Following on the success of sites like Lootcrate, who provide random boxes of geeky goodness on a monthly basis, it seems like more and more of these ‘lucky dip’-style boxes are becoming available these days.
One of the latest comes from online retailer Zavvi, whose ZBOX releases promise; “a wide range of products every month that tie in to the monthly theme. Value of the loot will always be £45+, plus some lucky boxes will be up-scaled to include loot worth £100+! Each box will include products from your favourite brands and franchises that go with the month’s theme, including Pop Vinyl, Funko, Star Wars, Marvel and more!”
Their first release was tied around a JUSTICE theme, and contained some decent swag by all accounts, including a Funko POP! Vinyl Superman, an impressive looking T-shirt, superhero socks (with capes!) and some other assorted goodness.
So, when I found out that their second release was going to be based around a GUARDIANS theme, I decided to give it a look.
Here’s what the box contained (apologies in advance for the poor quality of some of the photographs);
A Guardians of the Galaxy Yo-Yo
Because, y’know, Yo-Yo’s are cool and retro and… stuff. Okay, so not the most inspiring start. It features the same GotG logo that’s present on pretty much all of the other merch, which is something I’ll touch upon later. But hey, can’t really argue with a yo-yo, right?
A Guardians of the Galaxy Mousemat
This is actually pretty decent; a nice lenticular mat with – again – the same logo as the Yo-Yo, albeit broken into four separate images that appear and disappear as you move the mat (or your head). I actually needed a new mousemat, so this worked out rather well, even if lenticular ones can be a little slippy at times.
A Guardians of the Galaxy USB Flash drive
Not much use to me, personally, but a decent enough 8gb flash drive with the proper GotG logo. Unfortunately, as with everything else in this pack, the logo is followed by ‘Only in Teaters‘, which is both a little distracting and, well, completely untrue at this point. Same logo on everything, same ‘only in theaters’ on everything, and it’s starting to feel more and more like this is a media press kit to hype the cinematic release of the film rather than a ‘carefully chosen’ selection. Still, surely that can only pick up, right?
A Guardians of thew Galaxy Baseball Cap
Hrm. Do people still wear baseball caps? Well, as you can see, we have the same logo as the mousemat and the yo-yo, and the same reminder that Guardians is ‘only in theaters’. My feeling of disappointment is building slightly at this point.
A Guardians of the Galaxy Phone Case
Well, at least we’re back to the actual movie logo, although – yes – it’s still only in theaters. Nice cassette design, albeit not the ‘Awesome Mix’ tape that might have made this a little cooler. Compatible with an iPhone 5, so if you have anything else, this is really no use to you.
A Guardians of the Galaxy T-Shirt
There have been some brilliantly inventive Guardians t-shirts released over the last few months, featuring creative and geek-pleasing takes on several moments from the film (usually, it has to be said, revolving around a certain dancing sapling), so I had high hopes that hey, at least the t-shirt would be worthwhile, right? Well… no. As generic a picture of the Guardians as you could ever hope to see, on a white background. Mercifully, it doesn’t once again remind us that it’s ‘only in theaters’, but still – an underwhelming bust of a t-shirt by anyone’s standards.
So there you have it. Going in with high hopes following the likes of Lootcrate (and even Zavvi’s first “Justice” ZBOX), I found myself completely and utterly underwhelmed by this stale, generic, ‘corporate PR bundle’ of a goodie bag. Everything is branded with the same logo, everything is dull and uninspired. Nothing particularly creative here, no Funko, no minimates, nothing but the type of thing you’d get delivered to your office with the logo of some recruitment company plastered all over it in place of the Guardians logo.
So yeah, for £19.99, you can count me out of any Zavvi Zboxes for the forseeable future, at least until I can see evidence that this GALAXY box is the exception, rather than the rule.