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Marvel Collector Corps Review: December 2015

Marvel Collector Corps attains top sub box status with its GUARDIANS theme.

Review by Matt Cummings

The subscription box industry is an inconsistent mess, propped up by an amazing reveal one month, then a disaster the next (see our Geek Fuel lamentations HERE and HERE). The problem seems to be QUALITY and TIMING, with Fuel offering cheap Christmas goods that had very little to do with Star Wars, which is what every December box should be doing. Their November box was also a letdown, filled with slightly more interesting items, but nowhere near their spectacular September submission.

While we haven't yet seen Loot Crate's offering, we're worried about the effect that this whipsaw is having on geek lovers everywhere. Why buy a 'mystery box' when it's clear that sometimes these providers are merely robbing Hot Topic and Spencer's of its marked-down merch? As the answers continue to vex us, one box has made quality and timing its #1 goals: Marvel Collector Corps. This month's GUARDIANS theme moves them to the top spot and makes us reconsider the month-to-month model altogether.

The Promise

Before we begin, let's look at the deal again: promising a value of $50, the box would keep the "fluff" (their words) to a minimum with Funko partnering each time to deliver an exclusive figure. Joining at the Founders level would get you an 8" exclusive figure on your one-year anniversary, but you can also subscribe at the Collector level at $25 with $6.95 shipping.

We're still not sure which figure they will release to Founders, but it's clear now that Funko will play a part. My Marvel Unlimited Plus comic sub revealed a terrific (and exclusive) Legends Rescue figure; and with Rocket Raccoon arriving at my door the first time around, I'm hopeful for something just as memorable. Anyone who might have some insight into this is encouraged to let us know.

The Delivery
Once again, the box is huge, which means plenty of room for Christmas/Guardians awesomeness. The Starlord image is classic (if you consider 2008 as the first good Guardians of the Galaxy comic run), and he's represented in fine form. As you can see, the outer box features the same lettering across the entire sides of the box as in previous months.

The Guts
Interior artwork doesn't match any of my Guardians comics, but it's great seeing Rocket sporting a large cannon, as is common with all raccoons these days. As with previous months, MCC divides the box to keep the contents safely secured. No more rustling around to damage the goods!
A hallmark to MCC is their inner flap which contains two collectible "accessories" including a Rocket patch (so awesome!) and a Groot pin. Each of these are exclusive to MCC, and their workmanship is terrific. The Rocket image is what I imagine him to be, that feisty, eye-winking distributor of bad-ass. I'm definitely loving MCC's patch/pin set.

The Comic
After opening the inner flap, we are treated to an exclusive variant cover of Guardians of Infinity. While I have that series primed in my Marvel Unlimited digital subscription, I enjoy these alternate covers, some of which pretty decent money on the secondary market. However, and like all other MCC comics, I'll be keeping this bag/bordered beauty!

Lifting off the comic, we're treated to tri-divided lower box, complete with a wearable and two Funko pieces.

First up is a pair of Pop ornaments. Each are well crafted and measure about the length of an adult palm. Check out the bow ties on each, and what the tie is hiding on Rocket. So. Classic.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this month's box is a Guardians scarf. Yes, it doesn't fit my t-shirt mandate, but it's a quality design and exclusive to MCC. Check out the back, which features a full-size Groot. This is the kind of wearable I can live with, even though I would have preferred a Guardians shirt. But the scarf is wearable right now, which makes its timing perfect.

Lastly - and perhaps a bit of downer consider the other items - is a Starlord coffee cup. As with the Venom cup from last box, this one might be too difficult to actually drink out of, due to its odd shaping around the lip. I can imagine hot coffee dripping onto someone's lap. Still, it's a nice design and again exclusive to MCC.

The Bottom Line
Marvel Collector Corps' December release solidifies its place as the best geek subscription box available. MCC's simple plan to deliver high-quality items that fans want should serve as an industry standard. With boxes like Loot Crate and Geek Fuel whipsawing in quality each month, it's safe to say that the month-to-month plan might not work. There just might not be enough money in Loot or Fuel's systems to offer a consistently high-quality experience without raising prices, which fans won't accept. From MCC's perspective, such a plan isn't necessary, as it now stands atop the pile of pretenders, waiting for the sophomore reveal from Smuggler's Bounty. Until that time, we'll just enjoy our Guardians box and sing holiday tunes with Cosmic in mind.

Want to read our other sub box reviews? We've got them all listed below: MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS
May
June
August October

LOOT CRATE REVIEWS
March
April
May
June
July
August
September

GEEK FUEL REVIEWS
October
November
December

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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