Geek Fuel May Box Review – A Little Extra


If you’re starting a geek subscription box service, you’ve got find a way to stand out from the crowd. Some of the bigger companies do it by packing in things associated with their brands that no one else can offer, like Marvle and Funko with exclusive vinyl figures or Wizard World with the possibility of autographs or show tickets.

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For Denver-based Geek Fuel, the idea is that little things can make a big difference. While the products that come inside the box are vary similar to those you’d find in shipments from its competitors, Geek Fuel goes the extra mile to make the opening and the entire group of items into a unified experience.

Is that enough to give it an identity of its own? Let’s check out the service and the company’s May box and find out.

The Service

Geek Fuel’s boxes ship monthly, and subscribers have the option to commit to anything from a single box at $17.90 (plus $6 shipping and handling for a total of just under $24) to a whole year at $238.80. The year-long plan knocks each box down to $13.90 plus S&H, and Geek Fuel also throws in three mystery items.

Unlike some similar services, Geek Fuel doesn’t commit to a certain number of items, instead promising only $40+ of total value. That seems like a smart move, because all items are not created equal, and the things counted as “items” in some geek boxes are occasionally dubious.

You’ll definitely get a t-shirt each time, along with “toys, digital games, limited edition collectibles and all things epic.” The boxes do have themes, though they’re somewhat looser and not as obvious as you’ll find elsewhere. Comics, video games, movies and other areas of pop culture are all fair game for Geek Fuel, along with one of the extras we’ll get to later.

The Box and What’s Inside

The Geek Fuel box is a distinctive orange-red color and has the company’s robot logo on the outside and inside. You certainly can’t mistake it for anything else.

The items inside out May box were safely and securely packed, which was a must since some of them could have been damaged if they weren’t. As you can see above, we found a bonus item, an issue of Retro video game magazine, before we even dug into the contents.

Here’s what else we found in the May box:

  • A variant cover version of Secret Wars #1. Possibly the highlight for us here at Bam Smack Pow, this was a Dynamic Forces exclusive limited to 15,000 copies. It came bagged, boarded and sealed with a DF sticker, which was nice.
  • Square Heroes downloadable game code & tattoo sheet. A $10 value, this is a code good for the Square Heroes game on Steam. It’s an action shooter with cute characters and both single-player and multiplayer modes, and an example of the game codes that are becoming some of Geek Fuel’s calling cards. Plus temporary tattoos, obviously.
  • Plants vs. Zombies enamel pins. Your mileage may vary on these, I suppose, but Plants vs. Zombies 2 is very big around my house, so these enamel pins were a hit. A bag of four randomly packed pins made for some nice value.
  • The Force poster by Terribly Odd. A small but nice stylized poster of Yoda. Except they can’t say that explicitly.
  • Geek Fuel slap koozie. I admit that I wasn’t sure what this was at first, because it seemed like an oversized slap bracelet. It’s actually supposed to slap around your beverage, and as branded throw-in items go, I found it to be different — in a good way.
  • A Weeping Angels tour t-shirt. Doctor Who fans definitely should dig this shirt, which imagines some of the Doctor’s most fearsome foes as if they were embarking on a concert tour. The back lists all the places the Weeping Angels have been encountered, reinforcing the theme.

There were also a few bonus items that work to tie in with the shirt. A copy of Geek Fuel’s own magazine was included, with features like summer movies to geek out about, a preview of E3, an introduction to Square Heroes, a geek gift guide and more. It packed quite a bit of content into a small form factor, and was something I don’t think I’ve seen from any other subscription service.

Last but not least was a Weeping Angels “Don’t Blink Tour” ticket stub, making it seem like you had actually gone to the tour alluded to on the shirt. Clever, but it’s also an entry to potentially win a limited edition Doctor Who mystery box. Other boxes have bonus mega-boxes like this (most notably Loot Crate), but this struck me as a more fun, inclusive way to have all subscribers get invested in them rather than just randomly sending them to people.

The Verdict

With a price point that comes in under some other geek boxes but higher than some as well, Geek Fuel is basically banking on the idea that the extra thought and effort that goes into some of its elements will tickle the fancy of its customers. The magazine and shirt/ticket stub did make the May box feel like much more than a random collection of stuff, so that part felt effective to me. A game code every month also seems like a good hook.

Since we’re a comic and super hero site, it would be great to see a comic in there every month, but even if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, Geek Fuel seems like a very valid option for a monthly pop culture loot fix.

Disclosure: Bam Smack Pow was provided with a complimentary May Geek Fuel box for the purposes of this review.

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