REVIEW / Loot Crate (December 2017)

 

Just when you thought I had to have forgotten by now, it’s Loot Crate time. The premier geeky subscription box is in something of a state of flux. With a price increase for the main box and various changes to the items inside (particularly the ever-changing pins), it seems like the company is having some trouble deciding how to handle the main Loot Crate subscription and what its value should be. This is particularly apparent in the growing number of more specialized crates they offer, all of which cost more than the standard crate. But for now, We’re still focusing on the main box, and this month’s box with a theme of “Explore” shows the trouble the company is having.


Mystery Item

Yes, the headline item in this month’s crate is a mystery item. Well, it isn’t a complete mystery; it’ll be a figure or figure-like item from a past edition of one of Loot Crate’s other boxes. So yeah, it’s hard not to see this as the company getting rid of its back stock. It already sells previous items on its Loot Vault site, so here’s hoping you don’t get something you already have. I got a small, chibi-style figure of Adam Jensen from the Deus Ex series, originally from Loot Gaming. It’s a nice figure, as all of the possible mystery items I’ve seen have been, so it’s not like Loot Crate is giving us trash, but it still feels like a cop out. In any case, I rather like my figure, even though I haven’t played the Deus Ex games. It certainly made me consider checking out Loot Gaming, so maybe that was the true purpose of this exorcise.

 

Destiny 2 Shirt

The t-shirt this time around is a cool design based on a cool video game, so it’s already going in with a good score. Not having played Destiny 2 yet I don’t actually know what the thing on the shirt is supposed to be, though; I feel there are probably better and more iconic designs they could have used for it. But I don’t know, maybe whatever this thing on the shirt is will make players happy. It’s just a shame it isn’t a bit more universal.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Mini Calendar

I’m of two minds on this item. On one hand, it’s a flipping wall calendar. Who uses a wall calendar in this day and age? And not just a wall calendar, but a mini wall calendar, based on a so-so movie. Especially given that one of the other items in the crate is also paper (as we’ll discuss next), this just kind of feels like the cheapest thing they could get away with after the price increase. I expected to toss this out right away. But believe it or not, it’s actually a nice enough calendar that I didn’t. It features the over the top colors and images from the movie, and good images of the characters that aren’t just the same pictures you see on all the other merchandise. Furthermore, the overall design of the calendar is really cool, and combines the calendar and the art in an awesome way. It still feels like they cheaped out on it, but at least they gave us something kind of cool when they cheaped out.

 

Star Wars Comic

They label this item as a “graphic novel,” but I think the truth is somewhere in between. It’s bound and printed like a trade paperback, but it’s not much longer than a standard comic issue. I suppose it’s better than a regular comic, and it does appear to be an actual exclusive comic instead of just an exclusive cover, so I appreciate that much. On the other hand, it’s part of the Star Wars Adventures line, so it’s very much written with kids in mind and the art style is a bit more cartoon-like than I would have preferred. I’ll definitely take it over the calendar, but I kind of hoped the Star Wars item in the crate would be a bit more original.

 

Rocket Pin

As much as I miss the IP-related pins we used to get sometimes, I do love this design. This pin features a retro-style rocket design, like something out of a sci-fi comic from the 50’s. It’s more three-dimensional than one would expect, making it feel like a very high quality item. Normally this would accentuate an awesome collection of items, but here, it’s probably my favorite thing in the crate. And yeah, that’s kind of sad, even if I do collect pins.


In short, December’s Loot Crate was one of the worst we’ve seen. It’s probably the worst one they’ve done since they started focusing on fewer, bigger items a while back. The mystery item may or may not be good, but it smacks of desperation regardless. The calendar is about as cool as a calendar can be, but it is still a calendar. And as for the comic, it could be worse, but in a different crate it would be the smallest thing. This leaves us with the shirt and the pin that are cool, and even the shirt really requires knowledge of Destiny to enjoy. Especially after a price increase, this is a seriously poor showing from Loot Crate, and I’m not confident this month’s will be better. With the rather vague theme of “Discovery,” it promised to include items from Rick & Morty, Westworld, Harry Potter, and The X-Files. Let’s hope it’s at least a step up.

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