I used to do a lot of apologizing about late subscription box openings, but I refuse to apologize for this one! (Although it is going up on the blog even later than…you know what? Just shush.) We were quite certain upon opening that this was February’s Geek Fuel, but it turned out to just be an extraordinarily late January box. Fancy that. But did we enjoy it regardless? Watch the video to find out!
This week I have a series of late unboxing videos, owing to the fact that precisely nothing came before I left for out West last month. Starting out of the gates we have the Nerd Block for July 2015, for which the theme was “Humanity’s Last Hope”. Check out the unboxing video:
Right off the bat I’ll go ahead and admit that this was actually a half-decent Nerd Block, as compared to previous boxes. I was not disappointed, is what I’m saying. So let’s go ahead and look at the breakdown:
“Sweep the Leg” t-shirt:
So, I totally didn’t get this, but this shirt is supposed to be a G.I. Joe/Karate Kid mash-up. I figured that it was Cobra Commander, but I really wouldn’t have guessed that it was also supposed to be a Karate Kid reference as well. It’s not really very clever at all, honestly. That said, it’s not a terrible shirt, and I will wear it. One thumb up and one thumb down for this one, and a standard shirt value of $15.
Transformers dangler: As I said in the video, it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these things, and honestly I’m not a big fan of them. I already have a couple from previous boxes and I’ve never used them because, a) my phone doesn’t have a spot to dangle anything from, and b) even if it did I’m pretty sure a dangler would just end up scratching my screen since I keep my phone in my pocket most of the time. These go for about $5.
Iron Man Pocket Pop keychain: Okay, I’m definitely happy with this particular item. I love Pops, and though I do think that some of their expanded line of products are a little silly, I do like the keychains and will be happy to use this one. It’s Mark 43 Iron Man! I love him! He’s so cute! Okay, okay, hold it together Tracey. It’s all good. These Pocket Pops are a little overpriced, in my opinion; on average they seem to go for about $10 wherever I’ve found them.
Ghostbusters TYVEK wallet: This item is very deceptive; it honestly feels like you could easily rip it into a million pieces with your bare hands, but it is, in fact, made of TYVEK, which is supposed to be practically indestructible. This is a pretty neat thing to have, although it’s not exactly huge, so you couldn’t fit all too much in it. My husband gave me the idea of using this wallet specifically for nerdy cards and the like (such as our EB Games discount card, for instance), so I’ll definitely consider that. This wallet is a Nerd Block exclusive, but I’ve found similar wallets going for $15.
“Spike” Titan vinyl figure: Here’s another one that I can definitely say I love. You guys know that I prefer Pops to Titans, but some of the Titans are pretty cool, and the Buffy line falls amongst those. I also love how this little Spike figure comes with Giles’ mug filled with blood; that’s a cute little addition that makes him even more recognizable. Two thumbs up for this one! Similarly to Pops, these Titan figures go for an average of about $12, depending on where you get them.
Mad Max: Fury Road comic: My brain totally turned off when I came around to this item. As my husband so kindly pointed out, I really could have talked about the movie a bit when this comic came out of the box, but it was like a switch turned off in my brain and I was just done. Anyway, we watched Fury Road not that long ago and I really enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely over-the-top and pretty silly, but it was tons of fun, so go watch it right now! As far as the comic is concerned, it’s another one to add to the collection, but I don’t have much more to say than that. I’ll give this one a standard comic issue value of about $5.
Total approximate value of box: $62 Total cost to me: $41
So there you go… Honestly this box was pretty good, especially compared to other recent boxes. The big problem with Nerd Block is that the cost is way too much considering that you’re not likely to be happy with every single item, and the reason the cost is too much is because of the shipping. The base price of $20 for a Nerd Block is completely acceptable, but you end up doubling that price by the time the shipping is added. Comparatively, Loot Crate is a base $30, with the shipping automatically worked in there, so it ends up being cheaper than Nerd Block by a few dollars and is consistently more enjoyable.
So that’s the main reason why I’ve decided to finally cancel Nerd Block. Perhaps I might consider resubscribing in the future, but I don’t think it’s very likely any time soon, unless the Canadian dollar comes back up considerably.
