in their Wonderful Objects box. Each package is full of questions, possibilities, and a themed story-making experience. They are all about the “what if?”
The mystery boxes are recommended for kids ages 9-14, and there is also a Wonderful Objects for Whimsical Adults option available for those whose family-friendly tastes tend to skew a bit older.
The box my family received (courtesy of Wonder and Company) asked: “What if you were a legend hunter?” and came with a variety of (wonderful) objects curated from Etsy, some cryptozoology fun, and custom handmade ephemera. The specimen bags with Bigfoot and Yeti hair, respectively, were particularly big hits with my boys, who, apparently, are not convinced that either are purely folklore (don’t even get them started on jackalopes). The box also contained a sweet shoulder sling rucksack that we are all currently fighting over.
Each Wonderful Objects box offers carefully connected items (often custom made), imaginative prompts, and tons of aesthetically appealing adventure for the whole family. Subscriptions are $72 per shipment, with savings available when prepaying for multiple quarters. You can follow Wonder and Company on most social channels using @WonderAndCo.
Welcome to the whimsy.
Can an injured Hal defend an interstellar hospital against an invasion from the Negative World?
To save the multiverse, can the heroes save Superman from Apokalips—and outrun the Darkest Night?