Loot Crate: November 2014 Unboxing “Battle”

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Alright folks, we’re back for November’s crate, “Battle”. I remember vaguely hearing what the theme was, and while not that excited about it, I figured that LC usually finds one or two good ways to surprise me. After all, the main teasers they provided for it included Ryu from Street Fighter, and Mega Man from well, Mega Man. I’m a HUGE fan of Street Fighter. The franchise had a big impact on my childhood. I wanted to be Chun-Li when I grew up; I did the next best thing and cosplayed her at San Japan 2013, in San Antonio Texas. (If you’re interested in that kind of thing or want to take a look at my Chun-Li, just hit up my Cosplay page on Facebook: Stormy La Row) Those that are familiar October’s box, “Fear”, already know November had some pretty big shoes to fill. October’s crate was amazeballs, to say the least. I won’t bore you with what was in it; if you want the dirty details, just hit up my 3 month Loot-Ganza post, where my October unboxing resides. Did “Battle” bring it? Let’s take a look!

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The first thing I saw was a disclaimer on the box, reading that this crate is different from the others, and to see the monthly ‘zine to find out how. Intriguing! I was more interested in the swag right that minute, though.

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Street fighter headband! Cool for a Cosplay, or just a little fun, but nothing I’m going to find useful.

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A Mega Bloks Halo figure. I will admit it’s cute, but I’m an anti-fan of Halo, (even though I know I’m probably the minority here) and while semi-adorble, it doesn’t appeal to me.

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Now this is neat! I’ve never played the AC franchise, but I LOVE coins, and the little crushed velvet bag is actually very nice.

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Very cute! Mega Man was never a thing for me, because it’s made for boys by boys, and just wasn’t the type of game or franchise that appealed to me. I will say the helmet is endearing, and not something we’ll get rid of.

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A few of the monthly digital goodies LC never fails to provide, (and almost never fails to disappoint me with) including a Battlemage deal, a Mega Man digital comic, and something I almost died about until I realized it was for Steam only; a full Street Fighter game download. Don’t even ask me how pissed I am that it’s for steam.

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This month’s pin carries on with the Ryu/Mega Man theme.

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I like the concept of the shirt; I did grow up in the age of Pirates Vs. Ninjas being both a relevant thing, and a huge parody of itself. Not so impressed with the execution. I’ll wear it, it’s just not really my thing. Also, sorry I phoned it in again and didn’t actually provide a picture of me wearing the shirt, but sadly my holiday weight from 2012 is still a part of the equation, so just deal.

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An honorable mention goes to the cute paper dolls and pop-up diorama the box transforms into (hence the vox being “different”). Ryu punched Mega Man in the FACE!

LC November 2014: “BATTLE”

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3/10 Cat bugs!

So here’s my big issue with this box, and with a few boxes, actually. Ryu and Mega Man are not the only popular heroes LC could have included, and what upsets me more, is that there is nothing even pretending to be tailored to a female audience. When I think Street Fighter, I think Chun-Li, and was upset she wasn’t thrown in as even a side-dish to Ryu. Mega Man, Assassin’s Creed, and Halo are all predominantly boy-centric games. Sure, some nerdy girls play them, but most don’t, in my experience. The shirt isn’t attractive enough for most girls (like me) to want to wear; I mean, Pirates Vs. Ninjas was kind of a fangirly meme ten years ago, but to me, the shirt is disappointing.

Nearly every single LC box is 100% polarized to a male audience. I know, I know. Dudes are likely LC’s bigger cash cow, but the box isn’t specifically marketed to men like some; they claim to cater to all “nerds” and “geeks”. Honestly, LC is lucky I’m such a tomboy, or I would have halted my subscription long ago. Take “Transform” for instance; not a single girl-ish item or really even anything one would consider gender neutral, except for maybe the shirt. (Which I loved, but again, tomboy.) July’s “Villains” at least had the Harley/Joker poster, and the only reason I can think of it being unisex is for those obsessed with either The Joker or Loki; which isn’t saying much, because face it, most of us are. August’s “Heroes” and September’s “Galactic” offered naught to les filles, unless they happened to be either hardcore Ninja Turtles, Firefly, or Star Trek fans. I happen to be none of those. I know, right? I’m awful. October’s “Fear” is the only box that did not disappoint me on the feminine front. There was the cutesy print, the emphasis on actually pretty much the only 100% gender neutral subject; The Walking Dead, and the shirt! Oh, that shirt. It’s the only shirt I’ve received thus far that is unisex leaning toward girls! Brilliant box, October’s.