What did you think of Nerd Block for July 2015? Did you receive one? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? What do you think of the cost issue? Please share!
Okay, so we’re well into the fifth month that I’ve claimed I was going to cancel Nerd Block and then didn’t. The problem is that they keep throwing out themes that sound interesting, and I’m weak! So with that thought in mind, check out the unboxing video for the “Ani-May” Nerd Block:
What did you think? Let’s just say that I’m not terribly disappointed that I stayed on for yet another month. Let’s look at the breakdown:
Mobile Suit Gundam t-shirt: Though I didn’t get this shirt in my size, I’m still pretty impressed with it. It’s a nice, standard design without a bunch of useless flair, and the fact that it’s an older show that I actually used to watch is definitely a plus. My hubby will be the one wearing it, but even so I’m pretty happy with the shirt this month. Giving this item the standard t-shirt value of $15.
“Freiza” Funko Pop: It is terribly unfortunate that they chose to send a Dragonball Z Pop in the anime-themed box, since I already have almost all of them. I can appreciate the fact that it was a good choice for the anime-themed box, but it’s just too bad that they didn’t send something from one of the lines I don’t have. Regardless, I’ll give this item the average value that Funko Pops tend to cost around my neck of the woods, which is approximately $13.
“Cowboy Bebop” Convertible Bandana: Although I’m not really sure how I’m going to use it, I have to admit that this item amuses me a bit, because it’s something different. The fact that it’s Cowboy Bebop helps, because that is definitely one of the greatest anime shows of all time. Maybe I’ll use it to keep my hair back when I’m gardening. 😛 Regardless, based on similar bandana products, this item is worth about $10.
“Neon Genesis Evangeleon” manga #1: Now we’re talking. Although I don’t read manga nearly as much these days, I still appreciate it, and it’s awesome that this is the anime they chose. NGE was one of my favorite ones when I was younger, and yet I don’t have a single one of their manga, so this is a nice book to get for sure. I definitely approve of the choice for this item, and since manga go for about $12 each, it’s a nice value to the box as well.
“My Neighbor Totoro” pins: Yeah yeah, I’ve never seen it. I’m sure there are lots of nerds out there right now screaming internally, because Totoro is supposed to be a classic. Despite my ignorance on these matters, I can appreciate these cute little pins, especially the one with Catbus on it, because I find that ridiculous and funny. Based on similar pins this four-pin set would go for about $6.
“Attack on Titan” drawstring bag: This is another show I haven’t seen, although I’ve heard lots and lots of good things. It’s also an item that I’m not terribly fond of, because I find these vinyl drawstring bags look pretty cheap. That said, it is a bag, and everyone sometimes needs a bag, so I’ll take it. These types of bags retail in at about $10, which – just for the record – I would never pay for one of these.
Total approximate value of box: $66 Total cost to me: $37
So right off the bat, the first thing that I want to point out is that this is the first themed Nerd Block for which every item in the box worked perfectly with the theme. In the previous themed boxes there was at least one item in every one that had absolutely nothing to do with the theme, but for this month’s box every item was definitely anime-themed. That makes me like it automatically, because what’s the point of a theme if you don’t stick to it, right?
The second thing I have to mention, of course, is the fact that the Funko Pop was one that I already have. That sucks – it really does – but it was bound to happen eventually and I can’t really down-rate the box because of it.
The third thingI want to mention is that while I’m not on the up-and-up with Nerd Block’s new desire to put books in all their boxes, I do appreciate the manga that was in this one. For one thing, it’s an excellent story. For another thing, it adheres to the theme, which is something the previous books didn’t really do. So two thumbs up for that one.
In conclusion, it was actually quite a good box. The shirt was a good one, the Funko would have been awesome if I didn’t already have it, the manga was a perfect choice, and the other two little items were cute additions. All in all, I have to say that I was pretty impressed. The overall cost to have a Nerd Block shipped to me is still pretty painful and makes it less worth getting, but it’s nice to see a box that was straight-up good.
The question now, of course – as I mentioend in the video – is whether or not I’m going to continue on for next month. I had planned on cancelling after May’s box anyway, because the cost of it is just not okay with me, but then they threw out that “British Invasion” theme, and I’m torn. What if there’s a super-cool Doctor Who item in there and I miss it because I cancelled? Rawr. This is the problem with these subscription boxes!
