OwlCrate: October 2016 [Subscription Box Review]

Introduction:

As stated in recent reviews, I would like to apologise for still being so far behind in reviewing subscription boxes. As I am still trying to catch up on many months’ worth of reviews (as well as Lush based writings), I will keep this one short and sweet. By focussing on the products minus most of my ramblings, ha-ha!

October’s OwlCrate had a great selection of bookish goodies connected to its theme: ‘Once Upon a Dream’. The thing I loved most about this month’s box was the book, ‘Vassa in the Night’. The book and bookish goodies are discussed under ‘The Products’ section, below.

General House-Keeping:

In a nutshell, OwlCrate is a book subscription service that provides one hardback Young Adult (YA) book and 3-5 book related items to its subscribers each month. Each monthly box has a different theme whereby the YA book and related items usually unify to match the prescribed theme. For example, August’s theme was ‘Fast Times at YA High’, in which both the novel and bookish items centred around a high school setting. To view past OwlCrate themes and box contents, you can view them on their site (here). Payment options are discussed below.

There are three payment options. Payments can be set up in the following ways: month by month basis; three or six-monthly payments. The latter two payment options are ‘pre-paid’ style and the subscription payments will automatically renew at the end of the initial three or six-month period.

The cost of each subscription option is as follows: month to month basis is 29.99 USD (24.52 GBP);[1] every three months’ is 86.98 USD (71.13 GBP) and six-monthly will cost you 167.94 USD (137.33 GBP). The cost of shipping is not included in these prices. Instead shipping costs are added prior to the final checkout stage. This final stage addition is because OwlCrate has three different shipping rates and as such, each jurisdiction shipped to will incur different postal charges that can only be calculated after you have entered your postal address.

The three shipping rates are as follows: shipping within the USA is $6.99; shipping to Canada is $10.59 and international shipping is $19.99 (approx. £16.35 – expensive times!). For international shipping, not all countries receive tracking information after shipment. For full details of countries in which customers are provided with tracked shipping, check the list (here).

The Box Itself:

thumbnail_img_20161120_145151

Each month a sneak peak of the theme for the following month’s box is provided in addition to the book and products. The theme of November’s box is Wonderland.

thumbnail_DSC_1390-01.jpg

As this is a book subscription box, I first discuss the book provided. Then, as I always do with my subscription box reviews, I discuss the other items by starting with my favourite(s).

October’s OwlCrate provided its subscribers with the following items: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter; Peter Pan Beanie (Whosits & Whatsits); Sleeping Beauty Charm Bracelet (The Geeky Cauldron); Wizard of Oz Notebook (The Unemployed Philosophers Guild); Fabric Button Bookmark (My Heart My Tribe); Exclusive OwlCrate “Spinning Wheel” Button; Exclusive Vassa in the Night Author Letter, Signed Bookplate and Temporary Tattoo.

The Products:

‘Vassa in the Night’:

thumbnail_2016-11-29-13-30-04

The official synopsis for ‘Vassa in the Night’ is as follows:

‘In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighbourhood. In Vassa’s neighbourhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighbourhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…’

I absolutely adored this book! Its peculiarly beautiful visual imagery and dark, emotion tugging storylines meant this book was right up my street. I enjoyed the book so much that I created a ‘Vassa in the Night’ themed Lush Cosmetics bath cocktail. The cocktail combined ‘Vassa in the Night’ elements with a ‘Mindfulness Recipe’ I prepared for others to practice during this mystically enchanting bath.

As a side note, I would love an ‘Erg’ doll 🙂

Sleeping Beauty Charm Bracelet:

thumbnail_dsc_1382-3

This bracelet is absolutely stunning. It is so unique and well-crafted that I almost fear wearing it in case I lose it. The bracelet was made by The Geeky Cauldron. As this was an OwlCrate exclusive I do not have a specific retail price. In addition, the site is currently down and as such, I am unable to estimate the value of the bracelet based on others for sale.

Monetary value aside, the sheer exclusivity and aesthetic beauty of the bracelet adds immeasurable subjective value to the box. At least, from my personal perspective it adds such value.

Peter Pan Beanie:

thumbnail_dsc_0018-01

I am a hat fiend and as such, I do not have much more to say with regards to the inclusion of this head-topper other than: ‘Thank you, OwlCrate, for adding to my hat collection’.

This oversized beanie can be purchased from https://whositswhatsits.com/collections/hats for 22 USD (approx. 17.62 GBP).  If you are an oversized beanie fan, I recommend you check these guys out. As the unique designs on offer are a must for quirky hat lovers.

Fabric Button Bookmark:

thumbnail_dsc_1383_1-01

This is a cool looking little gadget that reminds me of a giant paperclip. Also, it is flexible enough so as to not damage book pages.

Retails for 4.99 USD (approx.. 4 GBP) you can see more items via their Instagram page.

Wizard of Oz Notebook:

thumbnail_dsc_1386-02

This cute little notebook retails for 3.25 USD (approx. 2.60 GBP) and is available from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. Check out their site for other uncommon goodies. If I had the monies, I would purchase a scary amount of their products.

Exclusive Items:

As always, there was an excellent array of exclusive items such as a pin/badge and a note from the author – a favourite addition to the box for me.

Conclusion:

Overall, October’s OwlCrate was fantastic. It was great in terms of value for money, as the monetary value of the products provided exceeded the cost of the box (minus international shipping). The subjective value on top of the aforementioned monetary value is what keeps me subscribing, despite the amount of money international shipping costs. I cannot recommend OwlCrate enough for book lovers and fans of quirky, exclusive bookish items.

Those who have been reading my blog posts know I am a total sucker for an exclusive. In this respect, I want to say to OwlCrate (again), keep up the good work!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more, follow my blog.

[1] British pound price is based on the current USD to GBP conversion rates

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s