Dispatch: Series One -“On the Run” Mystery Box

Okay so let’ start kick off this first post since forever with a huge apology to my readers and the wonderful folks who send me boxes to review.  It’s been oh so quiet here, because I’ve been oh so overwhelmed.  I started my great new job, but my days are super long and I haven’t quite yet figured out how to juggle them with this blog. (If you’ve got tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments!) Meanwhile, I’m working on it  and I hope to be able to find a good balance.

Now let’s get to the reason why you show up – the box reviews.  And today I’ve got one of the most unique I’ve ever featured: a monthly mystery box.  I know, you’re thinking “you have mystery boxes all the time”, but this isn’t the kind with surprise gifts.  Instead, you get to channel your inner Sherlock and solve a mystery.  Intrigued? I was too.

The folks at Breakout, who came up with those funky escape room games, started a monthly subscription box called Dispatch.  The boxes chronicle a mystery and send you a box of clues that lead you to online resources that can help you solve the crime.  Each mystery lasts less than a year and each box costs $24.99.

Series One is called “On the Run” and is described as follows:
“Murder, romance, scandal—this story has it all. Once you open your delivery, you’ll find yourself entangled in the strange disappearance of your closest childhood friend, who also happens to be suspected of killing his wife, a well-known heiress.”

 I’ve gotten two boxes in this mystery series.

BOX #1
Box #1 introduces us to the mystery.  Our childhood best friend is accused of murdering his wealthy wife on their honeymoon.
We’ve got a notebook, lots of cool little details like magazine clippings, a napkin with a handwritten note and a set of invitations.  You can follow the clues to Instagram accounts, websites and you can even RSVP for the wedding reception using the info on the invite.
  We’ve also been given a resource, “The Bailey Detective Agency” that we can contact for help.  Pretty cool, right?

BOX #2
 
For our second box brings us more clues that focuses on the deceased’s wealthy family’s interest in a mine and it’s subsequent mysterious collapse We’ve got letters, autopsy reports, a mysterious token and lots of paper shreds.

The materials even have details like coffee and blood stains.

Verdict: Hit!
I love the care that went into putting this subscription together.  A real handwritten napkin, Instagram accounts and websites, letters, email responses and a helpline.  There’s so much detail that makes this fun.  I think this might be a great gift for that retiree who loves mystery books or even a teen who enjoys puzzles.  The one thing I do wish, is that the mystery was more group friendly.  You have to read a long notebook and lots of lengthy materials, so it just doesn’t lend itself well to working with a group. Maybe in addition to the notebook, we could get a link to a online vlog that discusses the contents.  I think that would open this up to being a fun family or group activity. It could be a different spin on a murder mystery dinner party.  Unfortunately, as currently constructed, I feel like it works best as a solo activity.

How would you feel about solving a mystery via a sub box?
Fun? Or not worth the hassle?

BACKSTORY
Dispatch is a monthly subscription-based mystery that tests your detective skills each month with a new delivery of clues.

After subscribing to Dispatch, you will receive your first package in the mail. These physical items serve as an introduction to the story and draw you into this online/offline mystery. After that, you will receive an additional box each month with more items that further explain the story.

Your first box will be shipped immediately. Your 2nd box will be shipped one month later and future boxes around that same date each month.

Each story lasts for less than a year before a new story begins. You can cancel at any time.

COST: $24.99 per month

Freedom Japanese Market: April 2017 + Special Offer

Today I’ve got a really fun post I’ve been saving.  The wonderful folks from Freedom Japanese Market sent me their April snack box to review.  It’s got all sorts of fun and unique treats straight from Japan.  Plus if you mention Subscription Therapy, in your order notes, you can receive a free bonus candy in your first box!

Freedom Japanese Market sends you a monthly box of treats shipped fresh from Japan.  Most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan and boxes contain some limited edition snacks and candies that are only in Japanese stores for a month or two.  About a pound of candy and snacks are packed into each box and an itemized list with pictures is included in each box.

This adorable box was left out by my mailbox which my neighbors thankfully picked up before any of the local wildlife could get to it.

Inside we have a colorful snack guide plus an adorable origami sword.  Because these snacks aren’t available in the US, I’m not going to be pricing them out.

Now to the snacks!

Ume Paper
Description:
“Pickled plum in paper thin form – sweet and sour!”
Verdict:  Where’s the sweet?
Death people, this tasted like death.  Like if a Stephen King book turned into a fruit roll-up.

