What's in the box?! Three furry box subscription services
Looking to buy yourself furry merchandise, but unsure of what to buy? Fear not! There are at least three furry subscription box services on the internet for you to choose from. Boxsona, Fur Delivery, and Furry Mystery Box are all ready to deliver furry merchandise direct to your door.
If you haven't heard of a subscription box service before, it's a recurring (sometimes monthly) delivery of niche products. More well-known examples include Loot Crate (nerdy products) and BarkBox (products for dogs). It's like someone took the idea of loot boxes from the gaming world and put them in real life.
You might wonder why someone would consider making blind purchases of real-world items like this. Typically, well-run organizations that sell items this way can buy products in bulk and distribute them in such a way that their subscribers get them for less than if they bought them individually.
However, as with most things, the subscriber might not necessarily judge the value of the items in terms of their retail cost. So while you may acquire fifty dollars' worth of product for thirty dollars, it's also very possible to acquire items you would find no value in, or find to be junk.
But for some, the risk is well worth the price of admission. Especially if you're looking to fill up an empty room space with trinkets, without having to overthink it. So in case such a thing interests you, let's look at these three furry services and how they compare:
The first one created appears to be Boxsona, with their earliest box in September 2016. They have their own domain boxsona.ca. Boxsona was based in Nova Scotia, Canada, but moved to Alberta, Canada in mid-2017, and is run by Awkward Bear.
Their website has images and details of the five previous mailings (2016 September to 2017 September), including various links for most of the artists. Starting with the 2nd box (2016 November box) each box contains one page of the serialized comic Ty-Dai Cutie Pie by Lorne Colt. In addition to pre-ordering a Boxsona box, furries can also pre-order a more affordable Boxsona envelope ($19.99 USD +tax for envelope; compared to $42.99 USA + tax for box). Envelopes contain exclusive art and "flat" furry items.
Boxsona's next box (Warm & Cozy Edition) has been delayed by an issue with a manufacturer and Awkward Bear getting promoted to manager at his day job. Other issues such as a staff member leaving the team in October 2017, and Awkward Bear's emergency surgery later in October have probably contributed to the delay.
For those who don't like to order items sight-unseen, Boxsona also has a more traditional online shop at The Furry Life Store (hosted by Shopify) with items from previous Boxsona boxes. Unfortunately though, a very recent update to the website indicates that the shop is down temporarily saying "We'll be Back Soon"
The second boxy business out of the gate is Fur Delivery with their earliest box being in November 2017. They don't have their own domain, but their website is hosted by Wix. It's based in Texas, and is owned and operated by Tymid.
Their website has some images and details (including artist names) of the two previous mailings (November and December 2017), but no artist links, and in some cases it's not obvious who did what piece of art.
It's unclear to me how many boxes they've shipped since then, because their tweets are confusing about what content is in which month's box. For example, is the reindeer mug in the December box or in the January box?
Fur Delivery sells two types of boxes (with additional $25 shipping fee for international customers):
- Standard box for $25, which includes goodies and a t-shirt.
- Deluxe box for $40, with all the goodies of the standard box, plus an extra few special surprises.
Their twitter name is currently "Fur Delivery--REBOOTING", which shows that like Boxsona, this company is finding challenges getting boxes out on a regular basis and wants to get back on track. A recent tweet thread indicates that after the March 2018 box went out, the April one was refunded due to quality and issues with product acquisition. In the meantime, there's the website shop which sells "remaining limited edition stickers, buttons, magnets, and more".
Furry Mystery Box
The newest kit on the block appears to be Furry Mystery Box with their earliest box mailed out just this year in March. They have their own domain, FurryMysteryBox.com. They're based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's unclear on their web pages who organizes their material, however one of their tweets shows a bearded guy with a stack of their boxes.
Boxes are mailed quarterly (once every three months). Their website has no details on previous boxes.
Furry Mystery Box sells two types of subscriptions (for shirt sizes 3XL & larger, it's an extra $5):
- Furry mystery t-shirt subscription for $15, every three months.
- Furry mystery box for $25, every three months; includes the t-shirt and extra items.
The subscription cut-off date for FMB's next box (box 3) is September 2, 2018.