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REVIEW / Loot Crate

 

Subscription boxes are all the rage in the geeky community these days.  The concept is quite simple: you pay a monthly fee, and each month the company sends you a box full of items related to a certain theme or category.  At first, they serviced more “high brow” interests, like beauty products or wine.  But now, as you can see in our reviews of two different boxes focused on Japanese snacks, the nerds have taken over.  This arguably began in 2012 with the introduction of our focus today, Loot Crate.  Each month they send out a box of nerdy items fitting a certain loose theme.  For example, last month’s theme was “Battle,” but we’ll get to that.  There have been many imitators in recent years, but Loot Crate remains the standard bearer.  Always inspiring customers to film their openings, it has a huge presence online.

 

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Each crate typically contains 3 or 4 major items (one of which is sometimes a t-shirt) and a host of smaller things.  They also include a magazine with information on the crate’s contents, features based on the theme, and photos of “looters” with the previous month’s spoils.  It also details the monthly Mega Crate, given to a randomly selected looter at the end of the month.  Month by month the subscription costs $13.37 (get it?), but you can get it for $12.37/month if you buy a 3 month plan or $11.67/month with a 6 month plan.  Today we’re going to detail the November 2014 crate, called “Battle.”  The theme ties into the heavy presence of video game-based items in the box, including heavily advertised items from Capcom and Ubisoft.


Pirates vs Ninjas T-Shirt

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Loot Crate doesn’t contain a shirt every month, but they are a fairly common inclusion and always exclusives.  This is the second shirt they’ve had featuring a picture made out of relevant words.  It shows half of a pirate and half of a ninja, and it isn’t very visually appealing.  The “word art” design worked well when it was a minimal picture of a single figure, but this one just looks cluttered.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though, so judge this shirt as you will.  I definitely like the idea of it, but they probably should have chosen either the word art or the split picture, not both.  As for the material itself, it’s high enough quality, and the sizes are pretty standard.  I can see myself wearing this one, but not often.

 

Mega Man Replica Helmet

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This, for me, was the main draw from this month’s crate.  About the size of a tennis ball, this is a plastic replica of Mega Man’s classic helmet.  It’s exclusive to Loot Crate, and it comes in three color schemes based on powers from Mega Man games.  I got the green one, which goes with the Leaf Shield power.  Other possibilities were red, grey, and of course the classic blue.  These are extremely high quality, with solid plastic and an almost shiny paint job.  It even comes with a stand to display it proudly on your shelf.  The stand is designed to have it face down a bit.  This is a great inclusion for any fan of Mega Man, and it’s just in time for his inclusion in Super Smash Bros.

 

Assassin’s Creed Unity Coin

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I haven’t played Unity yet, so I’m not sure if this mimics something that’s in the game.  I do know that it’s a highly detailed solid metal coin.  On the front it shows Unity’s version of the Assassin symbol, and on the back it shows the game’s name along with the motto of the French revolution.  There’s even a spot to engrave your name.  This is the closest you’ll get to an official membership into the brotherhood, and it’s certainly fancy.  The detail is intricate, the coin itself is solid and heavy, and it even comes in a suede pouch featuring the game’s logo.  Whether you like Unity or not, it’s a very nice piece of memorabilia.  It actually seems like the kind of thing you’d expect to find in the game’s Collector’s Edition, but it too is a Loot Crate exclusive.

 

Halo Mega Bloks Metallic Series Figure

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Mega Bloks is very similar to Lego, but the character figures it makes are very different.  They feature more realistic proportions and detailed articulation.  They’ve been selling Halo figures, both in sets and blind bags, for quite a while.  The ones in the crate are somewhat special, as they feature metallic paint and come in “drop pod” packages.  There are four available, and though they aren’t in blind packages, they are distributed randomly.  There are two different ODSTs and two different Elites available.  Each comes with a stand and a weapon.  I rather like these figures; they’re relatively accurate representations, and the metallic paint makes them stand out that much more.

 

Street Fighter Headband

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Getting back to the trend of Loot Crate exclusive replicas of video game items, we have here a replica of Ryu’s headband from Street Fighter.  The fabric is pretty high quality, and it features the Street Fighter and Capcom logos.  It’s more than long enough for even the biggest head (and I should know).  That’s really all there is to say.

 

Capcom Digital Items

Each crate tends to include codes for digital items, and this month they had some excellent ones.  The first is two digital issues of the Mega Man comic published by Archie; these are the first issue of the series as well as the first issue of the Sonic crossover. The other item is a Steam code for Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.  Neither of these items is worth much, and fans of the franchises (such as myself) probably have them already.  However, if you don’t, these are both great products.  The comic is a fun read, and Street Fighter games are always entertaining.  Granted, the game is less a $20 value and more a $10 value, but you can’t beat getting an awesome game for free.

 

50% Off of Lichdom Battlemage on Steam

I won’t get into the relative merits of this game here, especially since I haven’t played it yet.  That said, there’s nothing wrong with a discount, especially since the value of the other items in the crate more than makes up for its inclusion.

 


November’s Loot Crate is one of the best they’ve produced.  While not all of them are quite this full to the brim with awesomeness, it does give you an idea of the kind of items Loot Crate includes.  If you’re the kind of person who likes filling up your room with nerdy memorabilia, collecting vinyl figures, or wearing a wide variety of t-shirts, Loot Crate is for you.  It may not seem like there’s a lot, but take a closer look.  The subscription only costs $13.37 per month and many of the items are exclusives. The best exclusives, like that Mega Man helmet, sell on eBay for significantly more than the price of the subscription.  If the items I’ve described here appeal to you at all, I highly recommend subscribing to Loot Crate.  While there are many imitators, none of them can equal Loot Crate’s exclusive collectibles and value.  December’s crate is set to be even better than this one, and it will be the biggest one they’ve ever done, so this is a good time to get started.

 

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