Best UK Geek Mystery Boxes

As collectors, we all love a good bargain. Sometimes we can find the deal of the century in a charity shop, or a lucky find in the local small adverts. But for most of us, these are usually few and far between. However, over the last few years, more of us have been turning to Mystery Boxes to get a great selection of geek goodies at unbelievable prices.

Why Are Mystery Boxes So Popular?

There are a few factors that make a Mystery Box so appealing to collectors. The obvious one is price. With a typical box costing between £20 and £25, they’re usually half the cost of the contents inside. As well as the value, there’s the fun factor associated with opening them.

While it can be hit and miss as to what you will find, opening each and every box can be an absolute delight in itself. Whether it’s themed around a particular franchise or a generic geek box, each has its own wonders hidden inside.

What Mystery Box Should You Choose?

There are a lot of companies out there offering boxes, with ones to suit all interests and budgets. While the majority are subscription based, some do offer single boxes, so you can try them out before making a long term commitment.

One thing to bear in mind is that more generalised “geek” boxes won’t always contain items that may appeal to you. So if there are only a few franchises that you are interested in, then you would be better off seeking out dedicated boxes instead.

Prices

Box prices vary wildly, depending on the target audience, company behind them and the promised contents. Budget price boxes tend to start around the £10 range and some companies sell off surplus older stocks at this price point as well. A typical box costs between £20-£25, but some premium boxes, promising high end items and autographs, can be priced as high as £50.

As a collector the question is how much are you able to afford to spend on merchandise that you might not like. There’s a genuine risk with *any* mystery box that you could either own or dislike every item sent to you.

Kapow Toys Transformers Mystery Box

Unlike most Mystery Boxes that we’ve looked at, collectibles trader Kapow Toys don’t offer monthly subscription boxes. Instead, their Transformers Mystery Box is available in limited quantities on a first come, first served basis. Each week a new box is produced for the bargain price of £12.99 packed with a selection of assorted Transformers merchandise, and while no toys are guaranteed we’ve had ones in two of the boxes we’ve ordered so far.

With a modest charge added for postage, these offer great value for money. But you need to keep an eye on their website and social media to know when they go live so you don’t miss out!

Smuggler’s Crate

For the Star Wars fan, Smuggler’s Crate promise a range of boxes offering a wide selection of merchandise including toys, artwork, apparel, novelty items and much more. They have three different box sizes, each available as one off purchases or as subscriptions. The entry level box costs £19.99 and is designed to be small enough to fit through a letterbox and typically contains 5 items.

Other boxes vary in price but do offer additional items with the top of the range Jedi Master box promising figures from either Funko or Hasbro in each single or subscription box for its £35 price tag.

Super Loot

Super Loot offer three different types of boxes for their customers. A geek and gamer box (which is available both as a one-off and subscription based), a snack box containing a random mix of snacks from around the world each month, and a monthly comic box. The comic box has options for 16 or 32 random comics at different prices.

The geek boxes are known for including comics (usually back issues of 2000AD ) and a couple of snacks. The real issue I had here –  and I talked about this in my video below – is that many overseas snacks make no mention of whether they are suitable for vegans/vegetarians. The option isn’t there for the snack box either and as a vegetarian, I was left with items in my geek and gamer box that ended up being thrown away…

The Amazing Mystery Box

Probably offering the most varied selection is The Amazing Mystery Box. The company started life as a geek collectibles store, branching out into distribution then became an official license holder for the BBC producing Doctor Who merchandise. They now run a number of stores around the UK and have a sizeable operation which helps them source content for their boxes.

In terms of the boxes themselves, they have two options – over 40 different ones available for one-off purchase covering most franchises and themes. In addition, they offer a selection of monthly subscription boxes packed with goodies, all more than exceeding the asking price in terms of value. As well as being available through their website, a selection of boxes can be picked up from their stores or any conventions that they attend making them one of the easiest to pick up.

We haven’t been disappointed with a single box yet, whether it’s been Doctor Who, Star Wars or Marvel. Just see for yourselves…

Wrestle Crate

As the name suggests, Wrestle Crate is aimed at pro wrestling fans and is probably one of the best in terms of value for money that we’ve seen. It’s another monthly subscription box, although single taster boxes are available. Two versions are on offer – a smaller box for £11.99 and the full size box for £21.99 although most of their subscribers opt for the larger package and considering the content that’s not a surprise.

