Loot Crate: August 2015.

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When I received last month’s Loot Crate, “Heroes II,” I had been low-key hoping that we’d also get a sequel to the company’s wildly entertaining “Villains” box, too. I mean- why should the good guys have all the fun, right?

Well, Loot Crate apparently read my mind (kind of freaky) because August’s box was just that- another assortment of items dedicated to the baddies we all know and love across comics and television. “Villains II,” Loot Crate’s second sequel-esque collection, took a slightly different approach to boxes in the past. While the typical crate contains multiple smaller items, toys, trinkets, the occasional t-shirt and Digital Loot (coupons and promos that can unlock additional online content)– August’s crate contained a handful of decently sized/valued items alongside the monthly mini-magazine and collector’s pin- and without any Digital Loot.

Let me show you what I got!

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First up are the usual items- my monthly pin and mini-magazine. This month’s installment, packed with puzzles and promotional advertisements in lieu of any interviews and Q&As- also included a a fun little analysis of Batman’s greatest foes and the type of person that fits their personalities in the real world (i.e.: The Scarecrow’s IRL-version is that one person we all know who seeks out the worst stories happening in the world and endlessly plasters them all over social media in order to scare people.)

It’s a fun read- and even more fun when you try to think of the people in your life who fit the profile of each villain (I’m a Poison Ivy personality for sure.)

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Speaking of Batman, the first item in the box that I happened to glance at was this creepily-cute wooden Joker figurine with interchangeable faces. It’s so unique from any other (typically plastic) figurines I’ve received in past Loot Crates- and since I’m STILL pretty pumped up from the official “Suicide Squad” trailer and a glimpse at Jared Leto’s version of The Joker- I think I’ll be keeping this one for myself and finding a special spot for it on one of my shelves. The more I look at it, the more adorable it is to me- so maybe I’m more of a Harley Quinn personality than a Poison Ivy one, after all.

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I was so, so, SO happy when I saw the HYDRA logo inside of August’s crate. By far my favorite (and the most diabolical) villains of all- I was ecstatic that they weren’t left out of the mix this time around. This silver pin, which has already found a home clipped onto my leather jacket for the Fall- was the highlight of this month’s box. I love it and I can’t wait to show it off- probably while getting emotional as I talk about my Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier feelings and how excited I am for “CA3: Civil War” to be released.

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In August’s POPSUGAR Must-Have Box, I had received a very cute and very classic-looking coffee mug to replace a broken one in my office. I admit that when I first opened this Venom one, complete with a freakishly long tongue and frightening looking teeth- I wanted to bring it to my office, too (I’m sure my boss would get a kick out of it while I sipped from it and met with clients)– but I think this is best reserved for home on those mornings when I’m able to brew coffee in my kitchen before I get going for the day and don’t have to worry about scaring people with the mug.

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Finally, what is a Villain-themed crate without something inside that references the multiple not-so-nice folks/threats in ‘Breaking Bad’? This machine-washable apron, sporting the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos logo, absolutely cracked me up- and will probably get more use out of any of the t-shirts I’ve ever received through Loot Crate (not that I don’t love them- but I am really excited to wear this the next time I do any cooking/baking posts for the blog!)

This item was really unexpected and I think it’s fantastic!

Overall, I loved August’s crate. Each item was unique and fun- and I’m going to be a little selfish this month and keep all of them for myself. I really hope that this isn’t the last ‘Villains’ box we see from Loot Crate. I know it’s hard to top a successful sequel (and even harder to top the original again,) but I’d like to see a part III to this series.

September’s box was recently revealed to have the theme ‘SUMMON’, which sounds interesting enough. I can’t wait to see what’s inside!

xx

Loot Crate: July 2015.

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When it comes to my monthly subscription service reviews, I usually reserve the best- Loot Crate- for last, but this month, while I’m still using up the last of the samples I received in July’s GlossyBox and Ipsy Bag- I decided to write up the review and share what I received in Loot Crate’s first sequel box, “Heroes 2!”

“Heroes” is a tough theme to take on- because there are just SO many to choose from- and I’m not surprised Loot Crate revisited it to include more characters and items from across the wide range of comics, movies, games, and television. While “Heroes 2” seemed to be comprised mostly of DC-Universe toys and trinkets- I was still quite pleased while I rifled through the box.

Here’s what I got!

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I always start off my Loot Crate reviews with the two items I receive every month- the collector’s pin and the monthly mini-magazine. By now, those of you who read my reviews know that the mini-mag contains fan-photos, puzzles, interviews, articles, and a break-down of everything included in the box. July’s magazine, with Wonder Woman front and center (as she should be!) featured a break-down of the history of Batman and Wonder Woman’s history and relationship and an interview with Jon Schnepp, the creator of the documentary The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?

