REVIEW / Loot Crate (April 2016)


By now you know what Loot Crate is, and you know how it works. It’s a themed mystery box filled with geeky items. The mystery means that some months are better than others. Last month, I said that if April’s Loot Crate wasn’t better than March’s, I’d consider replacing it with another subscription box. March’s box was bad, but it could have been worse. It could have been April’s box, with the theme “Quest.” Let’s look at the damage, shall we?


Labyrinth T-shirt


Labyrinth was an enjoyable movie, and I understand wanting to honor David Bowie, but I really have no use for a purple Labyrinth t-shirt. Granted, there are people out there obsessed with this movie, and I get that. But even so, it just doesn’t seem like the best thing to use for a shirt. If you aren’t a big Labyrinth fan you will never wear it, and I imagine that covers most people. Of you just enjoy the movie, like me, you’re not going to proudly display it like that.


Harry Potter socks


Obviously novelty socks are more popular than I thought; not only does Loot Crate keep sending them, they actually have a socks-specifc add on. So let’s say it’s just me, and novelty socks are a worthwhile item. In the past, we got full pictures of popular characters from recent hit movies; first Groot, then BB-8. These, however, just list the Horcruxes from the Harry Potter series. It’s such a boring design, and not even immediately recognizable.


Vikings Drinking Horn


Everyone knows at least one know-it-all who likes to point out well known common misconceptions about history, like that vikings didn’t wear hats with horns; they were actually drinking horns. And in fact, promoting the TV series Vikings, that’s what we have here. It’s a plastic horn in a rather nice pouch, and with a string to wear it around your neck. This seems like something somebody would use once and then realize that we have cups for a reason. It also looks really cheap, despite the detailed design. I could see also history buff enjoying this, but that’s about it.


D20 Ice Mold


I was actually quite happy about the Marvel ice mold Loot Crate included a while back; it made ice cubes that were relatively easy to take out and shaped them like Marvel characters and iconography. I’m also a big fan of tabletop RPGs, so I can appreciate the idea of this. If it made several ice cubes it would be all well and good, but instead it makes one giant ice cube. There are some drinks that are best with one big piece of ice, sure, but I can’t imagine there are too many people who would need just 1 giant ice cube and also appreciate tabletop RPGs.


Uncharted 4 Mini Poster


The issue here is just like the socks: even if we decide that a promotional mini poster is a good thing to include in Loot Crate, the design just isn’t that interesting. You have to be a pretty big Uncharted fan to want to hang up a mini poster that’s more words than pictures. This is the kind of thing that I could excuse from Loot Crate if the other items were very good, but since they really aren’t, this just makes it worse. Granted, I’m not an Uncharted fan, but even if I was I’m not sure I would put this poster up.


D20 Shield Pin


This time the pin is actually the best item in the box. It’s shaped like a shield (almost exactly like the Hylian Shield from The Legend of Zelda) with a D20 design on it. It’s clean, generally nerdy, and either colorful or gold. It doesn’t focus on anything too specific like the last one, which is also good; I’m not a big fan of Alien or Predator. Granted, maybe if the rest of the crate was better this wouldn’t seem that great, but it is the only Loot Crate pin I’ve actually worn.


There’s no question about it: for my money this is one of the absolute worst Loot Crates I’ve ever seen. Even the spy-themed one at least had that cool SHIELD badge. The only saving grace is the cool pin. It’s because of that, and because I acknowledge that some people might like a few of these items, that I’m not rating it a 0 out of five. So you’d think after two bad crates I’d end my subscription. But, May’s theme is “Power” and includes items related to Warcraft  (the movie), Marvel, and most interesting, Dragon Ball Z. By the time you’re reading this it’s probably too late to get the May crate, but if you do want to subscribe, click here.  With shipping a monthly subscription costs $19.95, and other packages and separate subscription boxes are also available.


A quest for failure


This is one of the worst Loot Crates I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen most of them. The shirt and the socks are good if you really love the things they come from, but for most people they aren’t really worth wearing. The ice mold is of limited use, the poster isn’t all that interesting, and the drinking horn is destined to sit in a cabinet. At least the pin is cool, though.