Category Archives: merchandise

Gold Package Review 2019

Anyone else get a nice little package this week from DuranDuranHQ? Yes, the new gold package from DuranDuranMusic, the official fan community, arrived this week. If you have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. The official fan community is open to fans who are willing to pay a membership fee. There are two levels of membership: silver and gold. Silver gives members access to the website including exclusive content, a message board, contests and access to presales. The gold membership comes with all of that and extra merchandise. Every so often that merchandise package gets updated and recently that was the case. Like others, I went ahead and renewed at that level to get the stuff. I’m a sucker when it comes to Duran merch. So what do I think about what came?

T-Shirt

This t-shirt is black with both Duran Duran and part of the chorus from the song, Rio, in white. The writing is such that it creates a box shape as seen in the picture here.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I thought of the t-shirt design. I like the black and white but not sure about the shape. Would the name Duran Duran be seen or overwhelmed by the lyrics? I honestly think it looks better in person than in the picture. Plus, I appreciate the soft quality of the t-shirt material. I’ll be interested to see how people react to it when I wear it.

Post-it Notes

I love post-it notes. I use them all the time both at home and at work. In this case, the notes are a good size. They are smaller than the standard but a little bigger than the usual small size. They are white with the red Duran Duran. I like them.

Speaker

The speaker included in the package is a water resistant one (pool side). I have to chuckle at that. I wonder how many of us have no access to pools. I guess I could bring it to a hotel but I don’t see that as a common happening. That said, I know that I could use this speaker in my house. There is a space in which a string could be attached for easy carrying but that is not included. What is included is the charging cable and an audio cable. I have not tried it out yet, but I look forward to it. It will fit nicely in my office and the rumor is that I’ll be doing some writing in there this summer.

Sticker

I like stickers. This is a basic white with black font. I’m not sure where I want it, so for now, it will hang out on my fridge. Where are the rest of you putting yours?

Portable Phone Charger

I feel like we have received a Duran phone charger in the past. Am I imagining it? Gone crazy? Don’t answer that last question. In this case, it is square and pretty compact. I think it is a great idea as there are frequently times when I need a charge when I am out and about. Now, if I can only remember to use it…

Popsocket

Full confession here. For the longest time, I didn’t even know what these were or what their purpose was. I get it now after watching all of my high school students use them as they attempt to watch whatever on their phones whenever they can. This makes me feel old because I would not be interested in watching something on a small screen unless I had to. The one included in the package is basic black with a white font. Right now, I doubt that I will use it as I have a really nice JoSi picture as my phone case. But I am sure that I will when I get a new phone and case.

Tea Towel

The tea towel is a natural color with a red box that lists all the songs released on albums. This is the one item I have seen the most discussion on as people are not certain what to really do with it. I have to agree. It is a rather large towel but the Duran part is less than 25%. The only thing I can figure is to fold it and frame it. My friend, Suzie, is planning on making a little dress out of it for her vodka bottles, which is a fun idea! What are the rest of you doing with it?

4 Lyric Posters

These posters are 11 by 17 in size. They feature lyrics for Rio, Do You Believe in Shame, Ordinary World and The Seventh Stranger. I do like that these posters are different colors and are on thick glossy paper. I would love to display them in some way. I just have to figure out where!

Overall, I like the package. There are some items that I will immediately use and appreciate. Some others are great that I will need to remember to use. (Anyone want the job of reminding me? Anyone? Anyone?) A couple of others will need me to be creative but that isn’t a bad thing. What do the rest of you think? Was it worth it?

-A

Power to Change the Point of View: New Gold Package

It has been a rough week. Rhonda mentioned in yesterday’s blog that there is a lot of people in pain. That is true in my world as well. In fact, it has been one of the toughest weeks of teaching in my entire career as a lot of kids and staff are in pain. I won’t go into details but it has gotten to me, too. I worry about people I care about being in pain, including friends and students. Yet, I’m determined to “change the point of view” with this blog. I know that I need a break from reality and figured that you all might, too. So, I’m going to focus on something far more positive.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I get a lot of email. This isn’t because I’m super popular but because I get a lot of junk. I swear I spend a lot of time just deleting all those junk emails, which is what I was doing when earlier this week I came upon one that I saved to read later. What email was this? It had this as its subject line: Duran Duran New date and new GOLD package!

