The August Loot Crate: Cake, Caffeine and Zombies!

August 2013 Loot Crate Contents
August 2013 Loot Crate Contents

This is the fourth Loot Crate I’ve opened. The Loot Crates seem to be a little hit-or-miss for me in terms of whether or not I like what’s in them, but I suppose that’s the nature of a service like this. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time, right? This time, I was pleased.

Caffeine Chemical Structure and Stat Changes t-shirt by Shirt.Woot!
Caffeine Chemical Structure and Stat Changes t-shirt by Shirt.Woot!

My favorite item from the box this time around is definitely the shirt. It has the chemical structure of caffeine shown in a cartoon way with the molecules smiling and holding coffee cups. Underneath there is a set of stat changes, as if caffeine were an item in an RPG. Very fun. Very cool.

Funko and AMC Walking Dead Mystery Mini (Front)
Funko and AMC Walking Dead Mystery Mini (Front)
Funko and AMC Walking Dead Mystery Mini (Back)
Funko and AMC Walking Dead Mystery Mini (Back)

My second favorite item is the AMC Walking Dead Mystery Mini. This little guy is really cool, and I’m definitely interested in checking out the other figures in the series. It’s sort of an anime looking take on the zombies from The Walking Dead. More of these can be found here: Funko: The Walking Dead Blind Box Mystery Mini Figure*

Portal: The Cake is a Lie
Portal: The Cake is a Lie

The other stuff in the Loot Crate wasn’t bad either. The theme for this month was “Cake”, and as almost any person who regularly plays games can tell you, even if they haven’t played Portal, the cake is a lie. Well, except, this time it really wasn’t. I got cool Aperture (fictional company from Portal) branded stuff. I think I can manage to get some use out of the lanyard, though I’m not sure about the wrist band or the fake tattoo. I’m not sure who I know that might want those, but I’m not sure I want to just toss them either.

The Cake booklet marked as issue 1 is a better and much improved version of the informational card that used to come in Loot Crates that let’s you know what it is, exactly, that you’ve unboxed, as well as providing a theme introduction, information about a featured looter, the monthly Mega Crate, and some photo contest details. It’s very well done and full of bright, colorful pictures. I suppose that plays into the second purpose of Loot Crate as a business model: send out samples at reduced cost in return for drumming up business for the companies that provided the products.

So, will I do more business with the people that provided the products for this month’s Loot Crate? I’ll definitely be checking out Shirt.Woot!, considering a $5-off coupon was included, and even with Loot Crates, I’d still buy Jelly Belly jelly beans.

*Disclosure: The Funko Walking Dead link is affiliated, meaning if you buy something after hitting Amazon through that link, I get a kickback.

The June 2013 Loot Crate

Loot Crate Box June 2013
Loot Crate Box June 2013
Loot Box June 2013 Contents Overview
Loot Box June 2013 Contents Overview

This month is the second month that I’ve been subscribed to the Loot Crate service. I know I got my money’s worth, but somehow I just didn’t feel that excited when I opened the box. Maybe it was because the shine is wearing off, but I think it’s more likely that the items in this box just weren’t as personally interesting to me as what I received last month. That’s ok, though, because what I can’t use, I’ll pass along to friends and family. Maybe that’s part of Loot Box’s insidious plan to dominate the market. You give stuff to your friends and then they sign up too?

Robot and Mario/TMNT Stickers Close-up
Robot and Mario/TMNT Stickers Close-up
Dead Pool-Aid Man T-Shirt (Dead Pool + Kool Aid Man)
Dead Pool-Aid Man T-Shirt (Dead Pool + Kool Aid Man)
Care Instructions on the Dead Pool-Aid Man T-Shirt
Care Instructions on the Dead Pool-Aid Man T-Shirt

Anyway, the motif this month was “Mashup”, which means they found items that combine two different characters or stories in a single item. The items in the loot box that fit the motif are the Dead Pool-Aid T-Shirt (the Kool Aid Man made to look like Dead Pool) and a sticker that shows both Mario and Rafael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The sticker is pretty cool, and I wore the t-shirt today. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice, considering the shirt is black and it’s really hot out, but it was fun to sport the Kool Aid Man.

I miss seeing those old Kool Aid Man commercials on TV. Don’t skip the video below. It mentions nostalgic and funny things, like Pogs and mailing things with paper!

8-Bit Glasses, Robot Sticker and Loot Crate Wall Tangrams
8-Bit Glasses, Robot Sticker and Loot Crate Wall Tangrams
Mario/TMNT Mashup Sticker, Warheads and BIC 2-in-1 Stylus
Mario/TMNT Mashup Sticker, Warheads and BIC 2-in-1 Stylus
Stan Lee's Comikaze Golden Ticket
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Golden Ticket

Other nifty items in the box were 8-bit glasses, a BIC Stylus 2-in-1 pen, a neat robot sticker, some Warheads, a Loot Crate Wall Tangrams and Stan Lee’s Comikaze Golden Ticket.

My wife claimed the 8-bit glasses right away.

I can give the stylus pen to my mom. She was just talking about needing one and I never use a stylus myself.

Loot Box Wall Tangrams, Mario/TMNT Mashup, Robot, and Cat Vs Human Stickers
Loot Box Wall Tangrams, Mario/TMNT Mashup, Robot, and Cat Vs Human Stickers
Loot Box Wall Tangrams
Loot Box Wall Tangrams
My cat Dapper just doing what she does.
My cat Dapper just doing what she does.

