Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wil Wheaton Quarterly Box: WIL01

I'm not really one for celebrity anything, having little interest in people just because they're famous. I was torn on signing up for the Wil Wheaton Quarterly Box, especially given that it's $100. However, he's only a couple years older than my husband and they basically grew up liking all the same things. Of course, Wil Wheaton got famous and my husband became a high school teacher, so there's that.

The point is that I was wary about this subscription simply because I don't really care what Wil Wheaton does or does not like. I respect that he's doing a lot, especially for tabletop gaming, but at the same time, he doesn't know me and I don't know him, so spending $100 just because he likes something is pretty dumb. When he announced, though, that each box would follow the decades of his life, starting with the 1970's, I figured this would be a great box. I like the cultural and historical element of that, so it felt like it would be a good present for my husband.

Now on to the good and bad. The good is that this box was definitely well curated and in the letter Wil Wheaton included, it was obvious why each item was chosen and that thought was put it into it. Also good is that for $100, it was valued at more than that. And not with a bunch of cheap items, either. The main item was worth $99 by itself.

That brings us to the bad, though. My husband and I are both nerds, but neither of us is really a STEM nerd. We are both passionate about art, books, movies, and pop culture. He loves sports and I love music. Science and math, though, are just not our thing. We were both good at them in school, but neither of us wanted to pursue either so the main item in the box, while awesome, is something we have no use for sadly.

To be clear, that's what you get in a mystery box and I will say that I feel Quarterly offers a valuable service. While I don't care much for celebrity culture, I think that if you find a curator who has similar interests as you, you are likely to enjoy the box. I am staying on for the 1980's since there has to be gaming in that one. I am also currently subscribed to Naomi Kyle (gaming) and Rosario Dawson (social involvement), too, and hopefully I will feel as strongly about their boxes.

The rationale for the Little Bits Base Kit that was included in this box was that Wil Wheaton grew up spending his free time at Radio Shack and making things. This is a really high quality item and will be a great gift to someone interested in it. You basically can make anything and it's something that encourages learning and creativity and critical thinking. We just don't really make things.

That game wasn't included - it was just out because we got it from Awesome Pack and we love games. :)
Also included in the box was a Radio Free Burrito poster, which is from Wil Wheaton's own podcast, some classic Star Wars cards (I bought my husband the Return of the Jedi set a few years ago so he was very happy to see these), and a classic 70's Chewbacca action figure.

Now there's no way Wil Wheaton could have worked this out better, because of all the figures we could have gotten, getting Chewbacca made this a total win for us. Obviously we were happy that it was Star Wars, but how's this for coincidence?

When my husband was a little kid, maybe six or seven, he and his brother entertained themselves (as all boys do) by taking things and hitting them with a bat. Chewbacca, being unfortunately aerodynamic, fell victim to my husband's brother's mega swing and flew directly over their house, into presumably a bed of flowers. For weeks, they ransacked their mom's flowers (which she did not approve of clearly) in hopes of reclaiming Chewbacca, but it was not to be. Once all the flowers were dead, there was still no sign of him. They checked the woods and the shrubs, but alas, he was gone. So now, 35 or so years later, Chewbacca arrived one spring afternoon in a box from Wil Wheaton. And my husband is happy.

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