April’s Loot Crate theme is “fantasy” – so Game of Thrones and Dungeons & Dragons are pretty much a given. But this month’s Loot Crate comes with a few surprises, too, and overall, it’s one of the better crates this year.
The Princess Bride Playing Cards (Albino Dragon)
The most surprising – and best – item in this crate is certainly a deck of Princess Bride playing cards, designed by Albino Dragon. In every regard, these cards mainline Princess Bride fandom, from face cards adorned with characters from the film, to little throwbacks to the film in the suit designs and card backs, and even a Joker card with a Rodent of Unusual Size!
The face cards are, naturally, where most of the film references lie. Each suit has its own unique Jack, Queen, and King, each based on a character from the film, complete with a quote. Unsurprisingly, Westley is the King of Hearts, with “As you wish” as his quote, with Princess Buttercup (“Well… you were dead”) as the Queen. The true standouts, though, are Fezzik, the Jack of Diamonds (“Anybody want a peanut?”), Valerie, the Queen of Clubs (“I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”), and the Priest, the Jack of Hearts (“Mawage”).
It’s the little details that really make the deck worthwhile, though. The card back keeps the classic style of playing cards, but with a Princess Bride touch – the crossed swords of Westley and Inigo Montoya, and the Man in Black’s iconic black mask. The suit icons are adorned with gold curls reminiscent of the typeface on some versions’ logos, and the side of each card, beneath the card’s number, is either Westley’s or Inigo’s sword.
The only downside is the artwork on some of the cards – it uses a photorealistic style, which looks good, but also makes any problems with perspective or proportions painfully clear. This is only really a problem on a few cards though, and most look decent.
Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt (Wizards of the Coast / Loot Crate Labs)
Most Loot Crates have a T-shirt of some description, and for April, it’s a Dungeons and Dragons-themed one. With Dungeons & Dragons, it could be easy to go overboard with fantasy art that looks good in a book or frame, but would look terrible on a T-shirt. Thankfully, this isn’t the case, with the Loot Crate Labs instead opting for a simple red T-shirt with a single-tone D&D logo. More specifically, it’s the ampersand from the D&D 5th Edition logo, in black with some distress marks. The overall image is something that channels that Dungeons & Dragons fandom, but still looks good of its own accord.
Harry Potter Luggage Tag (BIOWORLD)
BIOWORLD have gone with a simple design – a red and gold badge emblazoned with (Platform) 9 3/4. Like the D&D T-shirt, less is more; the minimalist design pops where a more overbearing Harry Potter design would look crowded and tacky. Still, it’s decidedly Harry Potter-esque, and likely won’t appeal to anyone who’s not a Harry Potter fan in the way that the D&D T-shirt might.
Game of Thrones Magnet Set (Dark Horse) and USB Flash Drive (CustomUSB)
It wouldn’t be a fantasy-themed Loot Crate without some Game of Thrones stuff, and this box delivers with a set of magnets and a USB flash drive. Fans of the show or books will probably like these, but there’s not really much here for anyone else.
There are five magnets: a Game of Thrones TV show logo, and the crest for each of the four houses of Westeros. There’s not much more to say – if you want Game of Thrones crests on your fridge, these will do the trick. Otherwise, they don’t have much to offer.
The flash drive is shaped like House Stark’s grey direwolf, and again, is strictly aimed at Game of Thrones fans. It’s a a faithful recreation of the crest, so if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll enjoy having this on your desk or in your bag. For everyone else, a slim 4GB means this is of limited use.
Inflatable Crown (Loot Crate Labs) and RPG Bow Tie (Spotted and Tied)
This month’s dummy items (for want of a better term) are an inflatable crown and a red silk-look bowtie covered in gold dragon and 20-sided dice icons. These are strictly novelty items – beyond wearing them for a laugh, or as props in some sort of fancy dress costume, I doubt many people will be wearing this.
The April 2015 Loot Crate is put together by Loot Crate, and was sent out to subscribers in April 2015. The box used for the review was paid for by the reviewer.