My 10 year old son and I love this box. The contents have tied in with current events and I have used them in our homeschool curriculum (the cards work well as research and journal prompts and I use the patches and pins as rewards for unit completion. My favorite so far was the James Webb Telescope solar panel pin.
Subscription boxes always look fun to me, but in the end the contents are typically disposable, consumable, or quickly grown out of. They also keep you from “putting basic math to work for you”- piecing out the contents vs price paid gets really discouraging.
HOWEVER- MATTER sends you “real” stuff. You don’t throw away a fossil or lose an owl pellet in the back of your sock drawer. I bought two 3 month subscriptions for my brothers, ages 37 and 41. What I really wanted was for someone to get a subscription for me, especially after I saw the contents in person. My 9 yr old son asked me to cancel his other subscription box and magazine so he could get MATTER.
For my brothers, the items are ultimately display/ collectible/ conversation pieces. For my son they have been thrilling to open (as with any crate) and fun to play with (there seems to always be at least one mini activity), but unusual and interesting enough that he has to circle back several times to really understand what each item is. The combination of being able to handle and keep something like a 400 million year old fossil, a bismuth crystal, or humidity gage transforms abstract information into something concrete, personal, and memorable. I like that there doesn’t seem to be an overarching theme to each box other than its namesake- (unless I’m missing something...?). It’s hard to appreciate things when they’re isolated in a textbook-style grouping (hard minerals, chapter...