Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for November 2015

Okay, people… *rubs hands together*  It’s time to get through some of these subscription boxes from November before the ones for December start showing up!

First up on the block is the Nerd Block for November, sporting the very vague theme of “‘Tis the Season”. I held on to this box for an extra month because the reveals promised items from Star Wars, Sherlock, and Firefly, and also a vinyl figure of some sort. What’s not to love there, right? So on to the unboxing video!

“Nightmare Before Christmas”/”Back to the Future” mash-up t-shirt:
As mentioned in the video, I’m not a huge fan of t-shirts that mash together fandoms that don’t make any sense together. I could handle, for instance, multiple Disney characters together, or something with Star Wars and Star Trek combined, but a science-fiction movie from the 80’s mashed-up with a Tim Burton animated film about Halloween characters taking over Christmas? That’s a little bit of a stretch. That said, this shirt featuring the Delorean knocking Jack Skellington off his perch while Marty hangs on to a set of Christmas lights for dear life isn’t that bad a design. It’s actually pretty simple, with everything being a silhouette against the moon, and I have to admit that I actually like it. In fact, I’m wearing it as I write this post, so there you go.
Approximate value: $15

“Sherlock” Titan vinyl figure:
You guys know that I’m a Funko fanatic, but I’m growing ever more fond of these Titan Merchandise vinyl figures because they do such an awesome job on the faces. The bodies are a very basic flat mold that is painted to reflect the outfit of the character, but the faces are molded to look as close to the actor/character as possible, and this particular figure looks so much like Benedict Cumberbatch is almost frightening. But of course, since I love both Cumberbatch and Sherlock, this item gets two thumbs up from me.
Approximate value: $12

“Christmas Vacation” Moose Mug shot glass:
This item cracked me up more than a little bit. We watch Christmas Vacation every year around the holidays, and one of my favorite scenes is the one in which Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie are drinking eggnog from these moose mugs. This is obviously a smaller version of the mug, but it’s still just too funny. It looks just like the ones from the movie, and I’m definitely tempted to mix up some kind of eggnog shooter to enjoy out of it. Too thumbs up for this super-cute idea for the “‘Tis the Season” box!
Approximate value: $8

“Firefly” Serenity ornament:
Okay, this super-heavy ornament will definitely not be hanging on my Christmas tree (even though the silver cast on it actually goes quite well with our color scheme…) but I do still think it’s a rather cute item. It’s large enough that I think it would look great hanging above my Firefly Funko Pops, which may be exactly what I do with it. I’m a huge fan of Firefly and this is the first Serenity item that I have, so I’m rather amused. Very cute!
Approximate value: Some sites are saying $10 and others are saying $20, so let’s split it and say $15.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 16-month calendar:
As mentioned, this is probably the last thing I was expecting when I knew that there was going to be a Star Wars item. There were so many possible items, I just never would have thought of a calendar. That said, who couldn’t use a calendar? I probably won’t hang it up anywhere prominent in my house, but I could definitely hang it somewhere in the basement with my collectibles. I won’t say that I’m terribly excited about a calendar, but I’m not terribly disappointed about it either.
Approximate value: $13

Random, Mysterious Bill Murray mini-poster:
I’m still really confused about this poster. I’m not confused that Nerd Block would include a poster of Bill Murray in one of their boxes, because hey…Bill Murray. What confuses me is that there is absolutely no explanation for it. I have never received an item in any of my subscription boxes that is not mentioned anywhere in any of the included literature. It kinda makes me feel like someone secretly slipped it in the box without authorization. Is that weird? Absolutely.
Approximate value: I dunno…$2?

Total approximate value of box: $65
Total approximate cost to me: $40

So right off the bat, the value is pretty good with this box, which is good since the cost is a little steep, as I’ve been regularly mentioning. That’s definitely nice to see, and the value is actually spread out quite well among the items, with the unexplained Bill Murray poster being the only real cheapie item.

The items themselves? I don’t really have much bad to say, which is a change when it comes to the Nerd Block family of items. The shirt, while not usually my cup of tea, is actually pretty nice. The Sherlock figure is awesome. The moose mug is awesome squared. The Serenity item isn’t the greatest thing ever, but I still like it, and the Star Wars calendar is the last thing I would have expected but still a decent item. That just leaves the mysterious mini-poster, which…I don’t even know what to say about it. >.>

One thing I will mention is that a YouTube follower of mine asked how the hell this box even has a theme, and I half agree with him. The supposed theme was “‘Tis the Season”, but less than half of the items seem to follow that theme. Obviously the “Nightmare Before Christmas” half of the shirt, the Serenity ornament, and the moose mug all have a tie to the holidays, but you really have to stretch to add in the other stuff. I suppose you could say that the Force Awakens counts because it’s coming to theaters during the holidays, and I guess you could count Sherlock because there’s going to be a special Christmas episode released this season…but that still seems to be stretching it a bit.