Mix Fruit Mochi
Description:
“Mini apple and pineapple flavored piece of sweet mocha (rice cakes).”
Verdict: Adorable!
I haven’t had a chance to try these yet, but they look adorable and apple and pineapple sound great.

Premium Umaibo
Description:
“Mozzarella and camembert cheese flavored puffed corn.”
Verdict:
  A cheese doodle on steroids
Imagine a cheese doodle made with stronger cheese.  Like almost but not quite stinky cheese.  Not bad, but nothing I’d go searching for.

Shimi Choco Corn
Description:
“Cute star-shaped crispy corn puffs coated in strawberry chocolate.”
Verdict:
  The strawberry is a lie.
I was so excited for these because no one loves artificial strawberry flavor like I do, but there was this strange sort of texture after eating these.  I can’t really explain it but it was so unpleasant and the strawberry taste was just odd. These were disappointing.

UFO Ramune
Description:
“Ramune flavored hard candy in four flavors: yogurt, peach, apple, and cider.”
Verdict:
  Sounds interesting
I didn’t get to try these but “yogurt” flavored hard candy sounds intriguing.  It can be either horrific or amazing, there really isn’t an in-between.

Nagewa
Description: “Beef consommé flavored ring shaped potato crisps are fun to play with and eat!”
Verdict:  Hamburger Magic
I had no idea what Beef consommé tastes like, but apparently it tastes like a hamburger.  Like a hamburger with ketchup and pickles on it and everything.  These little potato straws were like you took a hamburger happy meal and magically shoved it into an itty bitty crisp.  This was my favorite item in the box.

Teriyaki Umaibo
Description: “Teriyaki burger flavored tube of puffed corn.”
Verdict:  Beefy cheese doodle
Another ginormous cheese doodle.  I’m not sure I would have guessed this was “burger” if I wasn’t told.  The taste was savory but without being immediately identifiable (if that makes sense).

Caplico Mini
Description: “Strawberry flavored aerated chocolate shaped like a mini ice cream cone!”
Verdict:  Wafer-y goodness
This strawberry treat made up for the other one.  It was like a wafer cookie with lots of extra filling.

Pizza Umaibo
Description: “Pizza flavored tube of puffed corn”
Verdict:  MOAR GIANT CHEESEDOODLES!
This cheese doodle had that sort of sharp pizza flavor.  Not bad, but not something I’d look to eat again.

Umaka!
Description: “Ramen chips flavored like champon, a Nagasaki noodle dish made of seafood and veggies.”
Verdict:  Mostly non-distinct
I try all these treats without reading the card first, because I figure that will give me the most honest impression.  I was worried this one would have fish in it based solely on the angry face and the little prawn.  I’d eat one chip and it would be a pretty bland then I’d try another and it would have a faint taste of fish.  They were interesting but didn’t live up to the exclamation point in the name.

Kabuki Cracker
Description: “These delicious rice crackers are stamped with famous kabuki emblems.”
Verdict:  Crunchy and bland
I passed these over to my boyfriend and his verdict was that they were crunchy and pretty bland which is kind of a theme with a lot of the rice based Japanese snacks.

Un-Choco
Description: “Mini grape flavored chocolate balls in cute animal packaging!”
Verdict:  Look at that face!!
I didn’t even try these but I love them. Look at that cute little face.  I don’t know if it’s a koala bear or some kind of alien hybrid animal, but I love it.  Packaging wins me over every time.

Caramel Corn
Description: “A seasonal exclusive!  Sweet rare cheesecake flavored curls of puffed corn.”
Verdict:  Lightly sweet
These corn puffs were very delicately sweetened and I thought they were a nice treat.  They almost reminded me of a lighter version of the honey flavored Chex Mix.

BONUS!
Chewing Straw Candy
Description: “Straw-shaped grape flavored gummy candy.”
Verdict:  Not quite for me
Normally gummies win me over, but I’m not a huge fan of sweet and sour gummies and these had that cloying sweet and bitingly sour thing going on.  But someone who enjoys those types of gummies would probably love this.


OVERALL

Verdict:
Hit!
Now, this box normally costs $24.99, which seems fair to me for a box shipped from Japan with this many treats. I think this would make a fun gift for a teen or even someone away at college.  Even if the treats aren’t quite suited to our Western palates, they are a lot of fun to try out.  I always enjoy learning about different foods and cultures, even if at the end of the day they aren’t something I fall in love with.  The packaging on this sub is adorable and I thought there was a good variety of sweet/salty/sour.  The one improvement I could see with this box is that we received three Umaibos, but maybe instead we could have gotten  one or two and a different type of snack.

