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Thursday, December 24, 2015

#LootCrate Review: December 2015

Loot Crate's December GALAXY box ends the year on a positive note.

Review by Matt Cummings

The subscription box war is about to take a Christmas break, allowing winners and losers time to collect their dead, assess losses and gains, and consider past choices and how those will impact 2016 boxes. We've witnessed such a whipsaw in terms of quality, with only Marvel Collector Corps emerging as the box of choice. But Loot Crate has one more salvo to fire, and its contents might make an emphatic statement about their philosophy for next year.

Before we get into the details, let's consider an important announcement Loot made a couple of weeks ago: all future boxes will once again contain a shirt. That could signal an important change in the LevelUp program, which required subscribers to pay $14.99 for a shirt, usually shipped separately and continually the wrong size. That change almost made us cancel, but it appears feedback to the company yielded an important reversal. Let's see how that plays out with December.

Remember Loot's promise: a $22 subscription should yield more in value than the cost. Also, year-long steadfasts receive some sort of special gift, a promise we just couldn't keep.

Another heavy box give us hope for excellent contents. Then again, there could be a giant brick in there with the word SUCKER scrawled across.

Popping this bad boy open revealed...wait for it...A T-SHIRT! Welcome back to the tribe, son. This alone made everything else in the box pure profit. It's made of soft cotton, and the ugly-sweater look is just classic Goldbergs. The box features nice interior art as well.
Lifting off the shirt revealed an extremely cool Halo-themed UNSC tin. Score, big time! Not sure if this is big enough to store my XBox 360 games, but I'm sure as hell and going to try.

The magazine this month shows off past 2015, along with an interview with Halo 5 EP Chris Lee. Not bad considering what came next.

A nice addition here is some Halo 5 content exclusive to Loot. Since we don't have an XBox One yet, we're going to hold our thoughts on this one until we secure one. But the fact that it's here is nice.

Peering inside the clasping case, we see yet another wearable and...a new Funko! Pop figure! Man, Santa's coming to a galaxy near you.
If you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you know why so many people are loving BB-8. We adored the little ball droid, with his larger-than-life personality fitting perfectly into the glorious return of the franchise. The socks are very nice, although I wonder if my large feet will accommodate them.
Although I didn't like it when it first premiered, Galaxy Quest has grown on me like moss. Known for its sometimes biting assessment of Star Trek: TOS and the personalities which pervaded behind the scenes, it certainly makes sense to have it included in this box. The patch is simply terrific and was totally unexpected. It should find its way onto my messenger bag quite soon.

And then this little gem arrived. So. Damn. Cool. Even though I'm not a Pop! fan, I do appreciate the quality and value. Loot has done a great job partnering with Funko over the past year, and Solo in Snow Gear is straight up awesome. Again, the value and timing makes it the winner for this month's box.

There's also a QR Code on the inside wall of the box. Our QR reader wasn't working at the time of this post, so we'll be sure to update you when we get it working.

Happy Holidays
December's Loot Crate provides quality and the timing of many of its items is excellent. With Marvel Collector Corps killing it this month with Guardians of the Galaxy, it makes sense why we didn't see any of that here. Still, why Galaxy Quest beat Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Stargate is worthy of discussion.

The greatest threat to the future of subscription boxes centers around QUALITY and TIMING. In Loot's case it's been a mess in 2015, something that they'll have to improve upon in 2016. With November's box revealing that our decision to skip it was a good one, we're very worried that cost to produce these will lead to several shitty boxes once in awhile. That is a matter of perspective and tastes I suppose, but would subbers be willing to pay $2 more per month to be guaranteed a shirt and more consistent boxes arrive? That idea is definitely more solid than the stool of November, September, February, and perhaps two more meh boxes in between.

With news that LC will re-introduce the shirt to standard boxes, the remaining questions are simple: can LC keep costs down while delivering great boxes? If not, have they considered the alternating month theme? In the case of Marvel Collector Corps, that was the best idea they could have made. Perhaps LC will eventually follow suit, but it could be awhile until that happens. Until then, celebrate a good month for boxes in general, and we'll be back next year to catalog what has unfortunately become a wild west of sorts.

Want to read our other sub box reviews? We've got them all listed below: MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS
August October December




Isabella Kaczmarek January 8, 2016 at 12:52 PM  

what about the qr code? when i scan it, it only shows me a starred sky and weird halo things spaceships whatever and makes very annoying sounds! i dont understand, please help me im so desperate what the fuck is going on i need help pleasee!

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