The N-Box: Nintendo planning it’s own “Loot Crate”-like service

Surprisingly, Nintendo is getting into the business of offering a subscription-based goodie service similar to Loot Crate, a service that ships a box of goodies to subscribers on a monthly basis.

To get an idea of what Loot Crate is about, go to YouTube and search for “Loot Crate unboxing”. Many such videos feature people pulling items out of these boxes, enjoying the surprise that comes with opening one of these things. Watching one while expecting a Loot Crate in the mail might spoil the surprise, however.

I think the appeal of Loot Crate is for people who know that they’d want a bunch of pop-culture stuff to fill up an otherwise empty bookshelf with conversation pieces, but they aren’t sure what it is they want to buy, but they wouldn’t mind paying someone to determine for them just what it is they get. A lot of it is just toys that would probably sit on a bookshelf, be looked at from time-to-time, but otherwise not really be a big deal. Loot Crates usually come with a T-shirt, and sometimes some posters, which could come in handy for covering ugly bodies and ugly walls. Each month, Loot Crate shipments have a different theme, such as cyborgs.

As weird as some Loot Crate items may be, Loot Crate seems to be generally a good value. Sure, some of the items seem like excess inventory that’s been sitting in warehouses, and a service like Loot Crate may just be a way to sell it off, but about $14 a month isn’t a lot to ask for some of the stuff that you get. Even if some of it is meh. Like shoelaces, pins, decals… You might have had times that you’ve been to Gamestop, saw a mint tin with a design that you liked, but then saw the price tag and decided that you didn’t want to spend something like $4.99 for something like that. One might even feel inclined to hold off on impulse purchases, allowing Loot Crate to supply them with miscellaneous stuff.

So, Nintendo is getting into that with their upcoming monthly N-Box. I like that. For those who like Nintendo, this might still mostly be stuff that a person typically wouldn’t find a use for, but in themes that would be easy for them to appreciate.

There’s already a lot of speculation concerning possible contents, perhaps the most attention-getting would be exclusive Amiibo figures. There are people that are fanatical about those things. Including exclusive Amiibo figures would generate some guaranteed sales for Nintendo (and inspire more fights between determined collectors). Perhaps also they could include some accessories such as custom styluses and perhaps also some plushes.

Loot Crate does monthly themes; such a thing would be easy for Nintendo to do. Perhaps one month they could do a Mario themed box, and another a Pokemon themed box. They could do boxes to promote their new IPs, such as Splatoon. It’s easy to imagine them also doing a Luigi themed box, which would makes some fans happy (the ones that think it wasn’t enough that Nintendo declared a “Year of Luigi”).

For collectors, something like this might be a dream come true. Contents exclusive to early N-Boxes could end up becoming collectors items, especially if exclusive Amiibo figures are included.

Right now, the pricing of the service is unknown. But currently, the service has only been announced for the UK. I’d like to see Nintendo make this available to the United States.

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