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March 2016 Sci-Squad "Music is Magic" Review
Sci-Squad is a brand new subscription box that recently launched after being funded on Kickstarter. I was one of their backers and I purchased the tier that included their first month’s box. Knowing that Sci-Squad pledged to send graphic novels and other items of interest to geeks, and being a fan of their branding materials, I was excited to support their box. You can never tell if new boxes will be good from the get-go, however, so let’s see if my investment paid off.
The theme of the March 2016 Sci-Squad box was “Music is Magic”.
The first item in the box was a Diva Plavalaguna POP from The Fifth Element, which I was happy to find. I haven’t actually seen the Fifth Element, and receiving this POP has sparking my interest in giving the movie a watch; I’ll probably do so over the weekend if I can find it for rent. Besides, I’m always happy to get POPs. Like most POPs, this figure is valued at $10.
The second item was a branded Sci-Squad shirt. I’m not normally into box-branded products, but I think the design of this one stands on its own; they did a great job of incorporating their brand into the shirt without having it be blatantly promotional. Because it looks cool as a design, I’ll probably wear it as regularly as any other shirt. I also appreciate the silver lettering. I believe this type of lettering costs extra, so I’m valuing this shirt at $15 rather than the $10 I normally assign for shirts.
The third item was a lollipop that awed me with its beauty! According to the Sci-Squad info card, it’s a planet-themed lollipop from Sparko Sweets. It looked too good to eat, but I ate it anyway - it tasted good. I couldn’t identify a distinct flavor, but it was fruity and delicious. These lollipops are about $2 each.
The fourth item was a small art print from an artist named Anita Micaella (lollipop for scale.) The print depicts an alien-like figure wearing earbuds to fit the month’s music theme. Strangely enough, I couldn’t locate an artist named Anita Micaella online. Perhaps she goes by a different name typically? Because I couldn’t locate a source for this print, I’m estimating its value at $5.
The fifth item I opened was a Deadpool: The Musical comic book, another item in line with the box’s musical theme. According to the info card, subscribers received one of three comic books: Deadpool: The Musical, Spider Gwen, or Black Canary. They note that all three of these comics are music-related, and I appreciate their adherence to the monthly theme. This comic has a retail price of $1.
The sixth and final item among the box’s regular contents was the graphic novel promised by Sci-Squad’s slogan, “Monthly Graphic Novels.” This month features Phonogram Vol. 3: The Immaterial Girl. At first I worried that I’d need to collect the first two volumes on my own to understand the plot, but apparently this collection is inclusive of the full “Immaterial Girl” story. I appreciate that I can read it on its own without needing to buy other comics, which is the main obstacle for me when trying to get into new stories. This graphic novel was published by a reputable company, Image Comics, and was made by the creators of the illustrious The Wicked + The Divine series. Graphic novels are hit or miss for me, but this one looks super cool! This book typically sells for $15.
I mentioned that the graphic novel was the final item of the box’s regular contents, but that doesn’t mean it was the final item in the box - due to some delays in the shipping process, Sci-Squad kindly added a bonus item to the box: an adorable dancing Groot keychain. These keychains are worth around $6.
Overall, the March 2016 Sci-Squad contained items worth $54 total, or $48 if you don’t include the bonus keychain. In either case, the value far exceeds the cost of $29.99. I really liked the variety of the box and the way they selected items to fit their unique theme; it helps differentiate them from other geek/nerd boxes for which all of the companies seem to include similar products (e.g. the buttload of Batman v. Superman stuff in March.) My impression of Sci-Squad based on this box is that they provide a good variety of valuable items for a reasonable cost. I look forward to seeing what they put out in the future.
Recommended for: people who like graphic novels and want greater variety in their geek boxes
Not recommended for: people who don’t like graphic novels or geeky stuff