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I love getting anything related to “The Legend of Zelda” in my Loot Crate because it almost always goes to my best friend, Sean, who is the biggest LoZ fan I know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sean wear any type of wristband, ever- but I think even he could make an exception for this terrycloth one with the Triforce emblem on it.

While Sean gets the wristband- I am absolutely keeping this Star Trek vanilla-scented air freshener, shaped like the Vulcan salute, for myself. Live long and prosper, indeed!

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When it comes to Batman, I much prefer the villains than I do the actual hero. (That being said, “Suicide Squad” looks like it’s going to be awesome.) Even still, my favorite item in July’s Loot Crate was the multi-purpose Batman key chain that acts as screwdrivers and a bottle opener in one. It’s shaped like and looks to be about as heavy as the little throwing-star style weapons that Batman uses to capture the bad guys, too- so even though it’s not listed as an actual use on the packaging- there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be throwing this at one of my friends in the future. (Just kidding!)

And please pardon the unusual photo of the really cute cartoon-style Batman figurine. I left it in it’s packaging because I plan on gifting it to a friend of mine who is a big fan of the franchise. The figurine comes with a dry-erase style marker so that you can write in your own phrases/words in the speech bubble behind Batman.

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I was really impressed that Loot Crate included a hard-cover book about unusual, short-lived, and scrapped superheroes throughout comic book history in July’s box. I love interesting reads like this (because some of the heroes/villains make you wonder what on Earth people were thinking when they came up with the idea!) and I know my guests will, too. This book will be finding a home on my coffee table for any visitors to peek through once I’m finished reading it!

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I was worried Wonder Woman wouldn’t make an appearance in July’s Loot Crate apart from the cover of the mini-magazine, but I was pleasantly surprised when I unrolled this “Rosie the Riveter” style poster that was neatly tucked inside the box, My bedroom (and most of my home, really) is pretty much Geek HQ- filled with “Walking Dead” and Captain America stuff from wall to wall- but I can always, ALWAYS find a place for something like this. I love it!

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July’s “Digital Loot” was an exclusive download for the game “Brawlhalla”, which I’ve admittedly never heard of until now. I don’t think I’ll get much use out of it- so if anyone would like the code- please let me know and I’ll pass it along!

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The inside of July’s Loot Crate!

Overall, I was really happy with July’s “Heroes” sequel. I received a lot of really cool stuff that I can find room for, and a couple of really great gifts for friends. I’m sure there will be a “Heroes III” crate somewhere down the line, and I’ll probably enjoy that one, too!

I haven’t received the e-mail confirming what August’s Loot Crate theme will be- but it should be arriving anytime now. ‘Til then- my July GlossyBox and Ipsy reviews will be up shortly!

xx

Loot Crate: June 2015.

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The second subscription box to arrive at my door this month was my personal favorite- Loot Crate! This month’s theme, “CYBER,” was perfectly timed with July 1st’s release of the new ‘Terminator’ movie (which I will absolutely be seeing since I’m a sucker for the franchise,) and the box included multiple collectibles, t-shirts, and gifts I will be passing onto friends.

Let me show you what I received!

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Up first are the usual items- my monthly collector’s pin and mini-magazine. June’s issue featured a pretty great interview with Sam Esmail, who is the creator and executive producer of USA’s upcoming hacker drama, “Mr. Robot” (I’ve seen advertisements all over the place recently and it looks really interesting!) and a Q&A with one of my celebrity crushes, Zachary Levi- among puzzles, subscriber photos, and item break-downs. I think the “CYBER” mini-magazine may have been one of my most favorites to flip though!

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The first, most noticeable item in June’s Loot Crate was this 1/2 scale replica of the Terminator endo skull. I really loved the “Terminator” movies as a kid, and have toughed it through the more recent films that have made the story more convoluted than necessary (I believe in seeing things through to the end once you start them!) but I thought this replica was pretty neat and incredibly detailed. I’m sure I can find a spot for it somewhere!

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I get pouches every month with my Ipsy subscription, and they’ve always proven to be useful in storing makeup, money, odds and ends, etc.- but none of those pouches have ever been glow-in-the-dark before, so right away I liked this circuit patterned bag. I’ve already found a use for it in my bathroom where it’s currently holding some of my smaller toiletries and beauty samples.

I haven’t worn patches on my clothing or bags in a long time, so this Future Replicant Corporate Logo patch might not necessarily find a permanent place with me, but I’d love to pass it along to someone who would have a use for it! It’s a decent size and looks pretty bad ass.

