Perks and Features
One of the best things about Loot Crate is that it was started for fans, by fans. The curators and other employees behind this service truly get it. They know what it’s like to revel in nostalgia, share an unabashed love for something–whether it’s a comic book series, a film, a video game or another pop culture or cult favorite creation–and celebrate that feeling with like-minded people. This is probably Loot Crate’s greatest strength: an instinctive and natural understanding of the community that they’ve built around their service.
Looter Community and Loot Crate Studios
Speaking of the community, let’s look at how Loot Crate has elevated its user experience efforts, both on the official website and elsewhere on social media. Unlike other subscription box services, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that current and potential subscribers would be intensely passionate about Loot Crate’s chosen flavors of content–and, obviously, any news and media about it. The community section of the Loot Crate website is sleek and well-maintained, and is a full-fledged, geek-centric lifestyle and recreation portal; a far cry from the intermittently updated blogs that are typical fare when it comes to its smaller competitors.
When it comes to social media, Loot Crate ticks all the boxes–Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Snapchat–but YouTube is where it really shines. With over 275,000 followers, Loot Crate Studios has taken on a life of its own, managing to be both entertaining and interesting while still fulfilling the YouTube channel’s main goal: promoting Loot Crate and its monthly themed offerings. Currently some of their best original programming includes the Top 5 Film Lists series presented by YouTube veterans Schmoes Know; and Wake & Bake with Kevin and Andy, a series featuring geeky Renaissance man Kevin Smith and screenwriter Andy McElfresh.
Partner Crates and Limited Edition Crates
As mentioned above, Loot Crate occasionally offers subscriptions other than its six regular offerings–which we will get to in a moment. For now, let’s look at Partner Crates. These are special and often bi-monthly boxes often priced anywhere between $30 to $40, and filled with a fair amount of exclusive and licensed merchandise from a specific fandom. As of this writing, there are 10 Partner Crates being offered by Loot Crate, spread out in three of four of the company’s Crate subcategories. There are Gaming Crates celebrating brands like Halo, Fallout, and Minecraft; and Film + TV Crates celebrating J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, the Marvel Universe, or WWE Slam. Niche and cult fandoms get options, too–there’s a Firefly crate for fans of the TV series, and even a Pop Culture Crate for those who love collecting Sanrio products.
Each box is also further themed; for example, past Wizarding World crate themes include Hogwarts House Pride and Dark Arts. Some Partner Crates are also listed in advance–before the first crate is even ready to ship–to drum up hype and interest. An example of this is the Fallout Partner Crate. Limited Edition Crates are similar, but are often one-off crates that sell out quickly. As of this writing, listed on the website but already sold out is the Limited Edition Mass Effect: Andromeda crate; there’s also a Stranger Things crate that is set to ship around the time Netflix premieres the second season of the series.
What You Get in Each Crate
There are six different types of monthly subscriptions regularly offered by Loot Crate. Here’s a rundown of the first five: Loot Crate, Loot Crate DX, Loot Pets, Loot Anime, Loot Gaming and Loot Wear. The first four fall under a subcategory: Pop Culture Crates.
For You or Your Four-Legged Best Friend
The original Loot Crate always contains more than four items–collectibles, wearables, small gadgets or trinkets–that are guaranteed to be authentic and licensed. Each month, an overarching theme is chosen, and a few franchises get featured. For example: The July 2017 Loot Crate’s theme was Animation; and the featured franchises were Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, Rick and Morty, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Loot Crate DX is like the original Loot Crate, but supercharged: over three times more expensive and containing more premium and exclusive items. Then there’s Loot Pets, which is less expensive than the regular Loot Crate, but definitely not for humans. Instead, this subscription is for dogs; monthly crates are filled with geeky treats, toys and gear for your furry friend. Both Loot Crate and Loot Pets often share themes and featured franchises with the original Loot Crate; though some variation in franchises is sometimes needed for Loot Pets due to limited products available to fit the crate description.
Anime or Video Games
The rest more or less follow the curation process of the quintessential Loot Crate, but with a twist when it comes to franchise selection. Loot Anime crates contain anime- and manga-related accessories, apparel and other goodies. Loot Gaming crates–which fall under a separate subcategory of Gaming Crates–contain video game merchandise; wearables, figures and other collectibles representing the best and most popular gaming universes. Both of these subscriptions promise to include up to six separate items monthly.
Loot Wear is special, and falls under its own subcategory of Apparel Crates; not only is shipping and handling included in the crate price, but it actually has a whole range of curated subscriptions that you can choose from in order to customize what you get. You don’t get to handpick what you receive, but you can pick what kind of merchandise gets packed for you. Top brands that provide wearables for these crates include Marvel, DC and Nintendo; of course, there are more. Often, Loot Crate asks for your size specifically; though sometimes the only option is unisex sizing.
Loot Socks gets you two pairs of socks, Loot Undies gets you a pair of boxer briefs, Loot Tees gets you one limited edition t-shirt, and Loot Wearables gets you one top or bottom (anything from a t-shirt or hoodie to a pair of socks or pair of shorts). Although Loot Tees offers women’s sizes, Loot For Her goes the extra mile; with this subscription you get one item a month, but it can be anything from a t-shirt, a scarf or leggings, to jewelry or even a phone case.
Can’t choose just one? Loot Wear also offers two bundles. You can subscribe to the Loot Socks + Loot Wearables bundle and get two pairs of socks and one wearable item, and it will cost you about $4 less than if you pay for the two separate subscriptions. There’s also the Risky Business Bundle, which gets you a pair of socks, a pair of boxer briefs, and a t-shirt; this subscription is cheaper than paying for both Loot Tee and Loot Undies, never mind that it offers one pair less than Loot Socks.
All prices are exclusive of shipping and handling, except when it comes to Loot Wear crates. Below is a listing of crate prices for one-off, single-month payments of the six regular Loot Crate subscriptions; as of this writing. Note that prepayment will lower the month-to-month prices.
|Loot Crate DX||$47.99|
|Loot Wear – Socks||$9.99|
|Loot Wear – Undies||$9.99|
|Loot Wear – Tees||$8.99|
|Loot Wear – Wearables||$14.99|
|Loot Wear – For Her||$14.99|
|Loot Wear – Socks + Wearables||$20.99|
|Loot Wear – Risky Business||$16.99|
For all of Loot Crate’s user-centric efforts–supporting multiple fandoms, beefing up digital content on the website, expanding the reach of its social media channels–there is one thing that remains peculiarly underdeveloped: a way to contact the company directly. Yes, Loot Crate does have an extensive Help Center that provides a detailed and well-maintained FAQ portion. However, if you don’t find the information that you need in what’s already there, your only recourse is to submit a ticket–no hotline, no email, no live chat. Often it can be faster to just look for the answers you need on social media; as the Looter community is large and active. If customer support is lagging, you can try interacting with the company’s representative and other subscribers on Loot Crate’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
What's the Verdict on Loot Crate?
Loot Crate Review 2017 – Conclusion
Unlike many niche subscription box services, Loot Crate is a massive undertaking–this is not your typical artisanal, operating-out-of-a-garage affair. The company is established, professional and very visible. It’s made a business out of reaching out to geeks, rabid fans, and pop culture enthusiasts all over the world; and its reputation has spread likewise. Loot Crate proudly states that they offer a monthly subscription box for everyone–no matter what they geek over–and it’s hard to refute that when you take a look at how the company’s expanded. There’s even a referral program! With the cheapest monthly subscription at less than $9 for one crate, it’s worth a try.