Bat etching

Ghost Review: Geek Fuel Subscription Box

Guest Writer: Jonathan Reinhart

GeekFuel is a mystery box containing unknown objects of geeky, nerdy, gaming goodness.  Delivered to your door this monthly subscription service guarantees to provide you with $50+ USD of value in every box.  They claim to do that by promising to give you an exclusive t-shirt, games & collectibles in each box.The question many of us geeks are asking ourselves is “What’s in the box?” or the more fiscally minded of us geeks may be asking “Is it worth the money?” or the more hedonistic ones may ponder, “Will the contents bring my happiness?” Let’s try to answer some of the questions.

Opening the box. Photo by Jonathan Reinhart

Opening the box. Photo by Jonathan Reinhart

The GeekFuel box I opened contained:

  • GeekFuel Magazine Issue #21
  • GeekFuel postcard highlighting the box’s content
  • Firefly T-shirt size XL
  • Luckslinger Game Steam Code with 1 bag of Luckslinger Lucky Dice containing 2 large wooden dice
  • Horror collectible action figure
  • Box of Doc of the Dead gummy brains (film from 2014)
  • Green dragon egg toothbrush holder with interchangeable lid

It is difficult to ascertain the actual value of the contents.  Many of them are exclusives to GeekFuel.  Naturally GeekFuel doesn’t want to give an actual itemized price list in order for them to quote a higher value of the contents.  Looking at a few items it was possible to find prices online.

The Funko Horror Classics Jason sells on Amazon for $16.20.  Most of the other Funko Horror Classics action figures are under $10 on Amazon, though.  The Luckslinger game retails on Steam for $9.99.  Brain gummies that look just like the ones inside the Doc of the Dead box of gummy brains sell on Amazon in a bag of 2.2 pounds of candy for $16.96 or just 96 cents for the 2 ounces that come in GeekFuel.

For those three items we reach $27.15 worth of goods.  Should you get any figure other than Jason you’re basically getting $20 worth of stuff.  This doesn’t include the value of the dragon egg toothbrush holder or the Firefly t-shirt.  As far as I’m concerned you definitely receive more than $25 worth of things.  That is important to note, because a month-by-month subscription to GeekFuel costs $24.90 including shipping.

There’s a deeper question when evaluating the issue of value.  Does the box meet the GeekFuel guarantee of $50+ of value?  The green dragon egg toothbrush holder would retail for no more than $10 in my opinion.  It is possible to obtain t-shirts of similar quality and geeky persuasion as the Firefly one for under $20.  In fact I’ve obtained such t-shirts for as little as $15.  Combining all of the sums I arrive at $52.15.  It barely squeezes by that guaranteed $50 of value.  But, wait!  What if you got one of the cheaper action figures?  Should your box contain almost anyone other than the expensive Jason you’re not reaching that magical $50 number.

Many would say that value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  Some customers will fawn over the box’s contents.  It could be a treasure trove to the right person.  Or, it could be a pile of trash.  For me it is very much a mixed bag.  Or, should I say a mixed box.  There’s only two items in the box that I’d ever potentially consider purchasing.  One is the Firefly t-shirt and the other is the toothbrush holder.  I already have a toothbrush holder so maybe I can cross that off the list.

That means I’d have spent almost $25 for a t-shirt.  At this point I should probably move on to discussing the quality of the contents.  The Luckslinger computer game is a neat item in the way that it is packaged.  A high quality color cardboard cutout has the Steam code printed on it.  That is attached to the tiny bag containing two large wooden Luckslinger D6.  The dice feel lighter than I’d expect and they tended to roll 1s and 3s for me after a few dozen tosses.  Every gamer can use dice.  But, gamers probably would not use these, as they seemed a tad cheap to me.

The gummy brains are in an artistic box for the zombie documentary Doc of the Dead that released in 2014.  The actual gummy candies don’t look so hot.  They’re congealed in a single mass of gummy candy.  It might be possible to break them apart into single brain-sized portions.  However, I’m particular about my gummy candies so I’ll pass on eating these.

The green dragon egg toothbrush looks quite nice.  It comes with an interchangeable lid so that it can be used as a toothbrush holder for up to three toothbrushes.  Or, you could use it to store jewelry and other small knick-knacks.  Any Game of Thrones fan would probably enjoy this.  It is one item I’ll hang on to.

Action figures are one of my loves.  I have tons of generation one Transformers, G.I. Joes, Masters of the Universe, and many others from the 1980s.  Horror isn’t my thing by any stretch of the imagination.  For someone who loves horror this is actually a pretty nice action figure.

Firefly shirt. Photo by Jonathan Reinhart

Firefly shirt. Photo by Jonathan Reinhart

Remember that Firefly t-shirt I mentioned being excited about?  The design is pretty sweet.  It is a grey scale postage stamp featuring Serenity.  The artwork is beautiful.  The shirt is 100% cotton and I was able to put it on.  Those are the only good things I can say about the shirt.  It was a tight fit, which is unusual because I fit pretty comfortably into XL shirts.  The actual fabric felt very rough and cheap.

Clearly this particular box isn’t for me.  It could be good for someone else under the right circumstances.  The biggest problem with any of these mystery boxes whether they be Model Box or Loot Crate or GeekFuel happens to also be their biggest strength.  You never know what is in the box until you actually open it.  One box may be the Holy Grail to your Indiana Jones or it may be the Ark of the Covenant to your Renee Belloq.  Until you open that box you don’t know if it will heal the stomach gunshot inflicted on your father by a bunch of Nazis or if it will melt the skin from your bones.

If you’re looking for a gift idea for a friend you might find it useful to gift them a one-month subscription to GeekFuel.  They might just enjoy it.