Mystery tech boxes have exploded in popularity in recent years, and in this article, we’ve reviewed some of the current market leaders. Of the products we’ve tested, the mystery electronics box from Firebox came out on top. It’s not perfect, but it offers a variety of innovative tech products, at least some of which are likely to find a happy home.
I’m Neil Cumins, an award-winning writer and tech journalist. I’ve reviewed everything from home DNA kits to military flight simulators, and I know quality tech when I test it.
At Gadget Discovery Club, we’re constantly testing new and innovative gadgets, so we were thrilled to be reviewing a bunch of other mystery tech boxes.
Our mystery tech box review considers two well known suppliers of mystery electronics boxes. We’ll outline the pros and cons of each, giving you clear guidance on what to look for before trying them out. And if neither of them sounds quite right, we have an alternative which might be more to your liking…
In this article…
Firebox - Mystery Tech Box
Costing $51 (£34.99), Firebox’s colourful Mystery Box contains no less than four separate tech products. This is a curated collection of tech ordered directly from the company, who claim it’ll be worth almost twice the box’s subscription value.
Inside the box, I found a smartphone projector with 8x magnification, plus an antimicrobial copper keyring designed for hands-free button and handle operation, created by Firebox themselves. There was also a clip-on selfie kit including coloured and kaleidoscopic lenses. However, the star attraction in my box was a handheld games console reminiscent of 1980s devices, displaying 240 different titles on a 2.5-inch LCD screen.
- Well-packaged box has good gift potential
- Multiple items mean you’re bound to receive something of value
- Reassuring buying directly from a company, rather than a private seller
- Some items have long-lasting value
- No way to influence what you receive
- Smaller/ cheaper items in the box are likely to get overlooked
- High likelihood of receiving things you already own
Any mystery electronics box will vary in its value to the recipient especially with the inclusion of multiple gadgets. Some will have lasting value, but others are the equivalent of Christmas cracker gifts – small, disposable and eclipsed by the better presents you’ve just received. However, the combined box could make a good present for someone you’ve always found difficult to buy from, sparing you the tiresome “what can we get them this year” debate. The presentation is also impressive, with a brightly-coloured box packed with a rainbow of polystyrene chips.
Etsy - Mystery Tech Box
Etsy doesn’t market its own range of mystery electronics boxes, but you can sign up to receive them from individual sellers. Depending on which seller you use, there’s little in the way of visual flair – my delivery arrived in a plain brown box with no labelling or instructions.
This unassuming cardboard box contained a ten-setting USB-powered lamp, resting on an attractive beech base with a textured fabric lampshade. On its brightest setting, its six LED filaments will illuminate a small room, though the bulky shade means it’s not as easily transportable as an angled spotlight. Ultimately, the quality of a mystery tech box from Etsy depends on the quality of the seller you entrust.
- You can choose a seller you like the look of
- Many of the items sold through Etsy aren’t available anywhere else
- Sellers tend to offer impressive value
- Packaging can leave a lot to be desired
- Doesn’t really work as a surprise gift
- Takes a lot of research to find a suitable seller
The total lack of presentation spoils the excitement of opening what could just as easily be a shipment of lightbulbs as a mystery electronics box. If you were buying a mystery tech box subscription as a present, you’d have to tell the recipient in advance – they’d be confused if they opened a box and discovered a device they hadn’t ordered with no accompanying paperwork! Nonetheless, if you’re keen to receive new tech without any frills, Etsy’s offering is worth considering. My box featured an ingenious little product which is illuminating my desk as I write this feature.
Mystery Tech Boxes - Conclusion
Mystery tech boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and our contenders delivered very different results. Etsy is let down by the need to find individual resellers and trust they’ll live up to their billing, while the packaging is also likely to be underwhelming. By contrast, Firebox offer their own box & with superior packaging, though the inclusion of four gadgets means less exciting items will be forgotten very quickly.
Here at Gadget Discovery Club, we take a different approach. Our team of gadget geeks spend thousands of hours discovering and testing new, innovative gadgets with long-term value. Each month, our members experience the excitement of unboxing 1 epic gadget that upgrades their life. If you enjoy unboxing mystery tech boxes, you can sign up here and choose either a monthly, 6 month or 12 month plan.
If you’d like to know more about our celebrated mystery tech box experience, why not check out some of our video reviews.