I digress; I know you’re trying, LC, and I believe in you, but you’re still not quite there yet in terms of variety for your full spectrum audience. I’m not even asking for perfection. Some nerds actually have girlfriends, would it really hurt to throw in something a little less Mega Man, a little more Chun-Li for him to give to her, instead of nearly the entirety of my boxes going to my boyfriend’s side of the house; even though I’m paying for  the subscription?

I’m sorry to announce that you won’t be hearing any more unboxin’ out of me for a while; I had to suspend my subscription due to being poor and holidays. It has nothing to do with my aforementioned qualms, and I plan on renewing when I’m financially able to do so, because even though LC sometimes gets it wrong, when it gets it right, it’s worth it. But hey, yo, more chick stuff, alright? Kthx.

3-month Loot-‘Ganza! August, September, & October 2014

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I realize its been a while since I’ve updated; I won’t bore you with the details, I’ve just been a very busy lady. That’s why I’ve decided to condense these three unboxings into one Loot ‘riffic update! We have August 2014: “Heroes,” September 2014: “Galactic,” and October 2014: “Fear.” Since its been so long, and I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath, I mean, this is the most topical of articles, lets get to it!

August 2014 Loot Crate: “Heroes”!

Fresh on the heels of “Villains,” If y’all remember my July unboxing, then you’re aware August’s box had some pretty gigantic shoes to fill in the wake of “Villains.” Does the box nail it or fail it? I’ll let you make up your own minds, (and afterword barrage you with my own.) Let’s dive in, folks!

The box was biggest one I’ve received to date, so I was looking forward to greatness!

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It appears to be a Ninja Turtle type lair. Cute, but I’ve seen better, and am only a marginal Turtle fan.

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To inhabit our miniature Turtle habitat is a miniature Raphael TMNT Full Figure by Kidrobot. It also apparently glows in the dark. Nice!

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More Turtly swag, and I have to admit though these are cute and nerdy, this much focus on the Ninja T’s is a bit gratuitous. There are tons of heroes out there, why not use some variety and spice it up for us?

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Shwings? This would maybe be cute for a kid dressing up as Flash, but its swap meet fodder for me.

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Super cute! Have to admit I love the Loot magnets.

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By far the best piece in the Heroes Crate, The Groot Pop Vinyl figure! I haven’t even seen Guardians, and I loved this little guy.

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There was also a Sonic The Hedgehog air freshener, but by the time of this writing, I had already hung it up in my car. The smell was very short lived, but its still a cute rear-view accessory.

All in all, this was my least favorite crate of the three. I feel that they focused too much on the Ninja Turtle stuff, and there weren’t any other really good things in it, (at least in my opinion,) that were enough to redeem it; namely a shirt. It didn’t even have a poster, which probably would have gained at least half a Cat Bug in its favor. Come on LC, there’s a plethora of Heroes you could have included, and you dropped the ball. Maybe it had to do with licencing issues. One can only guess.

LC August 2014: “HEROES”

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3/10 Cat Bugs!

Okay, so we’re off to a bad start, but the next two can’t possibly be worse, right? Let’s find out!

September 2014 Loot Crate: “Galactic”

I have actually been so busy that I kind of forgot it was LC time by the day this one rolled into the heap of packages in the corner my apartment’s main office, and hadn’t even caught wind of what the theme was. I was pleasantly surprised upon opening, to find out it was “Galactic.” There are a lot of cool things that fit into that category, and I’ve always been into space odysseys, so lets see what they chose for the crate.

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What appears to be a clinical spaceship corridor, with some funky rocks and unidentified furry things outside the airlock.

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Nice vintage looking Alien figure, by Funko & 20th Century Fox. Upon peering at the monthly item guide, it appeared there are several other character figures in the set, but I’m not quite sure they were up for grab in others’ crates, or if everyone got The Alien.

