Loot Crate Unboxing and Review for June 2015

Next up on the unboxing list is a late Loot Crate from June!

The theme of the month was “Cyber”, and this particular Loot Crate is one of those ones that I’m iffy about because some stuff was cool but some stuff didn’t really do it for me. My husband thought it was pretty awesome though, so let’s take a look at the breakdown and see if I’m maybe being a little too harsh.

“Prime” t-shirt: Okay, right off the bat I have to admit that this is a pretty decent shirt. Transformers was a huge cartoon of my childhood, and though I’ve never even managed to sit through a Tron movie, the crossover is okay because it’s a pretty cool design for Optimus Prime. I’ll definitely wear it, is what I’m saying. And while we’re on that note, I don’t think Loot Crate has ever sent me a shirt that I didn’t like, and that’s a pretty decent record. Two thumbs up, Loot Crate. This shirt gets the usual value of $15.

Terminator Genisys “Endo Skull” replica: And this is kind of the star of the show right here. Though I know nothing at all about Genisys, I do know that the original two Terminator movies were all kinds of awesome, and it’s pretty neat to have this very detailed Terminator skull replica. It’s way, way lighter than it looks, which leads me to believe that it’s not a particularly high quality item, but it’s still pretty cool and has an awesome paint job. This is an exclusive item, so I can’t really find a value to apply to it. The only similar items I can find are super-high-quality, super-expensive stuff, so I don’t really have anything to compare with either. I’m going to have to go ahead and pick a number for myself, and just based on the size of the item and the feel of the material, I’m going to go with about $15.

Terminator Genisys “Brain Chip” key ring: My husband originally thought this was a USB drive, but no, it’s just a key ring. It’s still pretty neat, but less so, obviously. If given the chance I would have traded this for  something from a different fandom, just because the Endo Skull is from Terminator too, but I can’t complain too much because it is a pretty neat little item. This is an exclusive item as well, and I can’t find anything similar at all, so we’re going to go ahead and give it a pretty standard key ring value of $5.

Future Replicant Corporate Logo Patch: Okay, I feel bad about myself now, because I just looked it up and this is a Blade Runner reference. But I feel less bad about myself because my husband didn’t get it either, so there. I don’t really have any feelings one way or the other about this item; I don’t use patches, so it’s just kinda there. What could this possibly be valued at? I feel I can’t give it more than $2.

Battlestar Galactica target set: I do like the way that this item was packaged in its own little envelope with special stamps and stuff on the outside. That was pretty cute and neat. On the other hand, I still haven’t watched Battlestar Galactica (I know, I know, for shame), and this is not something I will use. Maybe I can set one up and give my daughter a Nerf gun, but that will probably be the extent. This particular item can actually be purchased as a full-sized poster. Based on the price of that poster and the fact that Loot Crate gave us two of these smaller-sized targets, I’m granting about $5 for these.

Glow in the Dark gadget pouch: I’m going to go right ahead and say it: this is a pencil case. It’s kinda cute with the glowing and all, but it is really just a plastic pencil case. It feels and looks cheap. I can’t really say much more than that. It’s also another exclusive (ha), and because of that I get to say what I think it’s worth. I’m feeling about $2, to be honest, but I’ll be super-nice and give it $5 since it glows in the dark.

Borderlands 0 game mat: I’ll grant that this item is actually pretty decent…if you’re a PC gamer. That’s what makes it useless to me. Sorry comp gamers, but I’m a console girl, and thus will never get any use out of this huge game mat. The design is pretty cool, but it’s not like I’m going to hang it on my wall or anything. This is yet another exclusive item, and I can’t really find anything similar online, but based on the price of mouse pads I’m going to say it’s approximately $10.

Nerd HQ stickers: There’s not much to say about these, obviously, because they’re just stickers. A little addition from the Nerd HQ team over at Comic Con, worth maybe $1

Total approximate value of box: $58
Total cost to me: $36

So here’s the thing: this box had a lot of stuff in it, which is pretty nice because sometimes  you get these subscription boxes and they only have, like, four items in them. However, many of the items in the box were kind of junky and cheap, like the pencil case. That said, the shirt is pretty cool and the Terminator skull is awesome. The brain chip key ring is pretty cool as well, and the game mat would be cool if I were a PC gamer, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon. Everything else is just kind of filler.

So in the end, I still feel on the fence, even thought my husband was pretty happy with this box. The first two items were awesome, the third was okay, and everything else was filler.

What do you think? Did you receive a Loot Crate for June? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Please share!

A Generation Gap Filled

My generation (30ish-year-olds) is currently experiencing a pretty unique opportunity to bond with our children. Over the past few years we’ve been living through a total reboot of our childhoods. All of the things that we enjoyed as kids – everything from the Care Bears and My Little Pony to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Transformers – have come back in a big way, and it makes for an interesting situation. Even if you’re not a fan of the new versions of old characters, you can’t help but feel the giddy sense of joy at seeing your children fall in love with the characters you too were once obsessed with.

