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REVIEW / Loot Crate (January 2017)

 

Let’s get straight to it: in my review of last month’s Loot Crate, I said I was very excited for the one coming this month. With the theme of Origins, it was set to include items from Donkey Kong, Superman, Captain America, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After quite a few boxes with no franchises that really interest me, it’s nice to see one full of things I like. But just because it’s a good set of origins (no pun intended) doesn’t necessarily mean the products will be good. So, let’s see what we have.


Donkey Kong Shirt

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This shirt features a picture of Mario as he appeared in the original Donkey Kong game, with the text “The Original Since 1981”. The truth is, while this is a very basic design, it’s still the Loot Crate shirt that best fits my collection, of all the many I have. I won’t say no to a Mario shirt, not at all. That said, it’s a shame that it’s such a basic design, and that the Nintendo item in the crate ended up being the shirt. It’s a nice shirt and I will definitely wear it, but I can’t help but be a little bit disappointed. Now, if it had Donkey Kong himself on it, that would be a different story, but we could do worse than Mario. My only other complaint is that it’s another black shirt, but then again, maybe half of my shirts are black, so I can roll with it. 

Classic Captain America Shield Replica

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As comic fans know, when Captain America debuted, he didn’t have the circular shield that we all associate with him today. Instead, he had a shield with a more traditional shape, though still sporting the Stars and Stripes. In keeping with the theme of Origins, it’s a replica of this shield in this month’s crate. It’s metal and really well made, with a solid paint job and a cool display stand. It looks like a museum piece sitting on my shelf. Granted, I would probably like it better if it was the round shield, but I appreciate that the classic shield is a piece of superhero memorabilia that isn’t too common. This replica is also a Loot Crate exclusive, making it even harder to find. As I am a fan of Steve Rogers, I will proudly display this shield with my other Marvel items. 

TMNT Tiki Figure

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So this one is a little strange. It’s a sort of tiki-like statue, made of ceramic, depicting one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re made to be stackable, and I believe the design included here is an exclusive one. I was pretty disappointed when I heard about this item, but that changed when I actually saw it up close. Like the shield, it is very well made, with decent materials and a good glaze. It’s weird, certainly, but it looks very cool. I might actually see if I can find more of these; I imagine they look better in a stack. Either way, it’s a very interesting and welcome inclusion, even if I’m not sure where the idea came from. 

Action Comics #1 Reprint

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Action Comics #1 is the most sought after comic book ever. It features the first appearance of Superman, and thus the true dawn of superhero comics. Original copies go for astronomical prices; this one here is just a replica. But it is full size, and it does include every story and segment that the original contained, even down to the now-unreadable ads. It’s an interesting look at what comic books used to be, and the kinds of stories (and number of stories) they contained. In addition to the Man of Steel, the book features several other non-superhero stories and even an advice column. If you share my interest in cultural history, it’s a good read. 

TMNT Pin and and Digital Comics

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First, the pin. It features the logo of the original TMNT cartoon, on a manhole cover design with the right texturing and everything. Awesome pins have become pretty much par for the course with Loot Crate lately, and this is no exception. The really impressive part, though, is the associated digital item. Subscribers can get five issues of IDW’s TMNT comic series digitally from Comixology. Besides being a $10 value, it’s a lot of cool content and much more than Loot Crate usually gives us.


Outside of some nitpicking details, this has been yet another awesome Loot Crate. The shield and the tiki figure look awesome and are exclusive to Loot Crate, making them a very good value. The comic replica makes both a great read and a great piece of memorabilia, and the digital comics and pin add a lot of value. It figures that with Nintendo, Marvel, and DC on board, Loot Crate would give us a winner.     It looks like this month is going to be a good one for me as well. The theme is “Build” and it will include items from two video games (Tetris and Lego Dimensions), plus Batman and Power Rangers. If you want to get February’s crate, you need to sign up soon, so click here to join.

 

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