ZBOX “Genius” Unboxing (April 2017)

The theme for April’s ZBOX was “Genius”, and featured exclusive items from Iron Man, Sherlock, Big Bang Theory, and Harley Quinn. Not a bad assortment of franchises! If you’re interested in checking out ZBOX for yourself, be sure to use coupon code TRACEY5 to get £5 off your first box!

Marvel Collector Corps Unboxing and Review for “Villains”

Okay, after a few days away to try and catch up on my writing (Go, NaNo!), it’s time to come back and finish off the slew of geeky/nerdy subscription boxes for this month. Today is the bi-monthly box created by Marvel and Funko: “Marvel Collector Corps”. If you guys have been watching my YouTube channel or reading these reviews you know that Collector Corps has been my absolute favorite subscription box for the past few months, which is unsurprising since it’s all Marvel stuff and always includes an exclusive Funko Pop! of some kind. Every box has a theme, and this particular box’s theme was “Villains”, so I was pretty darn excited to see which Marvel villains would be featured!

First, please have a look at the unboxing video:

So, my excellent experience with Collector Corps thus far continues this month with a pretty awesome box full of villainy awesomeness. Here’s a breakdown of the goodies. **Note: all “Funko” items are valued based on PopPriceGuide.com

Collector Corps pin and patch:
These little items, which are prominently displayed when you first open the box, don’t add a lot of value to the box, but they’re cute little collectibles that prove you’re a Collector Corps subscriber. This month’s pin features Green Goblin, with the patch emblazoned with Red Skull. Approximate value: $2 for the pin, $5 for the patch

Marvel Villains t-shirt:
My personal opinion of the Collector Corp t-shirts thus far has been really good (even the Ant Man one that most people didn’t seem to like…I thought it was adorable), and this one is no different. It’s a little bit busy for my tastes, but it’s still a pretty cool design, and they chose some of my favorite villains to grace it, so I’m pretty happy. My only real complaint is the size; I’d reduced my shirt size from medium to small because the shirts are unisex and thus run a little big to be able to fit the average guy, and when I originally took the shirt out of the box I was certain that they’d shipped me a medium. I did turn out to be wrong, but honestly, the shirt is hardly any smaller. So take my advice, if you’re a smaller-sized collector: go for the extra small! Still, this is a pretty excellent shirt. Approximate value: $15

“Invincible Iron Man” comic with variant cover:
Every Collector Corps also comes with a comic, which they’ve recently begun backing-and-bagging so that collectors who like their stuff mint can have that option. Personally I’ll be ripping it open and reading it, but that’s just me. The variant cover is pretty sweet and I’m very interested to read about why Iron Man seems to be fighting a bunch of villainous zombies. Approximate value: $6

“Venom” Pocket Pop! keychain:
And now we’re into the Funko-powered stuff, starting out with a Pocket Pop! keychain of my very favorite Marvel villain ever: Venom. I was actually a teeny bit disappointed that the Venom item they chose was the keychain because I don’t collect these and I currently have an Iron Man Pocket Pop! taking up all the room on my key ring, but I can’t say I’m not happy to have him. And since I don’t actually have a Venom Pop!, this little guy will have to do for now. Maybe I’ll stick him to Spider-Man’s shoulder so he can be the “bad angel”. Approximate value: $6

“Loki” Dorbz figure:
Love it! Okay, I don’t really actively collect Dorbz, but I do think they’re adorable (duh), and I’m perfectly happy to get them in my subscription boxes. Plus, of all the villains they could have chosen, they sent Loki, who I love to pieces. The helmet is just awesome, and for something so small and mostly-flat, the paint job is really quite excellent as well. Very happy with this! Approximate value: $10

