Subscription boxes are all the rage. The internet is full of sites offering random gift box subscription services for a wide variety of interests. It seems a new one springs up every week. One of the boxes that has always caught our eye was Horror Block. We’ve been able to successfully resist temptation until last month. Last month Horror Block launched an advertising and social media campaign promoting something near and dear to our hearts: The Walking Dead. We received word that March’s block would contain, not one, but TWO Walking Dead items. We then saw a promo code for a 10% discount and we couldn’t resist.
What is Horror Block?:
Before we delve into too much detail, let’s recap what Horror Block is for those who don’t know. Horror Block is a monthly subscription based service. You sign up, provide them with your address, t-shirt size, payment information and wait to be surprised in the mail. Why is it a surprise? Because Horror Blocks are sort of a grab bag type setup. While most months will have some sort of theme, you never know exactly what you’ll get until your box arrives. For example, we knew our box was going to have two Walking Dead items. Other than that we were basically clueless. Each box typically contains a T-shirt, which is why you supply your t-shirt size when you sign up. Beyond knowing your box will most likely contain some sort of t-shirt, you’ll have little knowledge of what your monthly box will contain. That’s a big part of the fun!
How Much Does it Cost?
Horror Block starts at just $19.99 for a single month subscription. Discounts are offered if you prepay for a 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year subscription. It’s important to note that cost does NOT include shipping. Horror Blocks ship out of Canada so shipping for US customers is $9.50 US. There’s also another side note to consider. If you require a t-shirt size 2XL or larger, your price goes up slightly to cover the additional cost of the larger t-shirt.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, onward to the review!
Horror Block Review: March 2015
This was our first experience with Horror Block and subscription boxes in general. There were plenty of pleasant surprises and a few things we weren’t so happy with. Overall, we were left feeling satisfied with the experience . . . even if it took a while to get started.
We ordered our Horror Block well before the subscription period closed. Our block shipped out on the 25th and slowly shambled from Canada to Michigan in about 13 days. That seems a little long, especially when you have to avoid spoilers all over the internet. People love to share their Horror Block pictures. By the time we received our box there were countless reviews, unboxing videos and spoiler pics to be avoided on the web and social media.
We’re giving Horror Block the benefit of the doubt here. We did have Good Friday and Easter that may have slowed the shipment down. Since Horror Blocks ship out of Canada there is also customs clearance that can increase shipping time. The folks at Horror Block provide tracking information. Since we were excited for our first box we watched tracking information daily.For some reason we noticed our Horror Block seemed to stall and sit idle at a post office about 40 miles away for a couple days with no known reason. Horror Block and Canada Post estimated delivery for April 1st. We finally received our Horror Block on April 7th.
Click the images below to open a larger view:
As you can see from the photos above, our box arrived looking a little battered and bruised. That’s a shame because it’s a pretty sweet looking box. We almost wish they’d double box these, but we know that would add to the cost and shipping charges. Although our box was a little scuffed, the contents inside were safe. We sliced through the packaging tape with the red blood drips (a nice touch) and opened our first ever Horror Block.
Each Horror Block includes a card describing the contents of that month’s box.
Our block contained the following items:
- Daryl Dixon Walking Dead Inspired T-shirt: Dixon Motorcycle Repair and Walker Removal Service: Atlanta, Georgia
- One Daryl Dixon Cinch Sack : An officially licensed Daryl Dixon drawstring bag
- One Small 3D Wind Up Mummy Puzzle
- One Horror Block Exclusive Clown Key Cap
- One Lee Howard Framed Canvas Print: Hellraiser
- One Copy of Rue Morgue Magazine: April 2015
Let’s look at each item a little more closely.
Item #1 Daryl Dixon Inspired T-shirt:
We like the t-shirt design, even if Daryl Dixon isn’t our favorite character on The Walking Dead. The shirt features a pretty cool “Dixon Motorcycle Repair” and “Walker Removal” design. It features a side view of Daryl’s old chopper and is a subtle nod to the series fans will appreciate. This doesn’t appear to be an officially licensed tee, but we won’t complain!
The shirt quality seems nice. The three color design is screen printed on a high quality Gildan Ultra Cotton brand 100% cotton T-shirt.
Did you miss the March block and want one of these shirts for your very own? Try scoring one on ebay!
