Geek Fuel is a monthly geeky subscription box filled with fandom figures, comics, and goodies. For $29 per month (shipping is free), you'll receive a tee and 3 or 4 other items, such as games, toys, collectibles, and other exclusive gear. For its modest price point, this subscription constantly finds new and clever ways to illicit a nostalgia trip for those of us that grew up in the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into the 70s. As a child of the 1980s who would often be found in front of a TV/movie/video game screen, I am the target market for this box and often find myself reliving my childhood with every installment.
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.)
Included was an info card with details about each item. This month's theme is "Strike Force Edition" and the card has a commando and bowling theme – very clever. Geek Fuel included a few coloring pages, which is new. The accordion booklet is once again on heavy card stock, which I'm assuming we can start to expect monthly. Again, it's really nice.
Note: We were not sent the July box with the "Squad" theme. I didn't notice until this box, listed as August, showed up at my door.
Inside the Geek Fuel "Strike Force Edition" Box
The Big Lebowski "El Duderino" Exclusive Shirt - Listed Price $25
I'm going to assume that, like the rest of us, you're a fan of "The Big Lebowski." It's a great movie by great directors and has a killer soundtrack. I liked the inclusion of a bowling movie (if you can call it that) in a "Strike Force" theme. The shirt is bright blue and the simple design is a bowling lane of red, orange, and yellow with pins, a tumbleweed as a bowling bowl, and a little desert scene with clouds and cactus. It features the words "El Duderino" on one end and an image of the man himself on the other. I honestly think I had a very similar blue shirt with a small rainbow across the chest when I was younger, just without the movie stuff.
While I enjoy the simplicity, in my opinion, the design is underwhelming by Geek Fuel standards. Almost every month, I rave about the creative design, but I found myself a little disappointed with this one. The printing isn't very good (see the tumbleweed) and the image of The Dude could literally be any disheveled, bearded man in sunglasses. It is also curious to me that it has a different picture of The Dude and is a different color than the shirt in the booklet. I don't know what all goes into planning these designs every month, but I think for an officially licensed shirt, they could have gone bigger.
Note: The listed price for the shirts increased from $20 to $25. There is an update in the booklet that says the increase is due to industry prices.
"Get to the Javaaa!" Color Changing Mug – Listed Price $12
My wife and I have quite a collection of coffee mugs, despite us using the same two or three constantly. I just counted them, including travel mugs: 30. Well, now I have 31 and it's unique. Pouring hot liquid into this otherwise ordinary black mug produces an image of two soldiers as heat signatures. The image is, unofficially, of course, that of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a comrade from the film "Predator." If you've never seen the movie, the bad guy is an alien that sees everything thermally. So we occasionally see the protagonists by their heat signatures. Just like on the mug. I think this was a good use of the color-changing technology. Here is a very sped-up video of said change:
As far as the mug itself goes, it's absolutely ordinary and I love that. We have way too many cute, odd, thin, or oversized mugs. I much prefer a regular mug. It's a small thing, but it increases my enjoyment. Another small thing that I like, I'm right-handed, so the image on the mug faces out for others to see. What's the point of having a mug like this if not to let others see?
G.I. Joe Mini Figure - Listed Price $5
Subscribers will receive one of six G.I. Joe figurines. Characters include Snake Eyes, Red Ninja, Destro, Cobra Commander, Roadblock, or Duke. I received Red Ninja. The mini-figure measures 2-1/2 inches and is pretty detailed. I'd be lying if I said I knew much about G.I. Joe, but the imagery of the figures, the package, and the sticker (see below) are still very nostalgic to me.
Note: I was not able to find these for sale – individually or as a set – anywhere consistent. Only places like eBay.
Cobra Holo Sticker - Listed Price $3
In addition to the G.I. Joe mini figure, Geek Fuel also included a retro "Join Cobra" sticker for all the Team Cobra fans. It's reflective and measures six inches. I'm a sucker for a sticker and I think this one is pretty cool. Despite not being familiar with the show, I have a record-carrying case that this sticker is definitely going on.
Note: As with the figures, I couldn't find these stickers for sale.
Pin Palz "I Pity the Fool" Enamel Pin – Exclusive - Listed Value $10
Believe it or not, I never watched the A-Team, but, like everyone else, I am familiar with Mr. T. He is a person/character that transcends film. Geek Fuel has included an enamel pin of B.A., the character from the A-Team. It measures 1-1/2 inches and looks exactly like you think it would. You might say it's Mr. T to a T.
An underwhelming effort by Geek Fuel this month. Normally when an item isn't for me, I can see the value through someone else's eyes. I understand that, just because it doesn't appeal to me, there are many, many personalities to consider. However, I think this month's box is a miss for new and old subscribers alike. The coolest item, without a doubt, is the color-changing mug. I'll use it simply because it's a solid mug. The use of the appearing image is a big plus. I normally champion Geek Fuel's T-shirts, but this one was a rare misstep. The design, the printing, and the shirt itself, which felt rougher than months past, were sub-par. Hopefully, they will rebound next month and return to their awesome designs. I'd put money on them knocking it out of the park with their Halloween design. The figure and pin are OK as is, but this is the fourth figure and fifth pin subscribers have received just this year (And I'm not including July's missing box, which had three pins in it, albeit cool ones). I did like the Cobra sticker. For all the reasons above, this month was a miss for me.
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To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, get the August "Strike Force" box while stocks last.
Value Breakdown: At $29 per month + free shipping, each of these five items has an average cost of $5.80. According to the suggested value, this box clocks in at $55. That nearly is twice the cost, but also includes in the new increase for the shirts. At a listed $25, that's nearly half the value of the box and comes on the month their T-shirt underwhelmed. Normally, I say the overall value isn't important if the items give you a proper nostalgia trip, but this month I feel like the value wasn't worth the cost. However, I am confident Geek Fuel will get back on track.
What did you think about Geek Fuel this month? Let us know in the comments below!