5 Mystery 'Box Of The Month' Subscriptions, Reviewed
Anyone who knows me doesn't return my calls. But also, they know I paradoxically love packages, yet hate unboxing videos. I despise the entire unboxing industry. It's opening your goddamn mail or Christmas presents or latest subpoena on camera for ... others to also enjoy? But there is no joy in that, because none of that shit is mine. How is an unboxing video fun? But I digress.
Because I still like getting mail, and because there seems to be a crazy boom these days in mystery box subscriptions one can pay for which will send random loot of a semi-specific genre to your home, I figured I'd try my hand at a few different subscriptions to see if they were worth my while. I recorded not a single one as I opened it, because fuck that. Unboxing videos are the scourge of modernity.
Wet Shave Club ($29.99/mo)
I was a member of the Dollar Shave Club until I moved and forgot to update my address. That club sends you a pack of razors every month, presumably for a buck. Someone else signed me up, so I was never sure what the associated cost was. The Wet Shave Club is an entirely different ball of wax. And if I'm being honest, it's actually pretty awesome, despite the vaguely obscene name.
For $30, I received a box featuring what I consider an old-timey razor and 10 replacement blades. Real razor blades, like the kind you get cut with in street fights when you mess with a crazy fucker. The kit also contained a synthetic boar bristle brush meant for lathering your face up like grandpa used to, a can of some manly scented shaving soap, a small bottle of aftershave that smells the way I imagine James Bond does, and even a bar of handmade goat's milk soap, which looks suspiciously like fudge but tastes exactly like soap.
Also, the razor comes with a tiny leather hood, like for a falcon or an executioner, and that's pretty awesome.
I named mine Excalibur and now shave exclusively on windswept English moors.
I can't grow a proper beard or mustache to save my life. However, if you give me about six hours, I can grow stubble to shame any male model who's going for that outdoorsy look. I have perfect stubble for four solid days, after which the itch becomes unbearable and I start to look like an unstable Amish man. Needless to say, I shave pretty frequently and have, for the most part, just used disposable razors and a can of shaving cream/foam/gel/resin/ointment/jizz to do so.
The whole shaving experience with the brush and a can of manly shave soap is pretty invigorating. It makes you feel like maybe not every life choice you've made has been completely misguided, and virginity isn't something you've permanently attached to yourself. I mean, it makes others feel that way. I totally had sex once. I think I wrote about it, maybe.
Where do you think I got that jizz from?
The first time you use a razor that you put the blade into yourself, you'll be wary of slicing your throat and bleeding out alone next to the toilet literally the entire time. Because obviously if it was going to happen, I'd be the one to do it. I'd be the guy who puts the razor in murder-side-out by accident and just goes ahead and takes a swipe at my fuzzy jowls, only to see an artery flop out.
Lucky for me, the murder side was in and the shave went ahead like a boss. The aftershave totally James Bonded me up, and once it was all put away in the medicine cabinet, it looked like an adult lived in my house. Fuckin' aces.
Related: How To Shave Your Back Safely
Carnivore Club ($55/mo)
The price on this was actually what attracted me to it, because how could a $55 box of meat be anything but glorious? I was picturing a package arriving on the back of an old-timey delivery truck, and that when I opened it, I'd be whisked away to a Willy-Wonka-style slaughterhouse where little men dance with cuts of meat and rivers of blood carry you on a boat past pastrami trees and bacon hounds frolicking in the hills.
The actual box was less spectacular, but it did include cured meats. It was a charcuterie box. Go on, Google it. I had to.
I could have just looked at their website, but that would have been too easy.
The box contained four kinds of cured meats and a small container of some kind of insane salt flavored with orange. The orange smell overpowered everything else, but not in a bad way, because it's orange. Who doesn't like oranges? So imagine orange and a hint of sausage. That's what this box stank of. That's the kind of stank I want to be associated with. And also, since I will never stop being a 12-year-old boy:
My little sausages were decent, and inspired me to pretend one was a dong. Look at it. Ha ha, dong sausage! Overall, though, this was no $55 box of sausage. It was like a $20 box of sausage, maybe. And I have no idea what to do with orange salt, as I can't quite figure out what I'd like to eat that should be both salty and citrusy at the same time. I guess maybe a sausage dish? I don't know.
Prepper Gear ($69/3mo)
Are you afraid that you might wake up in the woods one day? Or worse, in the woods in the camp of some other militia that's not as cool as the militia you're so obviously a part of if you're ordering this box?
All real militias dress like this.
Each Prepper Gear box contains three items to help you overthrow your local government, depending on your needs. My box was decked out with a lock pick set, some water treatment chemicals, and a roll of camouflage cling tape, like you'd use to cover a bandage after someone stabs you for trying to pick their lock with your amateur lock pick set.
I feel like this box wasn't meant for me, as I've never been inclined to pick a lock, I've never needed to purify 60 gallons of polluted water, and I don't know why I might need camo wrap for my wounds and/or weapons, as the package suggests. I don't have weapons. I'm not a pacifist; I just know that if we decided to go sword-to-sword and you were the kind of person who can use a sword, then I'm getting beheaded. I can accept that.
