Loot Crate Review – August 2013

by Rigg Hendricks

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It’s time for the latest Loot Crate Review! This month was the one year anniversary of Loot Crate and there was a special theme to go along with that. The August Loot Crate theme was CAKE and every geek/gamer knows that cake has pretty strong ties to one of the biggest gaming franchises out there. Did Loot Crate deliver slabs of cake in this months box? Not quite, but they did a fantastic job of running with the cake theme. We’ll explore that in detail below but first the usual bit of information for those folks who are new to Loot Crate and subscription gift boxes in general.

Loot Crate works like most other subscription gift boxes out there. It’s a subscription service so you’ll be signing up to go month to month or for a longer term if that suits you. There is a small discount on the monthly price if you sign up for a longer term rather than going month to month. The cost for one month of Loot Crate is $13.37 plus $6.00 shipping and handling. For that price Loot Crate will deliver 6-8 items to your doorstep every month.

Loot Crate bills itself as the subscription gift box for geeks and gamers and they do a bang up job of delivering on that promise every month. All of the items are curated to be of interest to geeks & gamers and the box is themed every month. Loot Crate bills you around the 10th each month and ships around the 20th. They do a great job of communicating, letting you know when your crate has shipped so you can be on the lookout for it. Subscribers also benefit from access to special “Looters only” sales for special items and surplus from previous crates. Every month subscribers are also entered into a monthly “mega crate giveaway” where the mega crate typically has some awesome items in it with a value of up to $250. The August mega crate included two full size Portal guns!

Loot Crate Review – August 2013 – What’s In The Box?

Loot Crate Review - August 2013 - What's In The Box?

Loot Crate Review – August 2013 – What’s In The Box?

As mentioned above, every Loot Crate is themed and that theme is new every month. The items in the crate will reflect the theme in some way, although sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch to see how they fit together. The Loot Crate theme for August was Cake so there was a lot of anticipation. Loot Crate let the cat out of the bag early that the August crate would also include a t-shirt and that the mega crate would include full size Portal guns for one lucky Looter. There were also 10 mini-Portal guns given away to ten other Looters.

This months Loot Crate included the following items:

  • Shirt WOOT! Caffeine Power Up T-Shirt
  • Aperture Laboratories Lanyard
  • Aperture Laboratories Test Subject Wristband
  • Aperture Laboratories Temporary Tattoo
  • AMC Walking Dead Mystery Minifig
  • Loot Crate Portal Themed Sticker Set
  • $5 Off Shirt WOOT! Discount Card
  • Jelly Belly Pyramid
  • Loot Crate Mini-Magazine

Loot Crate Review – August 2013 – What I Liked

Loot Crate did an awesome job this month. I think they really outdid themselves with the theme and the selection of items this time around. I am pleased with almost all of the items in this months crate. The shirt is awesome, it’s a Shirt WOOT shirt and they always have great designs and good quality shirts, plus – what gamer doesn’t love him/her some caffeine? Truly insipired because we’ve all had those extra long gaming sessions fueled by coffee or Mountain Dew or your caffeine loaded energy drink of choice! My wife was jealous and wanted one of these shirts for herself! I’m hoping that Loot Crate has some of these left over and gives Looters a chance to purchase some extra shirts in the near future. The Aperture Labs branded items are all excellent, I’ve already put my gym keys on the lanyard and gotten some “Where did you get that” questions at the gym. The Portal themed stickers were a cool idea, I don’t usually use stickers and stuff that come with Loot Crate but I’ll probably find a use for these. The $5 off of another WOOT Shirt discount code is also awesome and I will definitely be taking advantage of that! Oh and last but not least the Walking Dead mini-fig = awesome. These were blind box format which means every Looter got a random selection. I got a half-eaten crawling zombie with its giblets hanging out!

Loot Crate Review – August 2013 – What I Didn’t Like

If you’ve read my other reviews you already know I’m never a fan of penny candy in the Loot Crate but for what it’s worth I wasn’t too disappointed with that. I’m not likely to use a temporary tattoo but my nephew loves those so at least he’ll have some fun with that. The Loot Crate mini magazine was an interesting choice and I’m not sure how I feel about that. For the past year they’ve been including a post card sized card with the details of what’s in the crate each month. This month they have a format change to a small booklet. One the one hand I think it’s a neat idea because it lays out the mega crate information and gives the idea behind the overall theme. There’s also some extras about a Looter of the month, etc. On the other hand, this is a petty nicely made booklet and I’m wondering what this cost to print. It probably wasn’t cheap and to be honest I’d rather they stick with the post card format and throw another item in the box or give me a shirt every time instead of this magazine. I’ll be keeping an eye on this over the next few Loot Crate deliveries to see if the magazine affects the overall quality of the crates.

Loot Crate Review – August 2013 – Final Thoughts

In the end – my issues with the mini-magazine aside – I really thought that Loot Crate did a great job in August. The theme was great on a number of levels and well executed throughout the crate. The stand out item was the shirt and the for me at least the Walking Dead mini-fig was my second favorite. As has been the case most months Loot Crate did an awesome job delivering on its promise to provide items that appeal to the geek/gamer set.

I want to mention this again because I think it’s worth repeating: You won’t see any dollar value attached to items in my reviews. While some other reviewers base their value judgment on how much they guesstimate each item in the Loot Crate is worth, I don’t subscribe to that theory. In my opinion the point of getting a Loot Crate is to get access to cool swag that you’d probably only get by attending trade shows and conventions where this stuff is given away. Lots of people can’t attend those shows for a variety of reasons so Loot Crate gives them the opportunity to get some cool stuff that might otherwise be out of reach. If you’re judging Loot Crate by whether or not you think it is “beating the system” based on the $ value of the items in the crate, you’re doing it wrong. What you’re paying for is the experience of getting a surprise package that’s themed to your interests every month and that is what needs to be the most relevant criteria for deciding whether or not Loot Crate is the right subscription gift box for you.

One final thought on the August Loot Crate – the theme was CAKE, but did you notice that there wasn’t anything in the box even remotely about cake? That’s because…wait for it…THE CAKE IS A LIE!

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