I think this is a really fun sub and if you love Japanese snacks or fun unique food items, you may want to give it a try.

Have you ever tried snacks from other countries?
If so, what did you think of them?

THE BACKSTORY
Freedom Japanese Market sends you a box of treats shipped fresh from Japan.  Most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan and contain some limited edition snacks and candies that are only in Japanese stores for a month or two.  About a pound of candy and snacks are packed into each box and an itemized list with pictures is included in each box, so you don’t have to read Japanese.

Club members can buy additional boxes and send them (to other addresses) as gifts or gift subscriptions.

Plans:
Puchi Pack – $14.99 per month:
(For a small taste of Japan)
★ 5 to 8 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
Original Pack – $24.99 per month:
(The perfect box of treats from the land of the rising sun)
★ 12 to 16 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
★ Includes DIY Candy Kit
Family Pack – $45.99 per month: (Snacks for the whole family)
★ 24 to 32 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
★ Includes DIY Candy Kit
★ Double the snacks without double the price

Discounts: You can create a 1, 3, 6 and 12 month renewable plan (longer plans have larger discounts) that will fit your needs.
Special Offers: If you mention Subscription Therapy, in your order notes, you can receive a free bonus candy in your first box!

Shipping:
Free Shipping Worldwide
You can cancel at any time without fees or penalties.

2017 Precious Moments Collectors’ Club

Okay so I’m going to be honest, I am not the target demographic for today’s subscription. The Precious Moments Collectors’ Club  is for folks that collect and love those little wide eyed Precious Moments statues that have graced the shelves of many beloved grandmothers.  I do, however, understand the love of collecting.  If I’d had a house before now, I’d probably have ginormous collections of all kinds of random stuff.  For me, there is an undeniable appeal in finding all the cool versions of something you love and building a pretty display for them. I’ve got a collection of antique brooches, nail polish, and cookbooks so who am I to cast stones if you adore little porcelain figures?  That’s why when the wonderful Precious Moments folks asked me to review their product, I decided to give it a shot.

So this subscription is a little different than most.  You pay $59.99 for the year and get a lovely package with free collectibles as a welcome gift.  Your membership includes perks such as a free quarterly subscription to MOMENTS magazine, free shipping on all your purchases for a year along, access to Members Only figurines along with other perks on the Precious Moments site.  For all the details, jump down to the Backstory.

So my lovely logoed box arrived and I was interested to see how it was packaged.

Sandwiched inside was another smaller box.

I opened it to uncover a little pouch with a cute collectible bracelet.


Beyond that is another little box with a plaque.

(This is like a nesting doll of collectibles!)

Finally the last layer reveals a cute “Live’s Always Greener With You by My Side” figurine that is the “2017 Symbol of Membership”.

Figurines aren’t my collectible of choice, but I must admit found that tiny little porcelain bunny, too adorable.


Verdict: If you’re a collector, this would be great for you.
If you collect these figures, this subscription would probably be a lot of fun for you and give you some nice discounts.  The $59.99 seems to be the cost of the welcome figurine, so if you love that little statue, everything else that comes with membership would just be a nice bonus.

Do you collect anything?
If so, what is it and would you join a subscription for it?


BACKSTORY
The Precious Moments Collectors’ Club offers special discounts and services to members that collect and purchase Precious Moments figurines.  A year long subscription purchase will entitle you to:
FREE Symbol of Membership Figurine – Life Is Always Greener With You By My Side
FREE Shipping On All Items Purchased at Preciousmoments.com for one full year!
FREE 4 Quarterly MOMENTS magazines
FREE Figurine & Doll Personalization for one full year!
FREE Members Bangle Bracelet and Precious Moments Plaque
TRIPLE Reward Points On ALL Purchases
EXCLUSIVE ability to purchase Members Only Figurines for one full year!

COST: $59.99 per year

Top 16 Sub Box Items of 2016

Since I finally wrapped up my 2016 posts, it’s time for me to pick my favorite 16 items from all of my 2016 Sub boxes.  With so many different boxes and cool items, it was hard to narrow it down.  They are simply in chronological order.

JANUARY
Popsugar Must Have: January 2016
Planner
Blue Sky Day Designer Weekly Planner (Suggested Retail: $15.99 (now reduced))
I loved this planner and was so bummed that I couldn’t find the exact same one for 2017.  They need to keep making it!

MARCH
Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Spring 2016

Earbuds 2 Ear Buds
LSTN Sound Co. Wembley Earbuds (Retail: $99.00)
These are adorable and so comfortable.  I wore them so much they kind of started falling apart.  But even though they look a bit worse for the wear, they still sound great!

