Subscription box

Loot Crate April 2016: Quest

When I cancelled my Horror Block for the final time, I really thought, “This is it. The end of a strange attempt at liking subscription boxes.” Then I saw a Facebook advert for Loot Crate’s April box, promising treats from Labyrinth and Harry Potter and I was sold like the complete idiot I am. But I’m glad I paid for another Loot Crate. I find their boxes are pretty consistent in quality (that or I’m so easily impressed after the shit-loaded Horror Blocks), and April’s box is no exception.

Although, yes this is pretty late. The man who delivers our mail always, always tries to deliver our packages to the wrong address. And since our neighbours are assholes, no one ever gave me the collection slip. I was about a day away from this box being shipped back to the States. Thank god for tracking emails. Anyway.

April’s theme is Quest. Like last year’s Fantasy box, there are products from some big names in the Fantasy and adventure genres. It’s a solid collection of bits, including that item that everyone is probably going to throw away. But most importantly: socks.

1. Uncharted 4 poster

I’m not really sure who this item was aimed for, but I’m sure there is someone out there who is pleased to have both new socks and a low-quality poster! Since neither my husband nor I play Uncharted (or anyone else we know), this went straight into the bin. Definitely the worst item of this box.

2. D20 ice mold – exclusive

I am a fan of fun ice trays. I can’t remember from which subscription box this came, but the Alien ice-tray still remains a favourite item I ever received from one. This D20 ice mold is pretty cool. I’m not entirely sure when I’d ever use this, but I’m pretty certain that this mold would be good for whisky (as a constant beer and gin drinker, I literally have no clue).

3. Labyrinth t-shirt – exclusive from Ripple Junction

Oh Bowie. The loss of a great man is still felt, but at least there is solace in the fact that Labyrinth has literally everywhere these days to celebrate the musician’s film career. It is quite a good time to be a fan, especially with the 30th anniversary approaching later this year. As one of those fans, I have to say this shirt is pretty damn perfect. Jim Henson must be beaming down from Muppet heaven.

Bonus: the image features Sarah in her ballgown from the scene that is simultaneously the most magical and creepy!  A personal favourite.

4. Vikings drinking horn with strap – exclusive from Chronicle Collectibles

A co-worker of mine received his box over a week before mine arrived. We had after-work drinks and he was using this drinking horn. Needless to say, it amused a lot of us and impressed the rest. Since it’s plastic, it seems like it will be easy to clean, but probably difficult to have a cold drink. But whatever, fill this bad boy up with mead and grow out your beard: this drinking horn is great.

5. Happy Potter socks!!!!!!! – exclusive from Hyp Hosiery

I own four pairs of socks. Three are more hole than socks, so new socks are always welcome. They’re especially welcome when the socks are Harry Potter themed. This pair of black socks are covered in Horcruxes. They seem to be pretty good quality and they’re a bit squishy. All ideal things to look for when wearing socks.

6. Quest pin

Okay, so I’m not really sure if this counts as an item since there is a pin in every box. But I really like this one. While I really never use a D20, The shield shape just looks really appealing. Several boxes came with a gold version.

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Horror Block November 2015 unboxed

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This is a post I’ve been putting off for a few days now because quite frankly, I find these so dull to write (which I then imagine means it’s pretty dull for you to read). So as I say every single time, this is the last box I will ever get. But I’m dead serious this time (I think) because I triple-checked that my subscription was totally done with. Things aren’t easy when you’re poor as fuck. Christmas time + moving into a new flat + broken television + father visiting in a week’s time = one extraordinarily poor lady.

As you can tell from the sexy picture above, this was taken in haste. Why? Because I am so uninterested in most of this box that I didn’t bother bringing it home. Also, I thought at some point I would have had time to take a nice photo of some of these items, but then I realised that winter is a perpetual month of endless hell and darkness. So thanks, florescent lights of the office, you allowed for one atrocious photo!

If you can’t tell, there is quite a smattering of items this month. From the really great to the really… meh. So… what’s in the basket box?

1. Bela Lugosi t-shirt from ShirtPunch.com<

I love me some Bela Lugosi, so it was rather nice to get a shirt from Horror Block that I could actually get excited about. Plus ShirtPunch! are now also doing limited-time collectibles twice a week. Like the shirts, they will be constantly changing, though which items will be available and on what day and time available will be a mystery. That's certainly one way to keep people checking back.