AND THEN WHAT’S WITH THE FRIKKIN BILL MURRAY POSTER?

Okay, okay, I’m good. We’re all good here now.

Anyway, the point is that this was actually a pretty nice box and I’m glad I ended up getting it. Is it going to convince me to keep subscribing to Nerd Block? No, because I just can’t justify the cost with the Canadian dollar right now. But I did enjoy it, and if I do end up getting the next block before my subscription is officially cancelled, I’m okay with that because, hey, Star Wars.

What did you think of the Nerd Block for November? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Do you think the theme made sense? Please share!

Loot Crate Unboxing and Review for October 2015

It’s a new week and we’re leaving the “Nerd Block Family” of subscription boxes behind to move on to all the other stuff I have left to share. Today we have the Loot Crate for October, for which they decided to skip any kind of Halloween theme and went with “Time”. I was fairly hopeful about this box because it was set to have a Doctor Who item as well as a vinyl figure, which are two of my very favorite things. So let’s just go ahead and check out the unboxing video, shall we?

“Time” can be a pretty fun theme, I think, and I feel like Loot Crate did a pretty decent job with it. Let’s have a breakdown:

“Be Excellent to Each Other” t-shirt:
Right off the bat we have a very different t-shirt from many of the ones I’ve gotten in the past. It’s blue, right off the bat, which is a strangely uncommon color for geeky t-shirts (unless they’re Doctor Who ones, obviously). I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Bill and Ted, but I do enjoy the movies and I think they definitely picked the best possible quote for a t-shirt featuring them. Of all the time-related fandoms they could have sent a t-shirt of, this is not the one I would have picked first, but I do think the shirt is pretty cool and I will happily wear it. Approximate value: $15

Loot Crate “Time” pin:
I don’t always include these little collectible pins in my breakdowns, but this particular crate has a low item count so I thought I’d throw it in. This one features a picture of a flux capacitor. Approximate value: $1

“Back to the Future Part II” 1:5 scale hoverboard:
This is a neat idea for a collectible; not something I would necessarily go looking for, but a neat idea. It’s actually a rather nicely-made replica of the hover board from the movies, and it comes mounted with plastic pegs on a glass base to give the illusion that it actually is hovering. Approximate value: this is a box exclusive and thus difficult to put a value on, but it seems to be going for an average of $15 by people and sites that are reselling.

“Doctor Who” Sonic Spork:
This item, I have to admit, is a little disappointing. I love Doctor Who, so I was excited that there was going to be an item from this awesome fandom in Loot Crate, but what we got is something that just isn’t that impressive to me. It’s kinda cute and funny, being as it looks like a sonic screwdriver and all, but I’m just not going to use a spork, and it’s not exactly the kind of item that you would display among the rest of your geekery. It’s a big “Meh” to me, basically, which is sad because Doctor Who is my jam. Approximate value: this is another exclusive item, so I have to go by the resellers, who seem to be ditching it for an average of $12

“Dr Emmett Brown” Exclusive Funko Pop:
Guys, I love this Pop, I really do. He is significantly different from the original series Dr Brown I’ve got, which I love because so many exclusives/variants/second series’/etc are practically exact copies of the originals. Plus he’s just so well done! I love the little clear blue plastic electricity running between the cables, and the detail in the goggles, and the little battery standing behind him… It’s all just super-nicely done and I love it. This little dude made the whole box for me, no argument. Approximate value: $19, according to PopPriceGuide.com

Total approximate value of box: $62
Total approximate cost to me: $40

So, okay, right off the value is fairly average; it’s neither the best nor worst-valued box I’ve gotten from Loot Crate, so there’s not much to say there. Even though the value is decent though, one thing that bothered me a bit about this box is that it didn’t feel like there was much in it. I suppose that’s mostly because the items that were there are fairly sizable (a Pop takes up half the box, after all), but still, if you don’t count the little Loot Crate pin, this box only had four items in it, which is pretty unusual for these subscription boxes. I might be wrong, because my memory isn’t exactly the most top-notch thing in the world, but I feel like I’ve never gotten a nerdy subscription box with less than five items, not including the little service-specific extras.

