Microsoft is working with Riddell and Bauer to produce limited-time Halo-inspired athletic gear – including a football helmet and hockey pads.
Microsoft partnered with sportswear companies Bauer and Riddell to release limited-time Halo-inspired football and hockey gear, so some fans can now take on the persona of series protagonist Master Chief. Halo reentered the gaming cultural zeitgeist with its newest installment of Halo Infinite, which saw the launch of its multiplayer open beta in mid-November and its campaign (and official release) earlier this past month.
Although Halo Infinite’s multiplayer saw a relatively rocky launch, fears about the game’s single-player campaign were assuaged when it finally arrived and received critical acclaim. The latter release was not only deemed an excellent entry for longtime fans of the series, but also an accessible choice for fans just discovering the world of Halo. Additionally, critics praised the story for rising above other Halo installments’ narratives, claiming the story is one of the series’ best to date.
Halo Infinite has yet to unlock its campaign co-op multiplayer, but the long-running franchise has some limited-time releases to keep fans’ attention in the meantime. Bauer and Riddell recently unveiled (via GameSpot) some Halo-inspired sporting gear for football and hockey players – or Halo collectors. Riddell has a limited-time Master-Chief-looking football helmet retailing for around $1000 USD, with the recognizable Spartan number “117” painted on either side of the creation. The helmet’s face mask includes a yellow visor, also modeled after Master Chief’s Halo helmet. Although the Riddell-Microsoft-collaboration helmet appears to be sturdy enough for a real football game, Riddell’s product description includes a disclaimer stating, “The Master Chief inspired helmet is for display use only and is not designed or intended for actual play or use.”
Bauer, unlike Riddell, tweeted about a giveaway for on-of-a-kind Halo-Infinite-inspired hockey goalie pads. The giveaway link no longer exists and therefore lacks a product description, but the hockey pads appear to be capable of real usage in a hypothetical hockey game. The pads apparently come with other Master-Chief-looking items, such as a “set of custom goal pads, and a Master Chief goal mask.” The idea of a hockey goalie sporting the same look as legendary Spartan Master Chief is certainly a sight to see, but its ability to protect said goalie is probably debatable.
Although Bauer’s and Riddell’s Halo items are collectibles more than real sporting gear, the idea of Halo-inspired merchandise from unexpected producers (like sportingwear companies) seems to be a reflection of the series’ staying power and cultural influence. Master Chief is an icon for many, and should be treated as such – even if his story and much of the series’ lore is yet to be revealed. That said, money is always a factor in the decision to purchase such merchandise, and a Halo-inspired football helmet might not be the best bang for someone’s buck.
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