Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!
Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!

A Little Loot...

Facebook has introduced me to some fun websites.  My latest?  Nerd boxes shipped to nerds, by nerds, containing nerdness.  What... the... awesome.  


Honestly, I've been feeling a little left out recently.  But I'm also a bit too materialistic - I'll freely admit that.  My husband and the kids have enjoyed Sky Landers together.  There would be new arrivals each week of different avatars for them to play (my husband works at Toys R Us, so stuff is bound to appear in our house).  For my part, I just didn't want to get into a game when I'm already busy trying to keep up with my kids and trying to write book #2.  However, I wanted to see something special and surprising arriving to my house every now and then.  I love surprises.


So I signed up for Nerd Block.  Let’s face it, the photos look so enticing!!!  So with fingers crossed, I dropped some cash and started a subscription.  The thing is, you have no idea what you're going to get.  Its advertised as "comic-con in a box."  My hopes were high.


And then my first block finally arrived.  Barely able to contain my giddiness, I raced down to my craft room so I could enjoy the moment of opening my first officially licensed nerd box!  I cut the tape, opened the lid, AND.... what’s this stuff?  I quickly deflated into disappointment.  


The theme was “British Invasion.”  I figured I'd get a little Dr. Who stuff, which was fine.  I have not been able to watch this show yet, but I figured any item would make a good Christmas gift for my brother.  But as I took item after item out of the box, I realized I had very little idea what anything was.  There was a shirt that left me clueless.  Thankfully, there was a card describing each item, so I found out it was a reference to the recent Sherlock TV series.  Don't watch.  I'm too busy watching Agents of Shield.  Otherwise, I try to limit my amount of time watching TV.  There were a couple Dr. Who items, which I set aside.  There was a Monty Python-themed magnet letters set, which I thought was pretty neat.  But there was two items that were Mr. Bean.  Yes, I said Mr. Bean.  Wait, Mr. Bean?  Really?  One of the most annoying people in entertainment?  Yes.  There was a thin bendy figure and a small teddy bear.  Seriously, did they get this stuff from the Comic con reject pile?  I just imagined the internal dialogue, “Let’s see, what didn’t sell?  We’ll send it to other nerds who have no idea what they’re getting!”


When Nerd Block advertised the British Invasion special box you could win by signing up, there were lots of Harry Potter items like a time turner necklace and a set of wands with a holder (WOW!), there were Monty Python Holy Grail figures, a Merlin BluRay, Dr. Who book ends (while I don’t watch Dr. Who, I can always use new book ends), it was awesome stuff.  Granted, I did not expect anything so elaborate in my regular box, but I had my hopes up for at least 1 Harry Potter item!  Well, the advertising sure worked because I was sold.  But I was extremely bummed out.


Well, being the optimist I am, I decided to give it another try.  Heck, it was a British -themed block, so I realized that probably half the items would not be up my alley.  Surely, I surmised, they'll get a few Star Wars or Star Trek items in the next Block, right?  Maybe some Avengers, Firefly, Shield, Transformers, Game of Thrones, Super heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy, maybe some Once Upon a Time or Disney/Pixar items?  ALL these genres are posted on their facebook page (except I believe Lord of the Rings)!



In the meantime, I discovered another nerd-themed "block" called Loot Crate.  I checked it out.  This one offered a few more hints at what was contained in its shipment.  The theme was "Heros 2."  They even showed pictures of their past crates.  I said to myself, I bet this is cool.  So I also ordered one of these.  


This month, strangely, both items arrived on the same day.  So here is the look at the items side by side!


ITEM #1: Pop! and lock


One of Nerd Block's highly advertised items is the inclusion of a Pop! figure... And I got an evil vampire.  I did not watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yet I definitely would have preferred to get Buffy.  Instead, I get an ugly vampire.  My issue is that vampires have overwhelmed modern media.  I'm sick of them.  But perhaps I can sell this bad boy on ebay?  Buffy does have a good following, and I'm sure many people out there would love this.  Not my cup of tea though.


Onto Loot Crate: A classic-style Batman Pop figure.  By classic, I mean Adam West deep-voiced blue-suited Batman.  Not only is the figure cute (as I expect of my Pop! figures), it also includes a marker and background exclamation box!  I very much enjoy the KaPow.  I love classic Biff, KaPow, Ooof exclamations.  I used to watch the Adam West Batmans when I was a kid.  Now, with the sign, I can flip it over and write my own expression of awesome, but right now KaPow is working for me.  The caped crusader is protecting what is most valuable to the bibliophile – her collection of books!  


