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

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?