While I saved this email to read after school, I didn’t think too much of it as I figured it would be about that Iceland date that I knew that I wouldn’t be going to. Somehow I had missed the part about the gold package, thinking that it was connected to tickets for that show. Alas, I was wrong! Here is what it said:

Finally, we will be releasing the new GOLD package on www.duranduranmusic.com on April 30th. We are very excited about this package as these items will not be available in the online store or at shows. The package (see photo) includes: 

Brand new exclusive Duran Duran RIO logo’d lyric t-shirt 
• Duran Duran logo’d water resistant Bluetooth speaker 
• The brand new Duran Duran logo’d sticky note pad 
• Duran Duran logo’d portable phone charger. At a show and battery dying? Just plug into this handy device. 
• Custom designed Duran lyric poster set – Four (4) high quality matted 11″ X 17” posters shipped in protected tube 
• Duran Duran “popsocket” – the perfect accessory for your cell phone 
• Duran Duran circular sticker – looks great on a car bumper, notebook or anywhere 
• A natural logo’d “Tea Towel” with the new logo featuring all songs commercially released on Duran Duran albums 

If you are not already a member the 30th would be a great time to sign up for the DD VIP Fan Community . Existing members who would like the GOLD package should RENEW at the GOLD level beginning the 30th and you will receive all of the new GOLD merchandise and we will add 12 months of membership beyond your current expiration date. For example if you expire on June 1st, 2019 and you renew on April 30th your membership will be extended to June 1st, 2020. All of the details and pricing will be up on the site on April 30th. 

A picture of the new merch was included as seen here:

New Gold Package

So, what do you all think? I admit it. I’m a sucker for Duran merch. I always have and always will be. It is interesting to see the focus on lyrics in both the t-shirt and posters. I wonder how they decided on those songs of Rio, Ordinary World, Do You Believe in Shame and The Chauffeur. I don’t know if I would have chosen those but I don’t mind them. Beyond the lyrics, there are some repeats in terms of types of products, including the post-it notes and portable charger. I always love post-its so those will be welcome. I like the cell phone pop-up but I have a really nice Duran cell phone case with a JoSi picture so I don’t know that I would use that but might with a future phone. The tea towel is like the canvass bags we got in the VIP package for those February dates. I had planned to frame one of those but this would be a lot easier to frame! I am unsure about what to do think about the car sticker as it depends on the size but I do like the speaker.

Now, I have no idea how much this new gold package will be. Right now, though, I’m tempted to buy it. I could use a pick me up. What about the rest of you? What are your thoughts about this new package?

-A

VIP Packages, Homework Reminder and More!

Can I go to Vegas tomorrow? Yes, I’m anxious to hang with my friends and see the band but more than that, I am ready for something other than the polar vortex that I’m currently living in. Yes, Madison is getting pounded. Yesterday, we had a record low of -23 as in 23 degrees below zero. Tonight and tomorrow, we are due for a bad snow storm. I’m seeing amounts of 6 to 9 or 12 to 15 inches of snow depending on the report before we experience wind chills as low as -55. I literally feel like I live in the Arctic. So, as I refresh my weather apps and school closings page, I will focus instead on some fun Duran related ideas.

VIP Packages

Up until this weekend, I hadn’t given much thought to what is included in the VIP packages for these upcoming February shows. I knew, of course, that they contained Duran related merchandise but I was not sure what was included. In fact, if someone had asked a week ago what it contained, I might have said it had the same stuff as the Paper Gods Tour. I would have been wrong.

The VIP package have three items: headphones, a bag and a travel mug. Yeah, I know. None of that sounds super exciting but I promise you that there are some neat features. Of course, all of the items have the most recent Duran logo as you can see here:

I already have the travel mug and use it frequently. (Yes, I take it to work.) The best feature? I love that it keeps my coffee warm for a long time especially when I’m at work and often don’t get to my coffee for hours after the day starts. As for the headphones, I have yet to use them but I’m excited to try them out. If you have them, how are they? What do you think about their quality of sound? Durability?