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The second “Terminator” related collectible in June’s Loot Crate was this brain chip key chain. I believe I’ve mentioned before that I collect key chains- from when I travel, or from different movies and television shows- so this fit very nicely with the collection I’ve built so far. I actually love this so much that I think it’s going to find a home on my current key ring with my car and office keys. It’s definitely a conversation piece.

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While I do play some computer games from time to time, they don’t require an external mouse- so I don’t think I have a need for this 10″ x 12″ Borderlands gaming pad anytime soon. It’s good quality, and the description in the mini-mag says it’s designed to improve precision and responsiveness of your mouse movements during game play, so I’ll be passing this along to one of my gamer friends to use!

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Summer is here, which means it’s water gun and NERF weapon season for those of us who never quite grew out of that aspect of our childhood. What better way to prepare yourself than by getting some aiming/firing practice with these Battlestar Galactica target posters? Simply tape or tack these to the wall, load up your NERF gun (or in my case, your NERF crossbow,) and perfect your shot so that you can decimate your friends when the time is right and they least expect it.

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San Diego Comic-Con is swiftly approaching, and as attendees prepare their costumes or comfortable walking shoes and studios and vendors prepare to showcase their upcoming work- those of us who can’t make it this year can still live vicariously through panel feeds or social media posts- and with little gifts like these stickers from Nerd HQ. I plan on sharing these with my niece, since there are a couple on the sheet that I like!

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The last item in June’s “CYBER” crate was this fitted Optimus Prime t-shirt. Loot Crate shirts are hit or miss for me in terms of whether or not I’d wear them outside the house. Despite every shirt I’ve received being soft and comfortable- sometimes the designs aren’t exactly my style and for that reason I reserve them for sleepwear or when I’m just lounging around. I actually love the retro look of this shirt and would happily wear this out and about. I’m more of a Megatron fan, personally- but this will do nicely.

Overall, I really enjoyed the “CYBER” crate. There was a great assortment of items that fit the theme nicely and quite a few things I’ll be keeping/using! My favorite things were by far the “Terminator” collectibles, and they have me all pumped up to see the new movie this coming week!

July’s theme, recently revealed to be a sequel to the “HEROES” crate- will hopefully be as fun as this month’s was!

Loot Crate: May 2015.

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Rounding out my monthly subscription box reviews for May is Loot Crate (my personal favorite.) This month’s theme was “Unite,” and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect as I waited for it to arrive. I knew there would be a team/teamwork element to it, and probably a nod to the recently released and hugely successful “Avengers: Age of Ultron” movie, but there were a LOT of ways it could go.

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Up first were the usual items- my monthly collector’s pin and mini-magazine. May’s pages featured a list of some of the greatest teams in the comic world (including the Justice League and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,) and a Q&A with Boom! Studios’ President of Publishing & Marketing, Filip Sablik.

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May’s Loot Crate included not one, but two comic books- the first, a Bravest Warriors book from Boom! Studios, and the second- a MAD Magazine (which I haven’t read since I was a kid, so that was a nice kick of nostalgia!) I’ll probably skim through these and pass them along when I’m done.

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I KNEW there would be some Avengers stuff in this month’s crate- and I was quite pleased that I received three items! The first, a decal that I have every intention of putting on my car now that it’s washed and pollen-free, the second, an Avengers ice cube tray- and the third- Avengers shoelaces! I loved all of these things and am absolutely being selfish and keeping them for myself.

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And now for two items from brands/cartoons that I’m completely unfamiliar with- this 300 piece jigsaw puzzle from ‘Rick and Morty,’ and this set of four pins from ‘Team Fortress 2.’ I’ll be giving these away to someone who may enjoy them more. My niece loves puzzles!

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Finally, I received this soft and fitted Power Rangers’ Green Ranger t-shirt. I was never really into the Power Rangers as a kid (I remember a lot of kids beating the hell out of each other on the playground while trying to imitate the karate moves, though-) but I like the unique design on this and will keep it to wear when I’m lounging around since it’s so comfortable!

Overall, with the exception of the Avengers stuff- I wasn’t really sold on May’s Loot Crate. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it wasn’t particularly memorable for me, either.

June’s theme was recently revealed to be “CYBER,” so I’m hoping they have a better selection of stuff!

Loot Crate: April 2015.

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Although my geek-dom typically revolves around the horror and superhero genres, I have a soft spot for the world of fantasy. “The Princess Bride” and “The NeverEnding Story” were just a couple of the movies I cherished in my childhood- and even though I’ve never played “Dungeons & Dragons”- I leveled pretty good in “World of Warcraft.” My point is, the fantasy genre will always be popular across all facets of entertainment, be it movies, video games, literature, etc.

