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A little note and some changes to the blog

Hey y’all! Check this out!

I’ve been undergoing a radically de- and re-constructing of my life and part of that has involved this page. Some new stuffs will be coming up and I hope you’ll love it!

  1. This page is being dedicated to culture (Geek and Gamer, Information age, comic book, and whatever else I feel like) and nerding out on silly things.
  2. Monthly reviews of subscription boxes will be posted here, and I’ll soon begin linking to my Tech Reviews on another WordPress site
  3. Youtube stuff in the works, will be sprouting up on this page. Watch and enjoy! It’s about the things I love and the people who love them with me!

And lastly, a kind of major function shift here. See, the deal is, I’m a linguistics student and I’m developing through that an  appreciation of modern culture and an ability to recognize where we are and where we are headed as a species, a country, and a future component of the Borg. Anyway, part of that requires me to be in CONTACT with people so, here’s what I’m hoping will happen…

If I produce content you like (or dislike) please let me know in the comment section! If you love it, share it! If you like my style and personality but wish I would cover something else… I want to hear that too!
The long and short of it is, I am an internet culturalist studying hard to become a voice on subjects people love. I just want to bring a little joy, so let me know how I can!

Anyway… Stay tuned for more content! This page is going to start getting busy over the next month.

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Review

Geek Fuel vs Loot Crate! A Face-Off for the Ages!

*Watch the page for upcoming changes to… well… everything!*

Head-to-Head!

Head-to-Head!

A lot of times, the question that comes up is “Which subscription box gives you the most value for your money?” The most well-known, Loot Crate, has been purported to offer the most value for your money. The newcomer, Geek Fuel, guarantees you products that ensure you at least match the value you spend.

Beyond that, it’s important that the box makes you feel something. If I’m going to throw away money on a mystery box full of things I (probably) don’t need, then I want to be excited to get it, I want to love the product, I want it to feel genuine and complete.

Since both Loot Crate and Geek Fuel are doing firsts this month, I thought it would be fun to put them head-to-head and see what turns out. As always, I’ll do a segment on financial value at the end of each box’s section (excluding minimags). Before that, I just like to discuss the items.

 

First up, Loot Crate with their very first sequel: Heroes 2!

Heroes 2

Heroes 2

 

Batman Q-Pop Loot Crate Exclusive

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Adam West’s Batman stands atop the roof of building 1337. He watches and he waits. Soon, Gotham will call, and he will answer.  Villains beware! For, when the Batman leaps into action, a Ka-Pow! Is sure to follow!

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This product is a Vinyl pop figure from Q-pop redesigned with the original batcowl and costume. The construction is solid, the presentation is lovely. And Loot Crate took it a step further by making the box reversible. It becomes a building riddled with graffiti, clearly in need of some bat-justice.

This item is a strong start for the box!

Batarang Multi-Tool

How do I get it out without a batarang?

How do I get it out without a batarang?

A solid steel batarang keychain tool featuring a Philips-head and a flat-head screwdriver. The center acts as a bottle opener. This thing is gorgeous and dense. It’ll make a great addition to my burgeoning keychain totem collection!

Officially licensed product

Officially licensed product

She Can Do It! Poster

There's nothing she can't do!

There’s nothing she can’t do!

Wonder Woman in a WWII propaganda-style poster. It’s a half-size glossy version of a full-size wall poster. The artwork is gorgeous and I can’t wait to hang it!

Brawlhalla DLC card

White Fang Gnash. Whatever that means!

White Fang Gnash. Whatever that means!

Loot Crate sometimes includes steam games and such. This DLC is for the 2D Beat ‘Em Up MMO Brawlhalla. The game is free-to-play but the dlc is expensive so it’s nice to get this, I suppose. It calls itself “an alternative to Super Smash Brothers”.

Zelda Sweatband

That logo though

That logo though

I signed up for this box entirely on the promise of a Zelda wearable. I was rather let down when, instead of a tee-shirt, I got a wrist band. I definitely have use for it, but I really wanted a Zelda shirt! This one is a hit, but sort of below the belt.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes

This is a must-read!