The best part, though, in my opinion is the bag. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. Haven’t they sent enough canvass bags? Sure. They have included a lot of them but this one is super cool. If you look closely, the words are song titles. Duran Duran song titles. These titles are in order from the debut, self-titled album all the way to Paper Gods. I love it. I am actually thinking about framing it so I can use it as a poster of sorts. The red, white and black theme works for me, too.

Homework Reminder

Next week, you all have a “homework assignment” of sorts due. What am I talking about? Well, I assigned a little task that is due on February 2nd. I am looking for each and every one of you to send in a list of the 10 most representative Duran Duran songs, according to you! You can include any Duran track or even any side or solo project song, if you want. The list you send in can include singles, album tracks, covers, demos, whatever. It doesn’t matter as long as you think the songs show off Duran Duran the best. When you are done with your “homework,” you can send it in to our email (dailyduranie@gmail.com), or through a private message on our Facebook or Twitter. I thank all of you who have already sent in your lists!

Unofficial Meet-up

As I wrap up this little blog post, I turn my attention back to the shows in Vegas. While Rhonda and I haven’t been able to plan an official meet-up in Vegas, we do plan on being around. We get in Thursday afternoon (hopefully!) so by Thursday night, we will be hitting the town. Do watch our social media then about our locations as we would love to have everyone come and hang out with us or at least come by and say hi!

On that note, I’m off to check the most recent weather forecast. Wish me luck and send me warmth. Something tells me that I’m going to need it!

-A

Duran Shopping

For the first time all school year, I am enjoying a weekend without grading.  On top of being a lot less stressed, it also means that I can finally get to some other tasks that have been on my to do list.  One of those jobs is to create my Christmas wish list.  My family, like many, exchanges wish lists.  They truly help my Christmas shopping as I might know, for example, that my brother loves comic books but would have no idea what he has, what he wants, etc.  The same is true when it comes to Duran.  My family knows that I’m a big fan but they won’t know what I have or want.

In a sense of perfect timing, Duran Duran announced on their social media that the Duran webshop has a new look and some new items! You can see all the changes for yourself here.   This, of course, will be my first stop in creating this year’s list.  What is there that I might want?!

New Look

Before I dive into the actual products, I did want to comment on the new look.  I like it.  It seems clean and easy to navigate.  One particular feature that I find helpful is that one can search prices in different currency forms.  It used to be that when I would shop I would have a currency converter open to translate those British pounds to US dollars.  Now, the site does it for me.  Of course, purchases will still be processed in GBP but this way people have an idea of cost.

Categories

Many of the categories from the old webshop remain including junior, archive, Paper Gods, etc.  That said, there is now a “lookbook”  which shows the items on actual people.  In the past, some fans have been frustrated by who has been shown wearing the items, if the models are young and nothing like the typical fan.  I get that, but, for me, I just like seeing what the items would actually look like on.  I always recognize that the models for anything might be very different from me.  In this case, there are pics of the band themselves or people connected to the band, which I think is cool.

New Items

When looking in the new items category, I cannot help but notice that there are some from the Japan shows, including a Japanese Tiger T, a Yokoo poster and a Yokoo T.  I have seen some criticism of including those.  People assumed that just those in attendance in Japan would be able to purchase them.  Again, I get wanting to have something special but I also like that people who weren’t able to attend can still get them.  I’m sure that there are some people who even attended to were not able to buy one then but now can.  One item that I did look for was a 2018 calendar.  I didn’t see one. I hear from some fans that there will be one available for pre-order later in the month, but I don’t know anything about that.

Archive

I have to admit that I was surprised by some of the items I found in the archives section.  Speaking of calendars, many of the previous years calendars are available to purchase.  Likewise, lots of the tour books are available, including All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre and even the reunion.  Likewise, t-shirts from All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre, Astronaut, the Reunion and even Pop Trash are available.  What is fun about some of those items is that they don’t cost as much as the newer items.  Be aware, though, that not all sizes might be available.

All in all, I’m pleased with the new webshop.  I will definitely be adding a few items on to this year’s wish list.  One thing I definitely recommend is getting an account.  Please note that everyone needs to do so to order.  If you are a member of DuranDuranMusic, you will continue to get the 10% discount, which is sweet.  On that note, I’m off to make my list and do a little shopping.

-A

A Little Duran Shopping, Anyone???