“Fantasy” was the theme for April’s Loot Crate, arriving at my door just a few days ago- and I knew from the second I opened the box that I was going to have a lot of fun looking at everything more closely. The items curated this month were so much fun!

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I always start these reviews with the two items I receive every month without fail- my collector’s pin and the monthly magazine that features games, puzzles, fan-submitted photos of fellow subscribers enjoying what they received in the previous month’s crate, and a breakdown of each item included in the current one. April’s magazine also included a glimpse into the influence “Dungeons & Dragons” has had on pop culture throughout the years, and a list of fantasy-themed shows to check out sooner rather than later.

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My favorite item in April’s Loot Crate was this rubber Harry Potter luggage tag. For as long as I can remember, I’ve relied on a bright blue scarf with orange and red owls printed on it that I keep tied around the handle of my suitcase to help me differentiate it from others’ bags at the airport when I travel- but it’s starting to show it’s wear and tear after all this time and after all my trips. This tag is going to make a great replacement.

I also seriously adore these “Princess Bride” playing cards I received, which have beautiful illustrations of the characters printed on them. I’m looking forward to breaking these out the next time my friends and I decide to have a nice, quiet get together.

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Oh, “Game of Thrones,” how I hate how much I love you. While the content of GoT definitely fits into the fantasy spectrum- the show feels more like a nightmare every time I watch (and cringe- a LOT.) I digress- I would have been surprised if I didn’t receive at least one related item in April’s Loot Crate- but instead- I got two. The first, a 4GB flash drive shaped like the Stark sigil, and the second, a set of four magnets- one representing each of the clans in Westeros.

I can never have enough magnets on my fridge, and I’m always looking for additional storage for my photos and such- so I’ll be getting plenty of use from these!

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Don’t let the photo fool you- this inflatable crown actually looks pretty cute once it’s blown up. It’s not something I could wear to work or for a night out on the town, really- but I’m sure my little niece will enjoy wearing it and pretending she’s a Queen one of these days when she’s over for a visit.

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April’s Loot Crate included the second bow tie I’ve received since subscribing with the service- this time being in the form of this bright red tie with little dragons and gemstones printed on it. I’m not a bow tie girl, really- since they don’t particularly look good around my neck, but I do love having cute things to tie my hair back/up with- and I think this’ll do the trick! I’m saving this one for the next comic-convention I attend!

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Finally, I love when Loot Crate sends t-shirts, and even though I’ve already admitted that I’m not “Dungeons & Dragons” savvy, I’ll still wear this bright and soft t-shirt (which has the logo for the game screen printed on the front,) out and about when I’m running errands or lounging around my place. It’s so comfortable!

Overall, April’s “Fantasy” crate was fun (but Loot Crate is never NOT fun,) and a nice mix of useful items, some nostalgic stuff, and little random knick knacks I plan on gifting within the next couple of weeks.

I haven’t heard what May’s theme is just yet- but I know it’ll more than likely be a good one!

Loot Crate: March 2015.

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The concept of spies and secret agents has always intrigued and entertained me- especially when it comes to female spies. I love the idea of an underestimated and bad ass woman stealthily, successfully and fearlessly getting the job done. Be it historical, real-life spies like WWII’s Nancy Wake and Civil War-era spy, Mary Bowser- to the fictional and cinematic spies like Marvel’s Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff or the “Resident Evil” franchise’s Ada Wong. If  I wasn’t enjoying my work as a paralegal so much and I didn’t have an active social media presence- I could be a pretty good spy. Maybe. Possibly.

Okay, probably not.

I digress. I got to live out my secret agent fantasy through Loot Crate’s March box. The theme? “COVERT,” and I’ve been waiting since the end of February to get mine!

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The mini-magazine in March’s crate was especially fun to thumb through, featuring an ode to classic spy movies from the James Bond franchise, the Bourne trilogy, and even “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” which I watched the other night for the first time in ages, oddly enough- as well as a tribute to the “Metal Gear” game collection (“Snake? Snake? SNAAAAAAKE!”)

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One of the coolest items in March’s Loot Crate was this comfortable black digital wrist watch that only briefly displays the time when the face is pressed on.  I like the concept, although I’m quite smitten with my current (and not very covert) Michael Kors watch- so I will probably be gifting this one in the future!

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One thing I always need and have a use for are notebooks! For work, for when I travel, for shopping lists and random thoughts. I always try to have a pen and paper within reach and in my purse. These two small, 48-page notebooks are almost pocket-sized- making them perfect to carry along with me throughout the day- and I love the cover design!

