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#LootCrate Review: January 2016

Will Loot Crate's January INVASION box keep us around for 2016? Read our review to find out!

Review by Matt Cummings

With the subscription box war teaching valuable lessons in 2015 - that QUALITY and TIMING are the keys to a happy geek - only Marvel Collector Corps and Smuggler's Bounty emerged as consistent candidates for our monthly donation. And while January's Loot Crate has delivered an interesting diversity of geek-related sundries, read on to learn why we cancelled our subscription.

Before we get into the details, let's review 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.

A decently-sized box, more in line with previous Loot Crate submissions.

At least Loot heard the complaints from subscribers about the lack of a shirt. A second month with one included is a good sign. Looks like some sort of...wait for it...INVASION theme. How smart of us to see the connection.

As you can see, the box features nice interior art as well.

It looks like Loot is aware of the upcoming X-Files short run series on Fox! The shirt is an obvious homage to the classic series, which is being revived this month. One thing you can never slam Loot for is their commitment to cool shirts. Brandon will really enjoy this one.

And here's where Loot lost our subscription. Lifting off the shirt revealed the same problem that's plagued many of their boxes: a collection of some very very cool stuff and others that simply miss the mark.

First up is a plushy Alien Facehugger. If you know the story behind these adorable creatures from the films, you'll instantly recognize a conflict here. Making a cutsie version of Ripley's worst nightmare is...odd to say the least. I can't imagine a dad giving this to their girl and saying, "Look honey, a mass killer that injects its host with an egg that will eventually bust out of their chest. Enjoy!"

In an effort to get in on the fabulously lucrative Funko Pop! movement, Loot has given us a 'mini vinyl figure' of a Space Invader. As you can see, it's not anywhere close to Funko. Although LC claims it to be an 'exclusive', it's clear this one is a case of right idea, wrong execution.

Hmmm. I wonder if I'm supposed to use this during the alien invasion. It arrived inside my box.

It looks like Loot is redesigning their monthly pins, and this one isn't so bad.

This one speaks for itself. It's a neat idea, and the LED definitely projects a brighter light. Three AAA batteries also come in the box. An X-Files themed flashlight is pretty geeky. Score this as a win.

Perhaps the best part of this month's box is up next. The Fifth Element is generally regarded as a Sci-Fi classic, both for its quirky characters and stunning special effects. This Multi-pass played a big role in getting Dallas (played by Bruce Willis) on board the luxury cruise ship. It's well made and a complete surprise for this set. Talk about a win.

Another great item is a collection of prints from two classic Science-Fiction films: War of the Worlds and The Day The Earth Stood Still. They're made of high-quality paper and should look nice in single or side-by-side frames. This is a stylish win for Loot, but I could see how some might not appreciate the history. Trust me, it's a good thing.

Of course, what Loot Crate would be complete without their monthly magazine.

On To Other Pastures
While January's Loot Crate provides good quality, and the timing of The X-Files brings us a shirt, this is our last review for this box. The problem here is consistency: why give us a cheap vinyl, then an awesome Multi-pass? What makes these geek variety boxes so hit-and-miss is exactly that: we can't count on consistency box to box or even within the same box. The reason why Marvel Collector Corps is killing it every other month is that its themes reward us with better gear. And with DC now getting into the game, it's time to set our sails for brighter ports.

Should Loot contact us to provide these reviews free of charge, we would be happy to let you know our thoughts. But if you're actually buying the box each month, we think you should spend your money elsewhere. As I said last month, the greatest threat to the future of subscription boxes centers around QUALITY and TIMING. Hopefully LC can refocus its efforts to deliver more consistent boxes in its future, but for now we're looking elsewhere.

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


Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


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