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Monthly Boxes for Anime Fans and Nerds: Comparing Different Sites

Updated on July 1, 2017
An example of the goodies inside a box from Japan Crate.
An example of the goodies inside a box from Japan Crate.

Introduction

If you're a nerd, otaku, geek, etc., did you know that there is a whole industry of people who want to sell you monthly boxes of stuff related to your interests or hobbies? Probably you do. Have you considered getting any of these subscriptions? I think personally that many of them offer subscribers a better deal than they would get buying these items individually. Also, the delivery is more convenient, seeing as how many of these items are rare or hard to find in stores, especially with the case of Japanese items and snacks. So in this article, I'll be taking a look at some of the most popular subscription box services for geek culture items as well as Japanese snacks and candy.

This is one of the $30.00/month Deluxe Crates, which include a drink, 2 DIY kits, and the total weight is 2-lb.
This is one of the $30.00/month Deluxe Crates, which include a drink, 2 DIY kits, and the total weight is 2-lb.

Japan Crate

  • Type: Japanese candy and snacks
  • Delivers to: USA free, $10-15 for shipping elsewhere
  • Costs: Mini: $12, Original: $25, Premium: $30. You can save money per box by choosing 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month plans.
  • Items Included: Mini: 4-6 candies in a half-pound crate, Original: 8-12 candies, 1 DIY kit, in a 1-pound crate, Premium: 10-14 candies, 2 DIY kits, 1 drink, in a 2-pound crate.

Japan Crate is probably the biggest and best-known Japanese candy subscription service around, and they got their by working hard to bring a level of service and quality they claim they have that other subscription services lack.I would certainly recommend giving it a try, because you can cancel anytime.

August's Skoshbox
August's Skoshbox | Source

Skoshbox

  • Type: Japanese candy and snacks
  • Delivers to: United States and Canada, but only for free in the US.
  • Costs: Plans go like this:
  1. Monthly: Skoshbox: $12/box, Dekabox: $24/box.
  2. Six Month Plan (Pay for 6 months at once): Skoshbox: $66 total which is $11/box, Dekabox: $132 total which is $22/box.
  3. One-Year Plan (Pay for one year at once): Skoshbox: $120 total which is $10/box, Dekabox: $240 total which is $20/box.
  • Items included: The regular Skoshbox is just an assortment of sample-sized snacks from Japan, while the Dekabox is a 1-pound box with a different assortment of full-sized snacks and DIY kits.

Skoshbox's name comes from the japanese word "sukoshi" which means "a little". And compared to Japan Crate, they aren't kidding. Skoshbox's website says the original skoshbox includes "sample-sized treats, recommended to those who are new to Japanese snacks or simply want a taste of a variety of different treats. The original Skoshbox also fits into any PO Box or College Dorm Box and is a perfect treat to send as a care package."

Translation: it's small for what you're paying for it. However, if you get the Dekabox's one-year plan, which is $240, that's still less than the Japan Crate's $270 for their one-year of the regular Japan Crate, which should be roughly equivalent in content (both being 1 lb. boxes).

July's Crate, "Heroes 2".
July's Crate, "Heroes 2". | Source

Loot Crate

  • Type: Geek culture toys and assorted merchandise
  • Delivers to: USA, Canada, Mainland Europe, UK, Ireland, Australia (Costs here are for the U.S.)
  • Costs:
    1. 1 month plan: $13.95/month
    2. 3 month plan: $57.75 total which is $13.25/box
    3. 6 month plan: $113.70 total which is $12.99/box
    4. 1 year plan: $215.40 total, which is $11.95/box
    All boxes shipped in the US charge an additional $6 shipping and handling fee.
  • Items Included: It's not outlined as explicitly as say, Japan Crate, but it looks like you get an assortment of licensed merchandise from a variety of geek and gamer franchises, which is always based on a particular theme, such as "Villains" or "Cyber".

What I like is that you know the theme of each month prior to receiving the crate, but you don't know much about what exactly you'll get. In some ways, it's less predictable than the Japanese snack boxes, which is nice. It may also save money relative to buying those things yourself. I'm just thinking that it might be hard to get rid of unwanted items and that it may end up making a clutter problem. But, if you think you want it, loot crate seems like as good a way as any to stock up on fabulous geek items that may be hard to find somewhere else. I also like their monthly giveaway of the Mega Crate, which is merchandise of around $2,000 in total value.

Source

Snakku

  • Type: Japanese candy and snacks
  • Delivers to: USA for free, but no other countries
  • Costs: Plans:
  1. 1 month plan: $38.95
  2. 3 month plan: $116.85
  3. 6 month plan: $225 (current sale)
  • Items Included: 10-15 Japanese snacks

Snakku prides itself on its authenticity, in getting snacks available to US customers that are not available anywhere outside of Japan. However, I'm not exactly sold since it's more than double what you'd pay for other services, even if some of those other box sites are more cartoony and less elegant. This is a present for your aunt, mom, or grandma, basically.

