If you’re not familiar with the insanely popular Loot Crate, we’ll fill you in: it’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee and every month a box turns up at your door.

What’s in the box? It’s a mystery, the only way you can find out is by opening it (or watching an unboxing video, which has become it’s own genre on Youtube). The only aspect tying the contents together are general nerd and geek culture, so expect videogames, cult movie and comic paraphernalia.

Since Loot Crate doesn’t officially ship to our sunny shores, local ingenuity has stepped forward and two full-time students university students from Cape Town have filled the gap. The very first shipment of their ‘Geek Crate’ went out this month, and we got our hands on it.

Here’s what’s inside, what we thought of it, and if it’s worth the money.

What’s in the box?

Geek Crate

The first worry was the box. It’s plainness was fine with us – rather spend the budget on contents than packaging, but it was quite small and light. This is good for delivery, though, as its cost is included in the base of each crate.

The outside only has two stickers with the Geek Crate logo and details, while the inside shows off the sponsors and a nice little joke (opinions differ on that joke’s quality – ed.).

The Loot

Top Trumps [Marvel or DC]

Geek Crate

First off is a mini-set of superhero-themed Top Trumps which will either feature Marvel or DC. The set only comes with 19 cards, which is very disappointing as the ones we did get were both of high quality card and print, with a vintage art style and patina.

Zang Caffeinated Milk Chocolates

Geek Crate

For some (literal) local flavour, Zang Chocolate comes from Cape Town and does what it says on the wrapper: provides you with chocolate and caffeine.  You get two 14g pieces in the box. While we do prefer non-perishable items in products that have to be shipped, our chocolate was fine and hadn’t melted as the detail of the”Day of the Dead” pattern in the bar was perfect.

Geek Crate T-shirt

Geek Crate

While of high quality, the T-shirt included in the Geek Crate was too small for anyone in the office; pro-tip: remember to enter the right size when signing up). The material is soft (if not a bit thin) and the print is finely detailed. Our only complaint, aside from the fact that no-one in the office could wear it, is the rather lacklustre design. We hope future shirts have more imagination.

Comic Book

Geek Crate

A full, monthly comic book also found its way into the box. We definitely appreciated this being the first issue and not #134 or something ridiculous. We’re not going to turn this story into a review of this comic, but receiving the first issue is a nice way to give you a taste of the story.

Warhammer Miniatures 

Geek Crate

This is certainly something we definitely didn’t expect. Not only are Games Workshop (the creators of Warhammer) products hard to come by in South Africa, but they are also astronomically expensive.

This is definitely the big ticket item here (despite the tiny size) and if you have the time, dedication and patience to build and paint them, they could look something like this.

Geek Crate Magazine

Geek Crate

The included magazine has a few functions. While providing information about Geek Crate as well as the products inside the box, it also features a comic, “The Temporary People“, which began life as a program for a stage play and morphed into an ongoing series. We did enjoy reading about the history of the comic, but the comic itself was four pages in length and we could skim through it in practically no time at all.

Conclusion

So is Geek Crate worth your money? At R300 per box at its most expensive (a three-month subscription with no discounts), it is difficult to recommend Geek Crate based on this first box. The cheapest you can expect is R275 for a 12-month subscription, which doesn’t include any discounts or the referral program.

While we did like what was in the box, especially the Warhammer miniatrures (and we may be biased because we’re Warhammer nerds), there just wasn’t enough.

But, like Loot Crate, Geek Crate will (hopefully) get better as it matures, just like Loot Crate did. We’ll be watching this South African product to see where it goes in the future. If you’d like your own Geek Crate, we have a discount code for you below:

  • Register here
  • Code: HTXTAFRICA
  • Discount: 15% off your first crate when purchasing a subscription
  • Valid until: 10/11/2015