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!


I’ve mentioned many times before that blogging is a community “sport”, and that a big part of being in that community is sharing some love every now and then. The same is true for any community, including the YouTube one. Yes, you heard me say it: YouTube is a community. It’s full of a lot of morons and people being jackasses just for the sake of being jackasses, but there are also lots of awesome people who take care of each other and have lots of fun doing it. With that in mind, today I want to share with you some of my all-time favorite YouTubers.


Plenty of you have probably already heard of Cinnemassacre, and those of you who have probably automatically equate the YouTube channel with the Angry Video Game Nerd. I love the Nerd’s game “reviews” and those videos have definitely skyrocketed Cinnemassacre’s popularity, but the channel is more than just that. I love their newest series – “Board James” – which features over-the-top reviews of old board games, and there’s something strangely amusing to me about the “James and Mike Mondays” feature, in which you simply watch two dudes play and talk about old video games. Long story short: if you’re a gamer, and enjoy a bit of a chuckle, you’ll probably get a kick out of perusing this channel.

The Grumpy Nerd

I don’t know why I (and tons and tons of other people) enjoy “unboxing” and “haul” videos so much, but we do, and one of my favorite people to watch doing these kinds of videos is the Grumpy Nerd. He does subscription boxes and tons of Funko Pop hauls, which I love, and despite referring to himself as “grumpy”, he actually gets adorably super-excited about some stuff, and that excitement is totally contagious.

Coffee Break With Dani

Despite all beliefs to the contrary, I can actually get super-girly at times, and at those times I love watching Dani’s channel. She is so cute and sweet as candy, and she’s also majorly knowledgeable about beauty and fashion. I look to her channel whenever I want to learn how to properly apply makeup, or if I’m just in the mood to listen to someone happily show off their awesome new jewelry. She’s also one of the happiest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever seen, and that just makes her so easy to love that sometimes I even watch videos for which I have absolutely no interest in the topic, just to listen to her talk.

PixelDan Eardley

Dan is another subscription box fiend, but in addition to unboxing and haul videos he also does a lot of toy and collectible reviews. I really enjoy these reviews because he’s very detailed and gives you a really good idea of just what the item is all about; his videos are a great way to learn about something you might be considering ordering online, so that you have an idea of whether it’s actually a quality product before you go and spend your money on it. Plus, he’s just a really fun, happy guy who has a nerd collection that I would kill for.


I can never figure out how to properly pronounce this girly’s name (or remember how to spell it, for that matter), but she is a super-cutie who I just love to listen to. She does mostly beauty hauls and subscriptions, but she also does lots of excellent tutorials for makeup application. Her channel is definitely another mega-girly one, but I love it because she’s so cute and sweet and just seems like someone I would be able to be good friends with.

So that’s it for me, at least for now. Why not check out some of these channels and see what you think for yourself? And why not share some of your own favorites? I’d love to hear about them!

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for May 2015

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!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for April 2015

I do so love doing these super-late unboxing-and-review posts, but until I can convince all of the subscription box companies to ship around my work schedule, this is what we’ve got to deal with.

Today it’s the Horror Block for April 2015, and it wasn’t half bad if I do say so myself. Why not check out the unboxing video?

Not too shabby, right? Let’s go to the breakdown:

I <<Whatever>> Evil shirt: As I’ve mentioned, the hubby and I haven’t been terribly impressed with lots of the Horror Block t-shirts, but this one isn’t too bad. Evil Dead is one of my hubby’s favorite horror movie series, so you can’t really go wrong. Assigning this shirt my standard value of $15.

“Dr Peter Venkman” Funko Pop: Ya’ll know I loves me my Funko Pops, and though I do already have a Venkman Pop, I will happily accept this one as part of my Horror Block since it’s technically different from the one I have. The price of Funkos can be pretty random depending on where you’re getting them and how rare they are, but as this is a common Pops I’m going to assign it the value that it usually costs me to buy Pops when they show up at the local shops: approximately $13

“Killer Shots” Skeleton shot glasses: These are actually super-cute, and it’s always nice to get something in these boxes that is useful. That’s not to say that I use shot glasses on a day-to-day basis, but it’ll be fun to make some bright white shots in these glasses when we have friends around. Two thumbs up, Horror Block. You can get a four-pack of these little guys for about $14, so I’m calling to the 2-pack worth $7.

“Bates Motel” mug: Sometimes getting mugs in these boxes is cool, but I’m not terribly impressed with this one. It’s pretty plain, and actually kinda looks like something someone would make on CafePress using a stock image. Couple that with the fact that we just have so many mugs already, and I’m not horribly happy with this item. I half-heartedly allow it a standard mug value of about $10.

