Friday, January 10, 2014

- - Loot Crate | "Console Wars" | December 2013 Review - -

Happy Thursday everyone! (Three reviews in a row? This is a personal best!)

Today I have a really special subscription box to review. As you can see from the photos above, this box has nothing to do with makeup or nail polishes or even beauty products; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Early on in December, I was trying to figure out what kind of Christmas gift to get for me boyfriend (Andrew), who year after year has stated that he does not want anything at all. Just like every year he has said this, I have decided to get him a gift after all. 

I'm not really sure how I stumbled upon this idea, but I decided to look into subscription boxes for men. One of the ones I came across was Manpacks, which is a great seasonal service for essentials like razors and boxers. Another subscription service was the Mystery Tackle Box, whose advertisements are always hilarious, and which provides mystery top-notch fishing lures and tackles every month to the fisherman (or fisherwoman!) in your life.

The subscription box that I finally settled on was Loot Crate. Click to read further...
Loot Crate - Basic Info
Frequency: monthly
Monthly Cost: U.S. - $13.37 + $6 S&H
                                  Canada/U.K./Australia - $29.95 (S&H included)
Ships: 20th of every month
Products: 6-8 geek and gamer goodies (shirts, stickers, gadgets) that are curated around a theme
Discount Code: use LOOT2014 to receive $3 off any subscription

Although the shipping time for Canada/U.K./Australia is 10-14 days, last month the December Loot Crate couldn't have arrived at a better time! Andrew, a few of his friends, and I went to a cottage on New Year's eve, and the Loot Crate arrived just a few hours before we left!

I love how there are guidelines for "the perfect unboxing": (1) document, (2) share, (3) enjoy! I love how that is basically what is done with each new box.

Product booklet:

First peek!

The products!
This month's theme was "Console Wars," which playfully pins PlayStation against Xbox. I've never owned either console, so I can't really take sides on this one. Besides, this box was never intended for me, but for my hardcore gamer boyfriend!

Product 1 ||  Console Wars II T-Shirt (Shirt Woot!) || $15

"The line has been drawn, sides have been picked. Your place in the Console Wars will play a crucial role when the forces of good and evil collide on an epic battlefield. With ever evolving next gen weapons, the Console Wars are doomed to go on forever unless an exclusive hero arises to lead one side to victory. "

When I signed up for Loot Crate, I knew that shirts weren't going to appear in every box but I was keeping my fingers crossed that this box would contain one. Sure enough, Andrew and I got this awesome grey shirt with a design that is reminiscent of the walkers in Star Wars - with an added twist, of course! Interestingly, I was looking for this product on the Shirt Woot! website and I found out that there's actually a second version of the console wars shirt available for $18. You can find it here. Included in the box was also a $5 coupon for Shirt Woot!.

Product 2 || Grip-It Control Protectors (Grip-It) || $4.99/4 pcs
(Link to product)

"Don’t go into the console wars unarmed! This piece of performance gaming gear works with not only the Xbox 360 and PS3 but the new next-gen Xbox One and PS4 as well! These grips protect your sticks and give you a competitive edge to win the fight."

This is actually a pretty awesome product & I've definitely heard and read a lot of good things about these controller grips.

Product 3 || Tin-Tastic Creative Activity Set: Iron Man 3 - Iron Patriot (Funko)  
                       || $10-14
 "These Tin-Tastic Creative Activity Sets not only come with collectible stickers, pencils and erasers but the tin itself is collectible! It also makes a great storage device for any or all small collectibles you have and are afraid of losing. Personally we like to stuff it full of emergency rations in case our ship crashes after an intense battle!"

This was definitely one of mine and Andrew's favourite pieces from this box. The collectable set includes a sheet of stickers, two (small) pencils, and two figurine erasers. There are quite a few tins that you can collect - the problem is where to purchase them because they seem to be scattered all over the internet. You can find some of the tins on sites like Amazon and eBay.

Product 4 || Energems: Peanut Butter Blast || $2.99/box of 9 pcs
(Link to product: 3-pack | peanut butter pack)

These candies were pretty cool. They have caffeine in them, so these allow you to stay up longer - and they are only 15 calories each! Andrew and I tried these on New Years eve, so whether or not they worked, we did stay up pretty late with friends. In terms of taste, I've read reviews of people loving these. I'm not sure if its just the odd mix of peanut butter and caffeine, but I wasn't completely a fan. Would love try these again though in another flavour - maybe in mint.

Product 5 || Gamer/Geek Bracelet

This bracelet was the one thing that I stole from Andrew's box. It's a cool bracelet, what more can I say? :)

Product 6 || Bravest Wars Sticker (Mike Vasquez)
(Link to Mike's website)

This adorable sticker was the result of a collaboration between the artist, Mike Vasquez, and Loot Crate, and it features Bravest Warrior’s Impossibear and Cat Bug as Han Solo and Chewbacca. I'm not familiar with Impossibear and Cat Bug, but I will do my research soon :). I don't know what kind of value these would be, so I am not going to include one.

Product 7 || "Legends Never Die" Magnet 

 This magnet is simply adorable! I don't have the product booklet with me anymore (Andrew has finally gotten to keep his box), but I remember the description being something like: "Many consoles have fallen during the Console Wars. Take a moment to pay tribute to these heroes." ...or something like that! Loved it!

Bonus Item || Candy Cane!

A holiday appropriate confection :)

This was a pretty awesome first box from Loot Crate! I am actually really excited to see what January's box will bring. The total value of this box came out to about $34 (without counting the magnet, sticker, or bracelet). The lucky duckies in America get to pay only $19 for this box ($13+$6 S&H); in the meantime, the value of this box for us here in Canada definitely surpassed the original $29.95. At the end of the day though, it shouldn't be about how much each item is, but rather how much use these items have for you!

Thank you for reading! -A.~

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