This is a must-read!

 

This Loot Crate Edition of the book lists 100 characters throughout comic book history who were… let’s just say unsuccessful. From a giant floating eyeball to a man who can shrink to six inches tall and nothing else, these heroes did good, but were ultimately not strong (read: popular) enough to rise to comic book stardom. The hardcover book is definitely nice. This goes in the win column.

Vulcan Air Freshener

RIP Vanilla Spock

RIP Vanilla Spock

Truly the most potent Vanilla I’ve ever smelled in my life!

 

Loot Crate Heroes 2 Pin

Pin it?

Pin it?

It’s a pin. Pretty cool I guess.

Loot Crate Minimag

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This minimag covers an array of information, including the box contents and theme. There is a page dedicated to “featured Looters” and an overview of this month’s Mega and Mini-Mega crates. Other stories include the history of Batman and Wonder Woman and The Death of Superman Lives.

 

Price:

Batman 1969 Q-Pop By Quantum Mechanix $15.99 for the standard version. I guess about $20.00 for the custom print?

Batman Logo MultiTool $10.49 cents. Already, significantly over the value I paid for the Crate!

She Can Do It! Poster $19.88 for the full-size poster. Half-size, half-price? It doesn’t matter. On the financial side, everything from this point forward is just profit.

Brawlhalla DLC Not sure if it’s actually any of these. Still, it comes with a few skins and a full copy of the game. At least $10.00, probably $15.00.

Zelda Wristband I’m pretty sure this is just the gold variant of the Twilight Princess sweatbands. Regardless, both that and this Loot Crate Exclusive are selling for $6.99.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes $12.95 for the hardcover.

Pin and Airfreshener, ~$3 for both

Total Spent: $20.00

Total Value: ~$69.30

 

All-in-all, I rather like this box. You definitely can’t argue the value. Still, some of the products weren’t full-on hits with me. The quality is definitely high! The biggest disappointment for me though, is the Zelda “wearable” being a simple sweatband. I really wanted a Shirt…

 

 

And now, onto Geek Fuel’s first: A 100% exclusive box! This box contains items that can only be acquired through this box. Wha…?

100% exclusive Geek Fuel

100% exclusive Geek Fuel

Le Tour De Geek Teeshirt

Link, Harley Quinn, Forest Trooper, Batman? And blue shells. Always Blue Shells

Link, Harley Quinn, Forest Trooper, Batman? And blue shells. Always Blue Shells

Of course I’m starting with this item! It’s the Zelda tee I wanted Loot Crate to give me! Mario Kart meets The Tour De France in this shirt. We see Harley Quinn Chasing down Link in second, Batman is naturally in the chase as well. Based on the color scheme and the Trooper, I assume this is actually the Tour De Forest Moon of Endor. Five of the shirts released came in a yellow variant.

Burnstar Download

It tastes like sugar mixed with more sugar

It tastes like sugar mixed with more sugar

Every Geek Fuel box comes with a Steam download. This one seems to be a Bomberman-influenced puzzle game. Top down 2.5D Gaming. Looks like a lot of fun! Last month’s game was a pleasant surprise and turned out way more enjoyable than expected. Loved it!

Ant-Man Mini-Pint

Now with more souvenir!

Now with more souvenir!

An Ant-Man shot glass not unlike you’d find at a gift shop. The box is sharp and I love the retro helmet used for the logo.

Shiny! Button

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I’m surprised this is an exclusive button, but I certainly can’t find it anywhere! It’s from Serenity. Put it on your Brown Coat.

Aliens vs Vampirella Poster

I haven't been this excited for a book since the Necronomicon!

I haven’t been this excited for a book since the Necronomicon!

Incredible! I did not know this was a thing until I got this poster! I am so excited to see Vampirella take on the Xenomorphs! Full-size wall poster with absolutely beautiful artwork.

