Geek Fuel EXP is a monthly subscription box filled with fandom tees, figures, comics, and goodies.
Note: Due to an error in their shipping department, we had been receiving the Geek Fuel boxes a month late. This has since been corrected.
In addition, Geek Fuel wanted us to pass along this message about ordering from them during the holidays: "Throughout our discussions with the major freight carriers (FedEx, USPS), they are expecting major holiday delays. We recommend shopping early this year in November to be safe and we will be offering holiday gifting options in November to guarantee delivery before the holidays."
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.)
About Geek Fuel
The Subscription Box: Geek Fuel
The Cost: $29 a month, save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Games, toys, collectibles, and other exclusive gear.
Ships to: The U.S. for free.
Geek Fuel September 2020 Review
Included was an info card with details about each item. This month's card is Geek Fuel's own art depicting a Beetlejuice-inspired theme. There was no sticker this month.
"It's Showtime" Shirt - Exclusive
I was really impressed with this month's T-shirt. I've only been reviewing this box for three months and I've liked every shirt, but this one is a step above. It features Geek Fuel's own art inspired by the 1988 movie Beetlejuice. It shows the infamous mean-looking sandworm slithering up the shirt with scenes and references from the movie in its body. I thought it might glow in the dark, but I checked and it does not. And the cherry on top is that it came in a box designed to look like the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. I like that the design is cool on its own and that it references the movie without saying so.
I could be wrong, but it seems like an "unofficial item" in that it doesn't actually say "Beetlejuice" anywhere, nor does it really have any trademarked characters. That's not a complaint if it's done well. Again, I have to mention July's "Stranger Things" Scarf or even "The Shining" socks later in this review. This is a sweet spot for Geek Fuel: find an interesting, cool way to reference a movie, without having to pay extra for the copyrights. This shirt is a perfect example of walking that line. You won't find this on a store shelf.
Classic Horror Collectible - Retail Value $18
Subscribers will receive one of two classic horror collectible "ReAction" figures, either "Frankenstein" (by which they mean Frankenstein's Monster, come on) or The Metaluna Mutant, which I received. I must admit that I do not know anything about this character. I found out it is from a 1955 movie called This Island Earth. I bet classic horror fans will love it though. This is the second "ReAction" figure I've received in a box. Although I don't feel either way about the character, I appreciate the appeal of action figures and receiving them in an old school packaging.
Note: I couldn't find The Metaluna Mutant on Super7's website, but if you want this specific figure, here is a link to another site where it is cheaper than the others.
Time to "Shine" Socks - Exclusive
Here is another example of an "unofficial" item that is right on the money. You won't find the name of the movie anywhere, but the design of these socks is unmistakable. The famous Hick's Hexagon design is the carpet in the Overlook Hotel in the 1980 film The Shining. The crew socks are 70% cotton, 18% Polyester, 10% Nylon, and 2% Spandex and come in a holder that is designed to look like the "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" typewriter and paper. There are subtle enough that no one will bat an eye at their retro look, but fans will notice it right away. They are perfect for cozying up in a cabin, flashing your horror-loving personality, or, you know, being alone with your family and demons in an isolated hotel until you descend into murderous madness. Your pick.
Fantastic Forgotten Fortunes of Rare Retro Relics, Trinkets Treasure, and Trash (F.F.F.R.R.R.T.T.T. Mystery Bag) - Exclusive
Last month I said I would have loved to get a subscription box of just these Mystery Bags, so I was really excited to get another this month with an added Halloween element. According to the info card, one subscriber will find Jack Torrance (from The Shining) in their bag and win a stay at The Stanley Hotel, which served as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in the original novel and a filming location of the 1997 TV series. The hotel, located near Estes Park, CO, is actually being threatened by wildfires at the moment. So fingers crossed it survives.
I did not receive Jack, but did get another movie card. This time from Moonraker. There is a pin that I'm not sure where it is from, but sort of looks like the moon from A Trip to the Moon or the music video of Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins, which it inspired; a gummy ring; and a Dum Dum lolly (classic). Again, I can see subscribers going both ways on these mystery bags. I personally love them, because they remind me of being a kid and getting excited by the little trinkets in the quarter machines. However, I would also understand if someone doesn't feel that way. I really liked the Halloween contest tie-in, too. As much as I like them, I don't think Geek Fuel should rely on the mystery bags too often.
If you received a mystery bag, please comment with the contents and what you thought of it.
Interesting note: I liked the mystery bags so much that I reached out to someone at Geek Fuel for more information and they confirmed that they did in fact find a cache of old trinkets, toys, and cards, which they are passing onto subscribers. How cool is that? Thankfully, the candy is new.
Verdict: Finally, a very solid and spooky effort from Geek Fuel. The last few months have been a little underwhelming, but October's box was perfect. The shirt was clever and cool. Although I personally am not familiar with the action figure, I really like it and know there is a horror movie buff that will love it. The socks are a functional item with a subtle nod to a classic horror movie. And you already know I'm a fan of the mystery bag, although I can understand if some subscribers don't find the value in it. This is the box I've been waiting for from Geek Fuel. Picking a favorite is hard this month, but I'm going to have to go with the shirt. Again, I was really impressed that they came up with a great design for a great movie, without even mentioning the name of it. It would be awesome as-is, even if it wasn't from a movie. I really hope Geek Fuel can continue this momentum and hit the mark without an obvious theme like Halloween. This box made me feel more positive about this subscription.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? You'll likely start with next month's box.
Value Breakdown: At $29 per month + free shipping, each of these 4 items has an average cost of $7.25. Once again, the mystery bag will be more an emotional value, if any at all. However, the other items are easily worth more than their cost. A shirt like this in a store would cost $15+ easy and the socks would be $10+. Finally, a great box of great items for a great value.
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