17th Oct2012

Loot Crate – It’s a Box Full O’ Stuff!

by Will

No, that’s not their actual slogan, but it could be. Before we get there, let’s take a walk back in time, shall we? Back in the day, every quarter or so, Toys “R” Us used to give out something called an “R” Treat box. They used to make a big deal about it by putting it in the circular, and even included a coupon to make it seem like you couldn’t get the box without it (you totally could). When you’re a kid, you like free shit. It’s written in the Kidstitution. Since I’ve gotten older, I realize these things were really geared towards moms, but you’re dumb when you’re a kid. Usually, the “R” Treat Box was the size of an off-brand kids meal box, and was usually filled with samples. You’d get a small box of Grape Nuts, maybe some stickers, maybe some cookies, and some coupons. Sounds kinda boring now, but I used to lose my shit to get one of those free boxes of mom-centered samples! Like most things in life, it was all about the journey and NOT the destination. So, when I first stumbled upon the idea of Loot Crate over on Top Hat Sasquatch, I was flooded with memories of the “R” Treat box. Like most things when you grow up, I had to pay for the experience. Was it worth the price? Well, let’s see.

First off, is it wrong that I wanted the box to look like an actual crate? I wanted to experience the feeling of a pirate as he was about to open a chest of newfound loot. When I opened the box, the first thing I saw was this clever postcard. If I were an actual journalist, I’d tell you what that postcard was actually promoting. Anyway, I was greeted with another card, from Loot Crate, explaining that September’s theme was “8-Bit”. This was kinda cool, but I’ve never been the most hardcore gamer, so it didn’t excite me like it probably should have.

So, here’s everything I saw once I unpacked the box. Here were my initial thoughts on things

– Loot Crate sticker: who doesn’t love a sticker?

-Radium Energy Powder: I like that it’s in a vial, but I’ll never eat it because it’s blue. I’m still scarred from the Blue Raspberry craze from the 90s. Apparently, it’s caffeinated. So, it’s basically powder that gives you energy. I’m fairly certain that neither the FDA nor the DEA know about this.

-Pixel sunglasses: I wear glasses, so I’ll never get to use these. Plus, I ended up with hot pink. I say that in the same voice as Adam from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, when he said “I’m a frog.”

-Party Mustache: OH MY GOD! I HATE THIS HIPSTER GARBAGE!!!! ARRGHHH!! You don’t get it – I live not too far from Baltimore, where the whole hipster, ironic mustache thing has risen to new heights. It’s probably the 2nd worst thing about that city (next to Ray Lewis killing people). Then, I calmed down and realized that this was actually meant to stand in as Mario’s mustache. It does a poor job, but I give them credit for the effort.

Legend of Zelda Mints: nice presentation, but they’re the kind of thing you leave on a desk. If these were in your pocket, you’d walk around sounding like you’re smuggling maracas into the country.

-20-sided die: this was interesting, almost like an afterthought. I mean, the topic was “8-Bit”, yet this is decidedly analog and tabletop. Plus, there’s no real need for it. If they’d thrown in a starter RPG game or something, I’d get it, but this is just kinda like “Ya never know when you might need a 20-sided die. Just go with it.”

-Pikachu button: great if you like buttons and/or work at TGI Fridays. Pretty straight forward. Not too large. Basically the size of the promo buttons DC Comics gives out at conventions.

Super Mario Bros Power Up Energy Drink: Yeah, there’s no way I’m drinking this. I avoid all energy drinks because I have a premonition of my heart exploding. Hell, I avoid exercise for the exact same reason. I had 2 cans of Four Loko (the good stuff, with the caffeine) in my fridge for over a year without touching it. I’m a scaredy cat who’s afraid of anything with “energy” on it. I will, however, eat McDonalds three times a day. God bless America!

So, down to brass tacks: was it worth it? Well, I didn’t sound too kind above, but I didn’t hate anything. At the end of the day, I like getting mail. Always have. If they really try to shut down the post office, I might actually finally march for something. I will say that it’s kinda odd that I’m paying for it. It’s like paying for an escort – yeah, it’s great you’re getting banged and all, but it’d mean so much more if you hadn’t given someone your credit card information beforehand.

Loot Crate offers 3 types of subscriptions – one month for $13.37, three months for $55.11, or six months for $105.99 (all include $6/month for shipping and handling). I didn’t feel like one month would be long enough to get the full experience, but I couldn’t justify a six month subscription, sight unseen. So, I settled on the three month deal. My October crate should be shipping at the end of the week, so look for a follow up soon. At the moment, I’ll say that your mileage may vary, but for now I don’t think it was a bad decision. I’ve wasted more money on less, and I still love the anticipation aspect of it. Maybe the contents of October’s crate will be closer to my interests.

For another opinion on the Loot Crate, check here:

http://www.crookedninja.com/2012/09/lootcrate-unboxing.html

For more background on the “R” Treat Box, check here:

http://dinosaurdracula.com/features/toys-r-us-r-treat-box/