It's already apparent by now that I'm a big Space Invaders fan, but despite the glut of sweet, sweet Invader merchandise created to commemorate the franchise's 30th Anniversary, its still hard to procure many of these items - Space Invaders alarm clock, pillow, Kitkat , etc - solely because I don't live in Japan.
But we make do.
In any case, I was able to sniff out and pre-order the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary commemorative headset and Raglan shirt months ago in Play-Asia, and after a long wait (thanks to pushed back release dates), the Space Invaders care package was finally delivered to my doorstep by a Fedex guy wannabe.
Quality: Pros: The Space Invaders headset is solidly built and is made of lightweight plastic and faux leather for the padding. The pink paint on the actual ear pieces are thankfully not prone to scratching thanks to its top coat, which also seems to protect the black lettering and Space Invaders design from chipping off. The padding on the headband and the underside of the earpieces are extremely comfy; unlike my old Hesh Skullcandy headset, the Space Invader pair didn't give me any sore ears after a considerable length of usage.
Another plus is that the headset can be folded to let you stow it without taking up too much space. However, the hinges are too loose, giving a floppy feel to the earpieces.
Cons: The white adjustable stems are made of plastic commonly used in cheap toys, and may not appeal to those prefer only high-quality material on their stuff. While the whole thing is sturdy and doesn't look like it'll break under moderate usage, the choice of material for the stems look somewhat flimsy. Also, what doesn't appeal to me is the white-colored cord, which is dirt-prone and will never fail to turn grayish after weeks of usage despite proper handling and care.
Sound Quality: The sound quality that the Space Invaders deliver is nothing fancy, but nothing crappy either. Having owned a Skullcandy Hesh, I can safely say that they both have more or less similar sound output, and audio doesn't crack as long as one does not crank the bass too much. A good benchmark that I use is Kajmaster Kajet's Ninja Info Cards - if the sound doesn't crackle in the middle of the track and has ample bass, then it's good.
Packaging: The packaging for this item, while not in the least elaborate, is pretty cool-looking in its black-colored glossy carton printed with multi-colored happy little Invaders. The box window doesn't show much of the merchandise, however, and the headset's color (pink or black) is poorly indicated by a color dot on the box's top flap. The cords placed smack in the middle of the box is conveniently hidden from plain sight by a circular piece of carton with a pink Invader printed on it (which I used as a deco sticker of sorts for my HP Mini).
Pricing: The headset is pretty affordable compared to most other headsets of similar build - and with this I mean those with huge earpieces - costing only US$ 20 or about 900 pesos. With the free shipping option in Play-Asia (available in selected countries), getting the Space Invaders headset is actually a cheaper and more awesome-looking alternative than getting...say, Sennheisers. If you're into the Skullcandy brand, then this sweet headset would be right up your alley in terms of pricing and style.
Verdict: Space Invaders fan? Get this. Looking for a good yet affordable headset? Get this. Want only the best materials for your stuff? You may have second thoughts before buying this baby. Want to scalp something other than Hannah Montana tickets on eBay? Oh yes, yes, get this.
Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Raglan Shirt (Pink):
Quality: I may be a fan of the series, but that doesn't mean I won't call a spade a spade. Let me get this straight: the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Shirts are poorly made. From the initial advertising months ago to the final product, the shirt I got is surprisingly disappointing.
Pros: It's Space Invaders, and the design is love.
Cons: I pre-ordered the pink shirt months ago, but for some reason the one I got is...well, red. Sure, pink and red belong to the same family of color but what the heck, if I were in the US I'd sue Play-Asia or Taito for false advertising (as my item was put on pre-order and shipped to me immediately after they were stocked, not informing me of the color variation nor giving me a chance to change my order). Dammit, Taito.
The cotton fabric used for the shirt is also low-quality. One look at it and I knew that the fabric fibers will get frayed after a few washes, and that the design will easily fade after a short while *sad face*. I was advised to hand wash it instead of throwing it into the washing machine, though I'm not sure if it will help in making this shirt look good as new for several months.
Packaging: The packaging is similar to the one used for the headphones, and you can see the bottom half of the shirt design through the box window.
Pricing: Considering that my DJ Max Syriana shirt is cheaper by a couple of dollars and is of a much, much higher quality, I'm not so sure if this Space Invaders shirt is worth your US$ 20. If you're a rabid fan of the franchise like I am, you'll probably brainwash yourself into thinking that the price is justified, but since I've bought shirts of better quality for a fraction of a price, it's mostly a guilty purchase.
Verdict: Rabid Space Invaders fan? Get this. For the others...it's a nice novelty item, but not worth the money. Even those who buy this off eBay may feel cheated after getting the item, despite it being an official merchandise.