Exclusive “Zombie Morbius” Funko Pop! figure:
And, of course, my favorite part of these boxes: the exclusive Pop! I’m really quite happy that I got the “Zombie” version of Morbius, but I do have to mention that I’ve confirmed there were two different Morbius’ figures that subscribers could have gotten, which really bothers me. Part of the reason for subscribing tot his box is to get the exclusive Funko Pop! figures, but if they’re going to pull stunts like this it means that people are still going to have to beg, borrow, or steal to get ALL of the exclusives (if that’s your thing), even if they are subscribers. I think that’s a bit of a dirt-bag move on behalf of Collector Corps, myself, so I’m just throwing that out there. That said, I’m happy that if I could only get one of the exclusives, this is the one I ended up with. Zombie Morbius is awesome. Approximate value: $24

Total approximate value of box: $61
Total approximate cost to me: $39

So, right off the bat, the value is definitely there with this one, assuming that PopPriceGuide is accurate. Mind you, I have to mention that the cost to me is a lot lower than it could be, because I paid for a full year subscription up front when the box first came out, and back then the Canadian dollar was a lot closer to parity with the American one. Thus – and I’m just pointing this out – the value would seem quite a bit lower if I’d ordered more recently (it would cost closer to $50).

That said, I love this box, I really do. Awesome Pop!, as usual (although I will admit I’m a bit annoyed that there’s a bit of a strange smudge on his teeth), awesome choices for the Dorbz figure and the Pocket Pop! keychain, and the shirt and comic are pretty sweet as well. Other than the shirt size (which, technically, I guess is kinda my own fault), I really have nothing to complain about. As usual I love everything in the box, which is really what makes it worth it even if the price was a bit higher.

And because of my love for this particular box, I’m happy to announce that I’ve jumped on another “Powered by Funko” box that just recently shipped out for the first time: the Star Wars “Smuggler’s Bounty” box, which will also include exclusive Funko items. The first one should be arriving at my house any day now, so look forward to my unboxing! I can’t wait!

What do you guys think? Is Marvel Collector Corps worth the dough? What was your favorite item in the Villains box? Least favorite? How do you feel about there being multiple exclusives but you only get one? Please share!

 

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for July 2015

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!

Marvel Collector Corps Unboxing and Review for April/May 2015

Ladies and gents, fellow nerds and geeks, this is the box that I have been waiting for. In the past year I’ve become a little more than obsessed with subscription boxes, but this is the one that I’ve been most excited about because it seems like it was designed for me. This 6-boxes-a-year box is co-founded by Marvel and Funko – two of my favorite things – and is full of Marvel-themed awesomeness. The boxes are also themed, and the very first theme was “Age of Ultron”, which corresponded with the movie, which I was also super-excited for. Can you feel the joy through my words? Then imagine the joy you’ll feel through the video:

I will readily state right now that I was more than happy with this, the first ever Marvel Collector Corps box. Let’s go right ahead and check out the breakdown:

“Collector Corps” pin: This little pin features an old-school-looking Captain America’s head with the words “Collector Corps” written around it. I’m thinking that this is a “first ever box” kind of addition, and I’m okay with that. It’s a cute little badge to commemorate being one of the first ever subscribers to this brand new box. It’s difficult to put a value on such a thing, especially given that it’s obviously an exclusive item, but since it’s just a little pin I’m going to say it’s maybe worth about $2.

“Collector Coprs” Ultron patch: Okay, so I’m not the kind of person who puts patches on, well…anything, but I’m telling you right now that I will find a use for this patch. It features Ultron’s snarling face, also surrounded by the words “Collector Corps”, and it’s just a nice-looking little addition as well. I’m wondering if each box is going to include a similar item with an image that refers to the theme. If so, I’ll be okay with that. If not, I’ll treasure this one because Ultron is awesome. Patches aren’t exactly a big ticket item either, but I’m guessing a value of about $5 for this one.

