WOWBOX is a Japanese snacks and sweets subscription service that offers multiple themed boxes.
Currently, there are four themes in various sizes (Small, Regular, or Large). The Fun & Tasty Box is the original box filled with "all the fun, tasty, and weird treats that Japan is known for," including DIY kits. The Kawaii & Beauty Box contains kawaii packaged beauty-themed products as well as low-calorie snacks and health-conscious treats. The New & Limited Box contains new, limited, or exclusive items that are hot off the shelves from Japan. The Dagashi Box is a mini-sized snack box filled with traditional dagashi treats "from a bygone era.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is for the Large Fun & Tasty, $34.99 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: WOWBOX
The Cost: $24.99 per month for a Regular box, $34.99 per month for a Large box, or $14.99 per month for the Small Dagashi Box, with discounts on longer commitments. Free or expedited shipping options available.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off for your first plan
The Products: Japanese snacks and candies curated to one of four themes
Ships to: Worldwide!
Good to know: WOWBOX ships from Japan and accepts PayPal.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each box comes with a general WOWBOX greetings card. Descriptions, nutrition facts, and allergy information are found online in the subscriber's account information section.
This box arrived with a notice from U.S. Customs and Department of Agriculture explaining that they had searched the contents and removed snacks that were in violation of agriculture quarantine regulations. The snacks, which both contained chicken, were Otona Petit Hon Wasabi Cheese Okaki and Jagaimo Gocochi (Sour Cream Onion). I've never had this happen before so it came as quite a surprise.
Big Bar Z
This is a long puffy snack covered in creamy chocolate. This is a substantial snack and very filling if you eat it all at once. The cross section of this looks like a star or flower.
Pie No Mi (Apple Pie)
These are mini puff pastries with apple pie-flavored cream filling. The combination of flaky shell and sweet cream does taste reminiscent of delicious apple pie. I really like this one!
Giant Caplico (Strawberry)
I have had Caplicos before and they're so scrumptious! This is a snack shaped like an ice cream cone, complete with peel-off paper wrapping and a crunchy cake cone. The filling, however, consists of light, airy strawberry and chocolate cream. I like to think of this as a guilt-free alternative to ice cream.
Kaju Gummy (Fuji Apple)
These are apple flavored gummies. The fragrance is amazing! It smells artificial but in the most delicious and aromatic way possible... better than any apple I've ever smelled.
Kajiriccho Soft Candy (Hip Hop Berry)
This tastes like watermelon flavored Laffy Taffy. The outer layer is supposed to be soda flavored and the inner layer berry flavored, but to me, it tastes like watermelon.
This is Ramune-flavored cotton candy. Again, I don't taste the soda flavor so much as original cotton candy, so this snack isn't the most unique or exciting item ever. However, I did enjoy peeling the dense layers apart like puff pastry and eating it like I was at a carnival.
Bisco Minipack (Wheat Germ)
These are cream-filled sandwich biscuits. They're interesting in that the filling is sweet but the crackers are a little savory. The combination actually goes very well together. I am a big fan of these.
Grand Jagabee (Fromage)
If you ever wanted to know what baked French fries taste like, this is your chance. This one is fromage flavored, which I discovered is just French for cheese. Each stick looks exactly like a French fry, but once you bite down you'll realize it's more of a fancy potato chip.
Gaba (Milk Chocolate)
These are very smooth and creamy milk chocolate pieces. They're marketed as "mental balance chocolates" which can "ease your mind via an acid that calms the nervous system." It refers to the amino acid and neurotransmitter GABA, which produces sedative effects on the body. I learned about GABA in college as a psychology student but this is the first time I've heard it's effective taken orally. I did some cursory research on the internet and found there was even a scientific article written on these! Honestly, even if the stress-reducing effects are fictitious, the chocolates are still ridiculously delicious. I would eat these all day.
Kaju Jelly (White Peach)
This snack has the same runny consistency as applesauce, but rather than apples, the jelly tastes like sweet, fragrant white peaches. I tried to get a good photo of the jelly standing up, but it fell over almost immediately. While I'm not a big fan of applesauce, I loved every bite of this Kaju Jelly.
These are pineapple-flavored hard candies. I would say the flavor tastes more true-to-life than candies I have tried in the States, but there is nothing too special about this snack. I do appreciate that WOWBOX included a whole bag, though!
Happy Kitchen Taiyaki & Odango Kit - Value $4.80
Lastly, this is a DIY candy taiyaki and odango kit. This is one of the most labor intensive DIY kits I have ever tried, but the results are amazing, not to mention tasty! Since the instructions are all in Japanese, WOWBOX links to a YouTube video that shows you how to make the kit step-by-step.
Everything you need is included in the kit with the exception of water and a microwave.
The kit makes four different types of food: taiyaki, dango, strawberry daifuku, and carbonated soda. Everything is created from powder and water. It's amazing how chemistry and a little water can make such a variety of goodies.
This photo shows the daifuku and dango still in process. The red jelly tastes like strawberry jam, and the chocolate cream actually tastes like chocolate cream.
Here is the chocolate taiyaki's final form. The fish-shaped breading is the only thing that requires a microwave.
Here is the dango covered in special dango sauce (both made from powders).
This is my least favorite creation. The soda tastes very chemical-- not at all like any kind of soda I've had. I would not recommend.
Here are the finished products. I spent about 20-25 minutes on everything, but I'm sure others can complete it in less time. This kit ranks pretty high on my list of best Japanese DIY kits. There were many steps, and it took some effort, but instructions were generally easy to follow and I had a lot of fun making the mini snacks. Best of all, 3 out of 4 creations were truly tasty!
Verdict: Despite losing two snacks to U.S. Customs, I still thoroughly enjoyed this WOWBOX. The DIY kit was one of the best kits I've ever made. I also discovered some unusual but delicious snacks like the Gaba chocolates and Pie No Mi. There were 14 items total (including the missing snacks), so the cost breakdown is $2.50 per snack. If you were like me and only received 12 items, then the cost breakdown is around $2.92. I think the value is so-so for what you get, but since I don't have access to these snacks locally, I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience of having them shipped to my door.
What are your thoughts on WOWBOX?