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I was particularly excited about the Han Solo poster; while not a total Star Wars fandom subscriber, the old films will always have a fond place in my childhood memories of watching them all on VHS, with their colorful and attractive cases. Plus, what little tomboy didn’t want to grow up to be Leia? I just happen to be lucky enough that people often accidentally mispronounce my given name, so I get little chances to pretend.

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Moving on from Wars to Trek, we have a Tribble! Again, never a fan of Star Trek. Not because I think it’s bad, but because I was in the wrong age range and household to ever be exposed to it. I love the recent films, (who doesn’t,) and have always thought these little things were cute. Friends of mine have one on display, and I have to be jealous no more!

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Firefly Bank Robber money! I know its sick and sad, but I also missed the boat on Firefly. I had no idea what this was at first, but my boyfriend, a HUGE Firefly buff, was quick to explain it to me, and drool all over it. I think its adorable and very attractive looking. Before you get too angry, I do like what little of Firefly I’ve seen, but there’s something I can’t put my finger on that prevents me from really immersing myself into the show. I do love the over-world; which is reminiscent of Trigun’s Planet Gunsmoke, something I do truly love. Hopefully that will be a story for another Crate!

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Just because I’m not a true Firefly “fan,” doesn’t mean I didn’t squee when I saw this little vinyl Mal figurine, by Funko. He just looks so mad wif his widdle gun, and his widdle coat, and his widdle shoes…”You’re nice, too.”

“No I’m not, I’m a mean old man.”

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Here we have some delicious Blue Razz Pop Rocks, (my favie,) and something I care absolutely nothing about, a code for some Dark Horse digital Halo comic.

There was also an old-school Star Wars arcade magnet, but its already up on my fridge, and I forgot to snap a pic. It’s not super cute, but serves the purpose of, well, a magnet. Also, I believe the LC pin is in the cupholder of my car, suffering the same fate as the Sonic air freshener, so no photo there either.

All in all I was very pleased with this Crate, despite not being a fan of most of the utilized lore and characters, I found the items cute, and very worthy of display. The only knock I have is not having any Mass Effect swag. I may be biased due to how much I love the franchise, but I mean, come on. How do you see the words “Galactic” with implied nerd merch, and not think of Mass Effect?

LC SEPTEMBER 2014: “GALACTIC”

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6.5/10 Cat bugs!

Onto October’s Crate; I saved the best for last! Oh, you think its because October is categorically the last month in my sequence, and therefore has to serve caboose or else it would throw off the flow of the article? That’s for me to know, and you to be in the dark about. Forever.

Loot Crate October 2014: “Fear”

Come October, I again, had no prior knowledge of the Crate’s theme. However, I don’t know why I didn’t predict it would be something spooky scary, given this lovely, albeit brief time of year I adore so much. It sneaks up on you and departs just as rudely, always leaving one wanting more. Luckily most of they year is October for me, because I was raised on spooky scary and 90% of the media I watch is horror related. The other 10% is cooking shows. I digress, let’s get to this month’s fantastic Crate, which is hands down my favorite of the three.

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I’m immediately endeared to the box art, which is contrived from the Weapon’s Bench of the Dead Rising franchise. I’ve spent many hours watching my boyfriend play this tongue in cheek entertaining game, and the Weapon’s Bench is where a lot of the hilarity stems from. Good place to start!

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As our appetizer, we have a Smite skin gift card, which is fun, but I won’t use, and another WarHead type candy; I learned my lesson with “Transform.” WarHeads are not my thing, and if the wrapper is indicative of the contents, as is a wrapper’s main purpose, its going to be toxic waste, emphasis on “waste.”

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Told You. I’mma take a hard pass.

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Here we have some zombie slash and bite temporary tattoos, which could be a fun addition to a whimsical Halloween costume! Or trying to cut out of work early. Don’t even explain how you got the wounds to your boss. Just say, “I don’t wanna talk about it.” Or, you could go the other way and over share, “My girlfriend is on her period.” See if he ever scrutinizes your questionable DR’s notes again.

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I love this, I love this, I LOVE THIS. This print is by the very talented JSalvador of SuperEmoFriends glory, and aptly named “Oh, Brother.” Though I actually never got past around the second or third season of TWD, D. Dixon was always my favorite, before all the fan girl, squirrel belt fury hit. I love this because its a very whimsical take on an otherwise tragic situation. Brothers separated by betrayal and zombies. Now they’re immortalized in all their Chibi Emo glory.