“Iron Man VS Ultron” t-shirt: Every Collector Corps box is going to include a t-shirt, and what was cool about this first one was that you actually could have gotten one of four different designs. They all look like old-school fight promotion posters, and each one features one of the four main Avengers – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, or Hulk – against Ultron. It’s a bit of a busy design for my liking, but still pretty cool, and I’m happy to have gotten the Iron Man version because I think it’s the nicest-looking, myself. As with other subscription boxes, I’m going to assign the shirt a standard value of about $15.

Exlusive “Ultron” Dorbz figure: So far, everything in the box was made specifically for the box, and this item is no different. Dorbz – super-cute characters with adorably happy expressions on their faces – are one of the newest items from Funko. The one included in this box is an exclusive super-happy little Ultron figure, which I just love to bits. I don’t see me actively collecting Dorbz because they’re less than half the size of a Funko Pop for the same amount of money, but I’ll definitely accept them as part of my Collector Corps because they’re SO CUTE. Dorbz retail at about $9.

Avengers “Guardians Team-Up” #1 comic with Exclusive Variant Cover: As I said in the unboxing video, I would have prefered a comic of the classic Avengers rather than the new ones with Falcon as Captain America and the female version of Thor, but I’ll accept it none-the-less. It’s a neat item to have in the box because it features so many amazing Marvel characters, and though I don’t normally collect single-issue comics, it’ll still look pretty awesome on my shelf. Giving this a standard comic issue value of about $6.

“Hulkbuster” 6″ Exlusive Funko Pop Vinyl: And I save the best for last, because he is awesome and he makes me so happy that I decided to sign up for this box. The Collector Corps exclusive Hulkbuster Pop is an amazing collectible, especially if you’re obsessed with Pops like me. It’s a beautiful mold with tons of detail, a gorgeous shiny paint job, and the thing weighs a ton compared to other 6″ Pops. He is officially one of my favorite things ever, and I’m super-excited to be able to add him to my collection. As a 6″ Pop, my Hulkbuster is worth about $25.

Total approximate value of box: $62
Total cost to me: $39

So right off the bat, what I have to mention is that this box costs me approximately the same per box as a Nerd Block or Loot Crate subscription. It actually starts at $25, but once you add in the (ridiculous) shipping to get it to Nova Scotia, the cost explodes a bit. However, the value of the box is definitely there, which softens the blow of the cost a little. Plus, since this box only comes every two months, the cost is softened further because I’m not paying it every 30 days.

As for the box itself, in case you hadn’t guessed I was more than happy with it. The Hulkbuster was, of course, the big thing for me, and the box would have been worth it for him alone, but I enjoyed the other items as well. The exclusive Dorbz was a pleasant surprise that I rather love, the shirt is quite nice, if not a little busy, and the comic is a cool item to have. The pin and badge aren’t exactly gamechangers, but they’re both cute and enjoyable none-the-less. Plus, every single item it the box was exlusive to subscribers, which is pretty amazing, honestly.

All in all, I’m very happy with the entire thing, and if this first box was any indication I’m sure I’m going to be enjoying this particular subscription box for quite a while.

What do you think of Marvel Collector Corps? Did you sign up yourself? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Did you sign up for the “Founders” program, in which you recieve a special gift after a year of subscribing? Please share!

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for November 2014

For a change I’m actually getting one of these posts out in a reasonable time frame! Progress! 😀

Yes, it’s Nerd Block time of the month because I let another month go by without cancelling the service, so let’s go ahead and get down to it. First check out the unboxing video:

Did you catch all the embarrassing bits where I kept talking about not getting an autograph when there was totally an autograph staring right at me? Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