“Overlook Motel” coasters: I’ll admit it…these are kinda funny. It would be interesting to just throw them down during a party and see if anyone realizes what the pattern is that’s holding their beer. But they’re not exactly a game-changing addition to the box. Just a junky little thing that’s kind of amusing. I can’t find these online, so I’m estimating based on the fact that they’re paper coasters, and come in cheap plastic packaging. Let’s say…$3.

Rue Morgue magazine: Finally, as always, the magazine that I never read. Maybe someday when I’m bored I’ll actually take a look through some of these magazines, but for now I personally see them as an item that could be something a lot cooler for the same value. These go for $10 a piece.

Total approximate value of box: $58
Total cost to me: $38

So a couple of things… One, the value wasn’t too shabby. There have been a couple on the low end the past few months, so it’s nice to see that number work its way back up a bit. Second, though I technically don’t much care for the last three items in the box, the first three make up for it. Every box with a Funko is an almost instant win for me, and the shot glasses might not be a high value but they’re still pretty awesome. Couple that with a t-shirt that might actually get worn around here, and I’m happy.

Unfortunately, when you take those three items that I like and combine their values, you’re hardly getting what I paid for the box, which is a big downer and the main reason that I’m going to be cancelling Horror Block. I’ll be getting the box for May (probably sometime after I’ve gone out West), but that will be the last one because I just can’t justify the amount of money I’m spending for the number of cool items I actually end up getting.

Impress me in May, Horror Block. It’s your last shot.

What did you think? Did you receive a Horror Block for April 2015? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Do you feel the cost is worth it? 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!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for March 2015

In the realm of ridiculously-late unboxing videos, I have for you today the Horror Block for March. As with February’s Block, this one came while I was out West, so I didn’t even get to open it until mid-April, and as mentioned in yesterday’s post I didn’t want to do any of these unboxing posts until the A to Z Challenge was over. Thus we have a two-month-late unboxing. But I’m going to share it with you today anyway, because why the hell not?

As always, first check out the unboxing video:

Breakdown time!

“Dixon Motorcycle Repair” t-shirt: Okay, right off the bat I have to say that I had a mental sigh of relief when I saw this t-shirt, because the past several Horror Block t-shirts have not been good ones, in my opinion. This is actually a pretty decent shirt. It’s a clever design, not too busy, and doesn’t have any enormous, creepy-ass faces plasted all over it. Unfortunately I still haven’t actually watched ‘The Walking Dead’ (I know, I know!) so that appeal isn’t there, but it’s still a nice shirt and will likely get worn. As usual, I’m giving this item my default shirt value of $15.

Walking Mummy Puzzle toy: I haven’t actually put this together yet, so I can’t really comment too much, but it’s kinda cute. I’ll probably make it a mini-project to do with my daughter some day; I imagine she’ll get a kick out of winding him up and watching him walk. This little “puzzle” toy can be found online for about $5.

Creepy Face key cover: I don’t know what else to call this thing other than “creepy face”. I saw some other unboxings and saw that there were a couple of other faces you could get, none of them any less creepy. I definitely wouldn’t mind some nice key covers, but I can honestly say I won’t be using this one because it’s kinda ugly. This is a Horror Block exclusive, but similar things go for about $5.

Walking Dead drawstring bag: Since it has two strings for your arms I guess this is technically a backpack, but it’s kinda flimsy so I don’t really think I would definite it that way. This is basically one of those vinyl bags with a drawstring close, with Daryl Dixon printed on the front. It’s interesting, that’s for sure, but I probably wont’ use it for too much because I just don’t use these kinds of bags. Surprisingly (considering that it looks super-cheap) similar bags with licensed characters on them go for about $10.

Pinhead canvas print: This one really surprised me, I have to admit. I’m used to getting mini-posters in some of these subscription boxes, but to get a canvas print? I’m sure it must be made of some material that’s cheaper than canvas, because that stuff is not cheap. To get a real canvas print this size you’re looking at a good $30. Since I refuse to believe that this particular print is actually worth that much I’m going to split it and graciously assign this item a value of $15.

Rue Morgue magazine: And as always, a magazine, this month Rue Morgue. I can’t say a whole lot about this item since I never really read the magazines, but as usual I’ll let you know that if you enjoy these magazines they really help make the box worth the cost, since they retail for about $10 a pop.

