I finally get in on the subscription box fad, but was it worth it? Let’s find out!
Warning: image-heavy post ahoy!
Hello Kitty and Friends Small Gift Loot Crate: Out of this World
Loot Crate x Sanrio
Release Date: Spring 2019
So, while subscription boxes are a booming fad, it’s not normally something for me. I’m a cheap shopper and not much of a gambler. But Loot Crate has been running those 50% off promotions, and that took it down to my price range. While they have a lot of neat themes, I chose the Sanrio (later renamed Hello Kitty and Friends) for two reasons. One, it’s a very narrow theme. In the anime box, for example, there could be stuff from series I don’t care about, but all of Sanrio’s brands are cute. Second, it only comes out four times a year, so it’s less to lay out for a subscription and keep up with. It’s not my first try with Loot Crate considering I did receive a Loot Anime box for free from a Crunchyroll trial and I’ve purchased things from their Loot Vault site. But this was my first time actually subscribing to an auto-ship box.
First off, I went in knowing that shipping is not Loot Crate’s forte. I read the many complaints about their delays before subscribing. But I thought maybe since the Hello Kitty and Friends Small Gift Crate is quarterly, it wouldn’t face the crunchtime problems like the monthly ones. I didn’t really realize about some of the other problems, like the Firefly and Star Wars crates being practically abandoned — excuse me, I mean, “delayed”. But after I saw the winter Sanrio crate, I found myself regretting not subscribing and took a chance.
But this first crate was scheduled to ship around the end of March, early April. Even up to the April 5th estimated delivery date, the site said it was “On Time”. Well, of course it wasn’t going to be on time considering I didn’t see anyone posting about getting a tracking number, let alone receiving their box. Loot Crate CS just responded to others’ inquiries with a generic “check the schedule”. Which, coincidentally, went away. It used to be publicly available but now is only shown when subscribers log into their accounts. Sneaky!
When they finally did update it, delivery date was pushed to May 15th. Then pushed back again. And again. Even when it gave a range, on the last day, it would keep adding one more day to the shipping range before finally pushing it back a few more weeks. Keep in mind that the next box was scheduled for June, and it wasn’t until July 2nd that Loot Crate sent out an email saying the two crates would ship at the beginning and end of July. So over three months behind on one and one on the other… unless the next is delayed.
Anyway, first thing I noticed (well, after the damage to the box) was how light it was. It also looked smaller, but the main thing was that it felt so light. I immediately thought of the recent lame Loot Crate where people were stuck with Vault leftovers and marginally-related items. It wouldn’t have been the worst thing for me since I don’t have much of Loot Vault’s Sanrio items, but I know I’d be angry if I’d been a longtime subscriber and this box turned out like this one.
I did have a previous crate that I ordered from the Vault. This one is the Vacation Crate from Summer 2017, so a long time ago in Loot Crate’s history. That one was 2 lbs 14 oz; this one is much lighter at 1 lb 4 oz. Out of This World Crate is also 1″ shorter in length and 2″ shorter in height.
Time to panic!!
Box is cute with the Sanrio constellations.
First up, the little trinket. I got Pompompurin — or, as I know him as, the artist one.
Next, a shirt. I was concerned there wouldn’t be a sure since some recent Loot Crates didn’t get one, but this one is an exclusive. Black with pale colors. I thought the planet might glow in the dark since it has that kind of color, but I don’t think so. Shirt was a little big in my opinion, but it’s better than running small. My favorite item in the bunch.
The figure isn’t really related to the cosmic theme. It’s just Hello Kitty in her normal outfit. The colors do go with the box, but I wish Hello Kitty had been an astronaut or something to fit with the motif. I got the common one, but I’m not disappointed since blue is my favorite color… although Loot Crate calls it green.
Gudetama black luggage tag. Cute but I’ll never use it.
Next is an enamel pin featuring Badtz-Maru. I’m not a big fan of these types of chain pins, but that’s just me. I like how it makes it look like he’s doing a spacewalk.
Finally, a duffel bag. That’s a nice change from the ever-popular totes. It’s larger than the pictures may suggest, so I’ll be able to put quite a few items in it. It’s nice how the design is a bit different from the shirt and is not just a copy-paste job. Unfortunately, quality control may be an issue. You can see some long strings in one of the pictures, and I found another afterward. I don’t think this messed up the actual sewing of the bag, as I found no holes, but these are significantly longer than the usual random threads on clothing. Maybe I just got a dud or all the bags had issues, who knows. The design is also a little too square in my opinion, like you can tell it was heat pressed from a machine versus the more natural blending in like the shirt. Still, very useful.
While this Crate had the same shipping issues as other Loot Crate, fortunately, the Hello Kitty and Friends Small Gift Crate was not neary as poor as I feared when I first got the box — and even before then. Some people may prefer one of the recent Hello Kitty (Sanrio) Small Gift Crates, but the Out of This World doesn’t feel like a huge step down from previous months, unlike some other of the company’s recent offerings. At full price, no way, but at the 50% off price of about $20 + tax shipped, it was a fair or arguably good value. After all, even on sale, licensed T-shirts are typically $7 to $15 depending on the store and the design, so that takes up about half the box’s value right there. And I like the bag despite mine needing a touch-up.
I’ll see if the others in my subscription keep at this level or if it will go down in quality, and hopefully they’re improving their shipping logistics for the future. Next crate is supposed to include an extra gift, so we’ll see. I’m more excited now after Out of This World.
If you’re interested in becoming a Looter, keep an eye on my deal roundups for the next 50% off offer at Loot Crate.