That said, those four items are pretty cool. The Pop is a big, big, BIG plus to this box, being not only just a Pop but also a pretty awesome Pop. The hover board replica isn’t my usual kind of collectible, but it’s pretty neat and will look great next to my other BttF stuff. And the shirt is different and quite excellent (ha ha). The only thing that’s a little disappointing is the “sonic spork”, which is just something I’m not going to use at all. Maybe I’ll give it to my daughter to help get her into Doctor Who. 😛

When all is said and done, this was a pretty good box. I would have preferred a different (*cough*cooler*cough*) Doctor Who item, but everything else gets two thumbs up and even though the box felt a bit light on items, I can’t really argue with the value. So I guess it’s a thumbs up for this one!

What did you guys think? Favorite item? Least favorite? What do you think of the sonic spork? Isn’t that Dr Brown Pop just awesome? Were you surprised that Loot Crate didn’t do a Halloween theme for October? Please share!

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for April 2015

Now that we’ve gotten the outrageously late Horror Block out of the way, it’s time to move on to the only a little bit ridiculously late Nerd Block. I had actually cancelled Nerd Block before April, but when my husband and I saw what the theme for April was we decided to resubscribe for at least one more month.

Check out the unboxing video!

Awesomesauce, right? To the breakdown!

“88 Miles Per Hour” t-shirt: I have to be honest, I’m a little amazed that I got two nice shirts from the Nerd Block family in one month. This shirt, which features the DeLorean from “Back to the Future” and just screams the 80’s, is pretty rad, I have to say. To it I assign my usual t-shirt value of $15.

Exclusive “Ecto-1” vinyl collectible from Titan: When I heard that there was going to be a Ghostbusters vinyl collectible in the April Nerd Block, I assumed it would probably be a Funko, but I’m definitely not disappointed. This little vinyl Ecto-1 is awesome, and will make a welcome addition to our nerd shelves. Since it’s an exclusive item for Nerd Block, it’s difficult to put a value on it, but based on the cost of similarly-sized Titan collectibles, I’m assigning it a value of $15.

Pac-Man heat-change mug: Who doesn’t love a cool heat-changing mug, and who doesn’t love Pac-Man? Honestly, the last thing in the world that my house needs more of is mugs, but I can’t complain about this one. When empty it looks like a blank Pac-Man stage, but when filled with hot liquid Pac-Man, the ghosts, and the dots and fruit magically appear. Too cute, and you can pick up your own online for about $10.

“Tough Sh*t” by Kevin Smith: Continuing on with their new habit of including books in their blocks, this month Nerd Block gives us Kevin Smith’s autobiography. I can’t say that I’m necessarily on board with the book-in-the-block thing, but if they had to give me one, this was a good one to pick. Knowing Kevin Smith, I’m sure it’ll be a humorous read. This book goes for $7.

Nerd Play trading cards: UGH. Nerd Block, why did you do it? You had an excellent box going, and you had to muck it up with more of these silly trading cards. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Nerd Play people are awesome at what they do, but trading cards of cosplayers. Arg. Anyway, I can’t remember what I valued these at last time, but based on other packs of trading cards, mixed with the fact that I’m sure these will never be worth anything at all, let’s say…$2.

Total approximate value of box: $49
Total cost to me: $37

Okay, so this box is proof that overall value does not necessarily equate to enjoyment. This is one of the lowest value boxes I’ve gotten from Nerd Block, but I’m actually not upset about it. It was a good box. The Ecto-1 collectible is awesome, the shirt is actually a decent one, and the Pac-Man mug is very cute (and useful). The book isn’t something I would have necessarily pickd up on my own, but it’s still not a bad item, meaning that the Nerd Play cards are the only thing I don’t enjoy from April’s box. I’d say that’s pretty decent overall.

The only thing, which I have to mention, is of course that the cost of the block is still a frustrating. Compared to other boxes, which are both cheaper and consistently more enjoyable, it’s hard to justify spending the money on Nerd Block, especially when so much of the cost is a ridiculously huge shipping fee. If it weren’t for that, I would never complain, because the boxes are definitely worth the base cost.

That said, I was planning to cancel again immediately after this box, buttttt….(yeah, you knew the ‘but’ was coming, didn’t you) then we found out that the theme for May is ‘Anime’ and that there’s going to be a Funko in it. So yeah. Stop judging me. Rawr. ^_^

What do you think? Did you recieve Nerd Block for the month of April? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Were you able to fully enjoy the theme as a child of the 80s? Please share!