Total approximate value of box: $60
Total cost to me: $37

So, this is actually one of the highest value Horror Blocks I’ve gotten yet, but I do have mixed feelings about it. The t-shirt is nice, there’s no denying that. The bag is kinda neat too, but it really does feel quite cheap, and I don’t think it’s worth what it costs. The key cover might be neat if it was a character I know, but this weird ugly face just doesn’t do it for me. The mummy ‘puzzle’ is kind of cute, but it’s not exactly a show-stopper. I can honestly say that I’m amused by the Pinhead print; it will probably go in our “horror room” with all our movies and figures, so that’s cool. And of course, the magazine is exactly what it ever is, which is basically a reminder that I really should get around to reading some of these magazines.

All in all I guess I think it was actually not that bad of a box, but not super exciting either.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to Horror Block? What was your favorite item in the March 2015 box? Your least favorite? Did you hang that Pinhead print anywhere? Please share!

Loot Crate Unboxing and Review for February 2015

From one geeky subscription box right into another, this is the Loot Crate for February 2015 (again, better late than never, right?)

As always, check out the unboxing video first:

So here’s how the breakdown goes:

Hexbug Ant: I didn’t realize until I went looking for pricing info that this little dude is supposed to be an ant, so I’ve learned something new today. Anyway, it’s a cute little toy that my daughter gets a kick out of, but little things like this always annoy me a little when they come in my nerdy subscription boxes because they’re not really nerdy at all, and also you can find them in the toy aisle at any Walmart for $12.
Superfight Deck: I haven’t gotten around to looking into how to play this just yet, but from what I see on the website it seems I may have been pretty close in saying that it’s similar to Cards Against Humanity. What I wasn’t expecting is that there are a bunch of different decks and expansions that you can buy, and that they go for around $15 each. If anyone has played this game, please let me know if it’s any fun, okay? 🙂
Munny World blank “Munny”: I’m sure this is really neat to the right person, although personally I prefer my pre-made Funkos. That said, after making the video I started seeing a lot of designs for this little dude popping up on Instagram and now I’m kind of interested to see what I could make. Munnys also, apparently, come in different shapes and sizes, if you’re interested. The one we got in Loot Crate is a “mini” Munny, which I can’t find on their website, so based on the price of the larger regular Munny, I’m assigning this a value of $10.
Ready Player One novel: As mentioned in the video I had heard about this book but never really knew what it was about, and after reading the back cover my interest is actually pretty piqued. It goes for about $13, which is standard price for a book of this size.
PacMan mini poster: I’ve gotten these mini posters in Loot Crates before and they tend to be little exclusives with no cash value that I can find, so I’m going to go ahead and give it a value of, let’s say, $2.
Firefly Online gun download code: Upon the writing of this review I was unable to get the Firefly Online website to load, so I have no idea what this is worth, but based on other download codes I’ve gotten for similar games through these subscription boxes, I’m guessing that it’s not worth much if anything. I’ll say $1 just to say something.
Rock Paper Scissors dice: Since these dice are meant for the little bonus board game that Loot Crate made their box into this month, it’s difficult to really assign them a value. They won’t work with most traditional dice games, so it’s unlikely that they’ll ever really be useful for anything else. I’m going to give them a value of about $2 just because they could come in handy somewhere, somehow.

Total approximate value of box: $55
Total cost to me: $38

So as you can see the value of the box is pretty similar to other Loot Crates I’ve received, although that value is skewed a little by the fact that the Canadian dollar has caused the cost of the box to rise a few dollars. It’s still a value if you enjoy the stuff you get, but that’s the real rub, isn’t it? For my part, I expect that I’ll enjoy the book, and I’m going to give the Superfight deck and the Mini Munny a try. Everything else is pretty much just fluff, and that poor Hexbug just can’t hold up to anything other than a perfectly pristine floor. All in all, as I said in the video, it wasn’t a bad box, but it was definitely amongst the worst ones I’ve gotten.

Do you subscribe to Loot Crate? What did you think about February’s box? What was your favorite item? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck!

Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for January 2015

I’ve got another first-of-the-year for you today in the form of the first Nerd Block for 2015, and as with the first Loot Crate of the year, I have mixed feelings about this box. Let’s go to the video!

You may have noticed a couple of annoyed looks as I was rummaging through that box. Shall we go to the breakdown so I can explain why?