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The TWD fun didn’t stop with the print, though that would have been enough for me. They went the extra mile by including yet another exclusive variant cover comic book, a la Rocket Raccoon from “Villains” way back in July. This is issue 132, done and copy signed by the cover artist, Charlie Aldard. Yet another comic that’s not coming out of its sleeve.

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Doesn’t really count as “loot,” I guess, but the LC booklet comes fully loaded with 3D front and back WD inspired cover art! They were even nice enough to include a pair of old school 3D glasses, which can be recycled for your Tennant costume later. I feel awfully sorry for anyone’s Crate that was missing these handy suckers, because that cover is damned hard to look at without them, even if you’re not actively looking at it. Its always lingering uncomfortably just inside your periphery.

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Tying in with the box art, this is an amazeballs little Dead Rising 3 Weapon’s Bench Frankenstein experiment of a weapon. Ya got yer sledgehammer, ya got yer circular saw, and it comes fully equipped with stained gore, your visible confirmation of certifiable pre-use. It practically sells itself, just look at how well it worked for it’s previous owner! What happened to them? I’m sorry, but I’m not at liberty to discuss that right now. I was impressed with the very inspired little box in which the pen was packaged. It looks like a large blood spattered jewelry box, and the pen was secured with its own foam cradle. Can you say gift wrap recycling?! Of course after the giftee in question opens the box, I will immediately snatch it back.

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I have no audible words for how awesome this shirt is. Just, cats. Skull cats. The forehead ones aren’t fucking around. The female option is a babydoll cut, which was refreshing in the face of the baggy “Marty McPrime” and “Joki” shirts. They fit well, they’re just not exactly accentuating to the female form. The Nega-Cat shirt is just this side of too small for me, but still wearable. As in, every day wearable.

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Usually the LC shirts are my favorite Crate swag, but this takes the cake by far! Its an actual full length book, and reads like a less dry, sardonically sour Cracked article. Its a survival guide for “Unnatural Disasters,” and some other far out situations, some of which are actually based on real SyFy B-movies. Shaffer and his Ex-wife put their heads together and churned out this tip and trick filled book that is not unlike “The Zombie Survival Guide.” I’m ashamed to admit I got near to the third entry before I realized the subjects were facetious; I blew through Antdemic, which is about surviving swarms of flying ants whose bites instantly render their victims into zombies, then a third through Arachnoquake, and it took the fact that the spiders breathe fire to tip me off. I’m a gullible sort. (Fun Fact: I also did not realize “The Zombie Survival Guide” was not non-fiction work initially either.) I immediately picked it up and am having trouble putting it down long enough to write this.

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LC Zom Squad is watching you.

As I mentioned, this is my favorite LC of the three, and to date, actually, eclipsing even “Villains.” It has all the ingredients of a near flawless crate; Exclusive Comic Variant Cover, a nifty pen, utilizable fake tattoos, (which are three words you don’t usually see together,) 3D glasses, a bomb.com shirt, and a freaking book! A book that’s quite entertaining, even. I’m sorry LC, but its going to be extremely hard to top this gem. My only knock would be that maybe the theme “Fear” was a bit of a misnomer. It was nearly 100% zombie based, which to me is a very oversaturated subject, doesn’t chill me in the slightest, and never really did, so unless you count how frightening I find small sour candies, nothing in it actually, well, scared me. Maybe they should have called it “The Walking Crate,” or “Post-Apocalyptic.” Fear doesn’t fit. I’m scared of ghosts, hotel rooms, haunted hotel rooms, horses, Crocs, camping, caves, most small children, Sam from Trick r’ Treat, islands, boats, the dark, automatic flushing toilets, and Candyman, because fuck Bloody Mary, Candyman ain’t yanking your chain. Unless he’s yanking with his hook hand, and the chain is your large intestine. If they wanted it to be scary, they should have put things that are actually scary in it, but aside from this, I have next to no complaints.

LC OCTOBER 2014: “FEAR(?)”

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9.5/10 Cat Bugs!

