I’ve been aware of Loot Crate for awhile now and never purchased one, mainly because my tastes in the gaming and “nerd” world are pretty narrowly defined, so I was concerned about getting things that I would have no interest in. With the announcement of Sports Crate this spring, I noticed that one of the teams was the Cardinals, and I’m generally a fan of all things Cardinals, so I decided it was time to give it a try.
Let me start out by saying that this is not an advertisement, I paid my own money for the “crate,” much to my wife’s disapproving looks as I opened it up and checked it out. But I was curious about it and decided to check it out for the first month and see if it was worth the subscription price. I decided to review it here because I figure there would be people like myself who would be reluctant to subscribe without some knowledge of what to expect.
The basics of Sports Crate are that you pay $39.99 each month for a five month subscription (or $179.99 for all five crates). Each “crate” includes five to seven team specific items. They also promote that you can win some VIP experiences with your team for subscribing to it, but I obviously didn’t win. And at least this month you received a free month of MLBtv, which for a premium subscriber like myself has little value.
The plus side of the monthly subscription option is that you can cancel at any time, so if you wanted just a single box, you could order just that month’s box. I decided that was low-risk enough for me to check it out for a month before deciding whether I wanted to get into more. If I’m reading their site correctly too, there is still time to order May’s box if you’re interested.
And when I arrived home from work yesterday, my May crate was sitting on the front porch waiting for me. So when I got the opportunity, I opened it up to check it out. Here’s what I found.
It seems like each month is going to have a theme. This month the theme was “Bringing the Heat.”
The first item I pulled out was the BALLERS collectible figure. This month the figure is Adam Wainwright. Given the advertising I’d seen for Sports Crate, it seems that these figures are intended to be the center piece of the boxes. But I was overall pretty disappointed with the figure.
My first thought was that they couldn’t decide what size to make the torso, so they came to a compromise and went with half and half. There is a pivot point between the upper and lower torso, but I’m not sure that an additional pivot point was needed there when you have the waist.
The idea was that you could pose the figure in a number of different ways, and I had the bright idea of trying to pose it in a pitching motion for the picture, but it was more difficult that it appeared and so we got a standard pose. I also question just how much “posing” the action figure can endure before it would break. It’s certainly not something I would let my three and a half year old handle.
Having seen pictures of it before I ordered, I was expecting something a little larger or at least more substantial than this. The figure is beside a baseball in my picture above for size reference. I think that the action figure concept has potential, but I think I would have preferred to have a bobblehead or something like that. Who doesn’t like bobbleheads?
It also included a miniature corn hole game that has some Yadier Molina artwork on the front of it. You too can practice tossing pitches to Molina as the hole is his glove. Though Molina should really put his mask down as you never really know whether you’re going to get the 2016 or 2017 Trevor Rosenthal.
The bean bags were a little cheap and it is good that they came in a zip lock bag as they were leaking their filler a little bit and left some on my desk just from me pulling them out for the picture.
When I pulled it out, I was originally unsure of what I was going to do with it, but it does seem like a cool item. I figure my three year old and I can enjoy playing with it inside and it’s likely to be a little more his pace than the full size outdoor version. Also, I’m sure it’ll work great for a “cube crawl” at work.
There is also an exclusive “Bringing the Heat” pin that features the Cardinals’ logo and a baseball with a flame design around it. I’m not a big pin guy, but as far as pins it seems pretty nice.
Also included is an Adam Wainwright baseball card that’s made exclusively for Sports Crate. It is number one in a team series of five, so it stands to reason that each crate this season will include another one in the set. It’s been awhile since I’ve been into trading cards, so I’m sure it will end up with some that the kid has.
There is also a Sports Crate branded lunch bag. Apparently I wasn’t the only person whose first thought was that it was a fanny pack when I pulled it out. It would have been better if it had been team branded (after all, I’m paying for a Cardinals Sports Crate), even if it was still just the plain black, but it should be big enough to fit a six pack of your favorite beverage to help keep it cold. I recommend some good small market cream soda.
Finally, the item in the crate that really pushed me over the edge to actually subscribing for it, the apparel item. Sports Crate advertises that each crate will include a “wearable” item. That could be a shirt like we got this month, socks or a hat (both items that I’ve seen in promo images for Sports Crate). I’m a big fan of usable items like this and I like wearing Cardinals gear.
The shirt this month is a three-quarter sleeve moisture-wicking t-shirt that has the St. Louis Cardinals’ script logo on the front. Red sleeves and gray front and back panels. The gray area on the front panel has a graphic on it that took me far too long to realize that it was supposed to be a large glove.
Based on the images I’ve seen on Twitter of other team’s shirts, Cardinals fans got lucky with the color arrangement. Other teams have not been so lucky in my opinion.
The shirt feels like a decent quality. Similar to some of the shirts I’ve designed and had printed up at an old job years ago.
My overall thoughts are that it was about what I expected, even though I was a little disappointed by most of the non-apparel items. Maybe I’m just an atypical fan, but I’m not so much into baseball cards or pins. The lunch bag would have been great if it had a Cardinals logo on it as I’d start using it everyday for my lunches.
The corn hole board has potential, though for many I feel like it would be more of a novelty. The action figure is growing on me, but we’ll see.
I’m split on whether to continue on for the June crate. I likely will in the hopes that my expectations may be exceeded, but I definitely hope they keep it up on the apparel end because that’s what will ultimately keep me subscribing.
If I stick around for the June crate, I will likely post about that one too.