Geek Fuel Review: Nerd Stuff for Nerding Nerds
There are a ton of subscription boxes on the market right now for those looking to add a little variety and surprise to their life. Shaving products, curated outfits, and even Victorian murder mysteries can be delivered monthly to your door.
One of the most popular kinds of subscription box, though, is the kind aimed squarely at nerds. We picked up a Geek Fuel box to try it out.
Geek Fuel Basics
When you subscribe to Geek Fuel, you receive a monthly box that's guaranteed to be at least a $50 dollar value. While the specific merch varies with every shipment, each box will contain the following, for a total of 5 to 8 items:
- A T-shirt
- Everyday essentials
- Exclusive items
At $23.90 per month (that includes a $6 shipping charge) it’s a pretty reasonable option for a subscription box. If you subscribe for a year, you bump the cost down to $18.90. Additionally, signing up for a 6-month or yearlong period will nab you one or more bonus items in your first box.
I’m not a regular subscriber to these things at all, but I’ve opened one or two in my time. It feels like Christmas, just a little bit, every single time. Spending money on a shirt you don’t know that you’ll like is a little too risky for some, but it sure adds something to the feeling of opening it that you don’t get when you just, say, pick up a package from Amazon.
One of the first things I noticed was the little magazine put together specifically for the shipment, which contained articles related to the items in the box, little bits of current geek news, and most charmingly, a couple of pages about YouTube unboxers and Instagram snaps from people opening a previous box.
Geek Fuel Monthly Theme
Each monthly box has a different emphasis, and this moth's theme was Harley Quinn. That meant finding a large, inflatable mallet in the box, which baffled me a little at first. If space is at a premium, that may seem like a weird choice, but as it drew people from around the office who proceeded to beat it against every thing and person here, the appeal quickly became more apparent. Yeah, it’s kinda silly, but it’s incredibly satisfying to whack stuff with this thing.
Tied in with the Harley theme as well was a series of coloring posters—two oversized sheets of heavy paper with DC comics-themed art. There’s a Justice League poster, a Harley Quinn cover Lee Bermejo created for Superman, an “adult coloring book” variant for Batman 48, and a classic Brian Bolland Wonder Woman cover.
These were all neat, but the Bolland is probably the best-looking of the bunch. They did show up a little worse for wear for having been rolled up and put in that small box in which I found them. It was a little unfortunate, but then again, I don’t know how else you’d ship something like that.
Geek Fuel T-Shirt
This month's t-shirt was for X-Men: Apocalypse. It’s a cool-looking shirt, with the likes of Psylocke and Magneto on it, and I am absolutely going to wear it around. The art is such that even if you’re not a huge fan of this exact installment in the X-Men movie franchise this is still a fun shirt with some X-Men on it.
Geek Fuel Everyday Essentials
Geek Fuel promises that every box will contain some “everyday essentials” as well. In this case, that essential is a cutting board that’s patterned after an NES cartridge, and it looks great.
Even though it’s a blank cutting board, you can still absolutely tell what it is, even when it's removed from the cardboard sleeve that apes the look of those original plastic cartridge sleeves. This wouldn’t look bad at all hanging up on hooks in the kitchen or something, and it’s cool to have something that’s a little more utilitarian than the other items in the box.
Geek Fuel Downloadable Game
Every Geek Fuel box also comes with a Steam code for a downloadable game, alongside an item related to that game. The item here was a “sticky star.” You know those rubbery hands on the strings that you could stretch around and throw and stick to stuff? This is basically that, but a mace. It’s the kind of thing you might find in a vending machine. But it’s largely there to draw attention to the game, Blacksea Oddysey.
I haven’t been able to spend a ton of time with it yet, but it’s been fun so far. You play as a space pirate, surfing across the stars and harpooning space leviathans to win an interstellar competition. The controls are reminiscent of top-down arcade shooters like Robotron, with the added twist that your weapon is a harpoon that lets you rip limbs off of weakened monsters.
Again, it’s been a lot of fun with the little I’ve gotten to play so far, and including a downloadable game like this in a box is yet another cool twist on the formula that Geek Fuel delivers.
All in all, this was a fun experience. While I probably don't need a monthly subscription, I’ll definitely keep Geek Fuel in mind. The inclusion of home goods and Steam games made this feel like you’re getting something a little extra, and sets it apart from some of the other nerdy subscription boxes out there. In a world with no shortage of this kind of thing, Geek Fuel stands out as a great option.