Julep Maven: March 2016 – The Lighten Up Collection
Trudy

Trudy: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
I love this color so much, that I’m painting my kitchen cabinets a similar shade.

Popsugar: March 2016
On Wrist

Nanette Lepore Classic Rose Gold Watch (Suggested Retail: $55.00)
Loved the color combination of pale strap, rose gold and white lock face. It’s elegant and chic.

APRIL
Popsugar: April 2016

Cookbook
Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat  (Suggested Retail: $17.99)
I love to cook and this book had some amazing recipes.

MAY
Orglamix Glam Box: May 2016
Necklace & Oil

Aromatherapy Diffuser Necklace
(Estimated Retail: $26.00)
A cool way to wear perfume + a scent I could wear without getting a headache?
It was like a miracle.

JUNE
Orglamix Glam Box: June 2016
Perfume

Perfume Palette – Fresh picked fruit (Estimated Retail: $21.00)
Solid perfumes don’t get nearly enough play.  They are great to keep in your bag and this one had 3 different scents that were all delicious and fun to layer.

JULY
Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Summer 2016
Turban

DreamDry The Dream Turban (Retail: $30.00)
I use this almost every day.  They need to start making them in white.

SEPTEMBER
cheek-tint
Orglamix Glam Box: September 2016 Moroccan Hammam
Moroccan Rose mineral lip + cheek tint (Estimated Retail: $18.00)
This shade was so lovely with just the right amount of shimmer, that I found myself reaching for it over and over again.

OCTOBER
Popsugar: Fall Limited Edition Box
headphones

Caeden Linea No1 Faceted Ceramic & Rose Gold Headphones (Suggested Retail: $149.99)
These headphones are gorgeous and super comfortable.

Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Fall 2016
bracelet on-wrist
The Eye-Catcher: Rachel Zoe Tassel Bracelet: (Estimated Retail: $95.00)
This bracelet is great for layering or dressing up or down.  I found myself reaching for this all during the week as it paired perfectly with all my work outfits.

Popsugar: October Must Have Box
mug
Morning Culture Rise & Shine Diner Mug (Suggested Retail: $16.00)
I love diner style mugs and grabbed another of these at a huge discount during a Popsugar boutique sale.

Julep Maven: October 2016: Dark & Stormy Nights!
desiree-swatch

Desiree
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
This lets you turn any polish into one with some holo sparkle!

NOVEMBER
bracelet-wrist bracelet-front
Kendra Scott Elaina Rose Gold Bracelet in White Pearl
(Suggested Retail: $50)
I love the design on this – gorgeous rose gold + a versatile white stone and a unique clasp.  A winner.

runner
Pehr Chambray Runner Wine
(Suggested Retail: $44.00)
I love home items and this is going to look perfect in my new house.

DECEMBER
Popsugar: December 2016 Must Have Box
catchalls
Odeme Catchall & Ring Dish
(Suggested Retail: $67)
Love the versatility of design here.  You can use this in so many ways.

OVERALL
Most Consistent:
Orglamix Glam Box.
They always had something surprising and stuck really well the box theme and what I feel their subscriber is expecting.
Best Value: Rachel Zoe Box of Style.
$100 is steep but the quality of items and their value is usually 4 times that.  They include luxury brands and a lot of exclusive items.
My 2016 Favorite: Popsugar Must Have
I really love the lifestyle items that Popsugar offers.  You get your beauty fix, plus great home finds and cute surprises.
It’s also important to note that Popsugar’s customer service has greatly improved and they’ve started offering their long-time customers more promotions.

What was your favorite sub box item or sub box of 2016?

MeUndies: September 2016

Today I’ve got an awesome subscription for you guys, an underwear subscription that claims to be the “world’s most comfortable underwear”.  Seriously. The folks at MeUndies graciously sent me a box to review.  Strangely enough, I’ve been hunting for the perfect underwear for awhile.  My go to has been a seamless boyshort style from Target, but my terrible washing machine pretty much makes them disintegrate so it was time to try something new.  Cue my MeUndies box.

About the Brand:
MeUndies wants you to build the “freshest, funnest, underwear drawer” with “new limited edition designs every month.”  You can skip a month or cancel at any time.  You can also just buy their products individually from their site, but you do get a discount by signing up for the subscription.