“Doctor Who” Sonic Screwdriver t-shirt: The shirts in these boxes can be hit or miss sometimes, but this one is a hit. I, of course, love the hell out of Doctor Who, but what also makes this shirt great is that it’s different from a lot of the other shirts out there that always seem to feature the TARDIS or a silhouette of the Doctor. Also, I kinda sorta want a sonic screwdriver, so this shirt is the next best thing. We’ll assign it the default shirt value of $15.
“Grumpy Cat” mini-plush: I really can’t figure out for the life of me how Nerd Block thought that this item played into the box’s theme at all. It’s kinda cute, but I really couldn’t care less about Grumpy Cat, and certainly they could have found a little plush of an Ewok or something? Psh…anyway, this little dude goes for about $5.
Elf Ears: Just…just…yeah. I find this item extremely silly, not only because I personally will never use them, but also because even if you wanted to use them they very likely will not fit. Upon closer examination of them they’re pretty small, so if you’re bigger than, say, your average 13-year-old, I don’t think these are going to be of use to you. These particular elf ears are a Nerd Block exclusive, so based on other similar items and the fact that these ones look kind of extra-plastic-y, I’m assigning them a value of $3.“Thorin Oakenshield” bookmark and pen: So here, at least, we have a pair of items that I might actually get some use out of, since I both read and write on a regular basis. My husband and I recently watched the first two Hobbit movies so these actually amuse me. This pair goes for a cost of about $12.
“Star Wars” film cell: Last month I got a “Nightmare on Elm Street” film cell (one of my husband’s favorite movies) in a Horror Block, and this month I get a cell from one of my favorite movies in the Nerd Block. A cute collectible for sure, but I’ve got to be honest and say that I don’t really know what I should do with these things. I couldn’t find this exact cell, but similar items go for about $8.
“ScatterBrainz” sticky darts: As mentioned in the video, it rather annoys me when Nerd Block wastes box space with little kid toys that are cheap Walmart items. My daughter might get a kick out of these, but I could literally drive five minutes to the local Walmart and pick them up for $4, so to get them as part of my special monthly awesome-stuff-just-for-me box is a bit frustrating.
Nerd Block theme Target/Decision Maker: To go with the sticky darts, Nerd Block included a little target/decision maker to throw them at. It’s just a thin piece of board with a picture printed on each side, so I’ll give it a value of about $1.
“Star Trek”/”Planet of the Apes” crossover comic: I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting this item. I’ve gotten several comics in my subscription boxes, but this crossover was definitely a surprise. I’m assuming that the cover is a Nerd Block variant since it has the Nerd Block symbol in the corner. This might actually be the first of the comics I’ve received that I open because I’m kinda dying to read the story that the writers came up with. I’m giving this comic my standard “variant cover” value of about $5.

Total approximate value of box: $53
Total cost to me: $33

So right off the bat, although the value is still technically there, this is one of the least valuable Nerd Blocks I’ve gotten as far as just looking at the cost of the items. Then there’s the whole thing with the ScatterBrainz toy being something I could pick up for a couple of bucks down the road. And, of course, there’s the Grumpy Cat, which bugs me mainly because I think that if Nerd Block is going to try to do themes they should actually STICK to the theme. And those elf ears, man…I just don’t know what to say about the elf ears. That said, I do very much like the shirt, the comic is amusing as hell, and the film cell, bookmark, and pen are all cute. I just feel, personally, that there was a lot of junk in this box, but at least there were a couple of items that I enjoy. All in all, I guess I’m pretty firmly on the fence about this box. It’s not great, but it’s not awful either. Keeping my fingers crossed for next month!

ENORMOUS Funko Haul…Only True Nerds Need Apply

We all have our little idiosyncrasies. If you try to deny that, it’s just because you’re the only one who doesn’t realize what it is that you’re doing; trust me, everyone else knows you by your little ticks and habits, even if you don’t realize that you have them. I, for an example, have a few phrases that I use constantly, without even realizing it, and the only reason I actually know that now is because of my YouTube videos (watching yourself on video really brings out the cringes).

One of my husbands idiosyncrasies is that he is a major completionist. The way that this usually shows itself is if a video game he’s playing has hidden collectible items in it; it will drive him completely mad until he finds every single one. He’s the kind of gamer who has to unlock every ability, find every item, and destroy every side-quest. But it’s not just video games. Sometimes his completionist nature bleeds over into real life.

2014 was a year for my husband to get very caught up in collecting items for a themed Christmas present for me. He started as early as January, and by the time December had rolled around it had gotten ridiculously out of control. But, it got ridiculously out of control in a way that made me very, very happy.

