Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loot Crate Review: Galactic Theme, Sept. 2014

How exciting!!!

While I was at the Geek & Sundry Lounge during SDCC 2014, I received a Loot Crate as a prize. It was the July 2014 Villains themed crate and included a few extra items, such as a Geek & Sundry shot glass.

Though not everything in that crate was something I immediately loved or would have chosen, it was fun to see all the different things. The surprise aspect of the box was definitely enjoyable, and the geek-centric goodies appeal to me much more than some of the other monthly-mystery-box options out there.

Wait a sec... what is Loot Crate, you ask?

Loot Crate is one of those monthly-mystery-box subscription services.  Every month, subscribers receive a box in the mail full of items that fit the theme of the service - while other box services might provide random beauty products or fishing tackle or dog toys, Loot Crate bills itself as a service for Geeks and Gamers, and offers a selection of items associated with various fandoms, movies, and video games.  Subscriptions cost $13.37 plus shipping (HA! get it?) and the retail value of the goodies inside is worth ~$40.
Subscribers are also entered to win a monthly Mega Crate worth $750.

It's like a care package every month, without the stale cookies and awkward call to thank Aunt Ida.

Since I enjoyed the July box and the idea behind Loot Crate, I decided to sign up for the service and give it a try. I missed the August 2014 Heroes themed box (and really regret it) but I signed up for the three-month subscription in time to receive the September crate.
Note: subscriptions for the month's crate usually end on the 19th of the month, but they can close early if they run out of subs!

September's theme was Galactic. Leading up to the release of the crate, Loot Crate's social media accounts were teasing a fan-made video about Firefly, and crate items tied to the Firefly, Star Wars, and Star Trek fandoms. A further teaser was an image of an alien, from the movie Alien, busting out of the Loot Crate, so we knew an Alien item would be included. Otherwise, the exact items we were going to receive remained a mystery!  Ooh, surprises!

My first crate arrived on Saturday, September 20th.  The Galactic crate contained:
  • A fuzzy stuffed tribble from Star Trek
  • A Kenner ReAction action figure, from Alien - mine was the Alien Queen!
  • A Funko Mystery Mini from the Science Fiction series - an exclusive Captain Mal from Firefly! The regular Mal from this series holds a pistol.
  • Pop Rocks candy
  • $10,000 in space cash (from Firefly)
  • A magnet, picturing a mash-up of the Asteroids game with the asteroid field scene from The Empire Strikes Back
  • A Han Solo in carbonite mini poster
  • A code for a digital copy of Halo Escalation
  • The standard Loot Crate magazine and button

While a few things aren't exactly my style, I liked everything enough to keep it all for myself (I had told the Boyfriend I would share with him, but he wanted the tribble and I was like NO.)  Yes, I'm a greedy, horrible person. Though I did offer him the Alien to keep with his Cylon, but he declined.

My only complaint about this month's crate is... the tribble doesn't make any noise! They really missed the boat with that. I don't know how much it would have cost to stick a soundbox in each one, but how cool would that have been? To have it purr? 

Also, waiting for the crate was more fun than actually receiving it, if that makes sense. The excitement of "what if" and "when", the build up. Then I got it, and while I really like it (Trouble With Tribbles is my favorite Star Trek episode!), once the excitement had worn off I was left finding space for new toys that I might not have bought on my own. I think this is more about my personality than Loot Crate itself - my collections are carefully curated. We'll see how the next two crates go. Though there are plenty of outlets for selling or trading items you don't like, which can minimize the risk of getting something you don't care for.  I share with the Boyfriend, and odds are between the two of us we'll like everything included in our Crate (he has dibs on anything Mega Man, I get first choice of awesome females and Harrison Ford characters).

Another thing I'm curious about is how often female characters are included in the crates. My Comic Con crate included a small poster of Harley Quinn, and technically this month's Alien Queen is a female, but most of the crates I've seen are centered around male characters. Though the items themselves are quite gender neutral and this could just be a reflection of the lack of female representation in the media.  Regardless if this is a reflection of the media or LootCrate making deliberate decisions about its products, I want some Sailor Moon, Xena, She-Hulk, Zoe, and other awesome females in my future crates.

So that is my first experience with a Loot Crate subscription. Overall I enjoyed it.  It's fun receiving packages in the mail!

If you're interested in trying out the service, I definitely recommend giving it a go and seeing how you like it!

Next month: my review of the October 2014 Fear-themed Loot Crate!  Just in time for Halloween!  The Loot Crate Twitter account is already teasing exclusives from Capcom-Unity, The Walking Dead, and a t-shirt (you get to choose your size when you sign up), so it sounds like it will be a good one!

The inside of the box was decorated to look like the hold in Serenity - and look, R2!!!

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