How the sub works:
This sub offers four styles for men or women.  First you choose your cut:
Options for Women: Women’s Cheeky Brief, Women’s Bikini, Women’s Boyshort, Women’s Modal Thong
Options for Men: Men’s Boxer Brief, Men’s Trunk, Men’s Boxer, Men’s Brief

Next you choose your fabric and size:
Sizes for Women: XS – 2XL
Sizes for Men: S – 3XL
Fabric options are in three categories: Classic, Bold, and Adventurous.

Cost: Men’s pairs are $16 a month and Women’s pairs are $14.00

So my undies arrived in this cute little bag.  I opted for the boyshort style in XL because I have a bit of extra junk in my trunk.
bag
These styles appear to be the “adventurous” kind, which suits me just fine.  These felt super soft and really well made.  The real test was when I wore them.  They were in fact very very comfortable and I felt the sizing was a little generous.  I think I could have worn a large as well, so if you’re between sizes you may want to go down to the lower one.
striped-undies abstract
The finishing on the edges of this underwear are much better quality than my usual kind and I think they’ll hold up better in the wash.
label-close
meundies-9-2016
Verdict:
Love!
I think MeUndies has me hooked.  I’m definitely going to turn to them when I need to replenish my underwear drawer.  While $14 a pair might seem a bit pricey, these are great quality and I think they’ll last longer than the ones that cost just a few dollars less.  They also are amazingly soft and come in so many fun prints.  This is also a wonderful gift idea – perfectly suited to the guy in your life who never seems to remember to buy underwear or just hates doing it.  The MeUndies site also offers some lounge wear options although the current sizing seems more limited than their underwear offerings.  I hope they do expand their sizing cause I’d gladly buy some tshirts in their super soft fabric.

BACKSTORY
MeUndies wants you to build the “freshest, funnest, underwear drawer” with “new limited edition designs every month.”  Each month they’ll send you a new pair of underwear in your selected cut and size.   You can also just buy their products individually from their site, but you do get a discount by signing up for the subscription.

COST: Women: $14.00
Men: $16.00

Shipping:
Free Shipping
You can skip a month or cancel at any time

Save

MorningClub Co: May 2016

I’m back from a busy July 4th holiday which included my anniversary and a lot of house hunting (keep your fingers crossed I don’t give myself a heart attack as I attempt to actually purchase a home).  I’ve got another new box for you and this time it’s one for the fellas.  The wonderful folks at Morning Club Co., a men’s grooming subscription, sent me a box to review so let’s get down to it.

A little about this sub:

“MorningClub Co. is a no-nonsense, no gimmicks subscription-box company with a mission to ensuring that men never run out of the personal care products they know, use and trust….Monthly subscription prices range from $17.99 to $45.59 per month (all prices in USD), with extra shipping and sales tax in Canada.  Depending on your monthly subscription package, you can opt to customize your preferred brand or product selection to better suit your needs.” Boxes include 5 – 7 products, plus socks and a free gift.  This box allows you to choose from boxed sets of grooming products and also offers the option of adding on razors.  Currently, you can get 25% off your first box.

Since this is a practical grooming subscription for men I’ll be considering this one from more of an overall gifting perspective.

Now let’s get to grooming:
Box Open Box

Body Wash
Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, Clean Comfort 18 oz
(Estimated Retail: $5.32)

Deodorant
Dove Men + Care Deodorant Stick, Extra Fresh, 3 Ounce

(Estimated Retail: $3.86)

Q-tips
Q-tips Cotton Swabs, Blue Purse Pack, 30 ct
(Estimated Retail: $3.62)
I have to say I find it a little amusing that this is called a “purse pack” and is in a men’s box.  I feel like Qtips are something you want to buy a big box of and just have on hand.  That being said, this size is perfect for travel or keeping in your gym bag.

Shave Gel
Dove Men Plus Care Shave Gel Hydrate
(Estimated Retail: $5.59)

Toothbrush
Colgate Wave Soft Manual Toothbrush
(Estimated Retail: $4.70)
I feel like so many folks use battery operated or sonic toothbrushes that this would be a good product for customers to be able to exclude.

Toothpaste
Colgate Max Fresh Liquid Toothpaste with Mini Breath Strips, Cool Mint, 4.6 oz
(Estimated Retail: $2.50)

Socks
Conceited Cowboy Socks
(Estimated Retail: $????)
I couldn’t find this one online, but they look like cute socks and I love the name.

Our Free Surprise Gift…
Free Gift Wrapped Free Gift Free Gift Open
MILWAUKEE 24-Piece SHOCKWAVE I
(Estimated Retail: $22.45)
This is a drill bit set…but you need to have a drill first.  I’m not sure what type of quality this is, but it’s a cute little set.