Someone more deserving and much more disturbed can win this actual subscriber giveaway. It's cool.
In an effort to survive the keypocalpse, or whatever it is that might necessitate me to use lock picks instead of actual keys, I decided to try to open my front door using nothing but lock picks and my latent fear of the out-of-doors as motivation. I like to think my neighbors assumed I was some kind of mentally unstable asshole as I squatted at my door and jiggered with the locks for a solid 20 minutes before my ass started cramping on me. Ass cramps, as you know, are nature's way of saying "Dude, grow the fuck up." And so I did. I unlocked my door with a key and sat down to a delicious beer and some chips. It was a good day.
My water treatment chemicals are sitting in a drawer, waiting for the day I work up the nerve to take a bath then try to return the tub to a pristine state of drinkability.
Sci-Fi Block ($19.99/mo)
Because my manly, super stud/jock/genius veneer actually masks an inner geek, I was kind of stoked about this box. A whole cardboard container full of nerdery? Go on! Each box contains a T-shirt, plus a handful of other nerd items, and I have to say this one was kind of badass. The shirt was a Blade Runner shirt, and I'm pretty sure no one in the world owns a Blade Runner shirt, because who makes those? There was also a Jurassic Park scarf that looks like the banner the T-Rex knocks down at the end of the first movie, and it's surprisingly well-made. My neck will be so warm this winter, all you frozen-neck suckers won't even know what hit you.
But it will probably be one of these bad boys.
I also lucked out with a Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD containing four select films for my amusement: Fugitive Alien, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, The Sword And The Dragon and Samson Vs. The Vampire Women. Oh my god, it's the best vs. since Mello Yello vs. Mountain Dew!
Also in the box were a Judge Dredd: Year One novel, a tiny little alien abduction pin, and a print of the Star Wars characters as zombies. What a dorkucopia!
I find myself wearing the scarf often as I do my work, sipping a large glass of cider and wondering if maybe I should be living in the mountains killing hikers for a living. Who pays you to kill hikers, you may ask? You steal their shit and sell it, of course. This isn't rock science (geology). It's hiker murder, and it's lucrative. But for now, I'll just wear the scarf at home and enjoy the warmest goddamn neck in town.
In a nutshell, this box is awesome and I highly recommend it, if anyone gives a shit what a man inspired to kill hikers solely by a scarf thinks.
Oh, FUCK YOU, Sci-Fi Block.
T-Shirt Block ($29.95/mo)
T-Shirt Block comes to you from the same people who give you Sci-Fi Block: a company called Nerd Block. They offer a half dozen different blocks, whether you're interested in video games or horror or just being a nerd. The shirt block is just shirts, and I have to be honest, I like shirts. You get five shirts in a box for $30, so that's six dollars a shirt, and they're of pretty good quality. You can't go wrong with that. The only time I've gotten cheaper shirts was by stealing them from locker rooms.
This month's box had a pretty wide range of stuff inside. There was a Stranger Things shirt, a fairly forgettable Spider-Man shirt, a Transformers popsicle shirt, a pretty badass ugly sweater / '80s Nintendo Friday The 13th shirt, and a Point Break shirt. Point Break! The Keanu Reeves film!
Aside from the Spider-Man shirt, I was pretty stoked to see everything in here. Not that I have anything against Spider-Man -- he fights crime and seems a decent enough fellow -- but it's just a fade into the background kind of shirt, like a million other Spider-Man shirts. I'll probably wear it the next time I paint something, or when I need to hide my nipples but don't feel like being dressed up.
Spins a shirt, just my size, catches ladies just like flies.
The Stranger Things shirt is white, which is generally a point against any shirt in my opinion, because that shit means I will eventually need to bleach it, and I just don't have that kind of time. Still, it was a crazy design, so I didn't mind all that much. It's not like I'll be wearing the shirt to funerals and stuff, anyway.
The Deceptipop shirt was kind of clever, I guess. It's the Decepticon logo, but on a popsicle stick. I imagine if they made these for real, when you bought it from an ice cream truck, you'd pop it open and it'd be half-deformed like they always are, and you'd eat it anyway with a frown on your face.
The last two were clearly the coolest shirts, because Johnny Utah and Jason in 8-bit are the cornerstones of my T-shirt collection. That's obviously not true, but wouldn't that be weird as shit? If I just had an abundance of Point Break shirts in my closet interspersed with Nintendo-inspired Friday The 13th ones? I wonder if there's a guy like that out there somewhere. Bet his house smells like fart all the time.
It's probably what killed his mates. They could have used the Prepper Gear Box.
If you like a lot of shirts, I have to give my recommendation to this box. I like shirts. I have about 100 T-shirts, and I don't know why. Most of them are just plain shirts, like a green shirt, but I keep getting more. I have a weird fear that maybe one day I'll be shirtless when I really need a shirt. If that's your issue, do yourself a favor and get this box.
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