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So there you have it. A consolidated anthology of LC’s shenanigans in the past three months, here on one convenient list. I’m not lazy, I just value your precious time. The powers-that-be haven’t yet released next month’s theme, but I’m waiting to see if they will try and top, or at least keep on par with all that “Fear” brought to the table, or just bow out quietly and defer to their usual tricks. Well, this is ALT2what signing off, and wishing you a Happy Halloween, Fall, and October in general. Enjoy this small window of time before it runs away from you screaming like it does every year, while you remain shaking your fist in its wake. What an asshole.

As always, Happy Looting, folks!

Loot Crate: July 2014 Unboxing “Villains”

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I’m back again with my second unboxing, for July 2014’s Loot Crate. If you read my first unboxing post in June, you know I was a little nervous about signing up for LC, and a bit disheartened that my first, birthday month crate was “Transform” themed. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Transformers, if memory serves you, but I wasn’t completely disappointed with June’s box. I loved the shirt, and wear it all the time! Imagine how excited I was when they rolled out the theme for July, and it was “Villains.” I’m going to tell you a little something about me; I love bad things. Bad boys, bad girls, bad weather, bad movies, bad music, etc. In a word, this theme was perfect for me. The teasers for this month were insane, with an alleged value of $40 worth of swag in July’s box, and a limited LC exclusive edition variant cover for Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon. LC pulled out all the stops with advertising, and everyone was waiting with bated breath for the email confirming their box was on the way to them, including moi. Without further ado, let’s see “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!” (Here’s to you, Kevin Spacey) July 2014 Loot Crate: “VILLAINS!”

First of all, the box was bigger this month! Very exciting!

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Upon opening, we see the adorable, highschool, sharpie-esque doodles, done by the “villains” who apparently put the box together and saw fit to vandalize it.

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First off, we have a lovely Joker and Harley Quinn Poster that I cannot wait to get framed and hang up in my home.

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Then, we have one of the big sells for July’s crate, the limited LC exclusive edition variant cover for Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon, which I will never ever ever take out of the sleeve.

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Very, very, happy about the Deadpool Socks! I’m already a cute sock addict, and LC is feeding that.

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Cute, but will probably end up in my loot at the next convention swap meet I go to, A Darth Vader keychain.

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Necessary Evil DVD, a documentary narrated by Christopher Lee, “that explores the villains of the DC Universe…”

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Love this, love this, love this Bowser Magnet! (We know you do, Bowser)

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We’ve got the LC monthly zene with cute cover and back, (I prefer the back because #loki) and the monthly collectible LC pin.

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Oh, you thought I was done? OF COURSE I’M NOT DONE, YOU FOOLS! On to the July Crate’s Magnum Opus, THE JOKI SHIRT!!!!

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“Why so burdened with glorious purpose?”

I am beyond happy with this shirt, and it definitely gets preference over the Marty McPrime shirt from June’s crate! I’ve always been fond of The Joker, (is their any villain lover who isn’t?) However, if you know me, you know I am in love with Loki. Like, I have a commissioned picture of him and a Lego Loki keychain on my car keys, in love, and while that may pale in comparison to most fangirls’ adoration of him, I’m a 24 year-old adult, and that’s all of the obsession over a fictional character I’m willing to publicly own up to. Obviously, I’m extremely pleased with the theme, the crate, the everything! Loot Crate did not disappoint with all of the ad pushing and promotional teasers. Next Month’s theme has already been revealed to be “Heroes,” and I hope they blow it all out of the water in August just like they did in July!

LC JULY 2014: “VILLAINS”

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9.5/10 Cat Bugs!

Loot Crate: Nerd Culture’s Best Subscription Box? (June 2014 Box)

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Subscription services have been around for a long time. Early, traditional manifestations being Newspapers, Magazines, Book, Shoe, and Wine Clubs, etc, but how many people did you know that actually had a subscription to any of those aside from the first two? Probably not an impressive figure.

In the past two or three years, Subscription Boxes have soared in popularity, and you can now find a service that caters to just about any hobby or interest. Makeup, (Birch Box) Jewelry, (Bijoux Box) Pets, (Bark Box) and Health Food, (Nature Box) to name a few.

Now it seems that another type of Subscription Box has emerged; that being, Geek and Nerd culture boxes.

I had been looking to maybe try a Subscription Box ever since watching Suzy Hanson (Mortem3r) unveil her monthly Birch Boxes on her YouTube Channel. It seemed like fun! Pay a set amount of money up front, and receive presents in the mail once a month! I love presents.

