Welcome to our latest chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
It’s safe to say that creating awesome experiences is something that we are really proud of here at Loot Crate. We have a special opportunity to connect with hundreds of thousands of Looters each month, providing them with unique unboxing experiences, exclusive collectibles, awesome apparel, and more. Starting last year, though, we started to add a whole new layer to the exclusivity of the cool items featured in our crates by diving into the world of in-house product design and eventually the self-manufacturing of many of the killer figures Looters get in their crates every month. While this is, of course, an enormous team effort, it was the addition of Steed Sun to our design team as VP of Product Development that really helped catapult a lot of the amazing work we’ve been doing with our own product designs and development. He’s an incredibly talented man, and a busy one too, so I was very happy when he was able to sit down with me for a little interview about his experience at Loot Crate – give it a look!
JB: Thanks for taking time to chat with me, Steed! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
Steed: I am the VP of product development at Loot Crate and I handle all the self-manufactured figures we make for all of our crates.
What were you doing before you joined Loot Crate?
Before LC, I was VP of Design and Development at JADA Toys, and prior to that I was a long-time employee at Mattel Toys – over 22 years!
Those two stops on your career are huge, and overall you have quite an impressive resume when it comes to product development – do you have any favorite products you’ve been a part of prior to joining Loot Crate?
For over a decade I had the pleasure of working on all the Batman figures, vehicles and role play toys at Mattel, and because of that I’ve been to many set visits and came up with some pretty cool stuff that I was able to check off my bucket list.
What made you want to bring your talents to Loot Crate, and what sets it apart from other companies you’ve designed products for?
I loved the idea of helping Loot Crate expand their horizon into self-manufacturing so it seemed like a really fun challenge. Also, Loot Crate being a startup allows me to change my perspective and gives me opportunities to do fun, cool stuff for our Looters
Your arrival at Loot Crate really signaled the beginning of in-house product development for our crates – what was it like to help inform such a huge step for the company?
Well, nothing happens overnight so it was a slow start but very quickly we are picking up momentum and expanding our bandwidth which is very cool!
What has been the most exciting aspect of being a part of such a big change for Loot Crate? The most challenging part?
As with any new start, there will always ups and down and going through the best of times and the worst of times – but it’s all about finding that balance. Overall it has been a fantastic voyage creating and making so many cool products and being a part of so many cool projects here at LC.
Now, I know we can’t spoil anything that might be coming up, but can you talk at all about any of your favorite Loot Crate products you’ve helped create?
Personally, I like working on figs and designs that you can’t get anywhere else, so I love them all. We’ve had some great LC exclusives, but the Ghostbusters Karate Puft, Adventure Time Nice King, and the Fallout Power Armor are some of my favorites so far.
The Sea of Thieves Flameheart figure from March’s Loot Gaming might be my favorite item in any Loot Crate, ever – can you walk us through what the process is like to put a figure like that in a crate?
So, I can’t take all the credit for this one. The original concept and designs are from Ray Makowski and we teamed up together – I took his overall concept and delivered a three dimension version of his sketch. From there, we make sure that the sculpt, deco, and packaging is all licensor approved and good to go. Overall, it turned out great, and now we’re on to the next one!
If there was any company or franchise, or even a specific character, that you’d like love to design a product for in a Loot Crate, what would it be?
That’s easy… ANYTHING DC and Marvel! I am a pretty good Trekkie so anything Star Trek would be a pleasure too.
And now, for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own product line for Loot Crate, what would it be?
Hmmm.. that’s a tough one. Would be cool to have a LOOT WORLD crate where all our self-manufactured exclusive come together and deliver a fun and uniting message for Looters and pop culture fans worldwide.
Having seen so many of the incredible figures you’ve designed so far, I can only imagine that the sky is the limit for our self-manufactured products – and a crate filled with some of those exclusives? Sounds like a helluva crate, Steed! So… where do I sign up?