The robot sticker went on the side of my bookcase, along with the Mario/TMNT mashup sticker and a Cat Vs. Human sticker I got as an added bonus when I ordered one of Yasmine Surovec’s posters. I also went ahead and put the Loot Crate Wall Tangrams thing up there. I’m not quite sure what it’s supposed to be. The stickers just looked good arranged like that. Better than a box anyway. It sort of reminds me of a giant robot that can destroy cities. The best part is, these Wall360 stickers can be rearranged up to 200 times without losing their adhesive backing. They don’t seem to leave any residue either. I took a look at the web site and I saw quite a few things I’d like to stick on my walls. I’ll definitely be ordering from them in the future.

The Comikaze Golden Ticket has a code on the back that offers a random chance for a free or discounted ticket to the Comikaze event in Los Angeles this November. It is useless to me, since I don’t live anywhere close to Los Angeles and I don’t plan on buying a plane ticket just to take advantage of a discounted ticket. I’m not sure what the Loot Crate guys were thinking when they added that into the box. Does that high a percentage of their subscriber base live in LA or California?

Last month I was happy. This month, not so much, but I suppose that’s part of the deal. It’s a random selection of stuff. I wonder what I’ll get next month?

Unpacking the Loot Crate

The Loot Crate mailing box.
The Loot Crate mailing box.

So, like I said before, I was tipped off to a new service called “Loot Crate” by an old blogging buddy that writes Jamaipanese.com. I haven’t had much time to dive into my favorite hobbies recently because of school obligations. As I’m sure you’ve seen (if you’ve been suffering through the recent posts on my blog with any regularity) I’ve been working overtime churning out papers for classes. I’m trying to get my degree as soon as possible, so I’ve been taking more classes at one time than is probably advisable, but I’ve been managing to maintain a high GPA, so why not? The faster I get done with school, the sooner I can move on to working.

Loot Crate sort of fills a niche for me. I don’t have a lot of time to devote to gaming, anime, manga, comics or any of the other geek things I used to enjoy. I have a stack of comics and manga just waiting to be read. I have games I’ve bought that I haven’t even installed. But, Loot Crate is just a little thing each month that can put a smile on my face. It’s a low time investment way to have fun and gives me something to look forward to every month. Since I don’t know what’s going to be in each box, it’s sort of like getting a present every 30 days, except of course I’m paying a bit for it. The price isn’t bad, though, at $20 a month, counting shipping. (Disclaimer: this is not a paid advert, but the preceding link is a referral link that will get me a free Loot Crate for every 4 people who sign-up after clicking through).

I was so busy last month, between final papers, final exams, and then rushing off to visit friends in Mississippi that I didn’t have time to post about my Loot Crate until now. So, what was in May’s Loot Crate?

After just opening the Loot Crate
After just opening the Loot Crate.

As you can see in the image above, the packaging encourages just what I’m doing now. But, who wouldn’t want to share information about neat novelty items on their blog anyway?

Loot Crate Close-Up
Loot Crate Close-Up. The box is pretty sturdy.
Another Loot Crate Close-Up, minus the information card.
Another Loot Crate Close-Up, minus the information card.
Loot Crate Unpacked
Loot Crate Unpacked

The Loot Crate was, expectedly, a bit of a mixed bag, but to be successful it has to be. Not everyone has the same tastes, after all. There’s a Batman figurine. Not bad, but I never really cared for Batman. The Ironman papercraft origami thingamabob could be fun to put together, and I’m sure I’ll find a use for the stickers. The little dude that holds cords is pretty cool. I’m definitely going to use that once I finish installing my blinds (I just moved). The items that really stood out to me in this Loot Crate are the one-year subscription to a digital Nintendo magazine (the yellow card in the image above), the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy towel, the 8-bit Space Invaders tie, and the Super Mario Question Block.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Towel
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Towel

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was one of the first books I read when I was a teenager. For some reason, the dry British humor really appealed to me. I loved that book so much that I pushed it on friends, one of whom borrowed my leather-bound, gold-page-edge edition and never brought it back. I wonder if she still has it on a shelf somewhere?

Anyway, the significance of the towel is that the book is about hitchhiking through the galaxy, and there are certain things that a successful hitchhiker just can’t do without, one of which is a towel. A good quote from the book is:

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

I guess I know where my towel is, now.

8 Bit Space Invaders Tie
8 Bit Space Invaders Tie

Also fairly cool is this 8-bit tie. I’m definitely going to find an excuse to wear this. For the Lulz.

Super Mario Brothers Question Block
Super Mario Brothers Question Block

Finding the Super Mario Brothers Question Block was one of those nostalgic moments, since the first console game I ever played was Super Mario Brothers (1985 Nintendo Entertainment System version).

Opened Super Mario Question Block With Gold Coin Candies
Opened Super Mario Question Block With Gold Coin Candies

Inside the Question Block are some candies that I haven’t tried yet that resemble the gold coins that would pop out of the boxes sometimes when you bumped them.

It took me a while to get around to posting about the Loot Crate, but not because it wasn’t interesting and fun; I just had too much stuff to do. Hopefully, that won’t be the case later this month, because I’m already looking forward to receiving my next Loot Crate in the mail.

The Loot Crate

20130529-032745.jpg

I’ve always been a bit of a geek, so when a friend of mine (at http://www.jamaipanese.com/) recommended that I try out a service called Loot Crate, I didn’t hesitate. I wasn’t disappointed. This program was a great way for me to remember to have a little bit of fun. These college semesters are grinding the life out of me. I will post more about what I found when unboxing my first Loot Crate later, but for now I want to share this image of one of the items I received.