OVERALL
Morning Club
I’m not sure how much this box would cost as it seems most similar to the “Feel Energized with Dove” set which is currently priced at $25.19, but it doesn’t have quite as many items.  Since the lowest cost listed is $17.99 we’ll assume this box costs between that and $25.19.  Excluding the socks which I couldn’t price, our total comes out to an estimated $48.04 (although a lot of that comes from the cost of the extra gift).

I think this sub would be a great gift for a teen guy going off to college.  Their budget is limited and this would be a great way to give them the necessities each month plus a couple fun extras. The value is definitely there, but you could also buy these items in bulk via Amazon for a bigger discount overall and a bit more customization.  However, you don’tget the fun of the free gift and socks, which is probably a nice bonus to your monthly pharmacy purchases.  I could see a busy guy who’s really brand loyal enjoying this sub.  I do think MorningClub Co should consider some additional add-on options like shampoo/conditioner, electric brush head replacements and so on.  If a guy could get all their grooming needs from this one box, then I think it would have an even bigger appeal especially factoring in that you would now know exactly how much you need to budget for your grooming items each month.

Have you ever purchased a box subscription for a man in your life or tried one yourself?

BACKSTORY
MorningClub Co. is a no-nonsense, no gimmicks subscription-box company with a mission to ensuring that men never run out of the personal care products they know, use and trust.  Depending on your monthly subscription package, you can opt to customize your preferred brand or product selection to better suit your needs.  Boxes include 5 – 7 products, plus socks and a free gift.

COST: $ prices range from $17.99 to $45.59 per month (all prices in USD),
(Extra shipping and sales tax in Canada)

Spiffster Tie Box: June 2016 & 20% off Coupon

Been procrastinating on Father’s Day?
If so, I might have just have a solution.   The wonderful folks at Spiffster, a premium tie subscription, sent me a box to review and a fabulous 20% off coupon.
Just use SUBSCRIPTIONTHERAPY to save 20% off your entire subscription (not just the first month, but the whole sub)!

How it works:
After you become a member, they send you a short survey that allows you to build your profile and deliver ties tailored to your preferences.  A fresh tie gets delivered to you monthly.  All ties are shipped on the 16th of each month.

What really sets this sub apart is that you get to customize the tie you receive, plus it’s super affordable.  A month to month sub is only $8.95, with discounts for prepaying 3 or 6 month subs.

Spiffster also offers the ability to purchase ties separately from the subscription in their Spiffster One Time Shop.

Now you may be wondering what $8.95 will get us?
(Me too).  Let’s jump in.

We start with really cute packaging:
Box

Print Tie
The Tie

Now subscribers typically choose their own tie, but mine was selected by Spiffster.  It’s a nice classic style and the quality is excellent.  I’ve gotten a lot of ties from men’s boxes and this is one of the few my boyfriend actually wanted to keep.

Also included was a card, with instructions on how to tie a specific knot.  I thought this was a great inclusion and I think a lot of guys would be interested in learning some of the different methods that they may not be accustomed to using.
Card

Verdict: Hit!
Spffister Tie Box
I’m really impressed with the quality you get for only $8.95.  I also really appreciate that this subscription is completely customized.  For a gentleman that needs to wear a tie every day, this is an easy, inexpensive way to build up a tie wardrobe.  I could also see this as a great gift for a recent grad that is heading into the business world.  If you’ve been looking at tie subs, this is definitely one to move to the top of your list.

Have you ever purchased a subscription as a gift?
If so, tell me about it in the comments!

BACKSTORY
After you become a member at Spiffster, they send you a short survey that allows you to build your profile and deliver ties tailored to your preferences.

A fresh tie gets delivered to you monthly.  All ties are shipped on the 16th of each month.

“Our neckties are trendy and fashionable. Handcrafted from premium materials and created to instill a sense of success.”

COST: $8.95 Month to Month
$24.95 Every three Months
$56.95 Every 6 Months

Shipping:
Free Shipping on all U.S. orders.
Cancel at Any Time
Free US Shipping

COUPON CODE: SUBSCRIPTIONTHERAPY – save 20% off for the duration of your subscription

ONLINE SHOP: Ties are also on sale for Individual Purchase in the Spiffster One Time Shop

Gentlemen & Co Noire Style Box: May 2016 & $5 off your First Box

Since Father’s Day is fast approaching, I figured for this lovely Monday, I’d focus on a Men’s subscription.  The wonderful Gentlemen & Co Noire Style Box, a men’s fashion accessory subscription, graciously sent me a box to review.

