2017 Curiosity Gift Guide

10 of the Best Subscription Gifts for 2017

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It's 2017. Why do we have to leave our homes to procure goods and services? That's like something from "Little House on the Prairie." We have no time to seek out these things and deal with all that shade from Nellie Oleson. In 2017, goods and services should be brought before us like the modern kings and queens we are. Here are Curiosity's picks for the best online subscriptions.

1. For The Nostalgic Gamer: Retro Game Treasure

As a child of the 1980s, few things make me happier than playing old school Nintendo. That's why my pick is Retro Game Treasure. Select your old school console preference, the kinds of games you want, and this service will send you 3-5 games a month. Subscriptions start at $29.99/month. I'd pay more if they'd send someone to come over and blow out the cartridges to make sure they play in my finicky old NES. — Ben Bowman

2. For The Fitness Fanatic: Runner's World Box

When I'm not writing for Curiosity, I'm hitting the gym or pounding the pavement to train for whatever endurance event I have coming up (Boston-qualified marathoner here, NBD!). There are a ton of cool fitness products out there that I'm super curious to try, but they can be expensive — and if I end up not liking them, that's a pricey mistake to make.

That's where subscription boxes come in handy, and the Runner's World Box is the one I'm most dying to try. Every month, they pick out their favorite new gear, accessories, and runner-friendly snacks, pack them in a sweet box, and send them to your door. They're not just samples, either — one box they advertised had a running hat, some comfy post-race flip-flops, a headlamp, a package of wet wipes, anti-chafe balm, and a handful of full-sized gels and bars. It's basically the subscription-box version of trick-or-treating in the rich neighborhood. — Ashley Hamer

3. For The Super-Sniffer: Scentbird

Confession: I'm a little bit of a diva when it comes to my perfume. Now that my big bottle of fancy shmancy designer scent is empty, I'm on the hunt for a new signature aroma. Scentbird gives you a 30-day supply of a new designer fragrance every month. And for $14.95 a month, the yearly cost is comparable to buying a year's supply of designer perfume. — Joanie Faletto

4. For The Dateline Devotee: Hunt a Killer

"Hunt a Killer" isn't like other subscription boxes. Instead of receiving a monthly allotment of collectibles, you're getting a collection of taunting clues mailed by a serial killer at large. The question is, can you piece the clues together and solve the riddle before he strikes again? It's not real, obviously, but it's a new spin on the subscription box concept that made me pull out my magnifying glass for a closer look. — Reuben Westmaas

5. For The Caffeine Addict: Angels' Cup

I have become obsessed with coffee over the past few years. Every time I travel, I specifically seek out new coffee shops to see what they offer, and even though I'm not a "supertaster," I still enjoy a wide variety of brews. That's why Angels' Cup is the perfect subscription service for me. With subscriptions starting at $9.99 a month, they'll ship coffee right to your door, in whatever form you request (whole bean or coarsely or finely ground). The coffee typically arrives 7–10 days after it's roasted. But what really separates this service is their companion app – available for Android and iOS – which lets you record tasting notes and compare your thoughts with those of the coffee community and the roaster. And yes: you can gift a subscription. — Cody Gough

6. For The Nerd Culture Afficianado: Loot Crate

The greatest thing about geek culture (you know, science fiction, comic books, video games, and everything else) is how it lets you live in another world, if only for a little while. The great tragedy, of course, is how it will never be reflected in the real world. Unless you've got a subscription to Loot Crate. For less than $20 a month, you can fill the life of your favorite nerd with swag like nothing else, including exclusive T-shirts, figurines, mugs, and posters. You'll find bits and pieces from across the multiverse — we're talking "Star Wars", Marvel and DC, Destiny, The Legend of Zelda, and tons more. Thanks to Loot Crate, you can upgrade your desk decorations every single month. — Reuben Westmaas

7. For The Always-Hungry Human: Imperfect Produce

I like fruit. Do you know anyone that doesn't? More than 20 percent of fruit and vegetables grown in America is thrown away because the produce is not up to "grocery store standards." To mitigate this wastefulness, Imperfect Produce ships perfectly imperfect fruit and veggies directly to your door. Subscription boxes start at $11 and can be delivered either every week or every other week. BONUS: Their Instagram account is cute AF. — Logan Nolin

8. For The Perpetual Planner: Field Notes

Field Notes is a notebook brand that designs, prints and manufactures memo books and related accessories. Field Notes notebooks come with ruled, graph, or plain pages in their signature "kraft" brown color, but with a quarterly subscription, you'll receive items from their smaller runs of limited edition notebooks (which actually have a pretty devoted fan following) Their seasonal winter "Resolution" edition includes a 3-Pack of Memo Books, one 56-page Date Book, and two 48-page Checklist Journals, plus a two-sided 2018 Calendar that fits right inside the books. This is a perfect gift for anyone you know who likes to take notes. – Cody Gough

9. For The Aspiring Filmmaker: MasterClass

Because I plan on winning an Oscar someday, I'm going to need to bone up on my filmmaking skills. That's why I was so jazzed when MasterClass announced their edition with Martin freaking Scorsese. For $90, you get lifetime access so you can learn and re-learn everything Marty has to say. (We're tight. I can call him that.) The man's resume is unreal: "Taxi Driver," "Goodfellas," "Raging Bull," "The Departed," plus "Hugo" for some reason. I want to learn everything he has to teach.

I took the Steve Martin MasterClass (see what I learned here) and I loved it. And if you want to learn acting, tennis, writing, chess, cooking, or photography, they've got a world-famous instructor for all that and more. The alternative is cornering your hero in a restaurant bathroom and peppering him with questions for six hours, but that might get you arrested. Take a MasterClass instead. – Ben Bowman

10. For The Friend Who Keeps Inviting You To Escape Rooms: Escape The Crate

If you like escape rooms (and you really should), Escape the Crate allows you to recreate the experience at home. I've actually played this at a friend's house and the experience isn't as smooth as it should be. The included UV flashlight stopped working at one point, some of the game pieces are cheap, flimsy plastic, and the audio narrator sounds like he downed a shot of NyQuil before recording. Still, there's still a rush of adrenaline when you crack a baffling clue, and that's reason enough to recommend it. You get one box every two months for $29.99. — Ben Bowman

Written by Curiosity Staff November 23, 2017

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