SMISKI Box Insert

SMISKI Collectibles – Series 4 Box

There is a Kinokuniya bookstore across the river in Edgewater, NJ. We stumbled onto it while we were looking for the Trader Joe’s that’s a few minutes up the road. Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore. The first time I visited one was with my wife in Singapore. They have a large selection of Japanese and English language books, magazines, and manga.

The Kinokuniya in Edgewater also has a stationary consignment shop inside that is pretty nice. The shop is located in the same shopping center as Mitsuwa Shopping Center, a Japanese grocery store with a food court. Mitsuwa is pretty cool, too. I like walking down the aisles and looking at the products. They also carry items that we already enjoy like Ito Ten roasted rice green tea and Yakult, a probiotic drink.

SMISKI Series 4 Box

SMISKI Series 4 Box

Anyway, Kinokuniya is set up so that when you walk in, you’re in a section with a bunch of cute knickknacks and collectibles. One of those collectibles is called Smiski – Opens Japanese language website. It’s basically a blind-box item, where you open a box and get a random version of the collectible.

When I saw them, I was reminded of these forest spirit things from an animated movie called Princess Mononoke.

After a few visits, I decided that I wanted to buy one and open it. I don’t know why, but I like the idea of having them on my bookcases, or in random places in the apartment. It would be fun.

SMISKI Series 4 Collectible

SMISKI Series 4 Collectible

I picked a series 4 box. I was hoping to get the guy laying down with a smaller Smiski sitting on his head, but I got this guy that’s climbing up the edge of my books, which is also fun.

SMISKI Series 4 Collectible Sitting on my Books

SMISKI Series 4 Collectible Sitting on my Books

They’re supposed to glow in the dark, but I haven’t noticed that happening with mine. I don’t think it’s defective, though. The spot it’s sitting in doesn’t get much natural light.

I’m looking forward to picking up more of these. Maybe once a month?

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?

The Loot Crate

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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.