For one day only this weekend, at one place only, the Los Angeles Lakers and Microsoft were selling a bizarre Halo Infinite bundle that was, this being 2021, snapped up by fans/resellers almost immediately.
The pack, available only at the Lakers’ home game against the Clippers on Saturday — a game they lost 119-115, in an arena that’s about to be renamed after a crypto business — included a jersey, a controller and a Master Chief figure.
Here’s what it looked like:
Become Master Chief from #HaloInfinite with the Lakers 117 Master Chief Jersey Bundle including a custom Lakers Xbox controller. Available today starting at 1:17pm only at the Team LA store at STAPLES Center.#LakeShow x @Xbox x @Halo pic.twitter.com/P8pA1uPPOs— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 3, 2021
That’s a regular Lakers jersey, no special colourways or logos. That’s a Lakers controller with no mention whatsoever of Halo (though admittedly it would be nice if Xbox could release more team-themed controllers). And that’s a regular ol’ Master Chief figure you could buy anywhere.
Pretty lazy! Indulge me for a minute here, since this is a well-worn corner of my wheelhouse, but Microsoft and the Lakers have had years to get ready for this moment, and then some bonus months on top of that when the game was delayed, and they couldn’t push a little harder? Look what happened last time a Halo game came out and they wanted to do a sports collab!
While that one would have been easier to arrange — Microsoft had been the Sounders’ primary sponsor since their inception, and the team’s green colours were already a match for Xbox/Halo — it still at least had a Halo 5 logo on the front.
The only thing differentiating this Lakers jersey from any other you’d buy (or get customised yourself) is the fact it has three numbers on it, since NBA rules stipulate players can only choose between 0-99 (with the exception being 69, which no player has ever worn lmao), meaning that if you wanted to customise your own jersey you’d be able to fit MASTER CHIEF on it but not the 117.
I get that you couldn’t make a green Lakers jersey for Boston Celtics reasons, but surely they could have done something to spice this up. Put the Master Chief figure in a Lakers jersey. Replace the Lakers’ sponsor patch with a Halo one, just for this bundle. Something!
Indeed about the only thing really going for this bundle was its price. Swingman-style jerseys like the one included in this pack retail for $US120 (A$171) on their own, so considering this also included an Xbox controller for $US140 (A$200) it was a pretty nice deal.
Not that thrift was the main reason these sold out almost instantly and started appearing on third-party websites, of course. We live in a resale hellscape where nobody actually buys anything they want anymore, they only buy things hoping someone else wants them more and will pay accordingly, so nobody should have been surprised to see these selling for $US500-600 (A$700-855) on eBay over the weekend, even after everything I’ve just said.