Marvel Civil War #1 Variant Cover

Art by Todd Nauck

Art by Todd Nauck

A certified limited edition Civil War variant. Comes sealed with the certificate.  It comes just in time to promote the new movie. Some people got a signed copy. Sadly, I was not one of them!

Certificate of Authenticity

Certificate of Authenticity

Geek Fuel Minimag

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Since Geek Fuel includes an insert describing their items, the minimag tends to be packed with extra content. The magazine goes over SDCC 2015 as well as plugs for Burnstar and Aliens Vs Vampirella. The article on Civil War is more of a plot tease, referring to President Stark and General Rogers.  There are also a couple of Geek Guides that any reader will enjoy.

 

Price:

Valuing these things is pretty hard since every single item is exclusive. Nonetheless, I’ll do my best to get an estimate of the prices.

Burnstar for Steam 10.00 for the game, plus free candy!

Civil War 001 Variant Most cover variants go for $7-10. I always do my estimates using the low side.

Ant-Man Mini-Pint It’s definitely an exclusive item. $4-5 seems about right for shot glasses

Aliens Vs Vampirella Poster, Another really hard one to quantify. But full-size posters of this variety run about $15.00.

Le Tour De Geek Shirt, again… too exclusive to quantify. These shirts are high-quality though. I price them at $12 dollars, which is definitely a low estimate for the quality of the shirts from Geek Fuel.

Shiny! Button, ~$1 for the button.

 

Total Spent: $24.00

Total Value: ~$40.00

 

The Verdict:

July

July in a box!

So, Loot Crate gives you a little more financial value in the month of July. However, if I’m to be completely honest, Geek Fuel’s assortment of items got me way more excited! I look forward to getting a game and a shirt guaranteed every month and the comic variant and shot glass are not just exclusive, but high-quality. Loot Crate Gave me a fantastic Vinyl, A beautiful poster, and an entertaining book. Geek Fuel gave me a shot glass, a full-size and detailed poster, a certified comic book variant, and a tee-shirt I wanted from Loot Crate.
For me, Geek Fuel wins the month of July. Do you agree or disagree?

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Excerpt, Exercise in, flash fiction, Just for fun, Style

Dear Juliette

Dear Juliette,
I’m told this letter will reach your home in six days. While I know it’s idiosyncratic in this day and age to handwrite letters anymore, I fear this is the only way I can reach you now. Our expedition into the Southern Rainforest was a bit more… Well, it was a success!
As it turns out, Sweet Flower, we’ve stumbled upon a species of primate more developed than we have ever dreamed! Oh, the lament! If only you could be with me, to witness this glorious discovery.  They have shed some features of similar sapient bipeds in favor of others, no doubt a simple evolutionary development.
What amazes me (and would stagger you as well, Sweet Flower) is that the species has actually developed rudimentary technology! Imagine this sight… Thinly-furred blue apes and monkeys together, creating semi-complex architectures of mud… a society of gatherers which searches high and low for every possible resource! It’s simply a spectacular view!
Starting next week, we are to begin observing them up close from a camp built to emulate their civilization. The best method of observation is imitation, as you say! It is at times like these that remind me why I opposed your decision to raise our child from a stable position in life. I admit, our lifestyle may make a child stand out in either a positive or negative light… but nonetheless, the thought of a family together reveling in this moment, embarking on the study of a sapient species not yet known to us. The thought is exhilarating.
I hope you’ll reconsider… At your command, Bryan is to take you to an airfield where you can find a pilot who will fly you to our coordinates!  Please, Juliette, gentlest Rose of Eden’s Garden, please bring our son and join me on this world-changing journey.