So, as I said in the vid, I’m looking to you guys for advice. Do you think I should hold on for another month, or should I finally do what I’ve been saying I was going to do since Christmas and cancel my Nerd Block subscription? There’s only four days left to decide, so vote quick!
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!
In 2014 I signed up for several different subscription box services, and of all the “geek and gamer” boxes I tested out, Loot Crate is definitely my favorite. The December “Anniversary” box continued that trend, so why not take a look at the unboxing video:
As mentioned in the video I do feel that Loot Crate over-hyped the “biggest box ever” thing (honestly, the box could have been smaller because it was half empty), but if it hadn’t been for the expectations surrounding said hype, this still would have ranked up there with some of the best boxes. Check out the breakdown:
“Joker Batman” Funko Pop figure: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Funko Pop figs always make a box worth it for me. I just love them that much. This one is a bit weird and confusing (was there a storyline where Batman went nuts and started dressing up like Joker?) but it’s still pretty neat and an exclusive at that. It’s difficult to put a value on an exclusive, so I’ll just assign it the value of the average Funko, rounded up a bit to an even $15. “Guardians of the Galaxy” Groot socks: This is the second pair of socks I’ve received from Loot Crate and both pairs were pretty awesome, to be honest with you (as awesome as socks can be, anyway). I think these might be an exclusive as well, since I can’t find them anywhere online, so I’m going to assign them the same value as another pair of GotG socks I found, which is about $6. “Captain America” shield air freshener: Surprisingly, I found this air freshener (or something almost identical) on the Walmart website. It goes for about $2, which sounds about right to me. Mini Candy Cane: I’m not even going to put a value on this. Come on; you can get about fifty of these at the dollar store for a buck. Collector Pin: As always, these pins are probably worth $1 max. “The Simpsons” paper wallet: Well, it feels like paper, but apparently it is, in fact, plastic. And believe it or not, it goes for $15. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot to you, but if you held the thing you’d probably raise your eyebrows. It feels like one walk in the rain would completely destroy it. Tetris Sticker Set: These are so cute, and I’m going nuts trying to figure out what I’m going to do with them, because I absolutely have to do something cool with them. These also go for $15, and while that seems like a lot for stickers you also get a ton of them, so that’s pretty cool. Ghostbusters door hanger: While kinda cute, this is literally just a piece of bristol board with pictures on either side, so I’m not even going to look it up, I’m just assigning it $1. “Batman: Endgame” comic: Again, it’s difficult to assign a value to something that’s exclusive. Normally this comic would be worth about $5, so I’ll bump it up to about $7 for the exclusive cover. Crunchyroll 30 day trial: Similar to Netflix, but for Anime, this online service costs $7 per month, so $7 is what the trial is worth.
Total approximate value of box: $69 Total cost to me: $33
So here’s the thing…the value is definitely there, but as usual value is in the eye of the beholder. My biggest miff with this box is the Simpsons wallet because a. I definitely won’t use it and, b. I absolutely cannot see it being worth $15. That said, everything else in the box is actually pretty cool. A Funko is always welcome, and the Tetris sitckers are cute, and those two items cover the cost of the box right there, Plus the air freshener and the socks, while they seem like lame items, are actually pretty amusing to me, so I guess all in all it was a pretty decent Loot Crate. Hopefully they will continue to please me in 2015.
**As first mentioned on March 21st** For the next little while I’m going to be busy building up a new backlog of material to post on Fridays, amidst the other stuff I’m working on, so for the next few weeks I’m going to satisfy myself to simply post a drabble a week. For you writers out there, feel free to use these drabbles as prompts toward writing something bigger and better, and if you care to share what you’ve written, please send me a link so I can check it out. 🙂
Video games are my life. It’s pretty pathetic, I guess, but it’s true. I own all the consoles available, and even some that aren’t, including a few which failed miserably and only sold a few thousand units. My game collection rivals that of anyone I know, kid or adult, which is a massive point of embarrassment for my parents. But you know what? There’s just…something…something about immersing yourself in the life of another; seeing what they see, experiencing what they experience. It’s the greatest thing, to become someone else, someone cool, someone amazing.