First off, let me preface this by saying that Mythoard is an awesome idea and what is being done is great and I do think they are off to a good start.
You see, like many who have already signed on to Mythoard, I like Lootcrate. Lootcrate is awesome. But, I already have so much stuff that more clutter in the form of fun collectibles will surely get a disapproving look from my other half. The other problem with Lootcrate is that, it is themed. This means that, on any given month, you might have a theme that kicks ass with some great swag but other months may leave you disinterested given how much you feel you invested in the package. Mythoard, on the other hand, is a bit more 'specific' and, as a gamer of a variety of pen and paper RPGs, the majority of the content could be of use and value. For me personally, I won't get the same disapproving looks as my gaming hobby is not only an accepted vice, but a valued pursuit.
|BETA Mythoard - Photo Credit: http://thegruenextdoor.blogspot.com/|
If you have no idea what Mythoard or Lootcrate is... you need to check out Mythoard's site HERE. In short, it's a monthly, RPG-themed subscription service where you get selections of RPG gaming product delivered to your door. Modules, minis, dice, and so on... Lootcrate does the same sort of thing for other 'geeky' interests.
|Lootcrate from September, 2014|
When I first heard about Mythoard, it was in its BETA phase and I looked at signing on. I was disappointed to see that there were no options for Canada; it was US only. When I found out that there was a Lesser Gnome Mini to be included in January's kit, I looked again. Canada and International had a payment option! It took about 3 seconds for the price to sink in.
I wanted to get on board and perhaps review a package as I continued to wrestle with the price. As a Canadian, I have a problem justifying the price. Maybe some of my misgivings is seeing the price of shipping is more than what the contents of the box is costing me. Ok... it's a $1 difference but if you are buying something for $17 and paying $18 to ship, it starts to get a bit hard to swallow. Generally speaking it does cost LESS to ship to Canada than it does to Europe so that also presents the question of why both cost the same?
Well, the truth of the matter is that it will generally cost more to ship to Europe and anyone from Europe who signs up for Mythoard is getting a slightly better break on shipping than Canada is. I'm not sure how these will ship -- a bubble mailer or a other prepaid box but prices are a bit more if looking at a pre-paid International 'Small Rate Flat Box' to the UK versus one to Canada (about a $4 difference). Maybe $18 isn't so bad after all.
Lets compare with Lootcrate for a moment while acknowledging this is comparing apples to oranges:
In the States, it costs about $20 for a 1-month subscription to Lootcrate. In Canada and Europe it's $30. The cost before shipping? The reality is your package is costing you just a bit more than $13. Generally speaking, the retail value is easily twice the what you paid for the crate itself. It is also important to notice that the shipping here is also on the expensive side if you are outside the States ($16 and some change). In that sense, you might be getting a better bang for your buck with Mythoard than Lootcrate -- especially if you are a gamer. ;)
Look... none of this is Mythoard's doing. It just sucks that, once again, we see prices for shipping things abroad is out of control. Sadly, there isn't much you can do if looking at a month-to-month subscription package and services like Mythoard will just need to do the best they can if they want to draw in international customers. Providing excellent value for the cost of the package is the best way they can do this and it will also serve to draw in more domestic subscribers. Of course, they are just starting out and I think there is plenty of potential.
While I am having a problem to justify signing up now, I will be keeping an eye on them. I can only suggest that they reveal a couple of the key items going in the package to entice those, like myself, that will be watching. Who knows, there may very well come a time in the near future that some of us will feel that the heightened cost of shipping will be worth the added expense.
Nonetheless, thank you for at least including Canada and Europe and giving us the option to sign up.
And, if you are in the States, I wouldn't hesitate to subscribe to Mythoard. Do it now!