January 2016 Loot Crate Review – Origins

A couple of years ago, or thereabouts, I took the plunge and subscribed to Loot Crate. The thought of once a month receiving a little box packed with assorted geek goodies was pretty exciting. And then, after two crates, I cancelled under the belief that the whole experience had been massively underwhelming.

And now here I am, my head turned, my nerd heart beating once again like a Pixies bassline. I’ve been here before, but now I’m back, subscribed and hopeful that in my absence Loot Crate has evolved to something that actually warrants its ‘loot’ title.

I’m in at the year start, January 2016, and the theme is, Origins. Where once the contents of the crate where a complete mystery right until that point I tore into the box like an overexcited Christmas morning kid, and then left mildly deflated…like an overexcited Christmas morning kid, now Loot Crate drop little nuggets of information about the treasure that awaits its ‘looters’. So, prior to delivery, I already knew that on the back of the origins theme there was going to be a Nintendo/Mario inspired tee-shirt, something Ninja Turtles based, a Superman comic, and, something from Captain America. In all honesty, bar the potentially great tee-shirt, I wasn’t all that thrilled.

And then it arrived.

First off, and it has to be said, I was pretty impressed with the crate. Bearing in mind that I’m not a particularly big fan of any of the brands tied to this month’s theme, it says something that I still felt content with the contents.

As a big fan of the geek infused tee-shirt anyway, to pull out this pretty awesome black number featuring an 8-bit Mario and the words, “The Original Since 1981” was a welcome surprise. The quality is spot on, the Nintendo seal of approval is stamped in gold, and, as someone who was most definitely knocking around back in ’81, I feel I can wear this one on merit. I’ve never really been a huge Nintendo fan, it might stem from me being the Sega kid warring against my Ninty brother back in the day, but, I’ve always been happy to adopt them as a second, or sometimes third, console, so I’ve no trouble throwing this pretty cool Mario shirt across my back. Just bear in mind I’ll probably also be wearing my Sonic the Hedgehog socks. Go team Sega!

Next out was a little box bearing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo, and the words, Geeki Tiki. What lay inside was a well-made pot vessel in the image of Donatello. The box described it as a mug, but the reality is we have a funny little pottery shot glass. Hang on, pottery, glass…how does that work, that’s almost as bad as when someone offers you a plastic glass at the bar. What we have is, a shot pot. There we go.

It’s a nice looking little thing, that in my house will almost certainly stay safely tucked away in its box and never see the light of day again. Moving on…

The comic was next piece of loot to emerge. What I had in my hands was an exact replica of Action Comics #1. The first appearance of Superman! And, I couldn’t really have been more underwhelmed. Not the fault of Loot Crate, I have to add. I’m sure for many this was an absolutely wonderful addition to the crate, but, for myself, as someone who never really got into the whole superhero thing, it was a bit…meh. I love comics, just not the superhero variety that so many clamour for. Shit, I feel like I should hand my nerd card in at the door and embrace a new life of soap operas and crown green bowling.

The comic itself is brilliantly produced. All the strips are in there as they were back in 1938, all the ads too which makes for some interesting reading. And, it comes with a certificate of authentication stating it is indeed an exact replica. Beyond that though, it’s nice, but not for me.

The final piece of major loot however is definitely something I really loved. Weird that I say this having just made note of my general disinterest in superheroes, but, there’s something about the metallic replica of Captain America’s original 1940’s shield that just made me smile. It’s a very well made, well painted piece, and to be honest it looks pretty cool on its stand up on the shelf alongside the other assorted memorabilia. Sure, I feel it might have a bit more impact on a true fan of ol’ Captain America, but the fact that a non-fan like myself still found it to be a nice piece speaks volumes about the quality of the shield. This also comes with a CoA.

Lastly there is a nice little Turtles pin badge, and the monthly magazine offering little details on the items that proves an interesting read.

And that’s it. My first Loot Crate in a couple of years, and I’m actually pretty pleased and looking forward to the next one. As is usual with these monthly subscription boxes, the contents are a mixed bag. The shot pot is pretty much something I have no use for, the comic is more a curiosity than anything else, but the tee and the shield are top notch. I shall refrain from cancelling the subscription and plough ever onwards into the depths of nerdvana in search of the one item that will one day make all this worthwhile. In the meantime though, I’ll make do with looking pretty dapper in my new Mario tee-shirt. Until next month, cheerio!

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