I just had to decide what kind of box I wanted. I thought about Birch Box, or another makeup/beauty related service, but there was a Sub. Box that I’d kept seeing advertised everywhere, and decided to give a try; that Sub. Box was Loot Crate.

What drew me to Loot Crate over other Nerd/Geek culture boxes, was that it has a very successful and positive following behind it. The company actually encourages users to share what they got in their monthly boxes with each other on the LC website and social media sites. This made it so much easier to see if LC would be something I was interested in.

They also have a section on the website where you can take a look at their past crates; and that’s what really got me! I didn’t see one that didn’t have things in it that I wouldn’t be in love with. Each box is advertised at having at least $40 worth of goodies in it, and two or so weeks before you receive your box, they send you an email containing the monthly theme, which can give you an idea of the types of things you’re going to get.

The sign up process was pretty straightforward and the prices were reasonable: A 1 month sub cost $19.37 including shipping, 3 months is $18.37 for each box, and 6 months is $17.67 for each box. Now, you pay for every box you are signing up to receive at checkout, which is why I was only able to sign up for the 3 month plan, which comes to $55.11 total. They usually have promo codes on the site every month that will save you a few bucks when you sign up.

Be warned: When you sign up, you will be charged the total amount every cycle, depending on which plan you signed up for, because this is a recurring subscription, which I did not like. I feel like its not trusting your fan base, and tricking them a little bit.

That leads into the one thing I wasn’t a huge fan of other than being charged for every box all at once; though I understand the need to do so, and that is that they make it a pretty convoluted process if you want to cancel your sub. You have to send a request at least 48 hours before your next charge date, and the help center is buried in the website. (In my opinion.)

In any case, I decided to try it for three months, and if I’m not hooked after that, I will contact them to cancel. If I’m in love, I will probably upgrade to a 6 month plan.

Now, on to my June 2014 Crate!

Theme: TRANSFORM!

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Pretty straightforward packaging. Nice, clean, pleasing to look at. So far, so good! I was a tad surprised at the size, I was expecting it to be bigger.

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Everything as packaged very neatly!

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June’s LC exclusive pin.

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A Series One, The Loyal Subjects X The Transformers Action Vinyl. I ended up getting Bumblebee.

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This is a Transformers HexBug nano, and from what I understand, its some kind of small toy that moves using “vibration technology.” Hmmm…I also got a Bumblebee HexBug.

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This is an MLG wristband, which I later found out through the cute little Zine they include in the box, stands for Major League Gaming. Its apparently an online broadcasting network for competitive gaming. The more you know.

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Some MLG stickers. There was also a 1 month Game Battles access code.

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Decepticon car decal! Probably the first thing I’ve been legitimately excited about. #teambadguys

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At first I thought the candy was cheesy, but it’s actually pretty cute.

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Transformer Name Generator! This was at the back of June’s Zine, and I thought it was pretty cute. #SteelSlinger

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Definitely my favorite item so far. Super cute/clever LC limited edition shirt. Only LC subscribers who received the June 2014 box have access to this neat shirt.

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Fits perfect! I have to admit I was a little worried when I gave LC my shirt size when i signed up. I chose Women’s Medium, and it’s a bit baggy, but I’d rather have that problem than have it be too small.

Now I will admit I was pretty darn disappointed with this month’s theme, especially since the last few months all had things in them that I would love: Bravest Warriors and Adventure Time stuff, Cat Bug Bow, (Heavy Breathing) Attack on Titan merch, Zelda shirt, Bat Man wallet, to name a few. So when I got the email releasing the Transform theme, I kind of had a defeated sigh moment. I had been a little reluctant to sign up for a recurring sub. box in the first place, (because I’m sporadically poor and consistently terrified of long-term commitment. To anything,) and the fact that the first one I was supposed to receive, and on my birthday month, no less, was going to be Transformers related was a bit of a let down.

That being said, I believe I got my money’s worth. I enjoyed the goodies and the shirt, in spite of not being a Transformers fan.

All in all, I was pleased, and I can’t wait for next month’s box!

LC JUNE 2014: “TRANSFORM”

5cb

5/10 Cat Bugs


 

Related Links:

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaXZUkje800EISlsWkOFXQQ

https://www.lootcrate.com/