Stan Lee Box #4 “Summer Love” Review (July 2017)

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Subscription boxes are a dime a dozen these days. You’ve got boxes full of contents that appeal to every interest & hobby: food, beauty, Funko, comic books, dog products, and the list goes on & on! I had never been interested in getting a box because usually the mystery of what’s inside is usually overpowered by the probability of getting items that I don’t need or want. That is, until now.

When I found out about the Stan Lee Box, I was excited to see that it doesn’t follow a specific format (ie. Smuggler Bounty’s formula of: 2 Funko Pop’s, a pin, a patch, and a t-shirt). Instead, you’ll receive a variety of items officially curated by Stan Lee himself! How official? I’m not too sure aside from the fact that it’s powered by Stan Lee’s company POW! Entertainment.

Set to deliver every 8 weeks, the Stan Lee Box contains a bunch of exclusives with many, if not all, being exclusive to this subscription service. It always includes two comic books with variant covers featuring Stan! Each box also has a theme so that you know what to sort of expect inside. Plus, 1 out of 10 boxes will contain an autographed item from Stan! How can you go wrong?

In the past, the box has had collectibles such as Metals Die Cast figures, Funko Pop figures, graphic novels, and prints. You’re also guaranteed to get a trading card with a fun Stan Lee fact. But without further ado, here’s Stan Lee Box #4:

Right from the beginning, I was thrilled by the box design because it screamed Stan Lee everywhere with big comic book text like “AMAZING!”, “FANTASTIC”, “INCREDIBLE”!

Unfortunately, due to the recent passing of Stan’s wife Joan, Box #4 (with the theme “Summer Love”) was slightly delayed. Intended to be delivered in time for SDCC, they teased that inside would contain a comic con friendly backpack with Stan Lee on it. It’s perfect for the con goer that needs a place for all their merch! But with the delay also came a heartfelt card pasted to the inside of the box.

As I worked my way into the box, there was a giant image of Stan on black fabric. Was it a sweater? A t-shirt? Nope, it was an “Excelsior!” pillow in the style of “Grease”!

I’ll be honest, I was worried at first because this pillow took up a lot of space in the box… but the geniuses at POW! did a great job packing in the rest of the collectibles.

You’ll be glad to know that each box also comes with a pamphlet with a couple of stories by Stan explaining the box’s theme, and also quick descriptions of each item inside. I loved this because it told me who designed what and where it all came from. Here are the two stories from Stan for “Summer Love”:

Next, I found a sealed envelope with some weight to it. It was time for the books! Secret Empire #1 with variant cover by Mike Perkins, and a Stan Lee Box exclusive version of Stan Lee’s God Woke with Fabian Nicieza (co-creator of Deadpool) and Mariano Nicieza.

Super cool choices. I didn’t have any of these previously, so I was happy to find these inside the envelope!

Neatly tucked away underneath I found a pair of “Spidey” socks by Dead Soxy and a bubble wrapped Stan & Joanie Forever collectible cup (which could either have been a ceramic mug or a pint glass). I was very glad to have gotten the pint glass!

And at the bottom were the flat items: some “Excelsior!” stickers, a Stan Lee fun fact card, and a couple ads.

For $49.99 + shipping, you get at least $100 of value inside! Personally, I think this box in particular was worth it. And if you could save a couple more bucks then even better!

I didn’t end up being one of the 1 out of 10 who received an autograph, but who knows? Maybe next time!

Hey true believers! If this seems like something you’d want to order yourself, don’t forget that you can save $5 by using my link: here.

Topps Star Wars Masterwork 2016 Trading Cards

For almost 80 years, Topps has been producing high desirable collectible trading cards. They’re best known for their baseball cards, basketball cards, and also their non-sports cards such as Star Wars or Dr. Who.

Masterwork is one of their newer Star Wars sets and is a high-end line of cards. Some of the great collectibles you can look out for inside are the autographs (on-card & sticker), sketch cards, stamp relics, and medallions. Whereas a normal pack of cards is simply packaged with a cellophane wrapper, the Masterwork cellophane pack is additionally packaged inside a “mini-box”. And each mini-box is guaranteed at least one hit inside! Solid deal.

This year, to commemorate Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the packaging for the “Hobby Box” (containing 4 mini-boxes) features Kylo Ren.


A mini-box (5 cards) retails at $49.99, which makes a Hobby Box of 4 mini-boxes (20 cards) retail at $199.99… At a much higher price-point than standard card packs, you’ll also discover that the quality of these cards is also higher. The stock is thicker and the art is more intricate.

There was a huge backlash against Topps when this set was released because they originally promised more than just “stamp relics”. FYI, in the past, they’ve included actual authentic props encased in these Masterwork cards: Episode VI shield bunker materials, Ewok fur, sail barge canvas, and even Chewbacca hair! I’m a proud owner of “real” Chewbacca hair (signed by Peter Mayhew) & Ewok fur.

But the backlash was because Topps said they’d include pieces of the Death Star used in Episode IV. Fans and hobby stores who pre-ordered these Hobby Boxes were extremely disappointed that Topps could not deliver what they promised. However, their reason was that ever since Disney bought the rights to Lucasfilm, rules have been changing. But let’s not lose hope! Maybe in Masterwork 2017 it will finally happen.


