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!

Vinylpalooza! Unboxing and Review

You all know that I love subscription boxes, especially the nerdy ones. And if you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know that my favorite things to receive in these boxes are Funko Pops. With those tidbits of knowledge in mind, you are probably going to be unsurprised that I took a chance on something called Vinylpalooza.

Vinylpalooza is a one-time box purchase event that is occasionally put on by Nerd Block. Basically it is a $20 box with four vinyl collectible figures in it, and this most recent event also had 50 random “Golden Ticket” boxes, for which the purchasers received four Funko Pops. Obviously, for a vinyl figure collector, this box sounds pretty awesome. With a little gentle prodding from my husband I decided to give it a try and see what I got; after all, it’s only a one-time purchase, not an entire subscription. So was I happy with it? Well, here’s the unboxing video:

So if you didn’t watch the video, here’s the thing: this box is not for someone who is already a subscriber to Nerd Block. I suspected ahead of time that this would be the case, but the box is basically an excuse for Nerd Block to get rid of overstocked items from previous boxes. As such, if you’ve been subscribing to Nerd Block itself for at least a little while, the chances that you’re going to get all double items is pretty damn good. Let’s take a quick look at the breakdown of what I got in my box.

Ecto-1 Ghostbusters vehicle from Titan Merchandise:
As explained in the video, this is an item that was included in both Nerd Block and Horror Block only a couple of months ago. For subscribers of both services they gave the option to trade out the Horror Block figure for a Funko instead. As a result they clearly wound up with tons of leftover Ecto-1’s, because this figure seems to have been in every Vinylpalooza box. It’s a cute little figure, but I traded out my Horror Block one for a Funko a couple of months ago and now I’ve ended up with two of them anyway. The value of this item is approximately $15

Saul Goodman figure from Titan Merchandise:
I originally got this Titan figure several months ago in a Nerd Block. At the time I didn’t care much for it because I hadn’t watched Breaking Bad yet, and it’s still not a huge deal to me because I’ve only managed to watch the first season so far. My husband is a big fan, so that’s okay, but of course we don’t need two of the identical figure. This item also seems to be in every single Vinylpalooza box, as far as I can tell from the unboxing videos, and it’s worth about $10

10th Doctor 4.5” figure from Titan Merchandise:
This was probably the item that annoyed me the most because I literally just got this in last month’s Nerd Block. So even if you’ve only been a subscriber for one month before deciding to try the Vinylpalooza box, you’d have a double here. I was doubly frustrated because according to the card from last month’s Nerd Block you could have gotten any of three different versions of this figure with the Doctor wearing different clothes, but I got the identical one that I already had. That’s just my luck, I guess. Believe it or not, this figure also seems to be in every Vinylpalooza box, meaning that not only is everyone winding up with tons of doubles, but the box is significantly less random than the advertisements would have led you to believe. This one is worth about $15

Dr Raymond Stantz figure from Funko Pop:
This is the only item I got that wasn’t a double for me, and as mentioned in the video it’s still kind of a double because I have the marshmallow-fluffed Comic Con versions of the four Ghostbusters. However, of the options I’ve seen, I’m glad I ended up getting this figure because there only seems to have been a handful of Funko Pop options, and the other ones would have been exact doubles for me. At the very least this one gives me the opportunity to check another dude off my Funko Pop list. He’s worth about $12.

Total approximate value of box: $52
Total cost to me: $36

So, as you can see, the long and short of it is that this purchase was pretty much a bust for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to either sell or trade the three doubles, but as it stands I effectively paid $36 to gain a $12 Pop. If you weren’t already a subscriber to Nerd Block, this single-shot purchase had the opportunity to be a pretty awesome deal, but here’s the thing: if you weren’t already a subscriber to Nerd Block, you probably would never have heard about this box, because you get ads for things like Vinylpalooza by being a subscriber (or doing business with their affiliate, Shirt Punch). In this way, I’m betting that the overwhelming majority of people who bought this box were Nerd Block subscribers and thus ended up with a bunch of doubles in their collection like I did.

Long story short, I did not feel that picking up this box was worth it. I wanted to give it a try just in case (and on the off-chance that I might have wound up getting a “Golden Ticket” box), but I now know for the future that if I’ve been receiving Nerd Blocks for a while, I probably won’t want the next Vinylpalooza box.

What did you think? Did you purchase a Vinylpalooza box? Were your items almost identical to mine? Did you get anything different? 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!