moonsammy says... She's absolutely correct that the random collectible toy thing has been around for a long time. Baseball cards certainly count, or even the toys found in cereal boxes years ago. The difference is that physical toys can be traded with friends, or donated, or resold - they're a tangible good with actual, if minimal, value. Loot in video games to me is comparable less to "surprise" toys, and more to... hrm. Maybe... playing bingo for non-transferable airfare tickets? There's a real, "fun" prize, that has value for the winner but only the winner, and only in a limited context, and if you don't win you leave with nothing of any value. Note that bingo along those lines would be considered gambling in most contexts (know it would be where I live, at any rate...).