We’ve told you about Atomic Loot when they launched last month, and we’ve even unboxed their Star Wars-themed debut. For this month’s Atomic Loot, our friend Alanna pre-ordered it, and here she kindly reviews it in a guest post.
When I first heard that there was a new nerd subscription box in town, I was madly excited. My love for subscription boxes stems from my time in the US when I was receiving all sorts of different boxes in the mail, including of course, Loot Crate.
When Atomic Loot announced that they were releasing a Harley Quinn-themed box, I decided to take the plunge and pre-order a box – after all, I love Harley and I always want to support local ventures. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
Without further ado, here are some pictures of my box and the items inside.
The box is different from the first Star Wars box. Larger, and held closed with velcro, presumably so you can use it again to hold other things.
Pretty cool way to incorporate both the Atomic Loot name and the Batman logo together.
The star item, the Harley Quinn figure. Comes with a price tag on top that says $20.
The other items in my box. Justice League United #9, Harley Quinn variant cover. A pair of blue d6es from eight ballers. Some postcards. A pack of X-Men trading cards.
Some stickers. The deadpool sticker came with a price tag on the back.
And that’s all there was in there. My verdict? I will not be buying from Atomic Loot in the near future, unless they really step up their game.
Allow me to justify myself.
I was an early adopter of Loot Crate, beginning my subscription in December 2012, receiving what was their fourth box ever. I would continue my sub until March 2014, making me a loyal subscriber for over a year. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love every single box, but there was never a box that I received that ever made me feel that it wasn’t worth the price tag.
But for this box, I honestly feel like it wasn’t worth my money. I saw the items and genuinely felt like the items were thrown together, and that the company needed get rid of them. Let’s review the items one by one.
- Harley Quinn 4″ PVC collectible figurine: Apparently worth $20. Alright, that’s okay. But this is the only thing that was felt like it was properly curated for the box.
- Justice League United #9, Harley Quinn Variant Cover: That’s fine too, but it was #9 of a series I don’t follow. In fact I saw that it was #9 and put it back in the box straight away. When asked, I couldn’t even remember which comic I got. I don’t think I’d have felt that way if I had gotten a Harley title. This might just be me griping about the luck of my draw.
- Postcards: Promotional postcards for Marvel comics. Definitely not Harley Quinn themed.
- Dice: The dice weren’t Harley Quinn themed either, and they could have so easily done something to match the theme. How about one red and one black die? How about a d8, at least that’s a diamond? Or I mean, how about a d20, because just why d6.
- X-Men trading cards: I have no words.
- Stickers: Two of them are promotional stickers, and hence of no value to me. Of the remaining sticker (Deadpool), it again has no relation to Harley Quinn, and guess what, it has a Toy Outpost sticker on the back. It’s unliquidated stock from Toy Outpost.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand perfectly well that I can’t choose what I get in my box. And that’s the nature of subscription boxes. But when I receive subscription boxes, the thing I *do* expect at least is proper curation. And this is going to sound entitled, but I definitely wanted more from my box. More that wasn’t mere promotional items.
And so in my humble opinion, here are five things that Atomic Loot needs to do pronto:
1) Determine your target market properly
Who’s the target? Nerdy hardcore fanboys? Casual fans? Everybody wants different things, and although you can’t please everyone, catering to a specific market or two will ensure a much tighter, more marketable, curation of items in the box.
2) Better marketing for yourself
On Atomic Loot’s Facebook page, all there is are dates for preorder and dates for pick up. Oh, there’s a post that says “everybody is asking us what’s in our boxes…”
There’s a reason! Because no one knows!
Atomic Loot needs to start the hype. Start revealing items after the launch. Tease something that’s in the next crate. Provide buyers with avenues to share their loot on social media. Make people WANT your box. Make people say, “Oh crap I should have gotten that box!”
3) Better marketing for your sponsors
Who are your sponsors? Eight ballers for the dice? What do they do? I ran a quick Google search and didn’t get anything. Okay, never mind, lost interest. By the way, I also don’t know what this Comic Kaki thing (from the sticker) is, surely a description would have been helpful.
Atomic Loot needs to better showcase their sponsors. Give us a card to show us what your excellent sponsors have done for you. Or even if it’s too expensive to print, surely at least links can be provided with profuse thanking after the month is done.
And the best part? Win-win for both you and the sponsors, because not only do sponsors get more traffic (presumably), you can sustain a happy relationship with your current sponsors, and possibly garner more sponsors too!
4) Get rid of this specific theme thing
I may be being a little didactic here, but I honestly think Atomic Loot has painted itself into a corner by stating their themes so clearly and specifically. By calling this box a “Harley Quinn” themed box, there is no wiggle room at all around the theme. Imagine if the box was “Jester” themed. Besides all the Harley stuff, it immediately opens up a wider range of possibilities for items that could go in there.
5) Standardised boxes
I discovered via Instagram that there are people who have many more items in their loot box than I do. This is a problem. Presumably these people have subscriptions, and therefore as a “reward”, they get more items in their boxes, in addition to the lower per box rate. This does not encourage me to sign up and in fact turns me off.
From my experience, the surest way to get a Singaporean to complain is to provide him with the opportunity to say “how come he have, I don’t have”. The answer should not be “then you sign up lor”. Because the counter from casual fans (and trust me, the target market should include casual fans) will be “then I rather walk away”, because I didn’t get a chance to try/see these good items. There already is an incentive for subscriptions via the incredibly lowered prices and free postage. Doubling that incentive with more items for subscribers alienates the casual buyer/walk-ins, etc. Subscription boxes should provide variations on a set of items, not boxes with different things.
Again, these are just things that could be done in my opinion, based on what I have observed and enjoyed about my experience with Loot Crate and other extremely successful subscription boxes from the US. I sincerely want Atomic Loot to succeed, and I believe they have a very viable market for success. But if things don’t change for the better, they will start losing customers very fast. I hope that things are moving in the background, and perhaps I jump the gun when I offer these opinions (maybe the Spidey one is excellent?) but at the very least, here are the problems that I immediately identified with my first Atomic Loot box. All the best to Atomic Loot. I will be watching to see if things change and who knows, maybe I will have to eat my words.
Thanks Alanna for your guest post! As she mentioned, March’s Atomic Loot theme is Spider-Man. Pre-orders are now open. Each preorder is $25 per box. If you want to subscribe, it’s $120 for six months and $180 for a year.