About a month ago I received a message from a stranger asking me if it was okay if he sent me a couple boxes of board games. It took me all of one second to give him a reply—YES!
The stranger turned out to be Luke Lowe—an entrepreneur and board game lover from Indiana—who is starting a new monthly subscription box service with his three brothers. If you’re not familiar with this term, subscription boxes are when companies curate products from different manufacturers and send you packages containing anything from action figures to shampoo right to your door. Some box services are blind meaning you never know what you will get while others let you know up front what will be in the box. A good example of this kind of service is Loot Crate, depending on your interests they will send you a monthly box containing the latest POP Heroes, cool t-shirts, and other great geek gear.
Luke, Jack, John, And Micheal's new blind subscription box service—Tabletop Monthly—is all about tabletop games and other gaming gear. Each month subscribers will receive "handpicked" card and board games along with "expansions, gaming related swag, and other fun things"! For $30 per month subscribers can choose from two categories of boxes "Family Games" and "Hardcore Games" which creates a more custom experience for users. Family Games will include lighter games with less of a learning curve while the Hardcore Games category is for those who know their way around the table.
Enough back story, what about my experience?
Once Luke twisted my arm I gave him my address and anxiously awaited my boxes. To my great surprise it only took seven days for delivery which included a weekend and a holiday! Here is what arrived.
Unfortunately USPS had their way with one of the boxes and poked a hole through it damaging one of the games. But other than that everything came through nicely.
I opened up the Family Box first and was excited to see Timeline-Historic Events which has been on my want list for a while and Bus—part of the Pack-O-Games series that Kickstarted last year. Lastly there was a game that I hadn't heard of—Eat Me If You Can by IELLO. The latter was the injured game but the components inside were okay.
I then opened the Hardcore box trying to keep the drool from getting the box all wet. Inside I found Car Wars by Steve Jackson Games, the E-Wing expansion for the popular Fantasy Flight game X-Wing, and a strange action figure I had never seen before which turned out to be a mini from Heroes of the Storm—a Blizzard Entertainment MOBA game.
The Front End:
I am sure that the site is still in BETA as they work out what they want the final user interface to look like. As it stands right now it is very simplistic with a description about the service and and easy to use checkout interface. You can see it at tabletop.cratejoy.com.
When I asked Luke if the size of games that came in my two boxes was typical he said that some months would have multiple small games—like what I received—while other months may have just a single larger game. The difference between the Family and Hardcore boxes are significant and really cater to those two gaming audiences. I thought myself a Hardcore gaming type but Car Wars is a little too Hardcore for even me. :)
I am very price driven when it comes to buying games so I immediately started looking up prices from various online game retailers and was not disappointed as I found that Tabletop Monthly's subscription price of $30 was at or below what you could get straight from the retailers. As an added bonus any pre-orders between now and December 26 are $2 off making it only $28 for a monthly sub.
Shipping and handling:
I have talked with Luke a lot through this process and he has assured me that the packaging is also BETA as they search for the best packing and shipping methods available. The speed was outstanding, so I hope that stays the same.
At first I was hesitant on receiving games which I had no control over the choice of, but I have to admit it was exciting to open these boxes. My boys (3, 6, and 8) were also very excited to see what was inside. In fact it was quite the production as we waited for everyone to get ready then gathered around the boxes and opened them slowly to see what lay inside.
All-in-all I am pleased with what Tabletop Monthly has to provide and how they are going about it. I am excited to see where they go with this in the future as the company grows. If you are looking for a way to spice up your game night or find that perfect gift the the gamer in your life this may be the service for you!
Lastly they are running a CONTEST where you can win a LIFETIME subscription by going to their site and signing up!
Please click on the images below to find more information about Tabletop Monthly!