2. Addy Miller autograph

The worst part about being a horror fan lately is being out of the Walking Dead loop. I have absolutely no interested in it. If you’re really into this show, every subscription box in the world must be fantastic. A young Addy Miller appeared on the show as a young zombie girl back in the premier. The print is pretty fantastic, and it comes with an authentication card.

3. Sharknado vinyl bobblehead

This is hands-down the, uh, most “interesting” item I’ve ever gotten in a sub box. But yes. Here it is: a bobblehead of David Hasselhoff with chainsaw! While I do love me some B-movie goodness, I never watched Sharknado or any of its incarnations. Turns out no one in my office has either because NO ONE will take this thing off my hands. This is an exclusive item to Horror Block. How exclusive, I don’t know. But if I liked this movie, I would certainly find this hilarious (I think).

4. Rue Morgue December issue

I am SO happy to see a proper issue of Rue Morgue back in Horror Block this month. While their books are quite interesting, I always want a copy of this magazine. This is such an expensive mag to buy in the UK, unfortunately, so I will have to savor it for sometime before being able to afford another issue. There’s a pretty great interview with Michael Dougherty for his new movie, Krampus. It’s a cool Q&A which mostly talks about Trick ‘r Treat, but really just says what we Halloween-obsessed always want to say: “Screw Christmas. When’s Halloween?”

5. Bloody cleaning cloth

As I’ve said a few hundred times now, I’ve moved into a new place. Getting cleaning supplies in this block actually made me excited. So that either means I am a.) lame b.) old or c.) both.

6. Twilight Zone Mystic Seer

This exclusive from Springz ranks among some of the best stuff I’ve ever gotten from a subscription box. I’ve seen every episode of the classic Twilight Zone at least half a dozen times. In the episode “Nick of Time” William Shatner and Patricia Breslin come across a fortune-telling machine in a cafe. This little Mystic Seer appears on the top of the machine. This is meant for a car, but I’ve currently got this proudly displayed on our bookcase. Well done, Horror Block. All the classic horror stuffs, please!

Horror Block September 2015 unboxed

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This month’s of Horror Block is full of exclusive items, and it’s a pretty good block. To be completely honest, I’m hoping that this month’s was a bit quiet because they’re gearing up for October’s. And I’m really hoping October’s block is great or, well, they’re really doing something wrong here. As far as I know, though, there haven’t been too many hints yet. As far as I know, there will be something Child’s Play related which makes me want to die. I hate Chucky, but at least I will be given plenty of nightmares for the Halloween season, right?

There’s not too much to say about this month’s items. But there’s plenty of pretty great stuff here (and two items for the fire pits):

1. Silence of the Lambs “death’s-head moth” ShirtPunch t-shirt – exclusive

I do love ShirtPunch‘s t-shirts. Almost every month they knock out something good for Horror Block. This month’s death’s-head hawkmoth is straight out of a Silence of the Lambs cover. Of course it’s not technically licensed, but I do enjoy the subtly of it.

2. Night of the Living Dead DVD + exclusive Chronicles of the Living Dead documentary

One of the things I was looking forward to most was receiving this item in this month’s box. It wasn’t until I was opening the box that I had a horrible realisation. I had already seen Birth of the Living Dead and thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was a fascinating bit of documentary. Thankfully, the documentary included is Chronicles of the Living Dead. It’s likely that most subscribers will already own this classic on some format, but it’s really cool to have Chronicles attached to it. It’s also Region 0, as far as I can tell. So I can watch this no matter what country I am in. This was definitely one of the best calls Horror Block has made in a long time.

3. Rue Morgue magazine October 2015

This month’s issue is chock-full of great articles. One includes a selection of horror-related albums which, of course, intrigues me to no end. And there are some picks there that I hadn’t ever heard of before. The cover article is a look at 125 Years of the Ouija Board, which is a pretty unusual (but great) subject for a horror mag. I know I say this every single month. But I love Rue Morgue dearly.

