This Week in Popculture’s Cube: Reviewing Brew Box
Forget what you know about usual subscriptions to magazines, jelly-of-the-month clubs, and so on. The subscription box, for a fee, will send to your door the wonders of… whatever you want, basically. There are subscription box services for men’s shaving products, women’s makeup, clothes, geek gear (i.e. Loot Crate and Nerd Block, to name a couple), comic books, swanky high-end gadgets, even gourmet snack foods. And, of course, there are subscription box services (yes, more than one, as it turns out) for the Magic: The Gathering enthusiast.
Among these – and the focus of this review article – is the MTG Brew Box service (www.mtgbrewbox.com) offered by Brewport Games in the great state of Maryland. I was turned on to this service by a friend of mine, who had tried another similar subscription box but didn’t like its contents or service. Brew Box, he said, was the way to go.
How does it work? Well, first you visit their website. The start-up fee for the first box is $30 (which, they say, is to ensure that you don’t have to pay shipping on succeeding boxes). They charge a recurring $18-per-month fee (via credit card) for each box after that; you can cancel your subscription whenever you’d like.
The boxes – which come emblazoned with a blue “Brew Box” label – are shipped each month based on when you joined up; if you signed up around say, Oct. 15, then you will likely be charged, and your box shipped, around the 15th of each month. You receive an email when your card has been charged, and a further email, within 1-3 business days, when your box ships out.
Everyone starting out with Brew Box receives the same stuff initially – three packs of Magic cards from a set currently in Standard; some dice (I received a new vial containing about 30 teeny-tiny 5mm d6s, which I think are pretty cool); a pack of 80 KMC deck sleeves; a pack of 100 KMC perfect fit sleeves; some of the Brew Box in-house tokens (very nice and artistically done, in my opinion); and one of their life-pads.
[Brewport Games also supports smaller companies offering some innovative products, so you might see some different things in succeeding boxes.]
I rated the quality of my first box very highly. I got 3 packs of M15 (which I pulled a couple of good cards from), and absolutely LOVED by sleeves and dice. The tokens and life pad were an added bonus.
Now, you have the opportunity to go online each month and not only give them your opinion on the latest box you received, but to ALSO make suggestions for what you’d like to see in the next box (they have little boxes you can check, but also some free-response writing areas).
Thus, I asked for fewer sleeves, but also suggested a good deck box that could accommodate a sleeved EDH deck, and a large d20, since I’ve been looking for one. It kind of feels like giving Geek Santa your Christmas list.
Now, while in my second box I did not receive these things – nor did I really fully expect them – I did get 3 packs of Khans of Tarkir (from which I pulled a Wooded Foothills!) as well as a nifty Cardboard Crack anthology. So while this #2 box may not have 100% lived up to expectations, I’m looking forward to the next one.
Brew Box also has a reputation for good customer service. Both of the boxes I’ve received thus far have been paid and sent on time, and arrived in a few days to a week. The company recently did have some boxes lost (due to issues with the USPS, not their fault) and my friend was one of the boxes that was lost. Brew Box actually refunded his money for the month and expedited him a new box with some pretty sweet items, including a Funko Pop vinyl figure of one of the MTG Planeswalkers. It’s obvious from actions like that they value their customers, even at the risk of losing money.