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One item I received in this month’s box that I will definitely be gifting to a nature enthusiast friend of mine for the next time they go hiking or camping is this paracord survival bracelet. It can be used in so many different ways- as a tourniquet, a fishing line, a makeshift fastener for broken equipment, etc. It’s such a cool and versatile item and I know my friend will appreciate how helpful it can be in any situation!

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I’ve never seen “Orphan Black,” although some of my friends are pretty much obsessed with it and are constantly telling me how great it is! The premise sounds interesting, and I’d like to check it out and catch up when I have a chance. Lucky for me, Loot Crate included the very first issue of the comic-version of the story in March’s crate. I have a long list of reading to catch up on- and I’m adding this to it!

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I haven’t had a Mad Libs book since I was a kid- so this was a nice little piece of nostalgia to receive this month. Back then, my friends and I would fill in the blanks with some questionable and often highly inappropriate nouns/verbs/adjectives, etc. so I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to be the next time we’re all together and I whip this book out to play.

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Loot Crate completely won me over with the “COVERT” box with this awesome “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lanyard replica (with certificate of authenticity.) I had received a modified version of this item during the “Agent Carter/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” panel at San Diego Comic-Con last Summer that granted me access to exclusive online content- but this is more decorative and looks just like the one from the show- and is being added to my collection of Marvel memorabilia!

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I was admittedly never really big on 007 movies (until Daniel Craig took the helm as James Bond,) but even I think this shirt is one of the cutest things! Printed on soft and breathable fabric, I’ll be wearing a lot of this tee out and about now that the warmer weather is on it’s way! I love it!

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This month’s Digital Loot came courtesy of ComiXology- and was a code for a free digital download of the first issue of the “NINJAK” series. I’ve never heard of it before, but at a glance it looks like a ninja/spy mash-up- which might be interesting. I’ll keep it in mind!

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I feel like I say it every month, but Loot Crate is truly a lot of fun- and March’s box proved that point again. I loved the “COVERT” theme, and each item I received was carefully selected to follow the theme without being redundant or predictable. While I’ll be gifting a couple of the things I received to my friends- I’m keeping most of it for myself!

Loot Crate: February 2015.

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Rounding out my subscription services for February, and the last to arrive in the mail following the most recent snowstorm, was my (personal favorite box,) Loot Crate. February’s theme was “Play,” a nod to all things gaming- be it video games, board games, card games, etc. Right away, I saw one item that I was thrilled about (I’ll get to that in a bit!) but the entire crate was packed full of fun stuff.

I wouldn’t expect anything less!

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First up were the usual items included in every month’s box- the collector’s pin and the mini-magazine. February’s edition included pages of fan photos and a breakdown of each item inside the crate, as well as a pretty good article explaining why co-op gaming is actually healthy for people and helpful in building lasting relationships (my best friend Sean and I can attest to this, having learned to rely on each other’s skills during hours-long “Resident Evil 6” sessions,) and a fun picture graph depicting various video gaming controllers throughout the years. Oh, Intellivision. How I miss you.

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The first item in the box, tucked away in a black velvet pouch, was this pair of ceramic “Rock, Paper, Scissors” dice from Loot Crate Labs. Having received a 20-sided die in a Loot Crate last year, I thought this was a pretty unique addition to this month’s crate as opposed to just including a regular pair from a board game (or another 20-sided die.) Each side is printed with an orange picture depicting- you guessed it- rock, paper, or scissors, and will definitely get some use the next time my friends (or my niece) and I need to kill a little time.

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The aforementioned item that I was really excited to receive was this deck of “SUPERFIGHT” cards. I’d read about the game online a while back, but until now- I hadn’t had the chance to play it. The premise of the game is essentially a way to debate your friends about which superhero/villain would win a fight in certain situations. I love a good argument from time to time (all in good fun, of course-) so I’m really looking forward to breaking this out at the next party and letting the bloodbath commence.

The one item I received in February’s crate that I couldn’t quite figure out how it fit into the “Play” theme was this mechanical larvae from HexBug that moves and scuttles around on flat surfaces. I’m still trying to figure it out- but until I do- I’ll be gifting this to my niece. I’m sure she’ll get a kick out of it!

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I’m always on the prowl for a page-turner to flip through, so when I saw this novel- “Ready Player One,” I was really looking forward to diving in and giving it a read. A synopsis, via Amazon:

“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

According to Loot Crate’s mini-magazine, this book is going to be made into a feature film soon. The story sounds really interesting- so I’ll be sitting down and starting this within the next couple of weeks!