Deadpool “King” t-shirt: Finally a Deadpool shirt! I’m so happy! And as usual I’ll be assigning a value of about $15 to this item.
“Classic” Robin stuffed toy: I can’t find these toys anywhere, except for the ones that popped up on Ebay after this Nerd Block was released. As such, I’m going to assign it the value that I think a plush toy of this size is actually worth, which is about $5. If anyone knows better, please feel free to let me know.
“Boo” Slap-watch: I couldn’t find this exact item either, but I found similar-looking slap watches for about $7. Since this watch has a Boo on it, I’ll round it up to an even $10.
“Iron Man” comic print mug: Finally, an item in the box that I was able to track down! I found this mug for $8, which seems pretty standard for a mug. If anyone was wondering, the site I found it on also states that it is NOT dishwasher safe, although it doesn’t say anything about microwaves.
“Boba Fett” vehicle fanwraps: First of all, this product comes in a variety of sizes, depending on how large you want Boba to be on your vehicle. Second, the pack that we got in this month’s Nerd Block looks to be smaller than the smallest size you can buy on the website. And third, whereas the packs you can purchase for yourself have two sheets of stickers, Nerd Block’s inclusion only has one. Therefore I’m taking the price of the small pack ($50), cutting it in half for there only being one page of stickers ($25), and knocking off another $10 because of the extra-small size. So we’re going to say about $15.
Bruce Campbell’s “Horror Fest” discount code and Signature: This one is very difficult to put a value on. First off, the “Horror Fest” card comes with a 10% off code for admission to the convention, which is worth different amounts depending on which option you purchase. For me that means it’s worth nothing because I definitely won’t be going to Chicago any time soon. But if you were to purchase the full 3-day admission package the coupon is worth about $7. Then you have the autograph…how do you put a value on that? It’s pretty cool, but you can’t really assign a dollar sign to it unless you actually sell it and get cash for it. So I guess we’ll just kinda ignore that one for now.

Total approximate value of box: $60
Total cost to me: $33

So yeah, the value is definitely there on this box. Even if you only include the items that I really like, we still have a value of $32, which is pretty much the box cost. In the end I’ll probably end up selling the vehicle fanwraps and the Robin toy because one is something I won’t use and the other is something I kinda don’t like looking at, so that’s actually a little annoying because it’s extra effort to me, but I guess I can’t really complain too much.

In the end, I’m glad I continued for one more month so that I could get the Deadpool shirt, and I’m probably going to wind up wearing the Boo watch because it’s so adorable.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to Nerd Block? Did you enjoy this month’s products? Let me know!

A to Z Challenge: A Review

First, I want to give a bit shout-out to all those who are involved in the running of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s got to take a lot of time and dedication to keep track of so many participants, making sure that non-participants are removed from the list, and ensuring that participants get the attention they deserve. Kudos!

Second, a double-huge shout-out to all my fellow participants who made it (sometimes kicking and screaming) to the end of the challenge. Some of those letters were pretty difficult, but you did it! You rock! 😀

Third, a triple-huge shout-out to all those who stopped by my blog during April and commented on my posts. I had some great conversations this month, met some cool new friends, and gained a number of new followers. I hope you all stick close by, because it’s been a blast, and I’ve been truly happy to meet you all. 🙂

The challenge has been a great deal of fun, and I got a lot of great comments on my 26 posts, so as part of this review I present a list of links to each of my posts in case anyone missed anything or is just dropping by now and would like to check a couple of them out.

Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer)
Day 3: Castiel (the Monster-Fighting Angel)
Day 4: Deadpool (the Lunatic Assassin)
Day 5: Eric Northman (the Viking Vampire)
Day 6: Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare Demon)
Day 7: Gau (the Wild Orphan)
Day 8: Han Solo (the Cocky Starpilot)
Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger)
Day 10: James T. Kirk (the Star Fleet Captain)
Day 11: Kefka Palazzo (the Magitek Monster)
Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future)
Day 13: Magus (the Lost Wizard)
Day 14: Neville Longbottom (the Heart of Gryffindor)
Day 15: Other-Mother (the Other World Evil)
Day 16: Peter Parker (the Spider-Man)
Day 17: Qui-Gon Jinn (the Jedi Knight)
Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami)
Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath)
Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp)
Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi)
Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess)
Day 23: Winchester Brothers (the Monster Hunters)
Day 24: Xander Harris (the Lovable Sidekick)
Day 25: Yuki Miaka (the Girl from Other World)
Day 26: Zelda (the Hyrulian Princess)

In case you somehow missed it, my theme for the challenge was “Fictional Characters”. Each one of these characters, even the ones chosen out of duress of very difficult letters, holds a special place in my heart for one reason or another. The TV shows, movies, comics, cartoons, and video games mentioned were overwhelmingly a great part of my childhood, and in some cases an incredible part of my adulthood. If you’ve got the time, check some of them out. You totally won’t be disappointed.

