About a month ago, I was watching some videos on Youtube and came across a few Japanese subscription box reviews.
I love cute things. I love Japanese characters. and I especially LOVE the idea of a monthly subscription box delivered right to my door filled with adorable goodies. I registered for two right away, one called Yumetwins and another called Kawaiibox.
Here’s my review of the two boxes I received in February.
Yumetwins is a box that contains officially licensed merchandise from Japan, such as Sanrio, Rilakumma, Totoro, Sailor Moon etc. Each month the box comes with ‘5 deluxe lifestyle items’ featuring these adorable characters. Previous to 2017, Yumetwins offered more than 5 items in their boxes. However they claim to have revamped their boxes so that less items are offered, but each item is more substantial.
Cost: $29.99 USD or roughly $40 CAD. Definitely on the expensive side but it includes shipping.
Shipping Time: I received my box 3 weeks after payment. Not bad considering it shipped all the way from Japan.
Delivery: The box came unscathed by regular mail service, unfortunately there is no registration, so I imagine there’s no recourse if it gets lost in the mail.
Here are the items I received in my February 2017 box:
1. The first thing I saw was a Neko Atsume reuseable shopping bag. It’s adorable and folds up into a little case that you can stick in your purse for groceries. The overall construction is just a standard plastic bag.
2. There was a cat keychain of a character I didn’t know. It seemed like very good quality. Something you can buy at an anime hobby store rather than something you get out of a capsule machine. I don’t know what I will do with it.
3. A Bananya plushie/keychain! This is the size of the keychains that Japanese students hang on their schoolbags. It’s a well-constructed keychain and Bananya (cats who live inside of bananas) is such a cute character! Again, I’m not sure what I will do with it.
4. A plastic wall hook for hanging items. I don’t know this character either but he’s cute. I admit that by this point I was starting to become disappointed in the size and quality of the items. This wall hook in particular looks like something from a Japanese dollar store. If these are the “deluxe lifestyle items”, then what sort of stuff were they sending out before??
5. By the time I got to the last item, I was a bit deflated at the prospect of wasting $40 on stuff I didn’t really like. I already had an idea of what the last item was from Yumetwins’ social media teasers. The Fumofumo plushie was advertised as the highlight of the box, and there was a total of 24 different Fumofumo plushies that a person could receive. Mine is a character who is a fish or wearing a fish costume.
I LOVE THIS PLUSHIE.
It’s extremely well constructed, and yellow is one of my favorite colors. The weirdness of the fish tongue sticking out at the top of his head is adorable, and the flat oblong shape makes it comfortable to hug.
I’ve been hugging this toy to sleep for a few days now. It definitely made up for the other lackluster items. I like it so much that even if I paid $40 for just this one doll, I wouldn’t be too mad about it. (Although there were less cute plushies, like a solid coloured frog, so I’m glad I didn’t get those)
Overall Rating: 5/10.
For my first Yumetwins box, I was left feeling underwhelmed. I’d like to give the box another shot in March before I decide whether I want to continue.
I get that a lot of the money I’m paying is to cover shipping costs from Japan, along with the surprise of receiving the items rather than the items themselves. However – there’s a much cheaper subscription box called Kawaii Box (which I also ordered and is in the mail) that’s only $19 USD or $25 CAD. If that box contains better items than Yumetwins, I may just order that one from now on.*
Ways that I think the box could improve: I would love items that aren’t purely decorative. Two keychains in one box is too much. Other items that are useful and light to ship are stationary, household items (mugs, cleaning supplies, brushes, sponges), stickers, socks, hair accessories, costume jewlery. This month, there were 3 cat items out of 5, and the other 2 items both had cat variations. It was possible that someone would get 5 cat items! Even though I like cats, I would like some more variety other than that.
After I wrote my review of Yumetwins, the Kawaii box I ordered showed up! The box claims to be the “cutest monthly box” filled with items from Japan.
Cost: $19.80 usd or $26 cad
Shipping Time: This box arrived 2 weeks after my Yumetwins box, even though I ordered on the same day. It took about 4-5 weeks to receive this box after my payment.
Delivery: Kawaiibox comes with a tracking code, which I like. The box arrived very damaged and there was a punctured hole when I picked it up.
Here are the items I received in February:
In total, there were 11 items in the box.
1. A cat plushie. (am I going to end up with 100 cat plushies?)
2. Sheet of fuzzy heart stickers.
3. Sheet of 3D jewel stickers.
4. Set of cooking/dining erasers.
5. Japanese candy making kit.
6. A folding mirror.
7. Plastic hair clip.
8. Macaron ballpoint pen.
9. Ice cream button pin.
10. Bunny ring stand.
11. Mickey Mouse lollipop
I will not be posting photos of each individual item because I was quite disappointed in the quality. The majority of the items were not Japanese and had Chinese writing on it instead. I myself am Chinese, and nothing against Made in China (although some can argue that there’s a good case for being against Made in China) but I thought I was paying for a Japanese subscription box? (Some of the items were in Korean as well.)
The folding mirror felt like it was breaking as I was opening it for the first time. The top cover was a super thin sheet of plastic.
I don’t think this particular eraser set is kawaii at all. Is that a steak?
The button pin (see above) seemed really poorly made and flimsy. The construction felt like something you would get for free (and throw away 5 minutes later). The cat plushie is not soft, it’s hard in the middle and the fabric is a little scratchy. It’s very cute however.
Of the items in the box, I will use the stickers and the pen. I will probably try the candy as well.
Overall Rating: 2/10
I will not be ordering Kawaiibox any more. This box might be good for teenagers and young kids – anyone who wants a bunch of toys delivered every month without regard to the quality of each individual item. I feel like I might have just thrown $25 into the wind.
Ways I think this box could improve: Don’t send people junk. Having the few cheap items in my box actually devalued all the other items more (the pin, the eraser set). It would be nice if the items in the box had a theme as well – they seemed haphazardly thrown together.
(Any of my friends want a steak eraser?)