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I’ve got myself a pretty big collection of POP! Vinyl figurines from Funko, raging from “The Walking Dead” to Disney and Marvel characters. They’ve all found spots on my shelves and in various spaces around my bedroom (and kitchen,) Munnys are similar styled figurines, and this one- which came with a set of washable markers- gives me the opportunity to design and create my very own!

Like the HexBug, I think this particular item would be a great activity to share with my niece- who is very artistic- and will no doubt enjoy drawing and coloring on this figurine over and over.

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Pac-Man will always, ALWAYS- withstand the test of time. Even now, after all these years- it’s still fun (and stressful) to play- and has anyone seen those recent Bud Light commercials where they set up a human Pac-Man game using amazing costumes and lights? It aired during the Super Bowl and I thought it was so awesome (even though Bud Light is pretty terrible.) I really love this deconstructed Pac-Man poster, drawn by Manny Peters- and although I’m not 100% sure I have a place to put it right now- I have a friend I know who would LOVE this in his house!

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Finally, February’s “Digital Loot” was this voucher to unlock an exclusive ship/spacecraft in the online “Firefly” game. I’m not sure I’ll get around to playing it anytime soon, but this will be nice to have on hand if I do! (But if anyone who plays the game would like the code, just let me know and I’d be happy to pass it on to you!)

Overall, I thought February’s Loot Crate was well put together and included a little something for everyone. I can’t wait to play the “SUPERFIGHT” card game with friends and jump into the book I received- and it’s always nice to get little things that I can give to and share with others.

I’ve already been notified that March’s theme will be “Covert,” which has me just as excited as I was back when I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of October’s horror-themed box. I’m still coming off of an “Agent Carter” high following Tuesday night’s season finale, and am preparing to create a Black Widow costume for the 2015 comic convention circuit (I’ll write about that soon!) so I am ALL about spies, secret agents, double agents, etc. I can’t wait to receive it and share it with you all!

Loot Crate: January 2015.

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LootCrateJanuary20151

I was born in the mid-80’s, and with two older brothers- it didn’t take long for my childhood to revolve around over-the-top Saturday morning cartoons, sugary breakfast cereals, and video game consoles with poorly pixelated characters and scenery. As kids, my brothers and I pretty much fought on a regular basis over who got to play the Intellivision in our living room after dinner- which gradually transitioned into fighting over the Nintendo console (and then the Sega Genesis, and so on.)

When Loot Crate first announced it’s January theme- “Rewind,” a nod to those happy, simpler times- I was really, really excited to see what they’d put together. I fully and shamelessly get nostalgic now and then- so I thought an assortment of items that were throwbacks to when I was a kid would be a lot of fun and a great way to kick of another year of being a Loot Crate subscriber.

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First up were the usual items: the monthly collector’s pin and the mini-magazine that detailed the contents of the crate, fan photos, and a glimpse into the Mega-Crate that a lucky subscriber can win. January’s magazine also included an article highlighting the lengthy and successful history of Nintendo, and re-visited the spectacularly cheesy ‘Voltron’ cartoon.

Not only that, but the back of the magazine itself could be bent and folded to form a bond-paper replica of the classic Nintendo controller!

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I love many things, two of which are ‘Star Wars’ and Loot Crate’s exclusive comic books. January’s box combined the two in the form of issue #001 of the Star Wars comic which features Han Solo and Chewbacca looking ready for a space shoot-out on the cover. I try to be as careful as possible when removing the comics from their packaging to read them- and this will be no exception. If the cover art is anything to go by, the illustrations in this book will be beautiful.

For the artists, aspiring comic book writers, or regular fans like me out there, this month’s crate also included this nifty little notebook with 60 pages of panels and stencils for dialogue/thought bubbles, etc. to create your very own comic book (or just doodle inappropriate cartoons like I tend to do from time to time.) I’m actually really excited to bring this with me the next time I travel- since it’ll give me something to do to pass the time and get my creativity flowing on the plane/train/etc. to my destination.

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I also received a second Loot Crate exclusive this month- this one being this classic game cartridge figurine. After some quick assembly and positioning, this little guy has found a happy home up on one of my shelves- and I admittedly almost blew air into him to remove any dust like the good old days of desperately trying to get my Nintendo games to work properly. Ah, memories.

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I love when Loot Crate sends subscribers t-shirts, because nine times out of ten- the fabric is so, so soft- the cut is really form-fitting- and the design is pretty cool. The shirt that came in January’s box was just that, featuring an elaborate blueprint of Voltron on the front of it’s lightweight and comfortable material. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather so I can wear this one out and about!