4. Horror face coaster set – exclusive

Not entirely sure why anyone would put a coaster on their face, but why the hell not? These are pretty funny, and I suppose would be a hit at any party if you are lucky enough to have friends that aren’t faint of heart. Each coaster has a different gruesome mouth on each side. Typically in these subscription boxes, the coasters are pretty flimsy cardboard, but these are a bit more durable. Check out Paladone‘s website for more pop culture inspired bits.

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5. Night of the Living Dead magnet set – exclusive

Magnetic poetry can be kind of lame. For years no one touched the Top Gear magnetic poetry on our fridge. It wasn’t until I actually moved in and started fucking shit up in the flat that I finally broke the words out of their little box. But this Night of the Living Dead set is much, much cooler than any car show. I mean, who doesn’t know “They’re coming to get you Barbra”? Nothing like leaving a little threatening message to whoever left out the milk last night.

6. Aliens 2-pack Titan vinyl figure set

I HATE THESE THINGS. I HATE THEM. There is just something that really grosses me out about Titan figures, and I think I finally put my finger on it. Every figure (including the xenomorph) looks like they’re wearing flared trousers. They remind me of this rollerskating rink in town back in Wisconsin. This was when Nelly and Avril Lavigne were massive and that “All these bitches crawl” song. You could buy Sour Punch Straws and buy these weird glitter stickers with these tacky cartoon characters on them.  That’s what these things remind me of and I just want to BURN them.

Though, I suppose I should say this is a pack of two figures. One of the xenomorph and one of Parker (Yaphet Kotto). I do believe that each box had the same pair. There’s a full crew of these figures if you’re so inclined to actually own all of these demon figures for some ungodly reason. I subrscribed to the Classic Block for October as well (mostly because they’ve promised Jem and I can’t live without some Jem), and I received an email promising “two vinyl figures” for Ripley fans.

If I get two more of these. I will bury them. Curse the ground they are in. Then wash myself of their filth.

Horror Block May 2015 unboxed 

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Another month, another Horror Block. After April’s box, my expectations were very high. I loved the variety of things and how high quality all the items were. Did that happen this month. Er… no. But considering I cancelled all my other sub boxes, I’m still happy I stuck with this one. May seemed to be a pretty weak month across the board. But onwards and upwards. Here are the treats in this months Horror Block:

1. Rue Morgue June 2015 and the Rue Morgue’s Weird Stats and Morbid Facts

Horror magazines from Canada and the States are expensive. Buy them as imports and your wallet will weep as you hand over the cash. So every month I receive Rue Morgue in Horror Block, I feel like the value is well earned. Unfortunately the new Human Centipede movie is on the cover, which makes me want to throw up just thinking about it. Also included from the magazine is their book of Weird Stats and Morbid Facts. I am not 12, so I’m really not into fact books, but this will make a great gift to give to someone… Right?

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2. Hannibal Funko Pop! Vinyl – Will Graham

As I’ve mentioned a few times here, I love Funko Pops. I love their big heads on their silly little bodies.IMG_1068 Getting one in this month’s box was very satisfying. This probably pleased many people as the amount of collectors for these figures just keeps growing .

The only problem here being I haven’t actually watched Hannibal. Clearly this was sent as a sign to get my ass in gear before season 3 premiers on Thursday (I should really get on that). Anyway, this was one of four you could receive this month. I might have only seen three episodes, but I approve because this guy is just really cool.

3. Horror Block Short Film Fest DVD

This is probably the most genuinely cool thing included in this month’s box. If there is one thing about the horror community, it is that people are constantly promoting each other. In a world of utterly shite horror films from major studios, the indie scene is where horror has been flourishing best in recent years (it could be argued that this is there horror has always been at it’s best, on second thought).

Horror Block received entries from filmmakers around the world. Here they compiled their favourites. This will definitely be something worth checking out. Hopefully the filmmakers or Horror Block will have these films available to watch elsewhere online for non-subscribers. This is also a feat that is in association with Rue Morgue.

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4. Silent Hill t-shirt

Another shirt in this month’s block from ShirtPunch.com and another thing I have no use for. I never played nor cared about Silent Hill. But of course this time I got it I’m the correct size unlike last month’s Evil Dead shirt that I actually wanted. Just really teaching me a lesson here, aren’t you Horror Block?

