What do LootCrate, NerdBlock and PowerUp Box all have in common? That’s right, they’re all Geek box subscription services (duh!). Apparently, getting a box full of nerdful goods on a monthly basis is all the rage these days. So it makes no surprise to see this trend has brought the big dogs out to play. Well, correction, make that only one big dog. And they’re a marvelous one. Literally… Marvel (as in the comics/studio) has come out with their own monthly box o’ goods, aptly named “Marvel’s Collector Corps“.
Nerd Bastards was fortunate to receive the 3rd months release of Marvel’s foray into the geek box subscription market. Does it live up to the Marvel namesake? What items lay enclosed? Head on past the jump as we unbox this sucka and tell you what’s what.
The premise behind this is like any other geek subscription box – once a month (in this service, every other month) you receive a box of items consisting of a mixed bag (or box in this case) of toys, collectibles, comics, and a t-shirt. The novelty of it is that you don’t know what you’re gonna get until you get it. Think of it this way – if, on a game show, and asked to select items revealed behind door number 1 or pick what’s in the mystery box, most people would choose the box (compelled to utter “the box, the box, THE BOX”). The allure of the unknown makes for an excitable purchase.
Now, what makes Marvel’s Collector Corps different from other geek box subscription services? Well, for starters, its focused to Marvel products only. Some may think that’s limited, but to others, a benefit. Where you could get a box from NerdBlock, and let’s say it contained an item from Doctor Who, and you really don’t like Doctor Who, you’d feel a little sour having spent money being stuck with something you don’t like. Least if you’re a Marvel fan, you’re more opt to get a selection of items to make you cheer. Furthermore, Marvel themes their boxes around a character, comic, or movie. Their first box was based around The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the second on Ant-Man. They essentially give you an idea of what their building their boxes around, whilst keeping up the mystery appeal. So if you don’t like a particular theme, you can opt out of that month.
The August box, received on the tail end of the month, now marks the 3rd release in Marvel’s ongoing geek box subscription service. Its inspiration, its theme, is based around Secret Wars – the mega crossover event happening now in Marvel comic books.
Secret Wars has been the most popular book for the past few months, but even then, doesn’t quite have the cultural out reach as Age of Ultron or Ant-Man. Not to take a crack at the biggest thing to happen to comics since DC’s The New 52, but you have to be a savant of sorts in order to keep up with all the characters and converging plots. So, building a box around it was only ever going to appeal to the true Marvel diehards. At least, that’s what I first thought when going into this months box.
The box itself is larger than most geek subscription boxes. It’s also also a heck of a lot more eye appealing than most; featuring vibrant one color (black and red) inked illustrations emblazoned on the outside as well as in. It stands as a collectors item all its one, something you may think twice about throwing away.
The top aerial view is of Jane Foster‘s Thor and a spiffy un-worded comic strip by Secret Wars artist Esad Ribic layered in its inside. The inner flap says “welcome to the collector corps” where the first 2 of 6 items are presented. A pin and patch featuring Superior Iron Man (an early and later scrapped character design) and Sam Wilson respectively. Not necessarily the coolest of items, but the exclusivity of them serve the purpose of making their owner feel part of a secret club. You wanna be part of a club, don’t you?
The one constant in most geek subscription boxes have been those ever so adorable Pop! figures from Funko. And Marvel makes no exception. In fact, they’ve gone and upped the ante. Releasing not one but two figures – Miles Morales‘ Spider-Man and Jane Foster‘s Thor marking the first time Funko’s put more than one Pop in a single shipment. They’re also exclusive, not available anywhere else. Which, makes them hot tickets! While some fans who are deep into the Secret Wars comic might have preferred God Doom or Sheriff Strange, these two figures alone make the whole box completely worth it. They’re diverse and have quickly become 2 breakout characters.
As for the figures themselves, they’re exactly what you expect from Funko; featuring big bobble heads on a tiny body. There’s a fair amount of detail on Thors armor and the helmet, which makes the figure really stand out. The Pop! Miles Morales‘ Spider-Man has a dark blue costume, where it’s black in the comics. The coloring, however, does make it pop (no pun intended). As a Miles Morales fan, it’s nice to finally have some legit memorabilia of the guy. Though, I’m not sure why it was necessary to give him pupils?
A staple of geek box subscription services is that they all come with a t-shirt. As you might have guessed it, this box comes with a Secret Wars themed tee. The shirt features the Marvel characters that had been used to promote Secret Wars prior to its beginnings like Iron Man, Sam Wilson, Thor and Miles, but all in Pop form. Its cute. I dunno if a dude would wear it proud, but, it makes for a perfect knockaround tee; like something you toss on after jumping out of the shower.
Rounding out the Collector Corps box is an exclusive comic. Honestly, what would a box by Marvel be, if they didn’t include a comic book?
This shouldn’t have been called a Secret Wars box, as it seems to be all about Thor. As if box art, t-shirt, and figure wasn’t enough; the comic included in this box is an exclusive variant cover to Secret Wars #1 featuring the Jane Foster Thor Pop! The comic comes bagged and boarded, to keep it mighty and marvelous. If you’ve been on the fence about jumping into the Secret Wars story, now’s a reason to start – you have the 1st issue in your hands!
You can sign up for future Collector Corps boxes and pay $25, or$150 for the year-long plan — although note that boxes only ship every other month, so the year plan gets you six boxes. The added benefit of the year plan is you get a special free gift on the annual anniversary of your subscription.
All-and-all, it’s a pretty good deal. The contents are valued at $50.oo and you’re paying $25… yeah, you’re making out like a bandit. Chances are, you’ll like at least one thing in the box to rationalize your purchase. For all the items you feel “meh” about, then consider donating them and be a brief hero to someone. Or, you have a friend/family member and the unwanted items make for a quick birthday or holiday gift when you forgot to get them one.
If Secret Wars wasn’t your bag, take a look at what they have in store for October – Villains!
Head on over to CollectorCorps.com to start your subscription today.