Thursday, October 2, 2014

Research Frenzy: Subscription Box Reveal Loot Crate Galactic Box

Yesterday I showed you all what was in my Walmart Beauty box.  Today I'm going to show you the contents of my Loot Crate.  Loot Crate costs $13.37 plus shipping from California.  With Loot Crate, it's safe to assume you'll receive a commemorative button and a booklet showing you the products inside, so I won't bother to mention them.

This month's candy:  A single packet of Pop Rocks.  Delicious.  I ate the entire packet of these immediately.

One Tribble.  This item is selling on E-bay for about $5 shipped right now, but that may change.  These are pretty cute, I might keep it or I might regift it.  Who knows?

One Aliens Reaction figure.  I would definitely have never bought this of my own accord, as I have never seen this movie, and I have mixed feelings about these simple vintage style action figures.  They're kind of cool, but I do not collect them.  I will either sell this or regift it.  These are selling for around $10 shipped on E-bay right now.

One Han Solo in carbonite mini poster, selling on E-bay for $4 shipped right now.  I gave it to my niece right away.

One Funko Mystery Mini of Malcolm Reynolds.  These are pretty cute.  Selling on E-bay right now for about $10 shipped.

This is one of the coolest items in the box, Firefly bank heist money.  These are pretty cool for cosplay.  Median e-bay cost is around $6.00 shipped.

Also included was a code for a Halo comic, and a Star Wars magnet.

Is this the $40 value advertised?  At e-bay value, you'd be pretty close to that trying to buy all this stuff, but I almost certainly wouldn't do it.  I would probably buy the Tribble at that E-bay price, because it's cute and it'd make a good Christmas gift for someone, or I could cosplay a classic Trek character in the future.  The firefly money is neat, I definitely would pay about $6 to have that in my cosplay closet.  And in this box, that's about it for me on value.  I liked the pop rocks, and it was really fun to get this in the mail.

I enjoyed subscribing to this box, but I think I'm going to cancel for next month, the theme for which is "Fear."  I've already sent them an e-mail concerning my cancellation.  They're saying next month there will be a T-shirt, but that will do me no good if I don't like the theme.  Sometimes I like horror movies, but that theme isn't as exciting for me as a science fiction, TV, or comic book theme.  I may come back to them later if they release some convincing advertising for a future theme.  Instead, I'm going to subscribe to the SuperKawaiiPop Kawaii box next month, which promises a bento box, chopsticks, and either a Rement or a Popin' Cookin' set plus more cute stuff for $20 shipped.  I've been thinking about buying a bento box and some other random Japanese stuff lately,  so it'll be interesting to see if what they ship me is to my taste.  I've enjoyed watching other people's unboxing videos from this company, so hopefully I'll get some cool stuff.  After I try that one, I may try another box.  Who knows?

Mystery boxes are fun, but I think this month's Loot Crate really illustrates the point that when you buy a subscription box, you're betting against your own ability to shop for items you want at a low price.  Sure, the stuff I got is worth more than $20, but I would only actually buy about $10 worth of this stuff of my own accord, and the rest of it will have to go.  The Wal-Mart Beauty Box kind of surprised me, because they actually sent me stuff that (for the most part) I will use.  So far, i'm still enjoying this experiment, and I hope you're enjoying it with me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Research Frenzy: Subscription box reveal Walmart Beauty Box

I decided to order a couple of subscription boxes as part of my ongoing investigation.  The first of which is the Walmart Beauty Box.  It costs $5 (shipped) per box, and is shipped out three times a year.  This is a new service, I think I got in on the first box.

Here is what came in mine:

This was my favorite item that came in my box.  This is Covergirl Glowing Nights in #Afterdark  The color on this is very aqua.  It came in a 3.5ml bottle, which is full size.  These retail for $2.95 at Walmart, and it came in a color I've been thinking about buying anyway, so that's more than half the cost of the box.   Here's a link to the product on the Walmart website in case you want to confirm prices or you want to order some for yourself.  I have to say, I'd buy this product again.  The color is fabulous, and it dries really fast for a product that doesn't mention it drying fast on the packaging.  Love it.

This item comes in pretty large packaging and takes up kind of a lot of box space, but I can't say I was disappointed to get some deodorant in here.  This is a 1.6 oz container of Secret "Clincal Strength" as an invisible solid in completely clean.  Obviously, this is a useful product, I've often said I wish people would hand out free deodorant samples at Dragon Con.  Just put a basket full of them out, no suggestions made, no questions asked.  Just sponsoring the con and putting the brand name out there.  It smells pretty good.  I'm kind of shocked at how much this deodorant retails for at $7.92.  Here's the Walmart link.  This deodorant would cost as much as the whole box of stuff.

They sent me a travel sized sample of each of these.  One fluid ounce each of Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Conditioner and Shampoo.  I haven't tried these products yet, but they smell really good.  Since these are the small, I can't say for sure how much they would cost to purchase, but the full size products retail for less than $5 each at Walmart.

The Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Hair Treatment they sent me came in a .4 oz container, which is tiny.  I've never used a product like this before, so I'm at a loss to tell you what it's suppose to do or whether the "dry oil" is meant to mean you put it on your hair when it's dry.  My hair is so oily to start with I'm hesitant to add more.  It says it's made with African Macadamia nuts.  Full size (12 fl oz) at Walmart costs just under $12.

I've enjoyed trying this L'Oreal Glossy Lip Balm, but I probably wouldn't have purchased it in "Ginger Candy."  I've just never been a pastel lip color girl.  The package they sent me is 2.7 g.  This is a full size product that retails at Walmart for $6.97.  It feels pretty nice on my lips, but like I said, the color's not me.

The next item the sent me was a Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup with Tone Correcting Complex "Find your Perfect Match" sample card.  There were eight tones to choose from.  Surprise surprise, my best blend is "Classic Ivory."  There's no real sample to speak of here, and oddly enough it's not readily available on Walmart's website, but most Walmart Neutrogena products sell for around $12.  There's a coupon on the back of mine for $2 off.

The next sample is a packet of L'Oreal Youth Code Pore Vanisher.  I have no clue how this product is suppose to work, allegedly it instantly vanishes the appearance of pores and over the course of a month can actually physically make ones pores smaller.  That sounds like snake oil to me, but when I tried this sample it actually did make my pores less visible.  This is just a packet sample, so I'd say it has no value, but a full size costs around $18 at Walmart.

Lastly, they sent me a sample sized vial (.04 fl oz) of Nicki Minaj's perfume, Pink Friday.  It smells pretty nice, and it's an interesting product to try.  I don't know yet if I'd buy this product if I just saw it on a shelf, especially since it goes for $40.18 for 3.4 fl oz at Walmart.  I'd definitely go for the Amazon price on this one ($25.42 at the time this was written).

Overall, I feel like Walmart's beauty box is a pretty amazing value.  The big dud here is the lip gloss, because I honestly would never wear that color out.  The winner is the nail polish.  Everything else is somewhere in between, and there are products here I haven't tried yet.  There were three full size products in here for $5, with a value of just under $18.  Eleven dollars of that are in products I will actually use.  Overall, I'd give this service four stars, holding only one back because it doesn't have any customization at all.  I will continue to subscribe to this service for at least the next box.