Frequent readers may recall that our previous unboxing didn't go so well. In fact, Cryptocurium's Parcel of Terror may have marked the only time when a mystery box left me in a state of irritated disbelief to the point that I wanted to take a break from mystery boxes. That wasn't an immediate option however as I already had another box on order from another service. After a series of delays due to hurricane season I finally have my first experience with Fright Crate. Does this service have what ti takes to wash away the disappointment of Cryptocurium? Let's find out.
Let's get the details outta the way first. Fright Crate is a horror themed monthly mystery box that in a welcome change of pace is not a subscription service. No sir, they simply make a certain number of boxes and you either buy it or you don't. Excess items are also made available on their store. The box comes in two versions, a twenty dollar 3-4 item option or the full 5-6 item thirty dollar version that I opted for. Note that price does not include shipping or the potential extra cost for larger t-shirts. When all was said and done my full crate with an XXL shirt cost $39. It's a pretty hefty price tag. It may actually be the most expensive box I've tried thus far. Lucky for them they had a couple of my favorite horror topics on offer, encouraging me to go through with a purchase.
On the matter of shipping and packaging they simply add some of their stickers with quotes from famous horror personalities (John Carpenter and Clive Barker in this case) to a USPS flat-rate box. The average mail-date is near the end of the month which means there's actually a chance of getting a box within the intended release month. Imagine that! Sadly all the hurricane activity in Florida during September lead to delays and this edition wasn't complete and mailed out until Friday October 13th. Enough about logistics. Who wants to see what's in this thing?
First up we've got an exclusive shirt, my first in quite some time and an item type I've missed. Of all things this is based on the 2001 remake of Thirteen Ghosts which if I remember correctly was pretty terrible. People do vote for themes though, so this thing must have garnered some sort of following over the years. Shirt wise it's not so bad. A little odd, not based on a property I care about, but where else are you going to get a spooky shirt featuring the upper half of Tony Shalhoub's head? The material is a bit clingy at first though I imagine a little bit of wear will take care of that. Still curious if anyone will recognize these ghosts when I wear this out in public.
Next up is a resin bust of Deadite Ash from Evil Dead 2 made exclusively for the this box by Serial Resin Co. Once again I'm a bit surprised as this is a more dignified and series item than the usual Evil Dead fare. It's solid, well-built, and nicely painted. Beyond that it's a first for me as figures in these boxes are usually closer to a regular toy whereas this is my first ever bust. Currently it resides near my bed as the newest Halloween decoration.
Behind the bust is an art print for Night of Something Strange. Hadn't heard of the film before receiving this, apparently it's about an STD that turns folk into zombies. Sort of an over the top version of Shivers. From the trailer it doesn't look very good but ya never know. What makes this more than mere filler is that it's sighed by the writer/director Jonathan Straiton. I may not know his work but he joins the ranks of Derek Mears, the folks from that Third Day short I interviewed last year, and a seemingly legit James Garner in my small autograph collection.
Next we have an elusive pin of the new Pennywise from It. I have yet to see the new version, haven't seen something in the theater since early August actually. My point is that while I have no basis one way or another towards this clown, the pin is great. Good weight, nice sculpt, double clutch. Plus it inspires jealousy from both my sister and nephew which is always fun.
Now we move on to a crossover item. Cryptocurium created a wall plaque of the poster art for the original Fright Night. In all fairness they are playing to a weakness of mine since that movie is pure gold and it didn't take long before I hung it above my light switch. I love totally love this thing, got zero complaints about it. It's a reminder that for as poorly as I think of his subscription service, Jason Mckittrick makes some boss items. I only wish something like this could have come in his last parcel so I wouldn't have felt totally swindled by that 35 dollar magnet. Yes, I'm still bitter. Jason, you're capable of great work, let me know when you make a better service.
Since the horrid Florida weather delayed the box by weeks, an extra item was tossed in for fun. According to the inventory sheet some boxes simply received temporary tattoos, one in three however got some old school Nightmare on Elm Street stickers. I've seen many a retro bloggers write about these over the years as a prime example of a time when violent screen villains were readily marketed towards kids. Most of mine seem to originate from Freddy's Revenge, the black sheep second entry in the series though one I hold some affection due to it's unique approach to the format and awesome score by Christopher Young. The goofy thing about these stickers is that many of them serve as puzzle pieces meant to be put together within the matching sticker book. Without the matching pieces you end up with stickers of somebody's shirt or forehead. There's more entertainment on the back of each sticker where you'll find advertisements for posters, the board game, and the legendary Freddy's Greatest Hits tape.
Is Fright Crate an excellent offering in the overcrowded world of mystery boxes? Yes, yes it is. There was enough quality and such a wide spectrum of item types that I was was almost confused. With most boxes the format is between one and three cool things and then some junk to fill in the blanks. Here there was an honest attempt to make every item special. The only one that counted as traditional filler was an apology for late shipping, a phenomenon I've never encountered in this market before. Pretty much everything here will see usage. Even the heavier price point is alright since the value is immediately apparent. I'm satisfied, and those of you who read my unboxings know I'm not easily won over. I would buy another Fright Crate down the line. Almost bought the October edition as it is supposed to be bigger than usual. While I sort of regret skipping, this has been an expensive enough month that I'm happy to have saved the money.
That's a wrap for tonight, kids. This is gonna be an odd week for yours truly as I have more responsibilities than normal, basically have yet another job albeit temporally. At the same time I also have a couple nights completely cleared for me to vedge out with Boo Berry and horror flicks. If there's nothing more on here by the end of this week, then look forward to a report from the annual haunted house trip. Going back to Awaken in Leslie MI this year. If you're in the area I highly advise paying them a visit. If you're lucky you might hear me scream like a lady.