Holiday Subscription Box Review Part 1

Holiday Subscription Box Review Part 1

 

Review by: Geek Girl Mistress Zelda

Geek Girl Zelda reviewed many unique subscription services in her holiday gift superguide! Here's part 1 of 3...

Subscription Box Review
Company: Sockwork
Price: $14-$30 monthly
Keywords: Clothing, Fashion, Socks, Quirky, Men, Women, Children
Description: Sockwork has several different options for their subscription service – His Socks, Her Socks, His & Her Socks, Kids Socks, Men’s Boxer Briefs, The Combo, and Athletics; so they are a fun gift for anyone on your list. The designs I received were colorful and not quite like anything I’ve seen at stores (which is ideal, if I am going to be getting surprise socks – I don’t want things I could easily find at stores. The socks included are designer socks!). It’s a fun, modern approach to the classic gift of socks. Socks are constantly wearing out and being thrown away, so the idea of them coming to your doorstep monthly is appealing. Saves me a trip to the store!
Perfect For: Him, Her, Kids, Mom/Dad, Fashion Lovers
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Subscription Box Review



Subscription Box Review
Company: EvilSupplyCo / MrGhost
Price: $18 monthly (non-recurring – subscription service begins in May of 2015)
Keywords: Fun, Quirky, Goth, Women, Men, Children, Stationary, Art, Unique
Description: Mr. Ghost’s “Highly Enviable, Tightly Curated Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Amazing Wonderments” is a mouthful, but it accurately describes what you receive. Each month has a different theme that all the individual components relate to – this month it was “Haunted Retro Diner.” Included is several stickers, postcards, art prints, cards, a pin and a notebook. The designs are really fun, kitschy, clever and have a lot of character. Every piece has a unique sense of humor and the package was a joy to look through. It appeals to a wide audience – I would have loved it at 13 and I love it now as an adult. Plus, you get the added bonus of getting to share most of this stuff with other people (by sending the postcards and giving the cards!) The company is still fairly new and small, and the items included are obviously self-published – but that’s ok! They are still high quality, and I only expect things to continue to improve as the company grows. I love the spooky themes and it’s definitely a service I would continue to subscribe to. If you make a purchase of $25 in the store, you’ll even get an extra 3 greeting cards.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Children, Geeks, Goths/Weirdos, Writers, Art Lovers
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Subscription Box Review
Company: Munchpak
Price: $21-$39 monthly
Keywords: Food, Snacks, Family, Candy, Culture, Fun
Description: Munchpak curates full sized snacks and candy from around the world. You can choose from either an individual size (12+ full size snacks) or a family size (22+ full size snacks). A lot of services focus on one part of the world, or a specific type of snack, but Munchpak includes stuff from ALL over. I travel a lot and had only been previously exposed to a small handful of the things that were included in the service, so it was a real treat. It includes both sweet and savory samplings, and the box was very wide spread both in taste and origin. You’d have to travel to many different countries and ethnic markets to find everything included in here, so why not let Munchpak do the legwork for you? I wouldn’t recommend it if you are concerned about always eating healthy, but it’s great for anyone who doesn’t mind a little hedonism in their life.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Mom/Dad, Children, Foodies
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Subscription Box Review
Company: BurnBox
Price: $20-$30 monthly
Keywords: Smoking, Socially Conscious, Health Conscious, Indie
Description: Burnbox has several different options depending on your desires – either all paper accessories, all glass accessories, or a combo of the two. I received the combo package and was delighted with what was inside. (Note – they only ship to areas where medicinal or recreational use of marijuana is legal. I live in California, where it has been legal longer than anyplace in the country.) The piece de resistance was, of course, the steamroller by Glowfly Glass. I haven’t seen a steamroller in forever, let alone used – let alone owned one! But I love it, so much. It has quickly become our main smoking accessory in my household. The box included a bunch of other cool swag too – smoking papers, wicks, a lighter, and some other gear. (The smell killing spray bottle? Yeah, it actually WORKS. Really well!) Some of the stuff was kind of kitschy and I don’t know that I’ll use it, but it’s definitely worth the price; especially if you are one of those people who regularly breaks their glass.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Hippies, Smokers