And finally, before I sign off, I wanted to share with you a couple of the blogs that I’ve come across during this particular challenge. I came into contact with so many awesome fellow bloggers this past month that it’s impossible to mention them all, but these are a couple of the ones I fully plan to keep tabs on even now that the challenge is over.

A Scenic Route – Kirsten is a fellow writer who blogs about her “journey into noveldom”. This month she wrote a wonderful series of posts with the theme “Backstage at the Blog”, in which she gave some wonderful tips, hints, and ideas for fellow bloggers, in addition to sharing info about her own blogging journey.

Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles – Sophie is a writer of many genres who uses her blog as a place to talk about reading, writing, all the topics in between, and whatever else she so desires. She is also the brains behind the mini-challenge that a few of us participated in in addition to the A to Z challenge: the Supernatural A to Z Challenge. She wrote about ghosts and ghoulies this month, and while I didn’t often comment on her posts because my WordPress reader doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with other blogging websites, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the creepy creatures that she posted.

Alex Hurst – Alex is one of my favorite new people because she is fun, bubbly, and friendly, and we apparently have a great deal in common. The fantasy writer spent the month talking about different aspects of writing and being a writer. Her post “J for Jargon” cracked me up because so many of the definitions she came up with were SO TRUE.

I would love to share some more blogs, and perhaps I will in the future, but this has been such a busy month that I simply do not have the time it would take to go through all the wonderful blogs I’ve found during this challenge. However, if you’re really, truly interested in finding some great new people to follow, check out the A to Z sign-up list and just start clicking. There are literally hundreds of wonderful blogs amongst that list.

And now, with all that aside, I must say adieu, and take a much-deserved nap. Cheers everyone! ❤

A to Z Challenge Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger)

IIronMan

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the get-go: Iron Man was not a childhood favorite of mine. I knew who he was, of course, but of the superheroes I followed as a child, he was not one. I liked Spiderman and Batman and the X-Men, and that was actually pretty much it. My childhood background in superheroes was a product of 1990’s cartoons, and though there was an Iron Man cartoon in that time span I don’t ever remember it being available on any channel that my family had. If I’m being perfectly, 100% honest with myself, I eventually hooked onto Iron Man only because of Robert Downey Jr. Before the 2008 blockbuster, I didn’t know a great deal about Iron Man other than that his real name was Tony Stark, and that he was a cocky millionaire with no actual superpowers. He had a hell of a lot of money, and he built himself a superhero suit. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge.

But after watching that 2008 movie (and enjoying it thoroughly) I started to look back into the famous comic book character. What I discovered was that Robert Downey Jr. could scarcely have recreated a more accurate representation of Tony Stark. The “playboy, billionaire, philanthropist” may be over-confident and egotistical, but he also has a good heart, a will of steel, and a concrete desire to rid the world of evil. And he has real, relatable flaws – he drinks a hell of a lot, and also the aforementioned over-confidence issue), which always makes a charter feel more believable to me. I fell even more in love with the character once Joss Whedon had his turn at writing him for The Avengers. Yeah, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a Whedonite. What’re you gonna do about it?

Long story short, in recent years I’ve become a big fan of a number of superheroes, and Iron Man is definitely up near the top of that list. Sometime in the (hopefully near) future I hope to obtain some of the comic compilation volumes that include his origin story so that I can learn more. Because, as previously mentioned in a number of other blog posts, I am an unbelievable nerd.