With insurmountable Passion, on December twelfth, Two Thousand and Sixteen.
James

Oh Sweetest James, how I’ve cried for your voice!  The postman managed to pull the letter from the sorting cycle perchance and brought it to me. He knows truly the depth of our love and the longing we endure. The moment I received your letter I began my reply! Your journey has taken you far beyond the range of cell towers. I have actually found myself dreaming that you didn’t lose your SAT phone on the waterfall. Though everyone may tell me how corny it is, I cannot help but want for my wandering bear. Our journey together would be immaculate, but you know I have to put our son’s future above all else. Perhaps in his later years, I may once again join you in the field of discovery!
These creatures sound nearly proto-human! You must tell me of any humanistic behaviors they exhibit – as though they haven’t already! I can so clearly visualize the image of a precious pink sunset, overtaking the rainforest as the ambient sounds of creatures settling for the evening imbues the scene with an enchanting – dare I say, haunting – melody of nature. Oh! These blue simians, how do they communicate? Surely they have as basic a language system as they do a tool system.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel I shouldn’t think about it. I shall call Bryan immediately and we will rush to meet you!  James has been calling out for adventure lately, anyway. This decision is the most exciting impulse I’ve ever had, next to the one that led me to you, you most endearing husband! Fear not, for tomorrow I shall be with you!

Lustfully Yearning Your Embrace, December Seventeenth, Twenty-Sixteen.
Juliette Morrison

P.S. Don’t think you’re going to get all the credit for discovering a new species, Mister! I’ve been alongside you in every one of your studies to date, and I don’t plan to miss one! Think of how great it would be to have James as a notable party as well! The Morrison Clan unveiling a new early society to the world! If they are similar enough to us, we could have a whole new model for human evolution in a controlled environment! This could be our seminal work!

Juliette, Sweet Rose of the Garden,
They are not apes… they are… of unknown origin. Our first attempt at direct contact ended in a blood bath! They have a cache of weapons stolen from humans who must have been traveling through this area. Their numbers are far greater than we initially estimated as well… what we thought was a society of only a few hundred, is in fact a number in the thousands. They have a form of communication beyond our grasp. I can only call it telepathy, as they seem to act as a hive.

Please, my Darling, stay as far away from here as possible… I think we have started what may be a devastating conflict. I have given Bryan instructions to take you and James to a Safe-House with a book of contacts within the government. I cannot explain the nature of what has happened except to say that these animals are not as they appear, they are armed, hostile, and quick to aggress.

Do not come to find me, I don’t think I’ll survive the night.

It has been a wild ride, my dearest love, I hope you will survive whatever comes of this. Our time together was the best time of my life.

-James

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Uncategorized

My First Nerd Box!

Geek Fuel, June 2015

As this was my first ever subscription box, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I’ve seen plenty of reviews of these things in the past, but having received my first box today, I can honestly say the experience of actually getting these items gives them a whole new value!

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(Aside from the mailbox damage, the box looks great! Simple and clean design!)

After a long debate on which box to start with, I chose the relatively new Geek Fuel. The promise of a monthly unique shirt has become a bit of a mainstay, but Geek Fuel ups their game by promising no less than $40 in value per box. For those interested in the financial breakdown, I’ll do a tally at the end.

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The presentation in this box is phenomenal! Everything from the simple RoboDude to the order in which the box is packed shows the love and care that goes into the product! Aside from the mailbox damaging the box a little, it was picture-esque. Throughout this review, I’ll show the items as they appeared in the box. I’m truly impressed by the care that went into it.

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The motto and mascot go hand in hand beautifully. I love how it is RoboDude carrying the flag with his own face! The scarlet and grey logo paper makes it feel very gift-y (and gets bonus points for being my school colors!). Let your geek flag fly!

Items included in this box:
1 The Truth Is Out there Tee-shirt
2 Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
3 The Lost World by Michael Chrichton
4 Super Win the Game download code + Keychain
5 Mortal Kombat Bookmark
6 Power Rangers Magnet
7 90’s Mutant Hero Ooze
8 Box Details Card
9 Geek Fuel Mini-Mag
10 *Sign-up Bonus: Poster of Awesome

The Truth Is Out There Tee

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The photographs don’t do the artwork justice.  This classy throwback takes the near-mascot Alien of X-Files and mixes him with Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.  The text reads the series’ classic “I want to believe” in many different languages. To be honest, the level of detail in the screen printing is extremely impressive. Props to the artist!  50/50 Cotton-Polyester blend.