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Subscription Box Review
Company: SkoshBox
Price: $12 monthly (For a limited time, Christmas non-renewing 3 month plan for $35!)
Keywords: Japan, Candy, Snacks, Food, Fun
Description: Skoshbox is a small to midsized box of fun Japanese goodies. It is mostly candy, although it includes some savory snacks as well. It ships for free (and quickly!) within the US. Japanese candy is one of my favorites, because it has so much character and personality – everything comes in really fun packaging and a lot of it includes some aspect of “playtime” to it as well (like build your own sushi candy!) The snacks are a lot healthier than American snacks, as well. A lot of the stuff included in this package can be found at Japanese markets, so I wasn’t quite as excited about this package as I could have been – I don’t think this one ships directly from Japan like some of the others. But there were still plenty of delicious goodies in there and it’s a pretty unbeatable price.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Anime Fans, Foodies, Children
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Subscription Box Review
Company: Fly Guy Threads
Price: $60 monthly
Keywords: Men, Fashion, Upscale, Accessories
Description: Fly Guy Threads is a monthly, personalized men’s clothing and accessories subscription service. Included in the price tag is monthly consultation from a personal stylist. Every month includes 2-3 clothing items and 1 add on item (The box I received included a longsleeve, plaid button up shirt, a longsleeve hooded pullover, a nicely fitted t-shirt and a pair of socks). After going through a survey, the stylists at Fly Guy match your tastes to their inventory. The inventory consists of things you could go out and purchase rather than having their own unique brand (I received items from stores like The Gap and J Crew). My fiancé is a notoriously bad dresser, and while I actually have a lot of experience as a stylist for models and photoshoots, I admit I’m a bit at a loss when it comes to dressing men. I was excited when the package arrived – totally season appropriate and the clothing is PERFECT for his body and his style. I was amazed at how well the styling survey worked and it was a huge relief to have someone else do the shopping, for once. You get about twice as much value as what you pay for; I see this service being perfect for men who already have their own defined sense of style as well as men who, well…maybe need a little help.
Perfect For: Him, Dad, Fashion Lovers
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Subscription Box Review
Company: NerdBlock
Price: $13.99-$19.99 monthly
Keywords: Geek, Toys, Fun, Children, Video Games, T-Shirts
Description: Ok, so it’s hard to talk about NerdBlock without talking about LootCrate. I’ve subscribed to LootCrate for about 6 months now, and they are constantly touting themselves as the highest rated, most subscribed subscription box service. I received the December NerdBlock and was amazed at how much more value you get for your $20. Everything included was a high quality, high pricetag piece – there weren’t any small throwaway pieces, or game codes that required you to purchase a game. I would say the value of what you receive is 3 or 4 times the price of what you pay. I was ESPECIALLY excited at this month’s t-shirt – a Harley Quinn/Tank Girl mashup! I actually had purchased a Harley Quinn/Tank Girl mashup shirt a few weeks previously as they are 2 of my alltime favorite characters, but I like this one much more. I squeed! I am in love with everything this NerdBlock included, and you can even specify what type of service you want (Nerd Box Classic, Horror, Arcade, or junior boxes for boys and girls at an even cheaper price). This box firmly put me in the NerdBlock camp. All hail NerdBlock!
Perfect For: Him, Her, Geeks, Children, Horror Fans, Gamers
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Subscription Box Review
Company: PufferBox
Price: $19.99+$5.99 shipping monthly (Free 3 month giveaway currently on their site!)
Keywords: Smoking, Socially Conscious, Health Conscious, Quirky, Candy
Description: Again, this service only applies to states and countries where it is legal to smoke marijuana and sell/buy smoking accessories. If you happen to be one of those lucky folks, then here is the deal – Pufferbox comes with a lot of stuff. A LOT. The star of this month’s box was a gorgeous bubbler pipe (my personal favorite smoking apparatus). Unlike other services, Pufferbox also includes toys, clothing and candy that stoners might enjoy – not exclusively smoking accessories. You can buy a single box and use the things inside for cool stocking stuffers, or give the gift that keeps on giving and buy someone the service. Just be sure they are legally allowed to receive it!
Perfect For: Him, Her, Hippies, Smokers
Subscription Box Review



