This month’s Investigate themed Loot Crate shines a light into the detectives and paranormal investigators in Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, Batman, and The X-Files. Spoiler alert: it’s an excellent Loot Crate, not only containing great merchandise, but sporting a well-crafted theme that unifies these thrilling entertainment franchises into a uniquely curated subscription service.

My favorite item in the Investigate crate is this exclusive Batman color-changing mug made by Zak! Designs. While my DC Comics fandom is mainly Superman and Flash centric, this is not only an outstanding Batman item, it is also the most successful color-changing mug that I’ve seen. While other color-changing mugs can be underwhelming, when hot liquid is poured into this one, neon green Joker gas and Joker laughs, as well as a bright yellow Bat-signal, appear in the night sky over Gotham City to yield a big payoff for Batman fans.

The Marvel’s Jessica Jones Q-Fig continues an exciting run of attractive Loot Crate exclusive figures from Quantum Mechanix. In the slideshow that I’ve provided, you can see that the action is so well-realized that it comes alive differently at every angle.

How exciting was it not only to get my first Stranger Things shirt, but that it is an homage to Uncanny X-Men #134, both a key issue and a classic cover in the Dark Phoenix Saga? The creepiness in the yellow and red background contrasts strikingly with the deep black fabric, and puts the spotlight on Demogorgon and Eleven.

These exclusive The X-Files pencils, made by A Crowded Coop, are lettered with the following phrases from the classic series: “I Want to Believe,” “That’s Why They Put the ‘I’ in F.B.I.,” “The Truth is Out There,” and “Trust No One.” As a writer, I love themed pencils and pens, and use them on the off days that I write on paper rather than directly to the computer, so there is absolutely no chance that these will not be used until they’re nubs. Loot Crate even provided a pencil sharpener to get me started.

Investigate’s Crate Craft is a crime scene kit, and it bears clues to this month’s The Secret Order of Keys. Subscribers may notice, like I did, that this is a comic-book sized carrying case (scroll through the slideshow), although I wouldn’t trust the cardboard handle with too much weight. With the robot, the dinosaur, and now this crime scene kit, Loot Crate’s 2017 Crate Crafts are on a roll.

This month’s Loot Pin is designed after a mini tape recorder, and at lootcrate.com/pins, subscribers can unlock four digital comics: The X-Files (2016) #1, The X-Files: Origins #1, Metropolis #1, and Metropolis #2. This isn’t my favorite Loot Pin, but it is a well-designed five color pin with a bit of mystery to it, namely how a realistic depiction of a mini tape recorder can pop out of a somewhat abstract rendering of one. Getting a tape recorder out of this series of rectangles and lines requires an act of decoding that the perceiver doesn’t even know that they’re doing, and as such it was the perfect accessory for the Investigate crate.

The two inserts in this month’s crate are the Loot Crate Investigate-themed house advertising booklet and the Investigate edition of The Secret Order of Keys, which resembles a dossier, and contains Batman and The X-Files themed puzzles. The inside back cover of the house advertising circular contains a 10% off Loot Wear coupon.

Investigate was not only an outstanding swag box, with cool merchandise that will be appreciated by its subscribers, it was also a perfect example of what Loot Crate is, not only a subscription box service, but a curated shopping experience that enriches each included item with the context provided.

Loot Crate has closed the case on the Investigate crate, but they are currently taking orders for the May 2017 crate, Guardians, which includes merchandise from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars, Destiny, and The Goonies.

Loot Crate sent the review copy

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