REVIEW / Loot Crate (November 2015)

 

What’s this? A Loot Crate review posting around the time when the box actually arrived instead of almost a month later? That’s right, we’re striking while the loot is hot this month. With the theme of “Combat” (very similar to the “Battle” theme we saw a while back), November’s Loot Crate promised items from Fallout, Street Fighter, a Blizzard game, The Hunger Games, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With increased competition, Loot Crate needed to pull out all the stops this time around.


 Fallout “Vault Boy” Bobblehead

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Looters like me who couldn’t afford Loot Crate’s special Fallout 4 box are in luck: this month’s regular crate contains a collectible that all Fallout fans should have. Vault Boy serves as the mascot of both the Fallout series and the in-game company Vault Tec, responsible for much of the technology in the Fallout world. Various bobbleheads of the character are hidden throughout Bethesda’s post apocalyptic games, each one with a unique design and giving a unique stat boost. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a replica for a long time, especially after I neglected to do so upon seeing them at a convention, so I’m very excited about this item. As that brief anecdote suggests, you can find these in stores, but this one has a Loot Crate exclusive pose. This one looks just like the ones in the game, and even the box is properly themed. Besides featuring the Vault Tec logo, it notes that the bobblehead will “increase your stats,” which is exactly what they do in the games. It’s your own little piece of Vault 111. Speaking of which, don’t worry; we’ll have a review of Fallout 4 ready soon.

 

Blizzard “Cute But Deadly” Figure

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Blizzard’s “Cute But Deadly” is a series of figures sold in blind boxes, featuring cute versions of some of the villains and enemies from the company’s games. They’re about the size of Funko Mystery Minis, but with a more cutesy style. Loot Crate did something a bit unusual with these: there is a Loot Crate exclusive variant (one of the Murloc, specifically), but it’s randomly mixed in with all the normal figures. I know some people prefer that everyone gets the Loot Crate exclusive, and others like the blind aspect, but I’m not sure this is the best compromise. Still, the figures themselves are quite nice. I got the normal Murloc, which is very cute in this style. Even though I don’t really play any Blizzard games, I can appreciate good character design, and Blizzard’s is some of the best. I might actually get another one of these packs, which is a testament to the quality of the figures and the designs.

 

Hunger Games Pin

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As I mentioned in the last Loot Crate review, I can’t imagine there are a lot of Fallout and Blizzard fans who also like The Hunger Games. But if you do fit that category, this is a great inclusion. It’s solid metal and it’s definitely not a cheap throwaway. The design is not the more commonly seen one from the first part of the series, but a different Mockingjay design. Fans will presumably recognize it; I have no idea what the significance is. In any case, it’s a good item, but I still question how appropriate it is for Loot Crate.

 

Shredder Sunglasses

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You were doing so well, Loot Crate! I thought you could keep the high quality streak alive. But unfortunately, we have this item. It’s a pair of cheap purple sunglasses attached to a grey plastic frame in the shape of Shredder’s helmet from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Who would wear this? I’m not against silly wearables, but even to fans of the series, these are pointless. You’d only wear them outdoors, since they’re sunglasses, and who would go out in public wearing them? It doesn’t even really have the effect that they seem to be after; a little bit of hair being visible ruins the effect. I can forgive the crate overall because of Vault Boy, but this is a poor showing. Even the TMNT mask sunglasses they included last year can be worn in some company; I don’t think anyone would be caught dead wearing these.

 

Cute But Deadly Magnets

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So, Loot Crate has gone back to including smaller items. I’m OK with that, since the two figures in this crate are so awesome, but some might be disappointed that they’re no longer sticking to big ticket items only. These small refrigerator magnets feature various characters from Blizzard games, in the same style as the figures from the same series. As with the figures, they’re cute, and the character design is cool, so I can’t complain too much. Refrigerator magnets aren’t the most exciting thing, but I’ll still take these over the sunglasses. As small items go, they could be a lot worse. And if you are a Blizzard fan, these will be right up your alley. The only other thing to note is that they’re pretty thin and not very strong; they’re going to be better for decoration than for holding things up.

 

Exclusive Street Fighter Comic

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This last item is a bit different. Loot Crate has featured a number of comics with exclusive variant covers in the past; again, as small items go, they aren’t bad. But this is actually a completely unique and exclusive one-shot, published by Udon for Loot Crate. It actually features Street Fighter characters teaming up with Loot Crate employees, so it isn’t the most serious comic out there. Still, it’s well written, and Udon’s art is still top notch. The story even leads into the plot of Street Fighter 5, so I’m interested to see just how related it is. I probably would have preferred a different sort of Street Fighter item, but I enjoy a good comic, so I don’t mind it.


It’s somewhat difficult to judge this Loot Crate, especially because the Vault Boy bobblehead instantly elevates it a few points. The Blizzard figure is nice too, even though it’s small; I like the style, and the character designs shine through. The pin is another one of those Loot Crate items that is definitely nice, but doesn’t appeal to me. The only item that I have nothing good to say about is the sunglasses; especially given that Loot Crate is marketed to adults, I have no idea what they were thinking. Right in the middle of the scale is the comic, which is good as comics go but not exactly an item one will hold on to for a long time. All things considered, this is a fairly average crate pushed above average by a great piece of gaming memorabilia.

Next month, our theme is Galaxy, which is pretty much the same as the theme of my first ever Loot Crate. Inside will be items from Star Wars: the Force Awakens, Halo 5, and bizarrely, Galaxy Quest. Among these items will be another exclusive Pop! figure, and a t-shirt. So fittingly, this space-themed crate mirrors last month’s time-themed one. If you want to get in on the action, you can click here to subscribe to Loot Crate. It’s $19.95 per month with shipping, and long term subscriptions are available as well.

But if you’re into The Force Awakens and exclusive Pop! figures, there is an alternative. Disney and Funko’s official Star Wars subscription box, Smuggler’s Bounty, also debuted in November. Keep your eyes peeled, as we’ll be reviewing that box as well.

 

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