Yesterday afternoon I left work wearing a light weight coat, enjoying  the warm wind as the sun was setting.  By the time I woke up this morning, the temperature dropped significantly and I could clearly see snow on the rooftops near me.  The weather reminded me that the end of the year is coming as is winter and upcoming holidays.  Perhaps, some of the holidays you celebrate include ones that involve purchasing gifts for your loved ones.  Maybe, some of your loved ones are people who identify as Duranies.  Here are three gift options for you to consider:

Paper Gods Limited Edition Box Set

Vinyl Factory is offering the following package:

– Custom made magnetised clamshell box with artwork by Alex Israel
– Seventeen kiss cut magnets printed four colours
– Four 12″ white vinyl records housed in bespoke sleeves

– Four art prints screen printed on Rainbow mirri board

– Thirty-six page booklet printed on 150gsm silk paper stock

– Individually numbered certificate, hand signed by DD & Alex Israel

– This is the only product gathering the complete set of songs recorded for the Paper Gods sessions, including exlusive versions of ‘Pressure Off’ and previously unreleased track ‘As Seen From A Distance’
– Limited to 350 copies worldwide
The Track Listing is as follows:

Tracklist

Vinyl 1.
A1. Paper Gods (Feat. Mr Hudson)
A2. Last Night In The City (Feat. Kiesza)
A3. You Kill Me With Silence

B1. Pressure Off (Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)
B2. Face For Today
B3. Danceophobia

Vinyl 2.
A1. What Are The Chances
A2. Sunset Garage
A3. Change The Skyline (Feat Jonas Bierre)

B1. Butterfly Girl
B2. Only In Dreams
B3. The Universe Alone

Vinyl 3.
A1. Planet Roaring
A2. Valentine Stones
A3. Northern Lights

B1. As Seen From A Distance
B2. On Evil Beach
B3. Cinderella Ride

Vinyl 4.
A1. Pressure Off (Night Version Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)
B1. Pressure Off (Night Version Instrumental Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)

Obviously, most Duran fans focused above the fact that it contains a song called, “As Seen From A Distance,” which would be new to most (all??) of us.  It also includes two night versions of “Pressure Off”.  While most of us would love to get our hands on this package, it is priced at £ 300, which is well beyond most people’s budgets, including mine.  If you do buy this or receive it as a gift, I would love a guest review of it!!!

Duran Duran Music’s New Gold Package

Duran Duran’s official fan community posted the following:

Now Available! In addition to Silver (which you may choose below) the brand new 2016/2017 GOLD level package which includes all of the exclusive content, contests and news included in the SILVER level (a $35 value) PLUS:

GOLD members receive everything in SILVER (a $35 value) PLUS:

• Brand new fan community exclusive gold foil Duran Duran logo’d t-shirt  
• Exclusive Duran Duran logo’d beanie/winter hat
• Exclusive black ceramic coffee mug with gold Duran Duran “Paper Gods” logo
• The classic DD logo’d Micro sticky note pad 
• Custom designed Paper Gods artwork & photograph postcard set
• Exclusive custom designed Paper Gods album artwork stone drink coaster set
• A welcome letter from John Taylor (reproduction)

* Note: There is no membership card in this package 
* Note: Please allow 6-8 weeks (usually sooner) to receive your package

I am usually one to jump at the chance to be the new gold package as I’m a sucker for Duran memorabilia, but this time I opted to just renew with the silver package.  There just was not enough to tempt me.  Besides, I have to say my money for those DC shows.  That said, if you happen to receive the gold package, we would love a guest blog from you.

New Items in the DD Shop:

Duran’s official web store has some new items for sale as well.  Probably the most exciting of the new items is the official calendar for 2017.  Maybe people in the fan community were disappointed that there was not one available last year.  This one features live shots from the Paper Gods Tour:

Of course, there are plenty of other items for sale in the store, including t-shirts, tour book, cell phone cases, magnets, patches and more from this current era.  If you are interested in items from older eras, there are some from All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre, Astronaut and even the reunion.  Helpful hint:  If you are a member of Duran  Duran Music, you get a 10% discount at the store.

On that note, happy Duran shopping!

-A

VIP Package Review: Summer 2016

My mailbox has been seeing quite a bit of action lately whether it’s the arrival of tickets or boxes filled with VIP merchandise.  Apparently, tour time is just around the corner!  Last fall, I reviewed the VIP package in a blog here.  I thought I might comment on the new one.

