Subscription Boxes: The Nerdy Edition

Friday, August 21, 2015

We all have things we can geek out about, whether its a comic book, a TV show, science or the latest in the hardware store. So here are some boxes that will aid in making your (or your Boy's. You know. Whatever) obsessions even cooler, even better, and still very affordable.

The Handy Box
The minute I saw this box, I could instantly think of twelve people who would love this. This is the box for anybody good with their hands, for anybody who loves tools and, well, it is a good box for anyone who had their own home because we all need tools to be able to take care of things. The Handy Box is a monthly subscription box that sends 4-6 different tools or gadgets in each box. The retail value of the box will always be the equivalent of forty or more dollars, but the price you pay each month is only twenty-five dollars if you buy month-to-month, or about seventeen dollars a box if you get a three or six month subscription. It should be noted that unless you cancel a subscription, it automatically renews and your credit card will be charged; subscriptions purchased through gift cards are not automatically renewed. Currently, this box only ships to the United States, but keep an eye out because the company will soon be able to help the DIY-er worldwide!

Nerd Block
We all have shows or stories or franchises we like and for those who really like to nerd out about it (okay, bad pun), there's Nerd Block. Nerd Block provides monthly boxes that will have merchandise about different, popular franchises. They currently provide a choice of six different boxes; four boxes are aimed at adult audiences and two at children. All adult boxes cost nineteen ninety-five, and will always include a T-Shirt whose size and fit you specify upon subscribing. The possible box themes include "Horrorblock" which sends things with Horror film/book/video themed; "ArcadeBlock" which celebrates all things video games, especially from older games like Mario; "ComicBlock" which sends things related to Marvel and DC comics and the "Classic NerdBlock" which is likely to send things that are a mixture of all the above plus items relating to "nerdy" TV shows and franchises such as Doctor Who or Star Trek.  All of these may contain items that are aimed at adult humor and interests. As stated earlier, two of the possible box types are aimed at children- NerdBlock Jr. for boys, and NerdBlock Jr. for girls. Now, possibly, like I was, you are a bit skeptical about why there are separate boxes based on gender, but truthfully, when looking at past boxes, I can see that the items chosen really are likely to only appeal to one gender or the other in most cases. Girls are likely to get Hello Kitty, My Little Pony and Disney Princess items, though in at least one previous box Wonder Woman was featured. Boys are likely to get things superhero related. Perhaps this reinforces gender stereotypes but my female students would definitely like the Girls NerdBlock more and my male students would adore the NerdBlock Jr. for boys, so... they clearly know their audiences. Because the boxes aimed at kids do not come with a t-shirt, they are cheaper, costing only thirteen ninety-five a box, and, for that price, the boxes seem to contain great value.  Plus, no matter what theme or themes of box(es) you choose, hen purchasing multiple subscriptions you receive an additional 10% discount off the total subscription cost automatically during checkout.

Bill Nye Quarterly Co. Subscription Box

Who didn't love the day in class when you got to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy? No one. That's who. Because he's so cool, and science is so cool.  With the audiences that originally watched the show now established in adulthood, this subscription box from Quarterly Co. reflects that by showcasing things that project a sleek, hipster-y sense of cool and a sense of humor.  Costing fifty dollars a box, and shipped quarterly (hence the name of the company!), Nye's boxes will always be loosely themed around a science idea, and feature items that not only help you learn about science, but are aesthetically pleasing and neatly designed. And make no mistake, these are the fun but definitely for adults and definitely intelligent. Each box's contents are kept a surprise, which is part of its appeal.

Mark Fruenfelder Quarterly Co. Subscription Box

The name may not sound familar, but a geek might recognize many of things Mark Freudenfleder has founded or created. He was the founding editor-in-cheif for both MAKE magazine and and the founder of Boing Boing. Just like these publications, his subscription boxes might reflect a huge range of interests, but will always intrigue. Past boxes have been themed around magic, key chain accessories, quirky cooking tools, fungi and more. Every box is different and you're never quite sure what you'll get until the box is at your door!  He states that, "My interest is in small objects that delight the senses or extend the range of their limits of perception." Each box costs fifty dollars and is released quarterly. All of his boxes, and all of Bill Nye's, will come with hashtags, so you can see sneak-peeks of what is being chosen, track shipments and see others' reactions to the surprise items.

Collectible Geek
Consider this box like NerdBlock, but for the more hardcore fans. They sell monthly "caches," which are themed boxes. Each month has a different theme, which is usually based on the franchise or franchises they are highlighting; for example, August 2015's theme is "Wholock" and will feature items from the BBC shows Doctor Who and Sherlock. Each box will include 5 items such as T-shirts, toys and other collectibles. They will NOT contain candies or toys as they aim to please serious collectors, not children or casual TV watchers; instead they choose with an eye that the items may increase in value of the years. Their basic, monthly box is twenty-five dollars, though purchasing a T-Shirt in size X-L-1 or larger may result in a slight increase in price. You also have the option of upgrading your box; they will add two more Funko POP figurines (a popular collectible item) for another seven fifty each. A Deluxe Cache is also available for about fifty to sixty dollars and will have the same sort of products as the monthly  caches, just in great amounts.

Marvel Collector Corps
While Marvel's been a geeky favorite since its inception in the sixties, the smashing success of the
Marvel Movies of late have practically begged to have a subscription box devoted just to the franchise's universe. Marvel Collector Corps is a monthly subscription box that costs twenty-five dollars a month and will deliver goods such as T-shirts, comics, toys, and memorabilia with a retail value of fifty dollars or more. What makes Marvel Collector Corps so special though isn't just that it is devoted only to Marvel Comics, but that all items in the box are exclusives. You cannot get them anywhere else. Among other brands that work with this subscription box is the  popular Funko, who also creates exclusives just for them. Each month also will loosely be based on a theme- often a certain character, movie, or comic book run.  For example, past boxes have had an Ant-Man theme to celebrate that film's opening, and August's theme is about a major comic book arc called "Secret Wars." Each month's theme is even decorated on the box, so that the box itself is unique (and possibly collectable?) from month to month. They also provide a lot of opportunities to interact with a 'community" of fellow Marvel fans and subscription box buyers and have special rewards for those who buy subscription boxes, such as extra gifts on anniversary days etc.


  1. You always find fabulous subscription boxes! How cool that there is one from Bill Nye the Science Guy :)

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  2. Love these subscription boxes! I never knew they existed. I have to say Bill Nye the Science Guy is pretty cool!

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  3. I agree with Reshma, that Bill Nye box would make such a fun gift for a super fan!!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

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