A little about this sub:
The Gentlemen & Co. Noire Style Monthly Subscription costs $28 per month, with free US shipping and you can cancel at any time.  (International subscriptions are available for $35 and do not include Esquire magazine.)

“Each monthly box will contain anywhere from 4 to 6 dapper accessories, such as pocket squares, lapel pins, tie bars and more… alongside the recent issue of Esquire Magazine. Each box will be completely coordinated by the members here at Gentlemen & Co. and easy to style, making it simple to dress to impress those around you. “

Something really special about this box is that 25% of recurring sales are also donated to a scholarship program set up to help students from low income families afford college.  So not only does Gentlemen & Co help you “dress to impress”, they are helping make the world a little better, box by box.

In addition to the items I received, subscribers will also get an issue of Esquire magazine.

Unfortunately, this box didn’t include an insert with info on the items and because I’m a lady (at least some of the time) I’m just going to leave out a verdict on each piece and instead comment on the overall box as a gift option.

Very stylish box, nice graphic logo:
Box
Open Box

Tie pin
Tie Bar
This is a very classic tie bar that would match any tie or outfit.  A very nice professional choice.

Pocket Square
Cotton Pocket Square

A simple white pocket square is another very classic choice. It will go with everything.

Tie
Skinny Necktie

Skinny neckties seem to be in fashion and I actually think the fabrication of the tie makes it a bit unique.  It seems like a wool blend and it gives a sort of casual chic vibe.

Pin
Lapel Pin
Not sure about this one.  I don’t know too many guys who would wear it, but it’s definitely a fun piece and the red would be a nice pop of color against a dark jacket.

Bracelet Bracelet Close
Beaded Bracelet

My boyfriend doesn’t wear jewelry but I’ve known quite a few guys that do, and I thought the colors of this bracelet were nicely understated and it had some lovely detail.

OVERALL
Noire Box May 2016
So let’s start with the value.  For $28, you receive all of the above plus an Esquire magazine.  The items all seemed well made and the colors would complement a wide variety of suits, so I think $28 is a more than fair price. The box itself has nice packaging for gift giving, and I feel like the guy who really enjoys dapper accessories would dig this box.  These types of subs are a fun way to keep fashion fresh and fun for men who need to wear suits regularly.  I personally love companies that give back, so knowing a portion of the sales go toward scholarships is a great bonus.  My one small criticism is that I’d really want an insert with info on the items and perhaps some suggestions for styling.  Hopefully future boxes will include that.

Have you ever purchased a box subscription for a man in your life?  If so, what did they think?

BACKSTORY
“Each month, Gentleman & Co Noire Style Box will send a box containing, ”anywhere from 4 to 6 dapper accessories, such as pocket squares, lapel pins, tie bars and more… alongside the recent issue of Esquire Magazine. Each box will be completely coordinated by the members here at Gentlemen & Co. and easy to style, making it simple to dress to impress those around you. “

25% of Recurring Sales will be donated to a scholarship fund to assist low income students.

COST: $28 per month for US subscriptions
((International subscriptions are available at $35 but do not include Esquire magazine.)

Shipping:
Free Shipping on all U.S. orders.
Cancel at Any Time
Free US Shipping

COUPON CODE: USE CODE WELCOME5 TO SAVE $5 OFF YOUR FIRST MONTH.

Selected by Harrison Blake: February 2016 & Coupon Code!

So I promised you all you’d see more men’s subscription boxes and today I’m delivering. The lovely folks at Harrison Blake Apparel Co. graciously sent me their February box to review.

A little about this sub:
“SELECTED by Harrison Blake is a $25/mo. subscription club that delivers 5 classy accessories and unique products. Each box will contain 1 necktie and 4 additional accessories, such as pocket squares, lapel pins, tie bars and more… – each box will be completely coordinated and easy to style, making it simple to dress to impress. Each of these items will be exclusive and hand selected – not just items currently for sale on our website!”

This box costs $25 per month and shipping in the US is free. This sub ships to Canada and internationally but that will cost additional in shipping. For 30% off anything on the Harrison Blake website use code MAR11 at Checkout.

Now let’s check out the box.  Super cute logo.
Box Open Box
Tie Bar
H.B. Scissors Tie Bar
(Suggested Retail: $14.00)
I thought this was a really fun and unique tie bar. Definitely not a run of the mill style.

Pocket Square
Cotton Pocket Square

(Suggested Retail: $10.00)
I loved the print on this pocket square and the finishing at the edge is really lovely. Definitely a nice quality item and I think I’ll be stealing it for myself and keeping it in my purse for a classier alternative to a Kleenex.