Before I start on the actual items, let me refresh everyone’s memory about the different level of VIP packages available for Duran’s upcoming leg of the Paper Gods Tour.  Ticketmaster describes the options this way:

Don’t miss iconic Duran Duran when they return to North America in support of their new album Paper Gods. See the show as an exclusive VIP. Select from a variety of packages which can include: 

The Ultimate VIP Experience 
1 Front Row Ticket 
On-site VIP concierge 
VIP cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages 
An autographed Duran Duran photo 
Behind-the-scenes backstage tour 
A copy of Duran Duran’s “Paper Gods” CD 
Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag 
Custom designed Duran Duran beach towel 
A Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard 

The GOLD VIP Experience 
One Premium Ticket in rows 1-6 
VIP cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages) 
On-site VIP host 
A copy of Duran Duran’s “Paper Gods” CD 
Custom designed Duran Duran Bag 
Custom designed Duran Duran beach towel 
Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard 

The SILVER VIP Experience 
1 Premium Seat in Rows 1-6 
Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag 
A copy of Duran Duran’s “Paper Gods” CD 
Custom designed Duran Duran beach towel  
Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate and Lanyard 

The BRONZE VIP Experience 
1 Premium Reserved Seat 
A copy of Duran Duran’s “Paper Gods” CD 
Custom designed Duran Duran Bag 
Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate and Lanyard. 

Lanyard:

All of the packages receive a Paper Gods CD (these came earlier!), laminate, lanyard and bag.  These have been reviewed previously for the fall leg of the tour.  The only difference is the hook on the lanyard.  In the fall, the hook could be easily opened.  Now, it is more difficult to open, to attach the laminate and is also more likely to be stretched and ruined.  (We use the same type of lanyard at work and I often stretch out the fastener causing me to need new lanyards frequently.)  If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, hopefully the pictures will help.

Lanyard from Fall 2015
Lanyard from Fall 2015

Lanyard Summer 2016
Lanyard Summer 2016

Beach Towel:

As far as the new merchandise goes, they opted to send us beach towels rather than t-shirts this time.  Honestly, that was probably a wise choice.  As much as I like Duran shirts (and I do!), it is always sort of a nightmare when ordering the tickets as I have to remember what sizes to put in and that adds another task before a ticket order can be finalized.  I can also imagine how much difficult it is for Duran’s team to have to make sure to put the right sizes in all of the packages.  As far as the beach towel goes, it matches the Paper Gods cover as you see below.

Beach Towel--Front
Beach Towel–Front

The towel is little less than 5 feet by 3 feet, which seems a bit on the small side.  That said, it is incredibly soft.  In fact, as I told Rhonda, it felt more like a soft blanket.  It has a much better feel to it than the store bought beach towels.  The colors and the images are incredibly vibrant as well.  I also think it is pretty cool that there is no reference to Duran Duran on the front.  The towel lets the symbols representing Duran’s history speak for themselves.  The back of the towel is pure white with a little tag that does identify it as Duran.  I love it!

Beach Towel Tag
Beach Towel Tag

Cocktail Hour:

I obviously can’t speak about the VIP cocktail hour yet as those happen with the shows themselves.  I did attend one at the Hollywood Bowl in the Fall and I have to admit to being a bit disappointed.  They offered a few types of appetizers to eat, some vegetarian friendly (thank you!) and some not.  The wine selection was fine.  My disappointment did not stem from anything the Duran team did or did not do.  It had more to do with the fact that we had just come from a meet-up at the Hard Rock that we had organized where music played, people mingled, took pictures, etc.  It was a more relaxed atmosphere at the Hard Rock and, yes, I’m sure that it helped that I knew more people at our meet-up than at the official VIP party.  That said, I’m looking forward to the ones I will be attending this summer.

Backstage Tour:

Like the cocktail party, those tours take place the night of the shows.  I did not attend one last time and I don’t have Platinum tickets to get one this time.  That said, we did have a guest blog talking about it after the fall leg, which you can read about here.  If anyone attends one this time, we welcome more guest blogs!

