Last February, I got the itch to try out Loot Crate. It could have been the long-lost feeling that came from collecting blind-box Kid Robot figures years ago or it could have been the copious ads appearing on my favorite podcasts. Regardless, I felt the the need to sign up for a monthly box and Loot Crate won out over all the other geek boxes.
For the two of you that don’t know what Loot Crate is, here’s a quick rundown. Every month, for less than $20 shipped, you get a box of nerdy goodies delivered right to your front door. The company builds the boxes around a theme and the boxes can contain an assortment of different collectibles, wearables or tchotchkes. One month you could get a rare Pop figure and another you could get a Pikachu skull hat.
And therein lies the challenge with subscribing to a low-cost box of geek — inconsistency. Some months, like Villains (Aug. 2015), Time (Oct. 2015) and Walking Deadpool (Feb. 2016) had some epic collectibles and t-shirts that I love to this day. But occasionally, the boxes are teeming with officially licensed KB Toys clearance aisle rejects and the shirt sizing is all over the map. But the sad fact is, it’s just tough to get excited for gimmick items pertaining to franchises you know nothing about.
And that’s not on Loot Crate. I give them a ton of credit for creating a box targeting a large swath of geekdom and creating exclusive items in every box. I can only imagine the legalities that go on behind the scenes at Loot Crate. Then there’s the age factor. I’m a 38-year-old (arguably) grown man and I’m pretty sure I’m on the far end of Loot Crate’s target market. They need to create products that appeal to 12 year olds and graying fools like me — that can’t be easy. I also give them credit for the wonderful shipping containers that can be flipped inside out to form action sets reminiscent of the days when you used to turn a shoe box into a G.,I.Joe fort.
A huge move for Loot Crate was the limited edition Fallout box they released in late 2015 to coincide with the release of Fallout 4. I jumped to get it, failed the first time and then snagged one when more opened up. The box was north of $100, and when I got it, I felt a little disappointed to see that the hoodie they teased was the best part of the box. Again, it’s easy to overhype the awesomeness when you don’t know what it is. It’s even easier to feel let down when it doesn’t meet expectations.
Since then, Loot Crate has released a ton of additional limited boxes and have branched out to include Loot Pets, Loot Gaming, Loot Anime and a ton more. I’ve stood by my traditional Loot Crate box month after month, but the consistency of themes I like and products I love has dipped exponentially over the past few months. So after a year and a half or so, I’m pulling the plug on my Loot Crate subscription, but I’m not doing it out of anger or disgust. Truth be told, I flipped my subscription into the upcoming WWE Loot Cate box, which focuses on a theme that is near and dear to my heart and which features higher quality products at a higher price point but less frequently (bimonthly). In other words, I can’t say I love Loot Crate, but I can’t quit it either. The fact is, Loot Crate is the first great blind box for geeks and nerds and it’s still the best by comparison. Even if it isn’t exactly perfect for an old curmudgeon like me.