5. Creature from the Black Lagoon print

I love this movie. The creature design in Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of my all time favourites. Here is a exclusive collectable print – made in Canada! It has everyone’s favourite Gill-man haunting the murky waters. Pretty cool looking art. While the print is pretty cool, I probably won’t be hanging it up in our flat (I am still awaiting the day my Gizmo Walking Dead print makes it onto the wall). It is quite small, but at least it is nice looking. Definitely worth holding on to.

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Horror Block April 2015: Unboxed

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It FINALLY arrived. Horror Block is a subscription box I have been eagerly awaiting since I placed my first order a month ago. The box made it to the UK four days ago, but due to the Bank Holiday we had on Monday I had to wait in agony for the long weekend to pass.

And today I could finally open it, and I am absolutely over the moon. After watching several unboxings on YouTube, I thought I would give this a go. Horror-themed boxes seem to be a little bit more high-quality across the board, in my opinion. Many geek boxes have throw away items, but that was definitely not the case for Horror Block’s April box.

I could continue on gushing with praise, but check out the loot below and let the items speak for themselves:

1. Exclusive Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Vinyl!

This month’s box included an exclusive Ecto-1 vinyl from Titan Merchandise. This Ghostbusters car is so freaking cool, and is a really worthy addition to the contents. This sweet little car looks almost as though it was made out of fondant. It’s soft and light and really cute.

I have to admit I was quite relieved when I saw it was a car and not one of Titan’s figures because compared to Funko’s adorable designs, I’m really not a fan. This car, though, is definitely an exception. I’m glad there has been this sort of Ghostbuster’s love-revival. More Ghostbusters stuff everywhere, please.

Also, if this looks a bit familiar for an exclusive item, I do know that the it was also included in this month’s Nerd Block as well.

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2. Rue Morgue Magazine – May 2015

Before I left to go back to London, I had wanted to buy myself some magazines for the long-haul flight from the Midwest. Apparently I hadn’t bought a magazine in the States in a long while because the prices were sky-high. Rue Morgue was one of the magazines I had in hand before I had to sadly place it back on the shelf.

A believe a copy of this magazine comes in every box. This alone makes up a good chuck of the box’s value. Seeing this in the bottom of the box makes the journalist and horror fan in me very pleased indeed. This Canadian magazine always delivers on quality.

3. Evil Dead t-shirt (exclusive)

Many sub boxes love to include an exclusive t-shirt, but this is the first one I would have picked out for myself. But like the idiot I am, I ordered the wrong size. I could just kick myself because this shirt is so damn cool. I’ll be attending a con here in London later this month and this really would have been a cool shirt to wear. Unfortunately, I look like a girl drowning in a pool of black fabric. Thankfully it’s a really high-quality shirt so I can still wear it to bed or around the flat. Maybe I will give up on life and gain enough weight to finally fit.

You never know! GOALS! GOALS!

Check out the website who produced this exclusive shirt – ShirtPunch.com. They have a really cool business model. Each day they will have four different designs available. Don’t like any today? Just check out their new designs the next day.

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4. Bloody Disgusting Bates Motel mug

This month, Horror Block teamed up with super-cool horror website Bloody Disgusting. Their partnership has brought us this Bates Motel mug. This hotel-themed mug is cool for the fans of either the movie or the show (or both). Or even the book. Not pictured: the back side of the mug has a Bloody Disgusting logo on it. Fun on all sides!

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5. Heeeeere’s Coasters!

This is probably the least useful of all the items included this month. That being said, these are sill some really great coasters. The people at Horror Block printed these funky coasters. The hexagon-shaped coasters are printed with the famous  Overlook Hotel carpeting printed on.  They are printed on cardboard so they might not last very long for practical use, but they sure look great for now.

6.Killer Shots shot glasses

I’m an adult that enjoys alcohol. A lot. So if there is anything drink-related involved, I am on board. These two shot glasses have little ghoulies printed on them. They’re really cute. Kind of like carrying around your own drinking buddies.

Paladone do lots of really cool geek-related knick-knacks. Their website is mega and worth checking out.

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While I really loved the service I received this month, I don’t think I can afford to get in every month since the box is coming from Canada. The box is actually really affordable at $19.99, but the international shipping is kind of the worst. If you’re into horror in a big way, try this service. Many of the other horror subscription boxes haven’t made the international leap yet. If you are in the States or Canada, I’d still recommend this over some of the other options you can take. Many sub boxes for horror really, really focus on the Walking Dead.