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One of many future work shirts

Geek Fuel Mini Mag

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This thing is super tight. It’s a 20-page mini mag with articles written by the Geek Fuel team about things related to the items in the box (and geekiness in general). This month I particularly enjoyed the DCC coverage.

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One of the stories covered inside

These geek cards are also a nice touch. It’s another common trend in subscription boxes, but I particularly like the streamlined feel of this one. It’s not cluttered or overly active. This card tells you everything you have and looks nice.

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Jurassic Park+ The Lost World

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This is the classic novel that spawned a classic (And several not-so-classic) movies. It comes in at the perfect time, riding the coattails of the new movie. I’ve always wanted to read these books, but my list is huge and I never made it to purchasing them. Now that I have them, these two books just became my next read!

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Super Win the Game + Key charm

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One of the best things about Geek Fuel is that they guarantee a game download and related item (so far, all steam games).  I’m not the biggest gamer, but I’m a huge supporter of indie developers and I love variety and low-investment games. The game trailer shows a retro (8-Bit) platformer with various references to other games. I’m actually much more excited to play it after watching the trailer. This looks like a challenging throwback!

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It's not an RPG unless you get a boss key

Update: it’s a retro RPG platformer taking the best elements of 8bit-Era games and throwing them in a blender of amazing level design. Definitely adds to the value of the box!

Mortal Kombat Bookmark

Some would talk trash on such a simple trinket. As a book lover, I’m a bent corner hater! Beyond that, it’s a pretty decent thickness of cardstock, laminated, and it has some of the most adorable versions of Scorpion and Sub-Zero I’ve seen!

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Reminders if Ninja badassery

Power Rangers Magnet

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This is a simple fridge magnet. I like trinkets and such so it’s going to be well-used. Each Ranger has a rarity value (adding to the collectible fun of Geek Fuel exclusives!). The Red Ranger is the most common with eight boxes per ten containing one. One box per hundred contains the most elusive Yellow Ranger!

90’s Mutant Hero Ooze!

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No, that's not Ivan's Ooze.

It’s the Green Gunk that turned turtles into ninjas.  The viscosity it pretty accurate to what I imagine when I think of the blob (which is also an ooze).  Not much else to say about this, but the color and the texture are solid. It’s high quality goop.

**Bonus Poster!**

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I got this through a link the company sent me when I signed up without signing up for a box.  It’s a Domo Kun Banner made of high-quality poster stuff.  Five Hundred of these were printed and I have one!

This Box is great for: Kiddults

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The Tally*:
T-Shirt – these range in value, but similar blends and prints go for $8-15 dollars depending on the retailer. I’d gladly pay $15-20 if I saw this shirt on the retail shelves (which is currently impossible).
Jurassic Park – New for $4.99 is the lowest price I found on Google ShoppingThe Lost World – new for $8.99 is the lowest price I found on Google Shopping
Super Win the Game – the redeemable code with the promotional key says $10. Pretty standard price for this kind of thing.
Mortal Kombat Bookmark – Most of the independently made laminate bookmarks I’ve found run $2 on Etsy.
Power Rangers Magnet – Fridge magnets of this style are another $2 trinket on Etsy.
90’s Mutant Hero Ooze – The official Ninja Turtles Mutagen Ooze costs $6.27 on Google Shopping.
$23.70 with shipping for the box. $42.27 in value excluding the poster AND costing the shirt at 8 dollars (which is most likely under costed).

*I’ve excluded the values of the detail card and magazine as they don’t come with “sale value” as it were. I’ve also excluded the poster price since it does not come with every box.

The Verdict:
Although I’ve read a lot of reviews and watched a lot of unboxings, I’ve never actually gotten a subscription box for myself before! I honestly read some spoilers of this box before opening and was not too excited. Having the box in hand, though, made me realize the quality of the custom products, and I think the layout itself was fantastic. Everything was neat and orderly and the mascot and motto are both true signs of real geeks running the show. It was clear that the box was hand packed and treated well. I think the company has a great future ahead and I look forward to my next box!

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