REVIEW / Loot Crate (January 2015)


For January 2015, Loot Crate decided to Rewind to the 70s and 80s, filling the month’s box with retro themed items.  For those unfamiliar, Loot Crate is a subscription service that will send you a box of geeky objects each month.  If you want more examples, check out our posts for the November and December crates.  For now, let’s take a look at how Loot Crate rang in the new year.

 Star Wars Comic


Loot Crate has included quite a few comics with exclusive cover art in in boxes lately, and this is one that many expected to eventually see.  It’s the first issue of Marvel’s new Star Wars comic, with a cover featuring Han Solo and Chewbacca delivering Loot Crates across the galaxy.  These comics are usually a disappointment for looters who don’t already read the series, but this month they improved the situation by going with the first issue of a series.  The comic is great, and while I don’t love the cover, it’s a nice exclusive bonus to an already great inclusion.


Voltron Shirt 


T-shirts are another common inclusion in Loot Crates, and they are always exclusive. This month’s apparel features a “blueprint” of the legendary anime robot Voltron.  I would have preferred a full color image myself, but the shirt is still extremely cool.  Even if you aren’t a fan of the character, it’s just an awesome design in and of itself.  It is a shame that the logos are so big, but they don’t take away from the main attraction.  I don’t know the first thing about Voltron, but I wear the shirt with pride.


Mini 10-DOH Vinyl Figure


These vinyl toys, produced by Squid Kids Ink, are in the shape of NES cartridges with arms, legs, and eyes.  The labels feature fake games that are often references to existing games in some way or another.  The crate includes figures with one of a few different exclusive labels, each a pop culture mashup.  I got one that combined Firefly with Duck Hunt, but other possibilities were Back to the Future and The Legend of Zelda or Dr. Mario and Doctor Who.  These little guys also each come with a light gun they can hold, modeled after the original NES accessory.  I absolutely love these figures, even though their limbs always fall off.  The design is cute and clever, and the labels tend to be quite funny.


Comic Notebook


As I’ve mentioned before, each month’s box includes at least one cheap paper item that exists only to pad out the list.  For January, we have this tiny blank comic book.  I’m not entirely sure what it’s for, and the copy on the packaging doesn’t help with the confusion.  If it’s meant to be a notebook, it’s far too small, especially being split into little boxes.  If it’s meant to be a DIY comic, it’s still far too small, and it requires some skill in drawing.  This item really has no reason to exist, let alone to be included.


“Space Invaders” Necktie


Speaking of things that have no reason to exist, I’ve never really understood the idea of novelty neckties.  In just about any situation in which a tie is required, you need to wear a serious one.  Wearing a novelty tie means choosing to wear a tie when you don’t have to, and I don’t imagine there are a lot of people who would do that.  I could be wrong, but even if I am, there is another problem with this item: it isn’t licensed.  That means that instead of the iconic Space Invaders we’re used to, it features generic similar shapes.  It still gets the point across, but it feels like a missed opportunity.  On the plus side, for those interested in a non-licensed novelty necktie, it is a Loot Crate exclusive.


8-Bit Sunglasses


The final item on offer continues the 8-bit theme.  It’s far too wintery here in Chicago for me to test their effectiveness, but it seems like they fit well enough.  I’m a fan of the design, though I do wish the top was the same color as the rest of the frame.  Unlike the tie, this is something I definitely see myself using, so I have no problem with it.  And yes, it is another Loot Crate exclusive, so that’s always nice as well.

January’s crate was pretty good overall.  The comic notebook thing is pointless, and the tie won’t see a lot of use, but the rest is top notch.  I have to give bonus points for the vinyl figure; that line has become somewhat difficult to find, so its inclusion with the Loot Crate made my day.  This isn’t the best one they’ve ever done, but it’s one of the best since I’ve started reviewing them.  February’s crate, which will start to be delivered today, has the theme of “Play!” and will feature an exclusive edition of Super Fight, an exclusive Kid Robot vinyl figure, and some other interesting stuff.  A monthly subscription to Loot Crate costs $13.37, and you can subscribe to it here.


Rewind forward


The shirt, the vinyl figure, and the comic are as much as I could ask for in a Loot Crate. The sunglasses are a nice extra bonus. The other two items just seem unnecessary, but they don’t take away from this above average Loot Crate. Stay tuned, because it seems like February’s will be even better.