Subscription Box Review
Company: Simple Loose Leaf
Price: $15 monthly plus 50% off all store purchases for members
Keywords: Tea, Healthy
Description: Simple Loose Leaf includes 4 loose leaf tea varieties and 2 linen bags. It’s packaged very lovingly and the teas are fragrant and varied. I believe all the teas are made by the company itself (they are all stamped with the Simple Loose Leaf logo and in their well-designed packaging), so you can’t pick up these teas anywhere else. Unless, of course, you buy it from their store – available at 50% off if you are a member of their subscription box service! You can buy yourself one package and use the individual components as stocking stuffers, or give the gift of the monthly service to your health-conscious, tea-loving loved one. Mmm!
Perfect For: Him, Her, Mom/Dad, Health Conscious
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Subscription Box Review
Company: Moustache Coffee Club
Price: $19-$76 monthly
Keywords: Coffee, Upscale, Indie
Description: Mmm! These guys actually turned out to be my neighbors in Silverlake – infamous as being the biggest hipster neighborhood in the country (move aside, Portland). So the “Moustache” name makes a lot of sense. Hipsters can be annoying sometimes, but they DO know their coffee – that is undeniable. The service includes between 1-4 12oz coffees every month and is a bit on the pricey side, but well worth the price tag. Boy howdy, does it ever have an incredible aroma and taste. This stuff is delicious, man. Seriously. I love coffee but am always disappointed with the amount of flavor in American coffees vs the European stuff. Mustache Coffee Club does NOT disappoint. Varieties change and are sourced from all around the globe. If you like your coffee bold and flavorful, definitely check out their service. Mmm. What they offer is far better than what you can get in stores.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Mom/Dad, Coffee Lovers, Hipsters, Foodies
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Subscription Box Review



Subscription Box Review
Company: BeanBox
Price: $20 monthly
Keywords: Coffee, Upscale, American-Made, Indie
Description: Yum! I’ve always heard Seattle has the best coffee, but haven’t spent much time there myself. Luckily, you can have Seattle coffee delivered to your door using BeanBox. They deliver roasted, full bean coffee within 1-2 days of roasting them for ultimate freshness. Included in this month’s box were 4 varieties of freshly roasted deliciousness, and a bonus local Seattle espresso chocolate. You have to have your own coffee grinder to enjoy their service, but there is nothing quite like the smell of crushing and brewing freshly roasted beans. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but this stuff gets me out of bed in the morning. They are perfectly sized for stocking stuffers, or you can gift someone the monthly service!
Perfect For: Mom/Dad, Him, Her, Foodies, Coffee Lovers, Hipsters
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Subscription Box Review
Company: Panty By Post
Price: $15-$35 per panty
Keywords: Lingerie, Fashion, Women, Upscale
Description: Panty By Post ships you a random pair of panties in a lovely envelope monthly. You can choose from basics up to their premium line (frilly, lacey stuff). It’s a little on the pricey side, but if you’re the kind of lady (or man purchasing for his lady) who doesn’t mind spending a bit of cash to feel beautiful, they are definitely worth checking out. I opted for the hipster style and the panty that was delivered was super comfortable, flirty and fun. It definitely made me feel sexy. Getting a pair of surprise panties was more fun than I expected it to be – normally lingerie is a very personal affair, but getting a surprise pair in the mail feels like having a naughty secret admirer. It all feels terribly scandalous. They have a bunch of different options so you can still surprise yourself while making sure it will be a style you feel comfortable in. Men, if you want to give your lady something sexy – but maybe are unsure of what she’d like (or are too shy to buy unmentionables in a store), be sure to check out their service.
Perfect For: Her, Fashion Lovers
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Subscription Box Review
Company: Healthy Surprise
Price: $49.99-$99.99
Keywords: Food, Snacks, Healthy, Paleo, Candy, Gluten-Free, American-Made
Description: Healthy Surprise has several different available options depending on your diet. There are paleo, chocolate gluten free and generic healthy (both small and large) versions of the box. I was not surprised to see the service is Los Angeles based (as am I). Anyone who is local to this area knows that it is both expensive and sometimes difficult to eat healthy. Trader Joes parking lots are notorious for being the worst parking lots in the city- always and without fail! Farmers markets are not always open. Regular markets don’t always carry many healthy or gluten free options. Healthy options are not always available when you are out and about. So I love having a service that curates healthy snacks for me (big ones! Lots of them!). Surprisingly, the chocolate box is the most expensive of the options. I am guilty of not always eating as healthy as I’d like to, as unhealthy options are more readily available and I am often in a hurry. The box included both sweet and savory snacks and they were all sizable and easily portable – perfect to grab and go. Om nom nom! Perfect for anyone health conscious in your life, or maybe as a gentle push for someone who could use a little more health in their life. Just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it’s not delicious, after all.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Health Conscious, Socially Conscious, Mom/Dad, Foodies
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Subscription Box Review
Company: PrintsTo.Me
Price: $8-$34
Keywords: Art, Prints, Instagram, Unique, Fun, Quirky
Description: PrintsTo.Me is a new service from the folks at BooksTo.Me – it’s a print service that runs entirely off Instagram, so you’ll need an account to order. As a cosplayer, crafter, video game developer, and avid traveler, I upload a lot of images to my Instagram account that would work well as prints. I was a little skeptical that the quality would be passable since it pulls from a low-res mobile service like Instagram, but I was blown away by how well it translated to print. The website is still fairly new, so there were some usability issues while going through the process – I think less experienced computer and graphic people may have a little bit of trouble trying to line up their photos for the products that include multiple images. I grabbed a few different types of products to see how the quality compared (a canvas print, a metal print, some coasters, and some stickers). The canvas print warned me that the resolution may not be high enough to display properly, but it looked great! Everything did, and it was really carefully packaged as well. I got some coasters with beautiful images from a recent trip to Scandinavia, a metal print with a modeling photo, and a canvas print with some digital screenshots from the video game I am developing. Absolutely everything looks great and is hanging in a place of prominence on my walls. There are a few other products you can check out too – of course, you are pretty limited to everything being square shaped since it comes from Instagram.
Perfect For: Mom/Dad, Him, Her
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Subscription Box Review
Company: The Music Box Subscription
Price: $5-$13 monthly
Keywords: Music, Indie, Unique, Men, Women
Description: I was really excited when I found out about The Music Box Subscription. I have been using the internet obsessively to find new music since the days of AOL, Napster and Mp3.com. To this day, it’s still the thing I use the internet for more than anything. Many of my very close friends are musicians, so I am particularly fond of this idea. Artists can submit their music either in the form of CDs, download codes, even stickers, and The Music Box includes them in a monthly subscription service (either the compilation CD service, or a more targeted one depending on your music tastes). I requested a metal care package and received a bunch of swag from independent artists. This service is great for the consumer AND musicians – the musicians know their music is going to be heard by people who are actually interested in hearing it. And buyers get the chance to hear music they probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to before. I love it! It brings me back to the days of discovering new metal artists by trading tapes. As much as I love finding new music on the internet using services like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Plug.DJ – I really love having a physical item even more.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Music Lovers, Indie Lovers, Musicians
Subscription Box Review



