Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Merch Review: WrestleCrate March 2016 (Lily Lestrange)

It's only taken 5 months and 5 crates to do but I finally decided to write up a review of my March Wrestle Crate because it's gotten to the point now where the boxes are that good that I can't NOT talk loads about them to you all.

I've been subscribed to the crates since November when they first made the jump across the pond to the UK, courtesy of the same team who run Calling Spots Magazine. To be honest, the only disappointment I've ever experienced with my crates is that I only opted for the standard one when I first subscribed because I ended up missing out on some good stuff in that first box. The quality and diversity of these boxes are what keeps me subscribed; it also helps that you're supporting a small business whilst getting some excellent big brand products at the same time, along with unique items that the team design themselves so we're getting the best of both worlds. They do have a second chance store where you can buy some of the products from previous crates but when they're gone, they're gone for good so your best chances of getting these items at the best price possible is to subscribe and twiddle yer thumbs until the box arrives.

So, March's crate. It was probably the most diverse yet, which I didn't think was possible after the February crate (which I'll probably go back and review at some point when I can gather all the items from it... So in another 6 months then).

BEHOLD, IN ALL OF ITS GLORY. The wonderfully designed crate itself. You can't see from my darkly lit photo but the box is designed to look like a wrestling ring. I believe the design was a fan submission that they made a reality after it was sent to them over social media, which makes these crates even more special.

And here come the goods! In this crate we got two t-shirts, two DVDS, a signed 8x10, a mystery box and a puzzle game. I'm subscribed to the Ultimate crate so we get a bit more than the Standard crate subscribers.

As soon as I spotted this beauty I knew this would be my favourite item from this crate. If you don't get the reference then please donate all of your t-shirts to me so that I can wear them all at once and show them some love and appreciation. Sadly for me that won't be anyone, given how iconic this match is. For the purpose of the tape, this shirt references the moment in the Wrestlemania 24 match between HBK and Ric Flair where HBK mouthed "I'm sorry, I love you" to Flair before hitting him with a Sweet Chin Music and thus ending Flair's wrestling career (or so we thought, anyway).

The quality of the t-shirts have always been spot on with these crates. The print itself doesn't fade or crack after being washed, the colour doesn't fade and the material doesn't get all that bobbly way after a few washes, and they won't sleep with your wife when you're out of town. What more can you ask of a shirt, really?

The Brucey bonus this month was that, for the first time, we get TWO shirts instead of one. Because it's Mania season baybaaaaay and the Wrestle Crate crew are feelin' generous, fine and funky fresh.

I saw a lot of people on Twitter going daft about this shirt, particularly the ones that were fortunate enough to be travelling out to Dallas for Wrestlemania. The Sportatorium was the go-to venue for wrestling in Dallas since 1935 and it was open all the way up until the late 90s before it fell into disrepair and was finally demolished in 2003. World Class Championship Wrestling held their events there for years, then when the company crumbled it hosted the likes of Global Federation Wrestling and National Wrestling Alliance shows but they weren't pulling in a big enough crowd to sustain themselves and had to abandon the old venue. So yet another piece of wrestling history that's commemorated by these shirts.

Next up we have a Wrestle Crate exclusive hand-signed print of Kenny Omega with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. The design is by Calling Spots regular artist Paul Cooper. The first thing that drew me into Calling Spots was the artwork and I've been a fan of Paul's work ever since so getting a signed print was a lovely addition to my collection.

There's usually a DVD in every crate and again this month we were spoiled as we ended up with two DVDS, one from Ring Of Honor and one from Chikara. I've not watched ROH in years and I've yet to watch either DVD but I've no doubt it will be up to the usual high standards that they hold. My only experience with Chikara is what I've seen on Botchamania which obviously isn't very good; all I know is that there's loads of different coloured Ants and a lot of failed flippity flip moves. They're actually coming to Glasgow in May and I'm going to get a ticket to see what it's all about so hopefully between that and the DVD I'm pleasantly surprised. Hopefully.

Next up we've got this wee thing; a little puzzle game with Sami Zayn on it. The great thing about these crates is that you really don't ever know what you're gonna get inside of them. Sometimes it's colouring books, sometime's it's bottle openers and sometimes it's wee slidey puzzle games to fry your brain with. I spent about 30 seconds muddling the little tiles up thinking "oh aye, I'll be able to solve this again no bother" and then proceeded to spend the next half hour after that calling Sami Zayn every name under the sun because I just kept making it worse. I remember having a toucan version of this game when I went to Flamingo Land as a kid and I remember a similar temper tantrum so I probably should have known better. I think at one point I tried to pry the tiles out of the toucan one with my wee fat fingers so that I could re-arrange them and pop them back into place but that didn't end very well either (DO NOT try and pick the bits out of your Wrestle Crate puzzle game please, or I'll end up in the jail because someone's kid has choked on Sami Zayn's tiny square head piece).

And finally we have this, which asides from the first shirt was my favourite part of this crate. A MYSTERY BOX. There are 12 different figures to collect from these boxes ranging from the Bellas to The Rock. I of course saw the Rock one and crossed my fingers that I would get him...

... No dice. I did get the Undertaker though, which is fine. IT'S FINE. I DIDN'T WANT THE ROCK ANYWAY (no but seriously if you got The Rock then please swap me so that I don't need to spend £100 trying to find the wee bastard in different boxes and end up with 50 of the same Hulk Hogan figure).

As you can hopefully see from my grainy photos, these are really good quality little vinyl figures. The designs are quite basic which is to be expected from a mystery box figure but the paint job is good and he doesn't topple over when you stand him up which is always a plus. I've got a shelf full of figures so if one falls then they all bloody fall; this usually occurs at some ungodly hour and frightens the life out of me so aye, figures that stand up are always good.

And that's it from March's crate! Overall I can't complain about the quality or quantity of anything in the crate, it's amazing value for money. If you buy a shirt at a show you're looking at £15 minimum so with the two shirts alone you're already getting more than what you paid for. The Ultimate crate that I get is £21.99 a month + £4 shipping within the UK, and the Standard crate is £ plus shipping. The Standard crate is a good way to dip your toes into the water but if you take a look at the amount of cool stuff that's been included in previous

Ultimate crates, I'd highly suggest you go all in and subscribe to the bigger crate to avoid the disappointment that is missing out on cool items from the Ultimate crate. Since Wrestle Crate jumped across the pond to the UK I've seen other similar crate subscriptions pop up online but from what I see the quality of them just doesn't compare. With Wrestle Crate you get a huge variety of high quality, unique products that for the most part are exclusive to Wrestle Crate.

You can see what all the fuss is about and sign up for a crate of your own here:

1 comment:

  1. March was a good crate have been disappointed by the others. Feel the ultimate crates are not worth the extra money.