Item #2 Daryl Dixon Cinch Sack:
The Daryl Dixon drawstring bag is pretty cool. This officially licensed drawstring bag features the amc The Walking Dead logo, blood splatters and an image of Daryl Dixon with his crossbow slung over his shoulder. It appears to be constructed of a durable polyester material complete with PVC reinforced corners and polyester cord straps. The bag measures about 17″ tall by 13.5″ wide.
We’ve seen this item retail for at least $10-$12 so scoring this makes this block a decent value.
Did you miss the March block? Get this Daryl Dixon bag for yourself now. Click here to buy your own!
Item #3 Wind up 3D Mummy Puzzle:
Click the images below to open a bigger view:
This cute little novelty puzzle comes disassembled. Pop the pieces out, put them together and wind up your mummy. Watch this wind up mummy shamble across your desktop to pass away the hours you should be working or studying.
Item #4 Horror Block Clown Key Cap:
“Look at this f***g clown.” We’re not fans of clowns and this creepy rubber key cap is a perfect example of why. This cap is a Horror Block exclusive and fits most, if not all, standard key heads.
Want one of these Horror Block exclusive key caps of your own? Try browsing for one on ebay.
Item #5 Lee Howard Canvas Print:
This 8″x 10″ canvas print is a reproduction of an original painting of Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies. Done by the talented artist Lee Howard, the original painting was #5 in Lee’s “Movie Icons” painting series. Despite being wrapped in plastic, our canvas print had some light scuffs and scratches visible. You can see the marks in the photo above. This is no doubt a result of normal handling in the manufacturing and packaging process. Although the damage is not significant, it may bother some people. Fortunately some of us dabble in art so we know how common this can be on a painting or print with a matte black background. We also know a couple ways to easily fix it which means we probably shouldn’t complain about it.
Item #6 Rue Morgue Magazine:
This Canada based magazine is dedicated to horror film and horror culture in general. Very cool and we’re surprised at the quality. The cover price of this April issue is $9.95. We noted our magazine had a bent corner in the lower right hand corner. This is probably a result of some hurried packing of our box. Not a significant cause for concern but we’re picky!
What We Loved:
- The Box Design is Very Cool
- Quality T-shirt
- Good Value
- 2 Walking Dead Items!
- Rue Morgue Magazine
- We kept our first box a little cheaper with a promo code scored online.
Meh. What Wasn’t So Great:
- Shipping Time: It took a while for us to receive our Horror Block.
- Damage to the Box: Our Box was a little beat up, but the contents were unharmed.
- Two Daryl Dixon Items. (We would have preferred they mixed things up a bit.)
- Our Lee Howard Hellraiser Canvas Print had some minor scuffing
- Our Rue Morgue magazine had a bent corner.
- Additional Charges Add Up – Nearly $10 for shipping and fees for larger shirts add up.
This Horror Block seemed to be a decent value. The t-shirt and Daryl Dixon bag are probably both worth the cost of the box alone. When you factor in the Lee Howard print canvas and the Rue Morgue magazine the value gets even better. We weren’t thrilled with the key cap or the wind-up mummy but we suspect they’d both easily sell for $3 to $5 each on their own, making this entire block a pretty good deal.
We wish the two Walking Dead items would have been a little more varied. Not everyone is a Daryl Dixon fanboy/fangirl. We like Daryl enough, but we would have appreciated a Rick Grimes, or Michonne item substituted for one of the Daryl Dixon items to mix things up.
The biggest disappointments were shipping cost and shipping time. Flat rate shipping from Canada cost us nearly $10, almost half the price of the box itself. We ship enough items to know this is actually a decent charge for shipping from Canada. Even armed with this knowledge you start to think twice when your monthly charge for Horror Block pushes near the $30 mark. If you need larger t-shirts in the 2XL and beyond range your charge will be even a little higher.
Shipping time left us a little salty as well. This isn’t necessarily Horror Block’s fault but it annoyed us none the less. It took almost 2 weeks after it shipped for our block to arrive.
So do we recommend Horror Block based on this review? If you aren’t a control freak, have almost $30 a month to spare and like surprises Horror Block is fun. It seems like a great way to break up the monotony of every day life. We recommend setting it and forgetting it. If you’re in the U.S. don’t get hung up checking tracking information. Obsessively checking tracking information for your shipment can be a little agonizing. This is especially true when you see other people in different parts of the country getting their block before you.
3.5 out of 5
Overall we were pleased with our first Horror Block experience. We didn’t love all the items and the shipping from Canada was a little slow. However, these were issues we fully anticipated. We liked our first Horror Block experience enough that we’ve decided to keep our subscription active to see what next month brings.