Want to see how my husband’s competionist nature manifested itself as one of the most epic nerd Christmas presents ever? Well grab a coffee, sit down, and check out the video:

Is that not epic? Okay, okay, I’m sure a few of you had reactions more in the “what a couple of losers” vein, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s epic. And the really crazy part? My newly-exploded collection doesn’t even scratch the surface of how many Funko Pop! collectibles are out there. As part of my present, my husband printed out a checklist, and it’s amazing how little of the list my collection takes up. I don’t even have all the available Deadpool options! o.O

So now that you’ve seen the insanity, you may be wondering what some of my favs are. Well, it’s difficult to pick because so many of them are totally awesome. Definitely high up on the list is Vegeta, who is so well done with his little scouter that it makes me giggle every time I look at him. Sam and Dean Winchester are also high up there, because I love those characters so much, and it makes me so happy that Funko got their hairstyles right. Loki also makes me giggle like a school-girl, and the Power Rangers are a huge nostalgia blast that makes me so happy, and honestly, how can you not get a kick out of He-Man and Skeletor? And X-Men Deadpool! Arg! There’s too much awesome!

Okay, you probably think I’m a lunatic now, so I leave you with a few questions: Do you own any Funko collectibles? Which ones? Are there any you really, really want? Do you have any of the Pop! figures that were discontinued? Any exclusives? Am I a total lunatic? Please share!

Still a Nerd, Just One Who Hates the Cold

I’ve always found it interesting how people change as they grow up; or rather, how they both do and don’t change.

A lot of it, of course, is because of what side of a situation you are on. When I was a kid, for example, I absolutely loved the winter. Snow was one of the greatest things ever. I could bundle up and spend all day outside, digging tunnels, making snow angels, building snowmen. Sometimes my mother would have to tell me to come in and eat, because I’d completely lose track of time. I didn’t even feel the cold, because I was too busy having fun. I could never understand how my parents could hate winter so much, and get more and more frustrated every time it snowed. How could they hate snow? Snow was so awesome!

Now, of course, I’m a grown adult and I’m on the other side of the situation. When it snows, my husband and I have to shovel. When it snows a lot, we have to shovel a lot. We spend a great deal of money keeping our house warm while it gets colder and colder outside. We have to put up with the disgusting mess that seems to end up everywhere as a result of the half-slush-half-mud crap that inevitably becomes the most common substance in the world during the winter months. We curse and growl while trying to de-ice the windshield in the morning while our daughter laughs from the inside of the car and declares that she loves snow. In short: I’m a cranky adult and I hate winter now.

Just LOOKING at this fills me with a Hulk-like rage.

This is an example of how people can change as they get older, and there are plenty more. I think a fair bit of the music I listened to as a kid is complete trash, because my musical palette has matured. Some of the foods I used to eat daily as a kid now make me gag because just knowing how bad they are for you changes my ability to taste them the same way. I care a hell of a lot less about what other people think about me because I’ve found myself in the excellent position to understand that in most cases it doesn’t matter two iotas what other people think of me. I’ve changed over the years. My thoughts and opinions have changed, sometimes dramatically.

But then there’s the exception side of the coin, because no one ever really changes completely, do they? There are always going to be remnants of who you were in an earlier time.

For me, you can see it in my nerdiness. I still love almost all of the fandoms I loved as a kid. To this day I can happily sit down and watch and entire season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without coming up for breath. I’ve been known to track down shows like Sailor Moon and Pokemon just to see if I can still stomach them and found myself curling up to binge-watch with a stupid, giddy smile on my face. I don’t watch Star Wars nearly as often as I used to, but I can still kick a lot of ass at trivia games because all that useless info seems so important to my brain for some reason. I was genuinely upset to find out that they only make three of the Power Rangers as Funko Pop figures because I would kill to have the whole set. I have almost every gaming console that has been available over the past two decades, but I will still happily curl up and play an entire run-through of Final Fantasy III or Chrono Trigger. And the thing is, maybe I’m wrong (because who can really tell?), but I don’t see any of this changing any time soon. I mean, if I’m still playing Final Fantasy III almost twenty years after first discovering it, then there’s probably a pretty good chance that I’ll be playing it in the nursing home when I’m 90, while complaining to the nurses about how this virtual reality junk that the kids play today is nothing compared to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

I don’t know. It just seems funny to me how some attitudes and options can change so dramatically, and yet other things can stick to you like glue throughout your entire life. There’s a psychology research paper in there somewhere, I think.

What about you? Which aspects of your personality have changed so much that the younger version of you wouldn’t understand what the hell had happened, and which things are so much the same that part of  you wonders if you ever really grew up at all?