The Hobby Box is a great display piece by itself and since the cards come in the 4 mini-boxes, it makes storing them easy and pleasing to the eye too! The mini-boxes also feature Kylo Ren:


Before splurging on a box of these Masterwork cards, I can’t begin to describe the frustration of buying other sets of cards hoping to get a “hit” like an autograph card. I have a stacks and stacks (and stacks) of cards from: Journey To The Force Awakens, The Force Awakens, The Force Awakens Chrome, and Rogue One. No hits.

Not only does buying a Hobby Box guarantee you hits, it guarantees you at least 4 hits! That’s worth the price, in my opinion. So here we go:

Mini Box #1


Right off the bat, an amazing on-card autograph of Jeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett! Also got Padme (Queen) Amidala, Finn, Rey, and an Alien ID card for Jabba’s Skiff Guard (numbered). Things were looking up!

Mini Box #2


I didn’t have such great luck for Mini Box #2. As much as I love BB-8, I wasn’t so impressed with the medallion card of Starkiller Base & Kylo Ren. But it’s pretty funny that (SPOILER ALERT) this box would have a big chunk of the Skywalker family.

Mini Box #3


I thought this was a cool Mini Box because even though Max von Sydow’s character Lor San Tekka had very little screen time, his portrayal was fantastic. The Captain Panaka medallion/sticker autograph is also a keeper (much better than just a standard medallion). And I was able to get my Lando card signed by Billy Dee Williams himself at Rhode Island Comic Con. He took an extra minute to examine it, since it was such an unconventional item to get signed (in other words, not an action figure nor a poster).

And lastly…

Mini Box #4


I guess deep inside I was really hoping for a Harrison Ford autograph since those are one in a million! Or at least it certainly feels like it since (if I’m reading it correctly) he only signed 5 cards in entirety for Masterwork 2016! But Captain Rex’s on-card autograph is another great addition to my collection.

My hope is to buy some more packs of Masterwork 2016. The difference between these cards and a standard pack of Star Wars trading cards is more than 10x the cost but you can appreciate the end product so much more, even if you end up with a “base card”. I love the designs and the colors, and you can’t beat the guaranteed 1 hit per box! But keep in mind that with thicker cards, you’ll need thicker card holders. Your standard sleeves and cases won’t do in this instance.

Happy hunting and may the Force be with you!

Protect Your iPhone 7!

The downside of getting the newest numbered iPhone is that the plethora of accessories available for the previous model (in this case, the 6/6+/6S/6S+) is now mostly defunct. But look how shiny!

It all started when we walked around the mall and passed by the Best Buy Mobile shop with a sign that read: “Ask a blue shirt to review your mobile plan and get a free portable charger!” Who could resist that?

But thankfully that checkup allowed me to see that I was eligible for a new iPhone only 370 days after I got my iPhone 6S. Huzzah!

I know the iPhone 7 is only slightly better than my 6S but… why not, right? (Side note: I’m still getting used to having no home button since the new model uses a Taptic Engine in place of the mechanical button, which means only direct contact with skin will trigger the button.) And I opted for the 7 and not the 7 Plus because of the size, even though I would absolutely love to have that dual-lens camera! And I’m so glad I got the currently-hard-to-find Jet Black finish. The Best Buy employee really hooked me up so that I could walk out of there with this. Really grateful!

But let’s talk accessories. Naturally, with everyone talking about how the Jet Black is so susceptible to scratches, I had to immediately pick up a case and screen protector.

Like I mentioned, new phone accessories are pretty scarce, especially if you are someone who depends on multitudes & multitudes of positive reviews. They just won’t exist this early on. So I took a chance on a case by XDesign and a glass screen protector by Maxboost. Both are currently on sale on Amazon.

First, the case is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a case that matched my phone but still featured its Jet Black finish as well. And with its black bumper and clear back, this case was precisely that.

On top of that, this case has great grip. My last case was pretty slippery. Its edges were hard plastic while the above case’s bumper has a rubbery matte plastic material which makes it easy to stay in your hand with even the lightest touch. The buttons respond well and the vibrate/silent switch is easily accessible without using too much fingernail! Overall I’m very pleased, and at such a low price point too!

The screen protector, on the other hand, not so much.

Upon opening, it was mostly standard stuff… Wet wipe, dry wipe, instructions, etc. The only difference was that this 2-pack also included a “hinge” option, allowing you to “perfectly” affix the glass screen protector by pivoting it on the provided sticker hinges (like a door). I decided to apply it the old fashioned way: by eyeballing it.

It’s probably because I have a black phone that it’s noticeable but you’ll see that the edges don’t completely lay flat on the front of the phone. The lightness you see is the protector not fully pressing against the screen. It’s not terrible but it isn’t fantastic. But I’m sure it’s passable on the lighter color phones (gold/rose gold/silver).

The main thing is that my phone is now safer, and it couldn’t have been better timing. New York Comic Con is here! But more on that very soon…