Each contains a mix of collectibles and merchandise relating to a wide range of individual wrestlers and companies across the entire pro wrestling spectrum. From the larger companies such as WWE, AEW, NJPW and Impact, to smaller independent promotions from around the globe. Boxes contain t-shirts, autographs, books, DVDs, posters, pin badges… an incredibly diverse range of goods. If I’m honest, this is probably one of the best subscription boxes I’ve encountered and is worth the price just for the autographs alone. But if you need convincing, check out one of the more recent boxes…

Zavvi Zbox

Primarily a subscription service, the Zavvi Zbox offers a monthly box of geek goodies based around a set theme. Normally including a t-shirt and then a random mix of other items, the £19.99 box offers fantastic value for money for the asking price. Discounts on the price are also offered for long term subscribers, with the boxes being available for as little as £16.99 a month.

Older boxes are often offered up through Zavvi’s website for those who have missed out on them and sometimes these are made available at bargain basement prices. We’ve only had a few of these so far, but there’s no denying the incredible value that they offer.

Zavvi – Other Boxes

In addition to the Zboxes, Zavvi also offer a number of other boxes for their customers. These vary but are usually bargain bundles of merchandise from their store at clearance prices and it’s best to check their site on a regular basis. I’ve been able to pick up bundles of Star Trek and Doctor Who books for a fraction of their value but these deals don’t stick around for long.

HMV

Entertainment retailer HMV offer a range of pop culture boxes, both in-store and through their website. However, from what we can ascertain, while some of these are original boxes the majority seem to have been sourced from The Amazing Mystery Box.

Truthfully their original boxes do seem to be hit and miss in terms of quality. While they boast about the value of the content in the boxes, as a retailer HMV is well known for its high prices. As such, what they claim is the box value is frankly a lot more than the actual value of what you may end up with.

Geek Crate

Geek Crate is a sister range to Smuggler’s Crate and offers a range of geek themed crates. Three different types of boxes are available – a general geek and gamer box, a Pokemon themed crate, and a Marvel themed crate. All three promise a varied range of merchandise including figures, artwork, “lifestyle”, memorabilia and more. However, we are somewhat cautious regarding these.

While we haven’t tried any of these boxes yet, the photos promoting these imply that the boxes might contain “LEGO” figures and small posters. If they are anything like their Smuggler’s Crate series, then the artwork is likely to be poor quality A5 prints, and the “LEGO” is almost certainly going to be cheap knock-offs.

Snack Surprise

Finally, we can’t close this round-up without a mention of Snack Surprise. Unlike many who offer one-off boxes, Snack Surprise is a subscription only services and they promise to deliver a monthly box packed with assorted snacks from around the world. Each box is themed around a different country and contains a variety of crisps, sweets and even a drink.

In theory this sounds fantastic, but Snack Surprise have a notoriously poor track record when it comes to customer service. And for the early part of 2022 an even worse history of delivering boxes on time to those who have purchased them, as testimonials on Trust Pilot highlights. They rarely respond to customer emails/complaints and their only social media posts are photos of items that their customers rarely receive.

While things have improved over the last month or so and seem to be on track, there was a lengthy period where customers were left waiting for months without boxes, no replies to emails, or excuses from the company for the delays (item shortages, poor quality so restocks are needed and so on). We all understand that delays can happen, but during this time influencers were enthusiastically promoting the boxes on YouTube as they received each box on time.

It has to be said that as boxes have arrived, customers have been happy with what they’ve received. My daughter was one of their customers left in limbo waiting for several months, but now seems to be getting deliveries at regular intervals. Hopefully things will continue in this way, as their potential is fantastic.

Overall

Regardless of which box (or boxes) you choose, part of the appeal of Mystery Boxes is the sheer fun of opening them. As you’ve seen if you’ve watched some of the videos presented here, even if I’ve been disappointed by some of the items in the boxes I’ve received, I’ve enjoyed the experience and discovery aspect of them. And when boxes have been packed with great items then that’s been a bonus. When a box has been packed full of amazing items, then they’re an absolute delight to explore, and at the other end when you’re disappointed but then get to the end and a box redeems itself with the final item… it still makes it a worthwhile experience.

I hope this has tempted some of you to give them a try and don’t forget to check our full Mystery Box playlist and subscribe to our YouTube channel as we aim to release new unboxing videos every week covering a wide range of boxes from suppliers all over the UK.

About Simon Plumbe 210 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*