There are a lot of trends in the gaming and geek world, the biggest to me is the ideology that geek chic is something not to be shunned but accepted. It is cool to have geeky stuff, embrace your inner child and get whatever you are into, show your hobby to the full world. Rewind back to when I was a teen, I had to go into a shop in Glasgow to get anything remotely nerdy (I was a Spiderman and X-men kind of guy by the way), video game stuff wasn’t even about really then (the mid nineties) and even if I did wear a Mario or Sonic T-shirt or something I would have been whomped by the local knuckle – draggers!
This is not the case out and about now; there are a lot more geeky gear shops, online, on the high street even conventions. This is where my topic kicks in, a branch off of this trend is geek gear subscription boxes, and the basic idea of these is that you pay an upfront fee, either monthly or more to get a box sent to your house every month with cool stuff in it. Themes can vary from comic books, video games, movies, nostalgia, anime even horror I am sure you get the idea, if there is a thing you like, you can bet you can get a box about it!
As you can guess from the title I have only had three brands of these boxes and from my experience I can truly say, this hobby can be proved to be a mixed bag. This is not a negative thing to say, it is a real thing, weighing everything up, price, items, themes, it is like any blind buy, it is all luck as in whether it suits your taste. Some boxes are more expensive, some are cheaper, I would say the more you spend the more you get as an easy rule. However for me, to give the best idea I can, I should break down what I know. I will be looking at multiple boxes for each brand trying to give you an idea if they are for you. Please bear in mind you can look up YouTube for in-depth reviews of each box each month
I just want to start by saying this is a luxury hobby, please do not spend money you do not have on anything, while some of the stuff will seem essential, they aren’t really, they are just very cool! While if you have the cash, this is a cheap option to get cool stuff, but if you need to spend it another way then do that first. I don’t include phone bills with this, I am happy to budget a cheap phone and get something like a geek box instead, but that is just me!
Having said above, we are coming into the Christmas period too, which not only means you can get a nice surprise for yourself, but a subscription or a one of box for a loved one for Christmas is a great idea for your Christmas shop! Indeed, all the boxes I mention are all promising to ship for Christmas day and will be filled with Christmas themed gear too! Exciting stuff I know, but still read on and see what you think for yourself!
1 – Loot Crate, I would say by what I have seen from the internet this is probably the biggest geek box subscription company in the world. At twenty pounds a month (less if you pay for more up front) I would say there is generally good value for this box. I have had three boxes from this company the last one being a Heroes 2 box, the items you get from this one was really quite cool and unique, weird even. The highlights for me were a Batman vinyl figurine, a batarang key chain piece and a hard back book that describes funny Superheroes! The next month I bought a Villains 2 crate with a Breaking Bad chef’s apron, a wooden Joker figurine and a Marvel’s Carnage shaped mug. From my experience with this box, I would say you get a lesser amount of stuff and some of it is very specialist and not my cup of tea, but there is no disputing the quality overall and the actual handiness of some of the stuff you get in comparison to the others. This one works out to be about £20 a month really which is a decent deal when you see what you get.
2- Arcade Block, This is the most expensive box I subscribed to and is the main gamer themed box I have had. It is the longest I have received and is the most interesting in me as a gamer. I would say this can be a hit or a miss of course too, there are a lot of Nintendo products here which suits me but also some stuff I don’t get the reference too really. It is a very good fan service thing sometimes, they really know their audience too, you get a good quality t-shirt every month all themed towards Mario, Zelda all different characters you would like to see. I get the impression some of the products aren’t specifically official, but you do get some cool stuff too. Overall I like this one the best even though some months have been poor too. Overall between the vinyls, the comics, the plushies, the magnets, the hats, mixed with the crazier items like the Pac-Man ghost salt and pepper shakers, I would say this is a great choice for gamers. Just don’t expect to be totally happy every month, after all you can’t please everyone all the time, this certainly applies to the boxes. This works out to be about £27 a month or so, but you do get a lot of stuff in the box, I would say if you have the budget go for this one.
3- The Zavvi Z-Box, this is the British answer to the geek subscription box phenomena, it is run by the retailer Zavvi. I have had mixed results with my boxes here, my first box was back in April, it was a retro gaming box, it left me a little cold. Socks, a unique T-shirt a buildable figure of a Pac-Man ghost, a downloadable game and a note pad. This was earlier on in it’s life, from what I gather the boxes have been improving. My other two got more exclusive items like a red Stay Puff figurine and an Incredible Hulk Bobble head, a DVD on Superheroes and different reading materials and such. Everything is official and not bad really, I don’t think they quite match up to the American boxes well but still they do have some good interesting stuff too, worth a look anyway, certainly if they are running a theme you are interested in I believe this month’s theme is Star Wars too, which would be nice. These boxes are £20 a month but scale down in price if you subscribe and pay up front for more months, I actually believe this would be the case for the other box offers too!
I have a hobby of watching people of you tube unboxing these types of boxes actually. I would recommend anyone to look up boxes they are interested in on that site, there are huge archives of videos for this sort of thing. If you delve deeper you can find almost anything you want that can be boxed up and sent to you, Retro Gaming Treasure sends you old video games for old consoles you don’t have! Wrestlecrate sends out wrestling fans signed autographs from the likes of Rick Flair, Marvel Collector Core boxes send out the very best, one-off Marvel memorabilia, put it this way, if you want it, they probably do it. In the spirit of this I will be looking at a Will Wheaton 80’s box for this site very soon, in depth to give you my opinion on it. If you have made it this far, thanks for reading and if you decide to go for a subscription box, good luck, I hope you get something you loved overall like I did!
Subscribe to our mailing list
Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox
Thank you for subscribing to Brash Games.
Something went wrong.