Subscription Boxes: A Box Of Awesome Or A Box Of Clutter?

I don’t necessarily call myself a collector of anything. Collectors often buy cool but expensive action figures, toys, or memorabilia from their favorite video games, TV shows, or movies. The hardcore collectors often have whole shelves or rooms dedicated to their geeky treasure trove of awesome to put on display. Despite not really being a hardcore collector of anything, I’m not entirely opposed to collecting a few trinkets here and there to represent my most geekiest of passions. When my older sister convinced me to give one of those monthly subscription boxes a try, I opted for a three month subscription and I learned quite a few things from having received two boxes so far.

I can’t exactly recall the moment my sister decided to pay for a three month subscription with Geek Fuel, considering she’s a very frugal kind of spender in general, but the subscription boxes are something I kind of wanted to try for a long time now. I never heard of Geek Fuel and I am much more familiar with Loot Crate when it comes to geeky boxes. Part of the reason I never bothered to purchase one until now is mostly for practical reasons. It looks cool, but what am I going to do with all the stuff that comes inside the box? Where would I put any of the stuff I receive? Because my sister surprised me with her three month subscription purchase and she really wanted to get a coupon that would take a percentage off of her next subscription if she got another person to sign up, I decided I have enough money to go for it and I do want to see what getting one of these boxes would be like.

Geek Fuel, like Loot Crate, often puts together a box with a particular theme in mind for each month. It can range from a sci-fi theme to a video game theme. The content of the boxes are often shrouded in mystery, meant to remain a surprise until the receiver gets theirs in the mail. A subscriber interested in at least getting hints about what a month’s box might contain can usually go on the company’s website or social media page to see a list of what your box will contain. May’s Geek Fuel box contained items associated with Uncharted 4, Game of Thrones, and Deadpool. Boxes from Geek Fuel often contain exclusive items you won’t find anywhere else.

June's Geek Fuel box theme was Pokemon, Mario, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Pikachu shirt is incredibly cute.
June’s Geek Fuel box theme was Pokemon, Mario, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Pikachu shirt is incredibly cute.

What I particularly like about Geek Fuel’s box is the insertion of a T-shirt each month, which can be customized in the size you want by selecting it on your account. While I only wear geeky graphic T-shirts at home or as sleepwear, I really wanted a few new shirts to replace the older and worn ones I currently have. Loot Crate never originally did T-shirts for their boxes until my sister informed me they recently started copying Geek Fuel’s inclusion of a T-shirt in their monthly boxes. Despite some of the cool items I received in the two boxes I got so far, there are some issues I have with keeping a subscription for a long period of time. This goes back to the practicality issue I mentioned earlier.

The concept of receiving a mystery box filled with geeky goodies is definitely attractive and exciting initially until you open the box you get in the mail and realize you don’t have any real desire or need to keep half of what you receive. Some items are meant to be displayed on a desk or shelf, but if you aren’t a big fan of whatever video game, movie, or show being represented in this month’s box then it’s going to feel like junk. For instance, my sister isn’t really a gamer and she has no idea what Uncharted is. I’m a gamer, I know about Uncharted, but I have never played a single game from the series. While the item from Uncharted 4 is really cool looking, a chest containing Sir Francis Drake’s Lost Ring and a Geek Fuel exclusive item, it’s hard to be excited about receiving it when you either don’t get the reference or aren’t much of a fan. This leads me to my issue of space.

Sir Francis Drake's Lost Ring from Uncharted 4 and part of May's Geek Fuel box of goodies. The ring can be worn as a necklace and the chest it comes in is really cool.
Sir Francis Drake’s Lost Ring from Uncharted 4 and part of May’s Geek Fuel box of goodies. The ring can be worn as a necklace and the chest it comes in is really cool.

I currently live in a place where space is very limited and over time I needed to get creative about how I stored things in my room. I often don’t want my friends or family to get me big action figures or plushies from my favorite video games, shows, or movies anymore because I simply don’t have anywhere to put them. The ones I have gotten in the past are left in their original boxes unopened or stored someplace safe in the hopes I’ll eventually move to a bigger place where I can fully enjoy the geeky toys I’ve gotten over the years as well-meaning, thought out presents.

Possibly the one good thing about these subscription boxes is you can probably give away some of these items to friends who may be fans of the very thing you don’t really care for. The second box I received contained a Pokemon tattoo of Pikachu and a Luigi ink stamp. Luckily, I know an 8-year-old who loves Pokemon and likes stamping and putting stickers on his cards when he creates them for birthdays and holidays. It made more sense to give those to him so he could better enjoy them than I ever could.

I don’t regret buying the three month subscription box, as I did score two T-shirts and a Geek Fuel drinking glass with still one more box on the way, but I do know I won’t be renewing my subscription with Geek Fuel. At least I know I can restart my Geek Fuel subscription at any point if it looks like there’s a box I’ll either want for myself or I’ll want to give as a gift to friends or family. It’s good to have more options open to you with the popularity of subscription boxes.

4 thoughts on “Subscription Boxes: A Box Of Awesome Or A Box Of Clutter?

  1. I’ve been on the fence about getting a 3 months subscription to Loot Crate (especially now that they guarantee a shirt with each box). At some point I want to give it a try, if only to curb my curiosity and get a few geeky gifts for myself or someone else.

    1. I was also on the fence to try these out too until my sister decided to get one herself. It’s a fun experience to get your first box and wanting to know what’s inside. As a sustainable thing to keep paying for over a long period of time? No. If you do have the money to spare, I’d say try it out once and then cancel it once your subscription is nearly up. At least your curiosity will be sated and you score a few geeky items you might use.

  2. We enjoy watching videos about what’s in these various subscription boxes, but that’s as far as things go. It’s kind of cool to see what unique items folks might get, whether is from a company that sells geek gear or granola! But like you, I’m not much of a collector of physical things — they take up too much space. But I didn’t know that some companies offer shorter subscriptions than a full year or more. It might be fun to try at some point, but only when I find a clear shelf that needs filling, haha!

    1. Whoever started the surprise in a box subscription trend, it really does work! I mean, who doesn’t like a surprise? Well, okay, maybe some people aren’t fond of surprises but if it’s a good surprise, then why not? 🙂 As I mentioned in the post before, the only drawback about doing one of these things is you may not really like the surprise you’re getting. Some of these items can easily be seen as junk or useless if you aren’t a fan of whatever they insert in the box for the month. Haha, I highly doubt I can do a one year subscription. That would be overkill and very expensive to pay for too!

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