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CRATE EXPECTATIONS: The November Supply Pod Comes with a Weather Station, Astronaut Ice Cream, and Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN

Welcome to Crate Expectations, our regularly irregular look at the world of monthly subscription boxes! Today we’re looking at the Supply Pod mystery box for November 2015. Each month in a Supply Pod you can expect items where science meets science fiction. A single box costs $39.95 (+ $7.99 SH) with a discount for subscribing yearly. This month’s Supply Pod was sent to us for review by Outer Places.

The Box

Most boxes from these services are nothing more than a box with a logo. This one is a bit different, it’s themed to look like an actual metal crate, which is a nice touch I think. This month’s box themed around the movie The Martian, so let’s dive in and see what we got!

The Martian by Andy Weir (MSRP $11.79)

Outer Places sent us the deluxe version of the Supply Pod, which adds the novelization of the movie to the box, which is a mass market paperback. The book is a terrific read, but I read the book awhile ago and I even bought a different version of the book for son #2. Still, I like the idea of adding the book that the box is based on.

Verdict: Even though we have a version of the book, this one will be mine. Hit!

Green Science Weather Station

This was totally unexpected and very cool. It’s a multi-function weather station that includes a wind vane, anemometer, thermometer and a rain gauge. Also included is a small terrarium to experiment with the greenhouse effect. Although aimed at kids (this kit is by KidzLabs) 8+, I can see adults getting into this with their kids.

Verdict: A nice, unique product for the box. Hit!

Foam Space Glider

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the various foam-based airplanes that you put together. This is the same thing, only it’s the Space Shuttle to fit the theme. I’m not big on these things as they never really last long nor fly well and they’re cheap.

Verdict: Not a hit, but not really a miss. Just okay.

Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1 (MSRP $3.50)

Issue #1 of Dark Horse Comics’ AVP: Fire and Stone series. Not sure what this has to do with theme, aside from being science fiction. It feels like a filler item, even if it is issue #1 and packaged in a plastic cover with a cardboard back.

Verdict: I’m not a comics guy nor a big AVP fan. A miss for me.

Spaceman Magnifier (MSRP $4.00)

It’s a spacesuit shaped keychain with a 5x magnifier and an LED light. Not sure what else to say here other than the magnifier does work and the LED is darn bright. This is actually smaller than my current keychain. I’m thinking of swapping.

Verdict: Not a hit or a miss so I’m going with ‘Okay’.

Astronaut Ice Cream Sandwich (MSRP $4.99)

If you’ve never had freeze dried ice cream like the astronauts eat, here is a sample. It’s a vanilla ice cream sandwich with a chocolate cookie crust. Son #2 busted into this as soon as I pulled it out of the box. It has a very light , airy texture but was surprisingly sweet. A pretty cool novelty item that fits well with the theme.

Verdict: It was gone within minutes of opening the Supply Pod. A hit!

Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Powered Lanter (MSRP $9.99)

Another totally unexpected item. This is a solar powered, pocket sized lantern, flashlight and emergency light. It’s waterproof, very light and it appears to be fairly durable. It would certainly fit well into the glove box of your car (or Mars rover) for use in an emergency. I think this is a pretty neat item. Certainly it’s nothing you’d get in any of the other boxes.

Verdict: A nifty and useful item. A hit!

Where Is Your Next Home? Poster

This is a pretty cool poster that lists several of the most Earth-like planets we’ve discovered so far using the ESA Southern Observatory and the Kepler Space Telescope. My youngest (son #3) was very intrigued with this item. He took it out of the box and proceeded to read to me all the planets on the poster and ask questions about the properties listed. That’s a great outcome in my book.

Verdict: A big hit with my son!

Final Thoughts

There was on more item in the box. A coupon code to receive a Mars rock (valued at $39.99) when you buy a gift package from the Buy Mars website. Buy Mars is basically the same idea as the Name a Star guys, only you’re buying a deed to land on Mars. Not sure how legit that is, even if it may be an interesting gift idea. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the first Supply Pod box. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with all the cool and interesting items included. Supply Pod certainly differentiates itself from other subscription boxes with all the science related products included. If you’re looking for a different box that isn’t filled with toys or shirts, Supply Pod looks to fit the bill. The theme for December is Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

About JP Frantz (2322 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.
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