Subscription Box Review
Company: Nibblr
Price: $6.99 monthly
Keywords: Food, Snacks, Candy, Upscale
Description: Nibblr is a small box as far as subscription box services go – including 4 of their own snack items. This month’s included some delicious high quality treats – a mix between sweet and savory. I was particularly fond of the sea salted caramel truffles. Yum! It’s even delicious to say. I took a peek at the nutritional values on the back and they weren’t too terribly comforting (the small package of peppermint pretzels and chocolate bark was a staggering 25% of my daily sugar allowance), but it’s Christmas! Go wild! It’s inexpensive and a good value for what you get.
Perfect For: Him, Her, Foodies, Mom/Dad
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Subscription Box Review
Company: SaucePack
Price: $25 monthly
Keywords: Food, Hot Sauce, Cooking, American-Made, Indie
Description: I love to cook, so I was looking forward to a service that wasn’t already prepared for me. SaucePack includes 3 fullsize hot sauce bottles (5 ounces each), each from a different small distributor. The service was beautifully packaged, and each bottle contained a handout describing the company that crafted it, along with a recipe on the back. The first thing I wanted to do when I opened it up was make a big pot full of chili, and behold! One of the sauces included a delicious recipe. I shared the pot of chili with my roommates to the sounds of their overwhelming approval (it was a wonderful apple infused hot sauce turkey chili). It’s great to buy and break up as stocking stuffers, or as a continued service for the barbeque lover/home cook in your life. The service even included a bio and photos from the folks at SaucePack, and I really enjoyed the care and attention that went into putting this box together. This service felt more like receiving a gift package than “a bunch of stuff in a box” like most of the other services, and you can tell that the people who made it – both the hot sauces themselves, as well as the folks at SaucePack – really love what they do. It all felt very personal and homemade, which appealed to me greatly!
Perfect For: Him, Her, Mom/Dad, Foodies, Chefs
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December 10 2014



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