BONUS: You may also be asking what is Batman Pop standing on?  Why, he's standing on the Loot Crate.  You can actually re-fold it, flip it around, and create a cool city apartment complex in need of a few heros!


Hands down, Loot Crate is the WINNER.  POW.  Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Bat-Man!  Seriously, it just looks like Loot Crate tried a lot harder.


ITEM #2: Reading material


Nerd Block: Mad Max comic book.  Its an item that says right on the cover that its a continuation of the "hit" movie recently released.  So to enjoy this item, I need to know the movie.  I may flip through the pages, but I put it to the side because, well, I do not have time to research this read.  I've got a lot on my to-read list.  I think it would not be hard to pick up the storyline of this comic, but I was not enticed to pick it up.  


Loot Crate: Even the title is hilarious: "The League of Regrettable Superheroes" I could not wait to open the book up.  Look at those pictures!  Who are those people?  That makes me so curious!  So I instantly cracked the cover.  The author is humorous and has really researched this stuff.  I love taking a few minutes to read a couple pages and discover a couple of the "Regrettables."  Some of the earlier comics broke new ground like the first female superhero in a comic (not Wonder Woman by the way) and the first cross-dressing super hero.  Its funny, intriguing, and easy to pick up in between my work at home.  Its convenient, its something a bit off beat that's easy to peek at, and its humorous.


Round 2 also goes to Loot Crate.


ITEM #3: The prepared nerd


These are two cool items.  For this round, I'll start with the Loot Crate item: a Batman multi-tool keychain.  It’s also a bottle opener.  But the piece de resistance is that it has a Phillips head AND a flat head edge.  Holy handy, Batman!  I'm in awe of the ingenuity of this item and how it fits so perfectly with the Batman theme.  I feel I can hold Gotham at bay for a while if the Batmobile gets stuck in traffic!  Need a root beer in a glass bottle opened?  I gotcha back.  Need a new battery in that toy?  I'm there!  Now I just need a theme song.


However, Nerd Block presents a Ghostbuster themed wallet.  Its creative, its durable, and it 80's-licious.  I really like it. 


Man, I did not say much about the Ghostbusters item did I?  Its cool, but it was not overwhelming.  Its Ghostbuster themed, but it’s not like a mini proton pack.  The Batman keychain is like a mini utility belt.  Plus, sadly, I do not need a new wallet.  It’s just not the mommy-wallet style I need with young kids. 


Again, Loot Crate wins.  But this was a close one.  I just found Loot Crate to be more useful at this time.

I really don't think I need to go on, but I'll share a bit more.  I think it’s obvious which one has impressed me and which again missed the mark.


Loot Crate offers a cute button.  AND it included a Star Trek item.  YAY!!!!  This is just a picture of the item because the real item is already in my car.  It’s a vanilla-scented car air freshener!  Check out my photo below.


Now the min Pop! Iron Man keychain from Nerd Block is very cute.  I like the detail of the air shooting down from Iron Man's hands.  It’s also a bobblehead.  However, the stupid thing will not stand up.  The keychain part is just too heavy!  I like it, it looks good on my shelf, I just need to figure out how it stands up.

Coolest van in the parking lot!

So was that everything in the crate/box?  No it was not.  As you can see from the Nerd Block slip, there was also a GI Joe-themed shirt, which my husband enjoys.  Loot Crate also had a Zelda-themed wearable and a Wonder Woman poster which I thought looked cool. 


But what I wanted to show was again how Loot Crate just puts a little more effort in.  The left is a magazine-like item with a few articles and a summary of what was included in the crate.  Nerd Block offers a postcard.  They both give a good summary of the items, but Loot Crate does it better and adds a little extra with articles about things going on in the nerd world.


My vote: TOTALLY Loot Crate


Now, I did see that the next Nerd Block is an 80's Mix Tape.  I am kind of excited about it.  It has been revealed that there will be a Ghostbuster item.  I loved the first movie, so I'll go with it.  I just hope Nerd Block can get beyond a few genres because it advertises a wealth of others.  I feel Nerd Block gave me a bit of false advertising.  But it gets one more pitch.  I'm hoping its not a strike three. 

My novels:

Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"

Reviewed and awarded the

2016 Indie Editor's Choice

by the Historical Novel Society.

Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.

Reviewer for:

Historical Novel Society Volunteer

NetGalley Professional Reader

25 Book Reviews
Challenge Participant

Top Goodreads Reviewer

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© Jessi Hafeman