The Other LOTRO Store, A Symptom with No Cure

Poor Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar Telcontar, reduced to shilling for mouse pads and coffee mugs.

Don't Touch MY Coffee!

There, in the Warner Brother’s Online Store, tucked back in the corner behind all the Lord of the Rings Movie Official Merchandise, there are two coffee mug styles and three flavors of mouse mat.

Is that it?

I suppose, working in high tech, I might be totally the wrong person to judge the usefulness of either, having been given by various companies and at a myriad trade shows, enough mouse pads to cover the playground at my daughter’s school and enough coffee mugs to drain an Olympic-size swimming pool.  None of which is enhanced by the fact that I:

  1. do not drink coffee
  2. use a trackball, not a mouse

And while I might be the worst possible marketing scenario for these items, I have to think that some combination of Cafe Press and gifts from people who don’t really know what you like must have killed the market for coffee mugs and mouse pads to some major degree.

And it isn’t like I would be totally adverse to some merchandise that represents one of my favorite games.

At one time, before it faded from too many washings, I proudly wore my “I got the Babel Fish” T-Shirt.  Likewise, I had a very nice Net Hack T-shirt that from the Lore Sjöberg, back when he was making T-Shirts.  I even have a Meridian 59 T-Shirt around here somewhere, though I wore it one day when we were painting the house this summer so now it has a not insubstantial amount of Kelly-Moore “Lemon Grass” on it. (Sorry Brian.)

I would buy some stuff… if you offered decent stuff.

But no, we get coffee mugs and mouse pads… and the infamous EverQuest Zippo lighters.

It's like they never saw Beavis & Butt-head

They have actually, finally, sold out of 8 of the 16 different lighters offered at the SOE Station Store.  I think they’ve been in the SOE store since 2000.  A tough break if you were going to finally break down and buy that lighter with the Wizard logo on it.  They probably have plenty of Ranger logo lighters left though!

But then SOE marketing has never been long on taste… or sense.

This is what they think of people who play Free Realms

And don’t even get me started on Figure Prints.   That is all I need, a World of Warcraft dust catcher.

Though, to be fair, Blizzard has licensed out and you can get some decent WoW themed T-shirts or hoodies.  And the EVE Online store also has a few acceptable items, though I’m not buying a model battleship.

I just don’t wear T-shirts out and about that much any more… except when I am painting the house apparently.

What I want is a nice polo shirt, or better still, a good, solid, 100% cotton, crew-necked sweat shirt… not a hoodie, I hate hoodies… but a classic pull-over sweat shirt!  One of those with your game logo on it would do me nicely.

Is that too much to ask?

How about you.  What do you want?

5 thoughts on “The Other LOTRO Store, A Symptom with No Cure

  1. mbp

    I wouldn’t mind getting a bit of Lotro merchandise Tat for Christmas. Sadly I am incredibly fussy about mouse-mats and a quick read of the blurb confirms that they are made out of “high density foam” and therefore imho useless for gaming.

    Did you check out the incredible “Lord of the Rings Hobbit Scarf” though. This is clearly aimed at the more discerning collector as the scarf is not sullied by any tacky logos or other identifying marks. In fact it looks just like a …scarf. Only you will know that you paid (eh?) $55 for it.

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  2. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    I even have a Meridian 59 T-Shirt around here somewhere, though I wore it one day when we were painting the house this summer so now it has a not insubstantial amount of Kelly-Moore “Lemon Grass” on it. (Sorry Brian.)

    Which M59 shirt was it? One of the ugly green Beta T-shirts, or one of the NDS shirts? The black NDS shirts are pretty rare at this point. Most of them seem to have fallen victim to one problem or another. I still have mine I wear to conferences.

    I guess I’ll forgive you. But, no more T-shirts for you! :P

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  3. SynCaine

    Lets see, I still have a Mac Beta Lineage 1 t-shirt, a Myth 1 t-shirt, a Myth 2 beta shirt+cap combo, an old ABS t-shirt, and an Alienware shirt+cap combo.

    I have yet to actually buy (at least directly) something though, but I’m a sucker for CE’s of games I like.

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  4. Bhagpuss

    I have just this week ordered an EQ2 mousemat. Also EQ2 Christmas cards. Not from SoE, however, I spent two hours in game with several characters, travelling about taking screenshots. Then I spent another hour or so at an online printer getting them set up. Good fun and I will get EQ2 product WITH MY CHARACTERS.

    That’s the absolute key thing to me. If gaming companies would produce plushies, mugs, tee-shirts etc WITH MY CHARACTERS on, I would buy them. But they don’t. They offer generic logos and NPCs. Not interested.

    Consequently I go to third-parties and give them the money that I honestly would prefer to give to the companies that make the games that made my characters possible.

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Brian – I have the white one that says (approximately), “The First – 1996” on one side and “Still The Best – 2004” on the other side, which I believe is a NDS model.

    I was going to bring it to GDC last year to have you sign it and turn it into a minor collector’s item. Instead I grabbed it out of the drawer when I went to paint the house.

    Exterior latex paint just does not come out of cotton either. Such is life. The shirt matches a pair of my sunglasses and my iPod now. That Lemon Grass color is everywhere.

    @Bhagpuss – How do we get on your Christmas Card list?

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