The Nick Box for December 2018 is here and CultureFly seems to have upped their game from the last box which was a bit of a disappointment. That’s saying volumes for someone like me who is suckered into every quick nostalgia cash grab on planet earth and whose office looks like a 7 year old kid’s bedroom from 1993. In fact, I felt the last one was so bad that it didn’t even warrant a review and I skipped over the spoilers I usually indulge in.
Anyway, I digress. The Xmakwanukkah season has come and gone and I’m left just as depressed, empty, and fat as I feel every year just before New Year’s Eve. The one bright spot in the sea of commercialism, sugar, and butter is this quarter’s Nick Box.
While the last iteration had several repeats and a general lack of cohesion and coolness to justify the $50 price tag, this season’s has exceeded my expectations. They’re at the point where digging into full-on obscurity is the only way to go. That’s what I’ve always wanted from these boxes.
Also, as I’ve said in previous reviews, I wish they would focus on the front half of the 90s less than the back half for selfish reasons. I was getting too old at that point to watch Nickelodeon, so things like The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog, The Angry Beavers, and Rocket Power were past my time and I don’t have as much of an emotional connection to them as I do the early Nicktoons and narrative shows like Pete & Pete, Hey, Dude!, Salute Your Shorts, etc. For my own self-centered sake, I’m glad most of the items in this quarter’s box are for us fossils
Anyfuck, onto the review!
Powdered Toastman Kitchen Apron
My obsession with Powdered Toastman is pretty well-documented, and who the hell could deny the allure of a man whose head is made of toast who flies backwards by farting? Ren & Stimpy was a breeding ground for some of the most creative and disgusting characters in cartoon history, but none are more instantly recognizable than Powdered Toastman.
This apron is of similar quality to the Good Burger one a few cycles ago, but that’s a compliment. While a bit shorter than a normal apron, it feels solid and hard to tear and it has so far held up to washes in cold water. I’m sure I’ll be splashing plenty of grease on it in the coming years and/or wearing it functionally to black tie galas.
Mr. Tastee Vinyl Figure
Pete & Pete was a narrative sitcom far ahead of its time in terms of absurdist humor. While it would be at home on today’s Nickelodeon or Adult Swim, it was super weird for its time and place. However, that also made it one of my favorite shows of all time. The writing, imagination, character, and heart of the show along with it’s supergroup-led, oddly violent in nature theme song made it unforgettable.
Mr. Tastee was an enigmatic, unforgettable looking character and had entire episodes dedicated to his trials and tribulations. This vinyl figure now sits on my bookshelf alongside the original megazord and an Eric Lindros figure as a quiet, but dignified tribute.
Wild Thornberrys Jolly Good Sardines Socks
I couldn’t possibly care less about the Wild Thornberrys, but these socks are okay. They also have fish on them.
Rugrats Cookie Stamp Set
I’ve always been more of a cook than a baker, but this stamp set is pretty visually appealing and they included a method for me to stamp Tommy Pickles’, Angelica’s, or Chuckie Finster’s faces on any pliable material and that is always a win. I would prefer if Phil and Lil, arguably the best characters on the show, were also included, but you can’t always get what you want.
Spinning Reptar on Ice Kitchen Timer
Another thing I’ve always brought up in previous reviews is how much I like it when they include functional items as well as frivolous ones intended only for display. Being someone who loves to cook, I will definitely get use out of this iceskating Reptar cookie timer. Each time I use it, I’ll be reminded of the sweet ballad Reptar sings to his love in his ice extravaganza.
Rocko’s Modern Life Enchanted Up-Chucks Pin Set
I was never much of a pin person, but that has changed in recent years with the Nick Box. They always have such interesting pins. From Kel’s Orange Soda to “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” doorway and match pins and Ren & Stimpy’s unforgettable log toy, they’re all unique and awesome decorative pieces. I’m actually running out of room for the pins and I’m considering buying one of those pin display tapestries to show them proudly on my office wall.
The Up-Chucks were always a funny show within a show on Rocko’s Modern Life and they’re disgusting and obscure enough to warrant attention in the Nick Box. I like their thinking with this item.
Hey Arnold! Refrigerator Magnets
Like any other 90 year old woman trapped in a 30-something’s body, I’m addicted to refrigerator magnets. They help hold up grocery store coupons I intend to use but never do, they bring some color to stainless steel appliances, and they make loud crashing sounds when I slam the freezer door too hard.
These magnets of Arnold and Gerald in fruit costumes make a great addition to my already over-crowded refrigerator mosaic.
Good Burger Squishy & Pillow Cover
Although they’re going a little bit heavy on the Good Burger swag, I can’t hate on anything large and squishy and intended to relieve stress. Instead of strangling people like I always want to do, I can take out my most horribly impulsive aggression on this adorable stacked cheeseburger.
The pillow case is too small to be really useful and seems more like a throwaway item, but it at least looks nice. I think I’d rather pin it to my wall and use it as a decorative conversation piece than actually use it to cover any miniature couch pillows. I hate couch pillows anyway. They take up too much space and somehow make sofas less comfortable.
All in all, I’m pleased with this box and it contained the fewest duds of Nick boxes in recent memory. It’s still worth the money.