So indulge the horror freak inside you and subscribe to Horror Block here.

Loot Crate April 2015: Unboxed

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The last few months of Loot Crate have been pretty hit or miss, but this month’s Fantasy box was great. At our household we were ready to click the ‘cancel subscription’ box, but the theme just sounded right up my alley so we held out for another month. It was a good thing too because it was great.

This is a bit unusual for me to share this type of post on the blog here, but it was too cool not to. Plus I know a few of you readers out there will appreciate many of the box’s contents. First off, the box (pictured above) when turned inside out looks incredible. There’s a treasure map on the other side. I’ll probably keep this one for future storage. Loot Crate should probably ship all their boxes like this.

So on to the good stuff…

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Contents of Loot Crate April 2015:

1. Dungeons and Dragons T-Shirt (Wizards of the Coast / Loot Crate Labs):

This t-shirt has a fantastic design on it. The use of the dragon sound in the & sign is really clever. Unfortunately I nor anyone I know is into the game. It would probably be ok to try starting playing the RPG to justifying wearing this shirt, though it will probably end up in our miscellaneous t-shirt drawer.

2. Harry Potter Luggage Tag (BIOWORLD)

When I saw this item I knew that this box was going to be a favourite. My love for Harry Potter still goes as strong as it was when I was a kid. And this luggage tag is absolutely perfect to continue the fandom on to adulthood. The tag is made out of what feels like will be a durable rubber, which means I won’t be afraid to actually use this in real life. We take trains out of Kings Cross all the time for trips. I will not even try and conceal how cool it will be walking through the train station with this luggage tag. Maybe I’ll even accidentally go through to the magical platform itself…

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3. Inflatable Crown (Loot Crate Labs)

This was definitely not the coolest item in the box. It’s an inflatable crown just one notch above Burger King. Not entirely sure why they decided it was a good thing to include, but I guess it was pretty cute. We definitely had a laugh about it, though, and took turns wearing it. The poor thing will probably end up in the bin, but it was worth it for a little bit of reenacting Joffrey Baratheon death scenes.

4. Exclusive RPG Bow Tie (Spotted & Tied)

Next is a red bow tie covered in sweet little dragons and dice (?). Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this item is also D&D related. The girl in the booklet photo is wearing it as a headband for some non-suit options. Maybe I just have a massive head but it definitely didn’t work for me. Neither my husband or I wear bow ties, but we’ll definitely hang on to this one. It’s really great quality so we’ll check out more stuff by Spotted & Tied in the future for special occasions.

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5. The Princess Bride Playing Cards (Albino Dragon)

This was one of my favourite items included in this month’s box. This deck of cards is the “As You Wish” Princess Bride cards. The cards all contain some absolutely stunning art work. The back of the cards have a really nice intricate design, and the art of the characters is also very lovely. They all look soft and dreamy, just like the atmosphere of the movie. Albino Dragon make loads of different items like poker sets and dice as well as cards decks. They cover several other movies as well like The Goonies and Ghostbusters. This is a company I will definitely check out more in the future.

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6. Game of Thrones Magnet Set (Dark Horse)

Step aside, Top Gear Magnet Poetry: the houses of Westeros have arrived at our fridge. The four house sigils included are Stark, Lannister, Targaryen and Baratheon. Will this piss off our flatmates? Probably, but they’ll just have to deal with it just like our GOT shot glasses.

7. Exclusive Game of Thrones USB Flash Drive (CustomUSB)

THE coolest item this month was a flash drive that came in the shape of the house Stark sigil. The direwolf is really well sculpted, especially for a USB. My husband was rather impressed that it could hold 4 GB. I am definitely one of those people who never backs up anything on their computer (oops), but just having something that looks this cool really changes my tune.

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Other than the exclusive items, most of these items can be purchased online at their respective stores. This was probably the box that saved our subscription. May’s theme is still yet to be announced, but hopefully they continue with the work they did here. Many people were somehow disappointed because there were no Funko Pops included for the past number of months, but exclusive items must take a long time to create (especially since Funko seems to be working closely with Marvel Collector Corps at the moment).

And last but not least the monthly button, which includes what looks like a giant penis castle:

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