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Perhaps my favorite item in January’s crate was this black and white Space Invaders-inspired tie from Black Tie Geek! What I liked best- apart from it’s really cute design- is that it’s unisex and can be worn in a variety of ways. It doesn’t have to go just around the neck, which is great for someone like me who enjoys wrapping my hair up with scarves and bands on more casual and carefree days. I’m looking forward to wearing this one very, very soon!

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And finally, a couple of years ago at Boston Comic-Con, I was given a pair of novelty pixel frames, which- while fun- didn’t really serve a purpose other than decorative (I’m actually wearing them in my current profile photo on here!) I’ve only worn them a couple of times since receiving them, and they’re presently tucked away with my other accessories that don’t get much use.

I have a feeling I’ll get more wear out of these orange and similar shaped sunglasses (with UV protection!) since they actually serve a purpose- and don’t look half bad on me- if I do say so myself.

Overall I was- as usual- pretty happy with my Loot Crate. I loved the mix of items that I received and the theme was a nice way to revisit iconic figures and trends of the 80’s (without the shoulder pads or teased out hair.) I’ve already been told the theme of February’s crate (“Play,” as in board games and such,) so I’m once again really excited to see what’s just ahead for this subscription service!

Loot Crate: December 2014.

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Well, here we are- I’ve been subscribed to Loot Crate for nearly a year and I recently received the last box of 2014, themed “Anniversary,” which celebrates milestones in geeky and gaming companies and culture. As much as I love my monthly beauty subscriptions- Loot Crate has been my favorite to receive this past year simply because of how fun it is to open and how the value of the items in each box usually surpasses what I spend on it every month.

December’s crate was, as usual- a blast to sort through. Here’s what I received!

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I always start out these posts by showing the monthly mini-magazine and collector’s pin that come in every crate. December’s had a little festive touch in it, too- with the company throwing in a mini candy cane that I ate in no time at all. The magazine, which featured it’s usual fan photos and a breakdown of the products included in the month’s box, also had a Q&A with artist and graphic designer, Josh Mirman (who creates the fun typography pictures featured on some of Loot Crate’s t-shirts and magazine covers,) and an interview with Stan Lee himself! (!!!!)

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Celebrating a 30 year anniversary in 2014 was the movie “Ghostbusters” (and you best believe I feel old because of it.) This Slimer door hanger, which might not fit the overall decor of my place- will find a good home with my brother, who I’m sure will appreciate the nostalgia it brings. Side note: Hi-C really needs to bring back Ecto Cooler. That stuff was delicious.

Also celebrating it’s 30th birthday? Tetris! These stickers (147 total!) of shapes from the game are going to be used on pretty much every flat surface I use on a daily basis- like my tablet, or the back of my phone, or my 2015 planner. I’m going to re-create the one scene from the game that caused endless amounts of frustration- getting dangerously close to the top of the screen and not having a single long rectangle piece in sight (and it was always the only one I needed to connect my multiple stacked up rows!)

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To cover Marvel’s 75th anniversary, Loot Crate included two of my favorite products in this month’s box- a vanilla scented air freshener with the print of Captain America’s shield on it, which will be hanging in my car after I clean it out within the next couple of days- and these SUPER CUTE “I am Groot” socks from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy!’ I maybe (see: of course I did) squealed a little when I saw them- making this the first Christmas I’ve actually been excited for socks! I can’t wait to wear these!

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I’ve had the same wallet for a few years now. It’s more like a clutch, really- since it holds my money, cards, identification, checkbook, change, memos, etc. etc. I need something with a lot of space- although I’m giving some serious consideration to downsizing just so I can use this fun waterproof and tear-proof Simpsons wallet that features a collage of some of the show’s most popular characters in celebration of it’s 25th anniversary! Can you spot Disco Stu? Because I did right away!

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Also turning 75 in 2014? DC Comics! Like they did with Marvel, Loot Crate included two Batman-centric items to celebrate: a sleeved copy of the ‘Batman: Endgame” comic book with artwork by illustrator Greg Capullo, and an exclusive Funko POP! Vinyl Figurine of Batman with a Joker-ized twist! I collect these figurines because I think they’re adorable- and this one is no exception. It’ll be joining the others up on my shelf!

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Lastly, every Loot Crate includes a “Digital Loot” bonus- and December’s box featured a code for a free 30 day trial at Crunchyroll- which seems to be a website to watch full-length episodes of anime cartoons. I’ll be passing this voucher onto friends who might enjoy it more than I will!

