Okay, so maybe there aren’t any pirates involved, but seriously, when you hear the word “loot” don’t you think of scurvy pirates, cutlasses, the skull and crossbones, and all of that other mythological pirate gear? Of course you do! The modern version of boarding a ship and stealing their treasure – one that will get you in a lot less trouble with the law – is Loot Crate. The company ships over a dozen different types of crates full of treasure each month ranging from video game gear to fantasy toys to science fiction collectibles and accessories.
There are a bunch of companies doing this, really an extension to the book of the month club and similar from a previous generation. On the geeky side, one of the top players is Loot Crate and when they invited me to identify a crate I’d like to check out, I went through their extensive catalog and after much deliberation narrowed it down to the extraordinary HBO series Westworld.
The Loot Crate Loot Sci-Fi “Westworld” Box
Important to know is that the company is big enough that it produces its own collectibles that are included in the box, so it’s not like someone just grabbed $20 worth of stuff at the HBO customer store. More importantly, they put a lot of thought into these boxes, tapping into the heart of the intellectual property. Starting with the box itself:
Fellow fans of the show will immediately recognize the saguaro cactus and southwestern US chaparral scrub dessert in the image, along with the hot temps of the orange and yellow color palette. But what’s inside?
Well, before we get there, I’ll tell you that this crate would have cost me $39.99 if I had gone to the site and bought it. What do you get for $39.99? Here’s the box, opened up:
Okay, not super informative. Let’s spread everything out, because it really is a box ‘o loot!
From the top , going clockwise, that’s a black Westworld bandana, a metal pin with Bernard’s face on it, a Shogun World banner, a Delores T-shirt, a Mariposa Saloon & Hotel mug and, in the middle, a deck of playing cards with a retro 1800’s design (no card info on the corners) in a collectible tin. Fans of the show are saying “Ooohhhhhh” right now, because this is some pretty cool stuff, no question. These are pretty dang sweet, actually!
Here’s the bandana:
Again, show faithful know the importance of the labyrinth in the center and the phrase “These violent delights have violent ends”, not to mention the other iconography on this otherwise typical cotton bandana.
My favorite of everything in the box, however, is this mug. It’s well nigh fantastic because it’s really subtle and non-fans will just wonder where the Mariposa Saloon is. For us Westworld enthusiasts, however, we all know that the Mariposa was really the central location in the fictional old west town of Sweetwater and was run by madam Maeve with fellow courtesan Clementine:
In this context, “courtesan” is a very nice phrase for what these women were in the Westworld universe. Fortunately they didn’t stay just “courtesans” for long and Maeve is an absolutely central character to the entire series, but that’s another topic entirely.
NOTE: To give acting credits, Dolores is played by Evan Rachel Wood, Bernard is played by Jeffrey Wright, Maeve is played by Thandie Newton and Clementine is played by Angela Sarafyan in the hit HBO series, based on an equally good earlier film, which was itself based on a book by Michael Crichton.
Back to the Loot Crate! This is really, really fun to receive and the fact that they have all this cool gear associated with a favorite program is very sweet. If you have a sci-fi, fantasy, gamer or other geeky fan in your life – or are one yourself! – then you definitely want to check out Loot Crate. It makes a great present for the holidays, but even more, since you can buy just a single crate or subscribe to a monthly mailing, it makes a great subscription too. I imagine a freshman in the dorms, for example, would be eager for the mailing date to roll around each month to see what’s new in their latest loot crate!
Themes range from Rick & Morty and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Deadpool, Marvel Comics, Hello Kitty, Crunchyroll and even Fallout, Destiny and The Elder Scrolls video games and limited edition options like Pixar, Universal Monsters and Britney Spears. Yes, Britney Spears. OMG! Themes vary the individual boxes, so Westworld was one Loot Crate Sci-Fi, but the latest is themed around the Star Trek franchise, as shown above.
Crate prices vary by theme and value of goods, but the Loot Sci-Fi box I got was $39.99 + $5.00 shipping. Each is stated to have at least $60 worth of gear in it so it’s a good deal. Or is it gambling? We’ll get back to that. Meanwhile, you can also subscribe to, say, 4 crates for $179.96 including shipping and gift that to a favorite geek in your life. Really fun.
In any case, this was one really great box of collectibles to receive, and the standout winner is the mug, which will be a favorite among my family for years to come. Definitely check it out at LootCrate.com.
Disclosure: Loot Crate sent me this sample box for free so I could see what’s inside. A darn nice gesture!