Hey, Technology Tell readers, check this out: starting this month, I’ll be going over and offering my thoughts on that Loot Crate thing everyone is talking about. For the sake of maintaining the surprise for everyone (half of the fun!) I figure waiting a day is reasonable enough. If you’re a big Loot Crate junkie but couldn’t get to your mailbox right away, you might not want to read this yet. Anyway, this month’s Loot Crate was full of cool stuff, and I’m dying to move on with this intro.
What really sets Loot Crate apart from its competitors, but also makes or breaks it for people month by month, is the theme gimmick. For those unfamiliar, each month you get a box full of nerdy trinkets, generally tied together in some way. For example, one month was Titans, comprising Attack on Titan and Titanfall merchandise. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t — a box full of Transformers junk wasn’t our favorite way to part with precious fun dollars, for example. However, Loot Crate really knocked it out of the park with the Villains theme last month, and looks to continue that success this month with the counterpart: Heroes. To the service’s credit, it put together some very strange and interesting items, but it doesn’t quite top last month as a whole
The Loot Crate itself might not always get its own paragraph, but boy howdy does it deserve one this month. The boxes have been decorated a little lately, but man, this box is great. The whole thing is a smallish, cardboard version of a Loot Crate-themed TMNT lair. If you set it on its side and open it up, it spreads out across the whole box, with details relevant to the contents of the box throughout. You can even fold a section of the box out to make a pop-out sofa, making the box a cool display item all on its own. Or a really great low-fi play set for your kids.
Being part of the gaming branch of Technology Tell, I have to immediately look for anything gaming-related in these things. This month, air fresheners! Subscribers will either get a Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man or Proto Man air freshener from Epic Scents. We got Proto Man, and he supposedly smells like apple cinnamon. We didn’t open him, as he’s hanging with the weird WWE air fresheners we found at a grocery store once. Uh, moving on!
While last month’s Villains Loot Crate was very DC Comics, the Heroes theme this month leans pretty hard toward the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Kidrobot provided a random TMNT “Ooze Action” mini-figure.They’re the same as the ones that come in the random boxes, but they come in a normal package, and totally glow in the dark. We got Michelangelo, the best turtle. Also included was a pair of ridiculous TMNT sunglasses. Perfect for shame-free selfies.
Last month, the big Loot Crate exclusive was the first issue of Rocket Raccoon with a unique cover. This month, Loot Crate continues to ride the Guardians of the Galaxy hype train with an exclusive POP figure (man I love these things) of Groot! It also glows in the dark, which is the exclusive part. It’s one of the bobble heads, so it isn’t as nice and sturdy as the normal figures, but still pretty cool.
One of the bigger curiosities of the Heroes Loot Crate is a set of lightning bolts for your shoes, called “Schwings.” If you’re a big enough nerd, you can thread your laces through them and have floppy lighting bolt wings hanging onto your shoes. Following that is a Deadpool magnet (eh), and an interesting set of digital goods. You get a bunch of content for the Doctor Who: Legacy mobile game, a Steam code for Defense Grid: Awakening and some DLC for that Gauntlet reboot.
All in all, Loot Crate put clear effort into putting some things together that will either raise your eyebrows or put a smile on your face. However, compared to last month (appropriate considering the themes), it doesn’t feel quite as ambitious. The figures stand out as always, but compared to last month’s comic book, posters and full-length documentary, there just isn’t as much longer-term value. Still, it’s way better than a box of Transformers junk.