A couple of weeks ago my cousin and I had the opportunity to take our daughters to see The Little Mermaid on Stage by Disney Junior, a musical play based on the original movie and performed entirely by kids and young teens. It was an awesome opportunity becdause both of our daughters love the Disney princesses and are fans of Ariel in particular, but if we’re being completely honest here, it was as much for us as for them. When Leah and I were kids we were obsessed with The Little Mermaid. It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to say that we watched the movie a hundred times or more. We could quote every line, sing every song. When we went swimming we would hold our legs together and pretend we had mermaid fins. We lived and breathed The Little Mermaid. So to get the chance to relive a bit of that old obsession, while also getting to see how excited our girls were to see the show…well, that was pretty damn awesome.

Cutest little play-goers in the world right there!
Cutest little play-goers in the world right there!

And the thing is, like I said earlier, my generation has been given that opportunity time and again lately. I can snuggle up on the couch with my daughter to watch Ninja Turtles and genuinely enjoy myself because I still love the characters to this day. I can sit on the floor and play with My Little Pony toys with her and make her happy by actually knowing all the character’s names. I can read her stories about the Hulk and Captain America and Spiderman and be able to have actually conversations with her about the characters because I know their backstories. And all of this, of course, makes her happy as well, because she gets to enjoy the things she likes with mommy.

It may seem a little childish on the suface, but I personally think that a little childishness in life can be a good thing. And besides, what better way is there to bond with your child than to share mutal interests? After all, it can be hard enough to close the generation gap between parent and child, so why not take every opportunity that you can? Relive your childhood a little, and help your kids to live theirs with you in it. 🙂

A Regular Little Mini-Me

Children are funny little creatures. They’re little miniature copies of ourselves, and how we interact with them affects who they will become, how they will grow and act. And sometimes, despite the choices we make and the actions we take, they grow and learn in a way that takes us completely off guard.

My daughter is inadvertantly causing me to relive my childhood, and it genuinely cracks me up every time I think about it. It started with little things that my husband and I fostered without thinking about it. She loves books because we encourage her to explore them and we taught her the alphabet earlier than might be usual. She loves being outside because we made sure to allow her plenty of time to explore and enjoy the outdoors. She loves to talk and sing because we always made sure to speak to her in proper English and I would sing to her whenever I got the chance.

Then, as she moved on into toddlerdom, other interests began cropping up that continually amazed me because they mirror my childhood so closely, despite the fact that I have in no way attempted to push these things on her. One of the first thing that caught my eye was when I noticed how much she loves playing with the dinky cars at her playgroup. When she first took interest with these she had no toy cars of her own at home, and I never specifically attempted to get her to play with any of the toy cars at playgroup. It made me smile because I used to love playing with my cousin’s dinky cars when I was young, and it seemed funny that she would take a shine to them as well. A small thing, to be sure, but funny. Then, one day as my husband was flipping through some movies, she caught sight of the dvd cover for the original live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. “Wassat?” she asked. So my husband put the movie on for her, and lo and behold, she fell in love with it. She took to all of the movies, the original cartoon, and especially the new cartoon. These days she doesn’t go one day without watching at least one episode, and most nights she wants the show on her tv when she goes to bed. She even has the new action figures, which she recieved for Christmas, and they’re some of her favorite toys. This makes me chuckle on a regular basis because, not only is it odd that a 2-year-old girl would fall in love with a show marketed toward 10-year-old boys, but I also loved the Ninja Turtles when I was young. My cousin and I would watch it every day while we ate lunch at my grandmother’s house, and he and I would act out many a battle with his cache of action figures.

And then, before you start declaring my daughter a full-on tomboy, along came My Little Pony. I’ll confess to this one: I looked up the show myself. I loved My Little Pony when I was young and I had tons of the little toy ponies, so I was interested to see what the new show was all about (the appearance of the word “brony” all over the net may have prompted my curiosity as well). So it was that I found a few episodes of the new show and introduced it to my daughter. The discovery was not at the same level as the Turtles, but over the past few months her delight with them has become nearly as strong. She now has a small collection of miniature ponies, as well as a few of the hair-styling variety, and on a regular basis she will request ponies for her bedtime show instead of Turtles. 

These things, along with several others, have made me seriously wonder about the idea of genetic memory. It just baffles me to no end that, with very little proding from my husband or I, my daughter has somehow come to fall in love with so many of the things that I loved as a child. She loves sitting and playing with the loose strings on her pillow (I did the same thing with a particular towel), she has a strange love for robots (I loved Transformers), and (perhaps as a result of watching Ninja Turtles) her favorite food is pizza (I ate so many mini pizzas as a child that my parents should have purchased stock in McCain). I’m sure I could come up with at least a dozen more similarities that seem to have sprung up from nowhere as well. It makes me wonder what other striking similarities may pop up in the future. Will she enjoy writing? Drawing? Will her favorite subject in school be math? Will she prefer RPG-style video games? Nothing is certain except for this: despite any similarities or dissimilarties her childhood may have to mine, at two years old I already think she’s the coolest little kid in the world, and I know that she’s only going to become more and more amazing in my eyes. Whatever interests you adopt as you grow up, baby girl, mama thinks you’re just the awesomest kid ever.