The Fan Empire – May 2016

The Fan Empire is a geeky subscription box service that provides members with 4 – 6 fandom-themed goodies each month. Typical items include jewelry, badges and magnets, bookmarks, art prints, apparel, pillowcases and more.

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The Fan Empire
Cost: $14.95 USD monthly (discounts available for longer subscriptions).
Shipping Costs: $3.50 within the US or $9.50 international.
Mailed Out: between the 25th – 30th of the month
Payment Method: Credit Card.
**Note: Subscriptions renew and billing occurs on the 1st of each month**

1a

International subscribers received their items in a purple envelope. I hadn’t realized til I looked at Instagram, but subscribers in the US receive their items in a cardboard box featuring the logo design. I don’t mind not getting the box (I imagine it cuts shipping costs), but it does look a lot cooler…

My package was dispatched on the 15th of June, which is 2 – 3 weeks later than the dates on their website. :/ I was meant to receive a tracking number, but that never arrived – since I was relieved just to have notification that my box was shipped after all the delays, I let that go. The package arrived on the 1st of July.

OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS

2a

Everything in the envelope.

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A contents card is included outlining what we’ve received – it doubles as an art print. 🙂 I love when boxes do this; I’d just throw away a generic sheet of paper printed with info, so it’s great when they put effort into making it a fandom item in its own right!

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This is gorgeous 😀 Another pretty card for my display at work. It’s getting very colorful at my desk, hehe.

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The smaller items came in a drawstring pouch. I’m getting a lot of these from my fandom boxes and it’s quite useful – I keep a stash of them for any jewelry I might buy as gifts for friends and family, mwahaha.

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First up is a Hogwarts magnet with the four crests of the Hogwarts Houses. I love magnets, so I’m happy to have another to add to my collection. I wish every box of mine came with a magnet…

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Slytherin charm keychain ($14.44 for 12 / $1.20 for 1): I already have the ubiquitous Slytherin crest keyring, so I appreciate they went for something a little different here with a bunch of Slytherin-inspired charms instead.

Although it’s a bit more Hogwarts-themed, since the scarf and book are generic – I think it’d have been cooler if the charms were ALL Slytherin-specific. The scarf could’ve been in House colors and I’ve seen charms of the hourglass for House points, for instance!

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Vintage adjustable Hogwarts crest ring ($1.42): I like that this ring is adjustable so it’ll suit the wide range of subscribers out there. But personally, I found the material irritated my skin a little, I fidgeted with it throughout the day.

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The remaining two items were wrapped in House colors. Looking at the packages on the official Instagram page, I’m wondering if the wrapping ribbon was another point of difference between local and international subscribers.

While I didn’t mind the envelope vs box distinction, I’m not sure why the ribbon for packaging would’ve changed. It’s only a small difference, but the nice quality ribbon I’ve seen in other pictures makes a difference to first impressions as opposed to this crumpled cheaper ribbon.

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Slytherin beanie ($2.36, discounted from $4.71): this is certainly seasonally appropriate, as it’s the middle of winter here in Australia! *shivers*

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Slytherin tie ($21.95): this is a great quality tie, the fabric feels silky and soft, and that crest is wonderfully detailed.

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Closer look at the Slytherin crest. ❤

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VERDICT

Quality of Curation: There’s a nice assortment of Harry Potter goodies provided – we have two items of clothing, a piece of jewelry and an accessory, plus two pieces of art for display.

I personally wish the tie was a scarf instead, though – I will never have an occasion to wear the tie, as much as I like it! I know a lot of die-hard fans will adore dressing up as Hogwarts students with it, but I feel like for most women, this will probably just be regifted or collect dust in their wardrobe?

Worth It? If I were an American subscriber, $18.45 for these items would’ve been reasonable – the value of the tie alone is a few bucks more than the money spent, so the additional items are basically a bonus. I’d be pretty happy with this haul in that case!

But as I paid $34.51 AUD, that affects my overall opinion of the box. I don’t feel that it was good value for what I spent and I won’t be renewing my subscription. If the exchange rate ever turns in our favor (I remember a far distant past where the American and Australian dollar were on par *sighs wistfully*), I might consider re-subscribing if there was a theme I particularly liked, but at the moment, I can’t justify the expense.

Personal Rating: 2 kitties out of 5 approve this box.

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Find out More: You can find The Fan Empire on Instagram.

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3 thoughts on “The Fan Empire – May 2016

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