I actually thin the Wellington jersey is something special. I marks a milestone of the first New Zealand away home game. I commemorates Wellington League's hundred years, and it looks good. I grabbed on when they were online for $90. I sent it to Auckland last week with a mate and got 13 autographs on it, so it is now my favourite jersey (when it finally gets home). It is a strip that will never be repeated or replicated.
On the constant jersey changes, isn't the deal that the home and away strips remain for 3 years? Only the pre-season (rubbish) jerseys, and the Women of League and Heritage strips change annually. I disregard the preseason jerseys. They are a novelty item and should be sold dirt cheap, not full priced. The heritage jersey should change every year, but they need to find traditional designs to relicate with a modern spin, rather than the gaudy ill-conceived concept jerseys they throw at us. I like this years heritage jersy for the fact that it commemorates our 2002 jersey, but I dislike the tribal mentality they are putting into everything. The flax weave just spoils it. I don't mind the Women in League design, but would never wear it myself. The mixture of ethnic designs, paying tribute to the cultural melting pot the team has always been, lends itself to the colour and the concept of that round. Normally I would be against the added Wellington jersey, but to a non-Auckland fan, it was a big deal that they took a game away, so it was a worthwhile reason.
I have one complaint about not having enough one off jerseys this year, though. I was extremely disappointed to see nothing on the jersey last week to acknowledge Manu's testimonial match. Either a new jersey, or at least an embroidered patch marking the occasion should have been worn. If Guttenbeil gets a random design for his testimonial, then the beast definitely deserved something special (not a ratshit designed t-shirt).
I have always thought the prices have been insane, but at least now Rebel Sports include NRL merchandise in their sales, so they are occasionally sold at near-reasonable prices. The Letterman jacket price is diabolical, but when you think a jersey runs $185 normally, then $220 for a thick, warm winter coat is probably not that bad.
I usually get a jersey every 2 or 3 years, and occasionally get a t-shirt to mark something special, but don't get a lot of merchandise.
I am off to the Gold Coast in a few weeks, and have heard they have the best NRL merchandise shop around, so will spend a bit of cash there. I am after stuff for my bar and future gamesroom, which doesn't seem to be available in NZ. I did hear Scurrah make comment about the possibility of the club getting more involved in that type of gear in the future, in the members forum. I would like to get a few sets of different Warriors glasses to display behind the bar (also a signed ball would be great displayed on the bar, if anyone knows how to source one without paying astronomical prices), and am working on building a Warriors-themed sports bar/gamesroom downstairs over the next year or 2, that will need a lot of gear.