Sandy Roffey is hot on the trail of monthly boxes which include strong female characters!
My son loves strong female characters. Maybe it’s because his mom loves to cosplay, maybe it’s because his older sister is smart and intrepid, or maybe it’s just because he read a lot of X-Men comics growing up, no matter the reason, he loves them the way I love chocolate thin mint cookies: with great abandon.
He loves to gush over them, and point out the qualities that make a strong female character. “She’s smarter than her whole team!” or “She can crush her enemies with her legs!” or “She controls the weather! How awesome is that?” It’s a love we share, so it’s also something we can bond over. We also love nerd stuff, so every month we await the arrival of our Loot Crate box. If you’ve been living under a rock, Loot Crate is a subscription service where you get a box full of cool, nerdy stuff every month. My husband signed us up at Christmas, and we all gather around as he opens the box, hoping for something that fits into our fandom.
So imagine our disappointment, my son’s and mine, with the lack of cool strong female character themed items that typically come in the regular Loot Crate box. The impressive “Guardian” teaser trailer Loot Crate released in July featured a strong female character. However, after eight months of awaiting strong female character collectables the only item was a small WW Bombshell poster! Wonder Woman was ironically even featured on the enclosed Lootcrate magazine. Now, let me begin by saying that I do really like the Loot Crate subscription service. For under $20 per month, depending on the length of your subscription, you get a box full of geek items—Pop vinyl figures, comics, gadgets, magnets, pins, and other ultra cool items. I love Batman and Terminator as much as the next geek. BUT. And this is a really big “but.” There’s a lack of strong female character representation in the box.
*Since writing this, Loot Crate has come out with a “Level Up” Box in addition to its regular Loot Crate box. The Level Up Box does include some great items for lady gamers and comic fans…but I’m still waiting for better strong female characters.
I decided to check out the competition, and I reached out to a few other geek subscription services. My mission was to find strong female character goods that both my son and I could enjoy. Not a poster (unless it came with at least one other SFC item.) What I found was a pleasant surprise, a variety of offerings that showed that my son and I weren’t the only market for SFCs!
The following are my takes on several different subscription services (two of which, Nerd Block and Superherostuff.com:Hero Box, offered me a sample of their subscription box in exchange for a fair review.)
The Hero Box from Superherostuff.com was, I have to say, my favorite box, and not just because I got their box first. Delivery was quick, communication with the company was fast, and inside the box…oh, inside the box. Every item was meticulously wrapped, so that they were adequately protected from my delivery guy (he’s not really mine, but he does come to my house a lot.) Superherostuff.com sends items of excellent quality, and because of that, they do charge a little more ($50+s&h.)
Superherostuffs’ Hero Box comes in a standard monthly theme and then they have what they call “on-going themes”, which are specific characters that you can choose. I love Batman and Spider-Man, but as mentioned above, I really love strong women—so Superherostuff.com sent me the Wonder Woman themed box. And I don’t mean any old WW items. There was a t-shirt (modeled by yours truly), a DC Bombshells tumbler (that I can use), a melamine Wonder Woman plate that had separate compartments for your food (big win), a magnet, a WW journal and a WW wristband, and a Justice Society comic book. It was fun, exciting, and the items were both decorative and useful. A criticism is recent theme boxes besides the Harley Quinn box didn’t feature strong female characters. However the main site does feature high quality Marvel & DC Females. You can get Superherostuff.com mystery subscription box, Hero Box here.
Marvel Collector Corps
Another favorite box, but one I can’t attest to personally because the box didn’t make it by my deadline, is the Marvel Collector Corps August Secret Wars-themed box. Marvel Collector Corps really not only knows how to give people what they want in terms of strong female characters, but they also really seem invested in offering diversity. You can see an unboxing of the box here:
http://www.collectorcorps.com image credit:
The August box was very diverse and inclusive it featured a Secret Wars T-Shirt and Pop Vinyls of the current female Thor & Miles Morales Spider Man and a Falcon Patch. Also the Supreme Iron Man pin made the cost ($25 + s&h) a bargain. My hope is that they keep this kind of diversity up.
The other box I had the opportunity to sample was Nerd Block’s August Comic Block. The Nerd BlockSubscription Service has a great variety of options to choose from—from the Classic Nerd Block to the Comic Block, to the Arcade and Horror Block. They also have theNerd Block Jr. “for Girls” and NBJ “for Boys.” Side note-as the Mom of a son who likes items that traditionally fall under “girl”, I kind of wish they just had one Jr. Block with different items, but I do give them huge props for having something specifically geared toward kids at all, the only one of the three to do so. The box I reviewed contained a fantastic “Spider Gwenom” t-shirt!
The t-shirt was followed by this pretty sweet DC Bombshells comic #1. The story was decent, and I particularly liked the Wonder Woman segment. The comic reminded me a lot of the Justice Society of America comics that I read in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
In addition to the DC Bombshells, there was an X-Files Comic (who’s a stronger female character than Dana Scully?) and a Red Sonja/ Conan with its exclusive variant cover. All three comics were packaged with a nice heavy cardboard backing and covered with a comic bag. Last but not least, there’s a neat little colorful print of Heart and Brain. For the very minimal price of $13.95 plus shipping, you get your money’s worth and a great sampling of strong women! For another few dollars you can get the Nerd Block Classic, which includes cool toys hand-picked by uber-nerds like yourself. Nerd Block often includes celebrity autographed items as well as exclusive items. You can check out all of Nerd Block’s options here:
All three subscription services offered items that I felt were somewhat superior (when it comes to strong female characters) to the Level Up items offered on the Loot Crate site. My son’s favorite items were the Spider-Gwenom shirt from Nerd Block and the Wonder Woman journal from Hero Box. He also liked the female Thor items on the Collector Corps site (wish we had had the chance to review those items in person.)
If you like strong female characters and you’re not finding them in your geek subscription service box, I suggest shopping around, and especially checking out the three sites I listed above! Happy collecting!
Art Credit~ Sandy Roffey, bitsandboxes.com, Marvel Collector Corps, Lootcrate