Tie
Knit Necktie

(Suggested Retail: $16.00)
I thought this tie was another unique style and had some hipster type charm to it. It’s a younger style and I think it’s definitely a fun choice as we head into spring.

Socks
H.B. Polka Dot Socks
(Suggested Retail: $12.00)
I couldn’t find these on the Harrison Blake website so I’m going with the value listed on the included card. I’m a sucker for polka dots and these coordinate nicely with all the other items.

Bracelet
Beaded Bracelet
(Suggested Retail: $15.00)
This one also wasn’t available on the website so I’m using the value from the included card. I don’t know too many guys who wear these style bracelets, but this one seems comfortable and matches back with the other accessories.

OVERALL
Harrison Blake February 2016
Obviously I’m not a guy so I can’t really review this the way I do a lot of my other boxes. So to start with let’s look at the value. The cost of the box is $25 and I get a estimated retail value of $67. Now that can be tricky since these items appear to be exclusive to Harrison Blake, however just looking at the quality of what’s included I do think $25 is more than a fair price for this box.

I really like that the accessories have more unusual styling than a lot of other boxes I’ve seen. These seem to skew a bit younger and more fun and I appreciate that they all coordinate with each other.

The March box is currently sold out, but I’m sure there will be more available for April. If you know a guy who has a lot of fun with his accessories, I think he’d really enjoy this box.

Do you any of the men in your life purchase subscription boxes? If so, which ones?

THE BACKSTORY
SELECTED by Harrison Blake is a $25/mo. subscription club that delivers 5 classy accessories and unique products. Each box will contain 1 necktie and 4 additional accessories, such as pocket squares, lapel pins, tie bars and more… – each box will be completely coordinated and easy to style, making it simple to dress to impress. Each of these items will be exclusive and hand selected – not just items currently for sale on our website!”

COST: $25 per month
Shipping: Free Shipping on all U.S. orders.
Canadian shipping is a flat rate of $12.
International shipping is a flat rate of $20

COUPON CODE: For 30% off anything on the Harrison Blake website use code MAR11 at Checkout.

Bespoke: January 2016

So it’s been quiet over here at Subscription Therapy, unless you count my hacking cough from catching the flu. I’m finally past the worst of it and ready to get back to my boxes.

I had mentioned before that you’d see quite a few Men’s subscription boxes coming up and today I’ve got Bespoke, a men’s lifestyle sub. I’ve been eying this one for a while and I finally decided to jump in and grab a box for my boyfriend.

How it Works: Each month we assemble a new collection of themed goods to create the Box of Awesome”

Who doesn’t want a “Box of Awesome”?

What’s inside?: “Each box is a limited-edition, themed collection of men’s lifestyle gear from up-and-coming brands that we admire, spanning all areas of your day-to-day.”

Cost: “Join the club and boxes always cost $45 – there’s no commitment and you can skip a box anytime. Otherwise, boxes cost $55.”

Now here’s the great part about this sub, you can choose your first box from their existing collections, opt to skip any month or purchase additional items for upgrade. It’s really designed so you don’t end up with stuff you don’t want or use and I really appreciate that.

Because I wanted to try to go on some weekend trips this year and my boyfriend really didn’t have a nice bag, I nabbed their Weekender box as a gift.
Bag Pic

This cost $45 if you sign up for a subscription and $55 if you just want a one time purchase.

My pictures aren’t quite so great since I was trying to sneak them before I wrapped this one up as a gift.
It came in a nice long box.
Box Open Box Bag in Box
The canvas and leather bag seemed quite sturdy and included a detachable strap. The design was simple and nicely sized for a weekend trip.
Bag Inside
It also came with a little bag of extra freebies including cards and body wipes.
Bag of Extras Extras
OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!
This is my favorite male subscription box that I’ve seen so far. Not only is it very customizable but most of the boxes are unisex. I’d happily use this weekender bag and there are tons of boxes they offer that I’d love to have for myself. If there’s a special guy in your life, I think a gift sub to Bespoke would be a great option. He can pick and choose the items he likes for himself and they offer everything from toiletries to booze to accessories.

 

BACKSTORY
Each month Bespokeassembles a new collection of themed goods to create the Box of Awesome.”

“Each box is a limited-edition, themed collection of men’s lifestyle gear from up-and-coming brands that we admire, spanning all areas of your day-to-day.”  Box value of $70+.

Cost: “Join the club and boxes always cost $45 – there’s no commitment and you can skip a box anytime. Otherwise, boxes cost $55.”