And there you have it- the last Loot Crate of the year! I loved December’s box. The theme, the items included- it was just a great way to wrap up 2014 and I am so, so excited to see what’s in store for next year since I’ll be faithfully keeping my subscription through 2015!

Loot Crate: November 2014.

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It feels like I was just starting to get over the greatness that was October’s Loot Crate when November’s box showed up at my door. When I saw this month’s theme, “BATTLE,” I immediately thought back to the days of highly competitive (and highly emotional) ‘Mortal Kombat’ tournaments my older brother and I would have on our Sega Genesis in my parents’ living room, and to the days where Sean would mercilessly kick my ass (and then mercilessly mock me,) while we played ‘Tekken’ on rainy afternoons during Summer vacations when we were kids.

While the “BATTLE” box sadly didn’t include anything ‘Mortal Kombat’ or ‘Tekken’ related, it did have a few cool things inside of it- some of which I’ll be gifting to friends.

Let’s take a look!

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As usual, November’s crate included it’s mini-magazine and collector’s pin with the “BATTLE” theme printed on it. Inside the magazine were the expected games, puzzles, and a break-down of what was featured in the box and what had been up for grabs in the coveted monthly ‘Epic Mega Crate’ that subscribers can enter to win with each theme.

The magazine also featured a Q&A with the creators of ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and an article by Keri Honea detailing the evolution of the ‘Halo’ franchise, which was a pretty good read for anyone who plays the game or has been catching up with the comic and/or novel series.

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I enjoy the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ games. The story throughout the series can be a bit convoluted and tiresome at times, much like the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise where things are lazily tied together and really make no sense the more you think about them- but the game play and graphics are incredible and that’s enough to keep me entertained and hanging on for more. This metal “Unity Coin,” which features the seal of the Assassins on one side and a space to etch your name on the other- will be going to my friend Mike, who is a big fan of the games and will undoubtedly appreciate this little token to add to his “Man Town” room in his house!

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Also being gifted is this cute little Mega Man helmet replica with a supporting display stand. I received the green helmet, one of four available colors- and will be passing it on to one of two friends I know of who will enjoy this little nostalgic memento!

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I’ve mentioned it in a past Loot Crate review, but I have a few fond memories of completely decimating my ex-boyfriend on his XBox whenever he’d challenge me to play ‘Halo 2’ with him. I’m fairly certain the cry of “ASHLEY! STOP TAKING THE F*CKING SWORD! STOP CHASING ME!” happened so often that his neighbors had to have been concerned about what was happening behind closed doors.

I digress, this little Halo figurine from Mega Bloks, complete with it’s own weapon and drop ship- cracked me up. I wasn’t sure as to whether or not I’d gift this toy or keep it for myself, but the more I look at it, the more I think I can find a place for it with all my other little trinkets.

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When Sean and I weren’t beating the hell out of each other or trying to sabotage one another by reaching over to grab the other person’s controller mid-game play in ‘Tekken,’ we opted for ‘Street Fighter.’ Admittedly, I wasn’t as into SF as I was other fighting franchises (‘Mortal Kombat’ will always be my favorite,) but it was still a good time and this Ryu headband gave me a good laugh when I unraveled it from it’s packaging. Would I wear it on a regular basis or out in public? Probably not- but it was still fun to throw on to take a photo. HADOUKEN!

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Ah, yes- the age old question: “which is better- pirates or ninjas?” I remember getting into a full-blown debate about this in high school once with my friend John. I was all for pirates, while John kept attempting to counter my points with his ninja-appreciation. To this day, I don’t think the issue has ever been resolved, but now, with the help of this soft fitted t-shirt- I think the answer can be a little bit of both. Meshing a ninja with a pirate (Ninjate? Piranja?) by using words often associated with each- I love the design of this tee and I can’t wait to wear it- possibly to my high school reunion where John and I can finish the debate once and for all.

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Lastly, November’s crate featured a couple of digital bonuses- some free content from Archie (yes!) and a percentage off of the “Lichdom: Battlemage” game currently on Stream.

And as the box Loot Crate arrived in indicated, both the box and the mini-magazine doubled as something else. The box, which could be bent to look like a diorama of sorts, offered the scenery- while the back cover of the MiniMag had perforated cut-outs of Mega Man and Ryu in various battle poses so that you could set them up to create a fight scene of your own. I’m saving that project for my niece, who will get a kick out of it for sure.

While “BATTLE” wasn’t necessarily my favorite box I’ve received to date, I still enjoyed opening it up and checking everything out. I’ve got a few little gifts for friends and a comfortable t-shirt to wear when I’m lounging around- so it wasn’t a complete miss this month!