Friday, June 3, 2016

What's in the Box?!?: Gentleman's Box, Smuggler's Bounty, Nerd Block, and Firefly Cargo Crate for May 2016

It’s time for another subscription box round-up! Here are the subscription boxes I received since my last round-up post (excluding the second Ghost Post box, because that deserves its own entry).

First up: the May Gentleman’s Box! The inspiration for this month’s box is “Our Favorite Soul King,” or Ray Charles. 

First up: a pair of argyle socks from DapperGanger. I like the colors a lot. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me to take them out of the package for a photograph; the heels and toes are also red. I haven’t worn them yet, but the booklet assures me “DapperGanger socks are sure to help you feel more comfortable.” We shall see.

This month’s neck apparel is a bow tie from Salt + Dapper. As any Doctor Who fan knows, bow ties are cool, but I don’t actually own any. Well, none until now. This one is specially designed for Gentleman’s Box, and I like the pattern. 

What I like less are the “instructions” for tying a bow tie on the packaging. I’m sure it’s meant to be clever, but comes across as patronizing and irritating. If I’ve got the wherewithal to wear a bow tie, I’ve probably got the sense to learn how to do it. I don’t need instructions that say, “Why don’t you go look it up?” That sounds like something a hipster douchebag would do.

Moving on, there’s a little tube of Ray Charles Innovations easy shoe shine polish. According to the booklet, Ray Charles Innovations is a portable electric shoe shine device created by Ray Charles Patterson (not the musician). I’m not sure if I need to use this polish with the device, or if it’s a handy travel shoe polish thing. If it’s the latter, then it’ll come in handy. If it’s the former, then what the hell am I supposed to do with this if I need to buy the device?

Sadly, I don’t own any shirts that need cufflinks. I might buy some, because these Crosby & Co cufflinks are pretty sharp. I like the simple, elegant grid design.

Finally, I received a little tub of El Patron Pomade. I’m sure this would really come in handy if I had hair.

The latest Star Wars Smugglers Bounty box from Funko arrived on my birthday! This month’s theme is Bounty Hunters.

This month’s patch is Boba Fett, and the pin is the reptilian bounty hunter, Bossk. (I had to look up the spelling, but years of buying Star Wars action figures as a kid has taught me all the background characters’ names.)

The T-shirt was more in line with last month’s, in that it features a more realistic illustration, rather than Funko-Pop-ized versions of the characters. This is a nice design, featuring possibly all the bounty hunters from the scene in The Empire Strikes Back that introduces Boba Fett.

Speaking of Boba Fett, he’s one of this month’s exclusive Pops. (I assume they are exclusive; they are marked as exclusives on the box, but they are listed on the backs of the boxes. I guess the exclusives are listed so collectors can know all the variants that are out there?)

I have to assume that there is a regular Boba Fett Pop in existence, and what makes this one an exclusive is that, like Iron Man in the Collectors Corps Civil War box and Deadpool in the Collectors Corps Deadpool box, he’s mounted on a stand that looks like he’s blasting off with his rocket pack.

The other exclusive is droid bounty hunter IG-88. (He’s a bounty hunter who is a droid, not a bounty hunter who hunts droids.) This is probably the only IG-88 Pop figure that there is.

And that’s all that came in this month’s box. It seems kind of sparse, to be honest, but the figures are nice, and I’m happy to add the pin and patch and shirt to my collection.

And now onto the May Nerd Block! This month’s theme is “The 80s Take Over!”

This month’s cool exclusive is a Marshmallow Man plush from Ghostbusters, made by Monster Factory. It’s super cute overall, but I really love the pouty expression on his face.

The next exclusive item is a Rick and Morty T-shirt. I don’t watch Rick and Morty, and my wife had to explain to me that it was not a shirt featuring Doc Brown from Back to the Future. I am so unhip. But I’ll still wear this shirt and pretend otherwise.

As if my Star Lord and C-3PO mugs were not enough, I now own an Iron Man mini-mug. Well, mini compared to the Funko head-mugs. This “mini” size is so small, it probably only holds one cup of coffee. (Or less; see photo below, posed next to a 13 pound cat for scale.

Every time I get a cute notepad, it disappears. This will probably be the case with this nice Etch-a-Sketch pad, but it’s still cute. (Also, Etch-a-Sketches existed well before the 80s, I believe. Just saying.)

Adding to the ever-growing Funko Pop collection in our household, I received a Pop of Samantha Baker, Molly Ringwald’s character from Sixteen Candles, perhaps the only John Hughes movie from the 80s I haven’t seen. 

The final item in the box was the last exclusive this month: a cool “OUTATIME” license plate pin from Back to the Future. (I probably didn’t see Sixteen Candles because I was busy watching Back to the Future over and over and over again.) I love those movies so much, so this is a cool pin for me.

And, of course, there is the usual card detailing what's in the box.

Next month’s theme is Ghostbusters. That’s one of the movies I remember going to see with my dad when it originally came out, so it’s got a special place in my heart. I look forward to seeing what comes in that box.

We received two more boxes as of this writing. One was the third Disney’s Haunted Mansion Ghost Relations Department Ghost Post box, which deserves its own blog. The other was the latest Firefly Cargo Crate from Loot Crate.

This month’s crate is adorned with a travel sticker from Higgin’s Moon, setting of the episode Jaynestown. This pretty clearly establishes the theme for this month: morally questionable tough guy crew member Jayne Cobb, played by Adam Baldwin. 

The sticker is included in the box, as well, one of the many exclusives this month.

Also exclusive is a Jayne mini statue from Little Damn Heroes. Like the Kaylee figure in the previous box, it definitely looks like the character, if not exactly like the actor playing him. These figures are going to make a nice set once they’re complete.

The Mudders’ Jayne Cobb 1 Chit Coin is another nice exclusive. Sadly, not legal tender anywhere but Higgin’s Moon, but you can use it for a cold pint of Mudder’s Milk! (The recipe for which is included in this month’s booklet.)

This month’s exclusive pin is a nice “Let’s Be Bad Guys” pin. Nothing wrong with wearing a Jayne Cobb quote around town.

The final exclusive is a Jayne Cobb Wanted Poster, designed by Geoffrey Mandel for this box. He was the graphic artist on the movie Serenity, so that ends an air of legitimacy to this item. He’s also now a creative consultant on this series of subscription boxes, so that should ensure that they continue to have that Firefly/Serenity feel to them.

The box includes a few more items, which are not exclusives, but are pretty cool. First up is the Q-Bit Mini Mystery Figure. This time, the possibilities were Shepherd Book or Kaylee. We got Shepherd Book, which is fine. I particularly admire his mustache. However, since we got Simon Tam last time, it would have been nice to get Kaylee this time, so they could be a couple.

This month’s T-shirt, from Dead Fish, is inspired by the one Jayne wore on the show. It’s pretty nifty.

Finally, there’s the Thrilling Heroics stainless steel flask, featuring our favorite anti-hero.

As  usual, the booklet is as much a Firefly fanzine as it is a listing of the box's contents. This month features an article about Jayne, but does not include an interview with Adam Baldwin. I'd been reading online about how he's a bit of a jerk and a bully at cons, so perhaps that's for the best. Instead, we get an interview with costume designer Shawna Trpcic. It's a nice addition to the box. 

Overall, all the exclusives make this box a must-have for Firefly fans. (And since we are Firefly fans in our house, we must have it.)

Which item out of these boxes sounds like it could be your favorite? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you all next week!

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