There's a monthly subscription for just about every area of interest now, from beef jerky to quilting. But until recently, there was nothing for the LEGO fans out there. Well, now there's Brick Loot, a new company promising monthly boxes of LEGO goodness. They were kind enough to send me a sample box and I'll share the contents with you.
My box came three weeks ago, but I've been swamped with work so I'm just now getting the chance to review. But luckily there's only 3 days until the next order closes so you can get some fairly instant gratification.
The box is properly sturdy, and is built to get you your loot intact. I like the graphics too, evocative of LEGO, but uniquely their own. I like the logo to, it's like Nerdy's blue cousin. When it arrived I have to say it was exciting. There's just something so cool about a little box of treasure, especially LEGO treasure.
My excitement was unfortunately short lived though, at least my excitement for actual LEGO items. I know LEGO is expensive, and that expecting a box full of it for a $27 (plus shipping) subscription is unrealistic. But I was somewhat dismayed at the actual lack of LEGO in the box. Don't get me wrong, I dig nanoblock in a small way (see what I did there?) and I use Brick Forge stuff in my animation endeavors, but when you are promised a box of LEGO loot, you expect a certain percentage of it to be actual LEGO. There's some fun stickers and a coupon in there, there's even a cool tool, but there isn't much LEGO.
This custom set by JK Brickworks comprises the total actual LEGO items in the box, and it's not even a LEGO set. I really expected at least one polybag in there. The figure is ok, it's a cute little robot guy designed by a builder I respect, but I wasn't even excited enough to open it. It's still sealed in the bag and I think that speaks volumes.
This, ironically, is the big item in the box, a nanoblock P-51 Mustang. I enjoy WWII aircraft, I've built many in a variety of forms. This one looks nice, and perhaps some day I'll build it, but for now it's probably just going to sit on a shelf. I own a few nanoblock sets, mostly purchased out of curiosity while on vacation. They're fun, but tedious, and not as much a pleasurable building experience for me.
The Brick Popper I'm legitimately excited about. I was supposed to get one of these to review last year and it never arrived, so I'm anxious to give it a go. There are a number of odd and interesting items to make life easier or more productive in the studio, everything from a plastic tipped hammer to MEK, and poster putty to white glue. Adding tools to the arsenal is a good thing, and even if they're not LEGO made, if they aid in the production process, they're welcome.
The Brick Forge pack and Liteup Block are also welcome additions (but still not LEGO) to my collection. Brick Forge makes some outstanding quality stuff, with real innovative features. And Liteup Blocks were the first ever item I reviewed on BrickNerd. Let's get something straight, I'm all for third party companies producing stuff to supplement the hobby. Companies like Brickarms, Brick Forge fill a gap in the LEGO line, they produce things that LEGO doesn't and are meant to add play and value to your existing collection. Knock-off brands however, I have big problem with. There's a giant difference between manufacturing realistic weapons that LEGO isn't willing to produce, and simply copying the form factor and stealing ideas. Stuff from the likes of Kreo, Mega and Best Lock is simply not welcome in my home or studio.
And that brings us to this baffling little wonder. I really like that they went so far with the customizing and branding on this guy. From the custom printing to the custom box, it's really rather neat that they went to the extents that they did. But the figure itself I'm afraid is terrible. I've never heard of OYO, but they seem to have been around for a while. They produce a great many crappy little minifigure knockoffs, catering to sports fans. I put him together to take this picture, and he was immediately put back in his box. And once I publish this review, he's going straight to Goodwill.
But enough negativity, there's still time to get in on the December box, and Brick Loot is running a promotion right now to win a Mega Brick (not to be confused with Megabloks) I don't know if they plan on doing this regularly, but by simply making a video of the unboxing and mailing it to them, you could score the Mega Brick, loaded with real treasure, over $700 in LEGO sets! A single month is $27 (plus shipping) but you can save with either a three month ($25) or a six month ($23) subscription. Plus readers of BrickNerd can save an extra 10% now through the end of the year by using the code "bricknerd".
For the most part, I found this particular Brick Loot box disappointing, and that's another reason I waited a bit before reviewing. I wanted to get perspective and find the positive side of this, and I think I have. While it would be easy to simply bash it for not actually containing much LEGO, I look at this as an opportunity to make it better. And that's easy, since each month the box will be completely unique and lessons can be learned from subscriber reactions. I also decided not to actually give it a Nerdly rating, since it's always going to be different, and I don't think that would be fair. As time goes on each month can become better and better, and I hope it will.