Monday, March 30, 2015

MIXED BAG. PRESENTS LOOT CRATE MARCH 2015: "COVERT" REVIEW!

MIXED BAG. PRESENTS
LOOT CRATE MARCH 2015
"COVERT" REVIEW:
"SHAKEN OR STIRRED?"

A couple days late is better than not at all, right?


And, to be fair, I had a very busy March:
  • I went on a week long trip to Florida for my friend's wedding with two of my best buddies and it was the first road trip I ever drove!
  • The trip was a blast: I got to spend a day in Disney World's Magic Kingdom with four of my best friends, enjoyed the 80 degree weather during the Bachelor Party, got nauseated at Busch Gardens, looked dapper at my friend's wedding, had lunch with my Grandpa and step-uncle and I can't wait to go on another trip soon!
  • I beat Link Between Worlds and Shadow of Mordor, I binge watched The Boondocks as I got back into GTA V, I played the beta of Heroes of the Storm, and I increased my Amiibo count dramatically thanks to Mario Party 10 and irresponsible compulsions!
  • I finally got to run D & D again and played Vampire the Masquerade.
  • I watched Samurai Cop. Seriously, watch Samurai Cop.
Now, let's talk about Loot Crate:


Loot Crate is a subscription based service where members pay a fee (based on their subscription plan) to receive a themed mystery box every month in the mail (last month's theme, pictured above, was "Villains") filled with nerdy products from companies like Nintendo, DC, Marvel, Capcom and much more. The contents of the box usually contain things like exclusive figures, a t-shirt, a magnet, pin/s, posters, comics, books, toys, and pretty much everything you can think of from "dragon-flavored" Jerky in April's "Dragon" Loot Crate to Deadpool socks (pictured above).

This is the perfect surprise for self-professed nerds that love cool stuff and weird stuff alike.

If you're lucky, you might even be the lucky member to get the monthly Mega Crate which always has a value of $750 or more!

And so, for as low as $11.67 + $6 SH, you can become a Looter too! Plus, if you use any of the various codes you can find online, you can get discounts. 

This is my eighth Loot Crate review. If you wanna check out last month's review for FEB 2015 "Play" Loot Crate, check out the link HERE.

This month's theme of Covert promised James Bond, Agents of Shield, and Orphan Black paraphernalia. Let's see how it delivered-- was my interest shaken or stirred?

Time for to bust this whole shadowy operation wide open!


Well, it is kinda hard to say no to that sad or should I say "shad" face, is it?
 
Inarguably, the most famous spy of all time, fictional or otherwise, is Ian Fleming's James Bond and no one played him with a more perfect mix of swagger and cunning than the devilishly dashing Sean Connery.

And this shirt is a cute homage to one of his most infamous and smooth catchphrases, even if the catchphrase is laughable to many bartenders, at best, and groanworthy at worst.

VALUE: $15

RATING: 4/5. So far, I gotta say, this shirt was most appropriately themed but not the coolest.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I prefer whisky, apparently.


On one hand, smart phones have made watches, digital or mechanical, and many other similar pieces of technology obsolete for all but those wearing watches for sentiment, fashion, or showing off (I've noticed people who want to seem important wear watches).

On the other hand, the spy watch is a staple of 20th century spy tech and even modern spy films include nods to 20th century formal wear and fashion, from drinking martinis in tuxedos to spywatches & laser pens, that I'm pretty pleased to see the device included.

I just don't know if I'll ever have an excuse to wear a watch... because it draws attention to my thin wrists.

VALUE: $10

RATING: 4/5. I wish it had a hidden compartment!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Now that we have phone watches, I don't want one. To grow up it to accept some things are simply impractical.


Patton Oswalt and Marvel merchandise?
 
This card key/badge from Agents of Shield is easily the coolest item this month, even if many people won't get why it is cool, but just conceptually I love when they include prop quality items in the boxes. This is the sort of thing that is both a pleasant surprise and a neat item for any nerd to add to the horde of treasures. 

And it inspired me to finally check out the show (and that is good advertising).

Conclusion on the first couple of episodes of the show? Meh. Like the worst episodes of Fringed but replace Walter with Agent Coulson and the horror with an annoying ensemble of characters. I have been assured it gets better, but I'm going to binge watch Arrow first.

VALUE: $15

RATING: 4/5. It does come with a lanyard.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Patton Oswalt is probably my favorite comedian.


I had no idea that hiking weirdos and weird survivalists wore these bracelets for practical reasons until this loot crate. I suddenly feel like a bit of a jerk for just assuming it was a random "I'm like Bear Grylls" accessory like a complicated jacket, flannel shirt, cargo shorts, hiking shoes, and teeth cleaned with pee. 

But even I am fallible, dear readers. Very fallible. I am awful.

This item is neat and appropriate, though, well done.

VALUE: $5

RATING: 3/5. I will put this right next to my

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I do like when they add Loot Crate coloring to items.



I don't know anything about Orphan Black. 

I do know that, while I love comics, I don't love getting them in my Loot Crates because I'm anxious to open them and ruin the value (though that concern becoming less pronounced because I wanna read Star Wars #1).

VALUE: $10

RATING: 2/5. I don't even know.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I hate comics with photo covers.


I don't know if I've ever found more than ten minutes of entertainment from Mad Libs in my entire life, but they felt like putting this bland bit of childhood nostalgia in the box with a pair of blank & bland "field notes" books and a coupon for some spy/ninja comics. Okay.

The magazine has some neat interviews though.

MISC. VALUE: $5?
 
RATING: 2/5. Any game with kaiju and celebrities is worth a try!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: METAL GEAR!

Oh and the box is a spy laptop with some clues that lead to videos and a contest. Neat.

TOTAL VALUE?
$65

FINAL CRATE SCORE?
3/5.

Most of the monetary value of this week's crate comes from a collectible comic variant, which usually runs about a ten dollar value in this market, and a t-shirt which, for better or worst, is usually gonna worth 10-20 bucks. The coolest item is probably the Agents of Shield badge and the worst is the mad libs because boring.

I wish I had more to say about why this box is so average but I think it has a lot to do with my lack of interest in the theme more than the quality of items.

So far 2015 has been a mixed bag for my Loot Crate scores: January's Retro Crate is one of my favorite crates and I've worn that shirt & sunglasses that came with it a lot (especially on my trip where I saw another guy wearing his Loot Crate glasses at Disney World) but February's Play Crate was the worst yet and Covert was average.

Next month's crate theme is Fantasy with Game of Thrones, D & D, and Princess Bride items. I'm more hyped for the content of this crate than I am during the wait at Splash Mountain!

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