Source

Oyatsu Box

  • Type: Japanese candy and snacks
  • Delivers to: Worldwide, for free
  • Costs: Unlike other sites, Oyatsu Box doesn't have the option for 3, 6, or 12-month plans. Instead, the options are: $7.99/month for Oyatsu Box Jr., $16.00/month for regular Original Oyatsu Box, and $25/month for Premium boxes.
  • Items Included:
  1. Oyatsu Box Jr. comes with just 3 full-size treats and an "Assorted variety of snacks, chips, candies, sweets, and/or gummies."
  2. Original Oyatsu Box contains 6 full-size treats and the same assorted variety, as well as 1 Gachapon, or Japanese capsule toy
  3. Premium Oyatsu Box contains 10-14 full-size treats, an "amazing" assortment of snacks, chips, candies, sweets, and/or gummies, 1 Gachapon, and 1 DIY candy kit.

One thing I like is that they tell you exactly when they charge you, which is the 26th of each month. I also like that it has one of the cheaper cheap-end options for those without as much money who still want to get something in the mail. I also like that the regular boxes still contain Ramune sodas or other drinks, which you have to get a Premium Japan Crate for. A look at the past crates reveals a few things I like; cute characters such as Sanrio and Pokemon characters, among others, bold flavors only found in Japan, ramen packets (who else?), and a lot of variety. This is one subscription site that I would certainly consider.

Source

1- Up Box

  • Type: Geek and gamer merchandise
  • Delivers to: USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, and Australia (prices and shipping below is for the US)
  • Costs: $12.92/month for the one-month plan, slightly less for 3 and 6 month plans, $6 shipping
  • Items Included: Usually 1 t-shirt and 5-7 items, which the site claims add up to greater than $40 in total value.

I would probably choose 1-Up Box over Loot Crate just because I like geeky t-shirts and judging by past crates, they make good ones. The rest is similar to Loot Crate, but Loot Crate has the monthly Mega Crate giveaway going for it.

Source

Okashi Connection

  • Type: Japanese candy and snacks
  • Delivers to: worldwide, free shipping
  • Costs: $22/month
  • Items include: About 1 lb. worth of candy and snacks

Okashi Connection claims to be the best. However, I found it hard to take their word for it. The website is vague about what exactly is in one, and a look at their past boxes didn't seem to be all that special or different to set them apart from the others.

Other Options:

Kawaii Surprises: A good little online store if you want to purchase Japanese candy or snacks individually. Also contains Japanese toys and accessories.

Candy Japan: Offers 2 envelopes full of Japanese candy a month for $25 with free shipping in the U.S. It's the only one I've seen that has used Evangelion candy in the past! :)

24/7 Japanese Candy: Similar to other subscription sites like Japan Crate, but you can also purchase things you like individually. I like that because I think sometimes, what if I really like something I get in my subscription box and want to buy more of it? This site makes that easier!

ShikiBox [Edit: I think ShikiBox went under because the link I had became a broken link and I couldn't find any new website, please let me know in the comments if you find their new site.]:

"Shiki" means "four seasons" in Japanese, so their emphasis is on selecting seasonally-appropriate treats (this is a bigger deal in Japanese culture than American). Comes in a mini box, which is $14.90, the regular shiki box, which is $19.90, and the mega box, which is $29.90. Ships worldwide.

JBox: An online store for all things Japan and anime related, including a wide range of inexpensive Japanese snacks. The number of Ramune flavors alone is staggering.

Taste Japan: Flat rate of £15/month gets you 8-10 snacks. Ships free worldwide. Can be paid for with US, Australian, or Canadian currency.

Box from Japan: Offers a $33/month candy box and a $25/month ramen subscription. Free shipping worldwide. One good thing about them is that you can just buy one "trial box" of either to see whether or not you want to keep up with a subscription. The candy box offers 20 different types of candy and 2 DIY kits, making it one of the biggest I've seen on the web, and for not much more than a Premium Japan Crate box, which contains about half the candies.

Japan Candy Box: At just 8-10 candies a month starting at the one-month cost of $19.90/month, this one doesn't exactly wow me.

Nandemo Box: They offer not just snacks, but two kinds of boxes: Snacks/Candy $25, and Kawaii/cute goods $35. They also have an online store for both the snacks and cute items.

Candysan: Online store featuring Japanese candy, snacks, noodles, and cuisine. They sell onigiri (rice balls) and bento boxes among other, sometimes hard-to-find items for Japanese cooking.

Tokyo Treat: Monthly subscription box. Comes in: Small $14.95, Regular $24.99, or Premium, $34.99. Free shipping worldwide. This one does not look like it skimps on the goodies in each box at all.

OmNom Box: A flat rate of $25/month, including a drink in every box. Ships to the US and Canada only, free to the US.

Japan fun box: Comes in 3 sizes: Mini for $14.99/month, Original for $32.99/month, and Family for $49.99/month.

Are you subscribed to any of these services? If so, let me know what you think about them in the comments!

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