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.

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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”

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5/10 Cat Bugs


 

Related Links:

 

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

https://www.lootcrate.com/