Communication and Shipping:

I wondered how these VIP packages would go this time around since most of the tickets were sold through Ticketmaster.  I was concerned that the merchandise wouldn’t come or wouldn’t be right.  Yet, the merch came without a problem.  I also appreciated the emails alerting me to the packages being shipped.  That said, part of me had to wonder if they could have been more efficient by putting all of the packages I purchased into one bigger box rather than multiple smaller boxes.  I wonder if that wouldn’t have saved them money for boxes and shipping.  Of course, I realize that a process like that would require more organization and could result in more errors.

Overall:

The team surrounding this leg of the tour delivered on the VIP packages.  They arrived on time and with exactly what was promised.  In fact, I haven’t heard or seen one complaint!  The beach towel is super nice, too.  Now, I have to hope that the VIP parties deliver as well.

-A

The Next Thing You Must Have–Duran Shopping

‘Tis the season.  I woke up this morning to lots of beautiful, peaceful, white snow on the ground.  It reminded me that the holiday season is just around the corner.  This means vacation, family time, good food, and more.  This year, the holiday season (no matter your holiday of choice) feels like a good time to appreciate what you have and embrace your loved ones.  For me, this embrace will still include gift giving.  Why?  I like to give gifts and like to make my family and friends happy.  Perhaps, you feel the same or, maybe, your family and friends are trying to figure out some items that they might buy you, the Duranie in their lives!  Here are some suggestions!!

Duran Duran Official Store

During this time of year, I always recommend checking out what is available in the official Duran Duran store.  Usually, there are some new goodies as well as some classics to buy.  Here are the items that have caught my attention!

Holiday Bauble Set

holidaybaubles2015.jpg-large

These are due out on Monday!!  I love that they are hand decorated glass and come in a wooden display box.  Super cute!!!

Paper Gods Products

Band t-shirt
Band Paper Gods T-shirt

Rhinestone T-shirt
Paper Gods Rhinestone T-shirt

Both of these t-shirts were available on tour and super cute in person.  The rhinestone one, in particular, is very cute!  The things I really like about the current t-shirts is that they fit really well and are super soft!!!!

Of course, there are more Paper Gods products in the store!  I know that the coffee mugs caught my attention, including the one below:

Mug

Classics in the Store:

Airline bag
Airline bag

Planet Earth shirt

I also love, love, love that there are items with various logos representing various Duran Duran eras.

Beach Towel
Beach Towel

Shopping Elsewhere

Even if these products don’t suit your fancy, there is plenty more Duran Duran related items to buy this year.  One item that I might recommend is:

Paper Gods Vinyl

Vinyl

I know it is available at Amazon and I just read that it is available at Barnes and Noble in the US as well!  To me, vinyl really makes me appreciate the music more and this one is no exception!  Speaking of this musical format, Amazon also has Notorious and Big Thing available on vinyl, too!!

Unstaged on DVD

Unstaged front

My copy of this just arrived!  Be on the look out for a review of it soon!!!

Cover Albums

Perhaps, your interest in Duran Duran covers has been renewed or ignited after hearing and buying your copy of Eagles of Death Metal’s version of Save a Prayer.  If so, here are some cover albums that you might want to check out!

Making Patterns Rhyme cover
Making Patterns Rhyme

The Duran Duran Tribute Album
The Duran Duran Tribute Album

 Electroclash Undone: An Electro Tribute To Duran Duran

Electrotrash Undone: An Electro Tribute To Duran Duran

Books

Perhaps, you are interested in adding some books to your library that have a Duran connection.  For recommendations, please check out some of the ones we like right on our homepage.  🙂

What else am I missing?  Ah…yes.  Maybe, some might opt to give money for touring.  After all, concerts aren’t free!  Perhaps, you all need a reminder of how good Duran Duran is.  If so, I recommend watching this brand new clip of their performance on the Graham Norton show:

On that note, happy shopping for the Duranie(s) in you/your life!

-A

Paper Gods VIP Package Review

31 days from now, I will be leaving to head to the west coast, to California, to see my partner-in-crime as well as other friends, and to go on tour!  In some ways, I can’t really believe it!!!  It has been so long since I have seen a full show that part of me started to feel like it was normal to not tour.  I started to believe that I would never tour again.  Even after buying tickets to shows, part of me doubted that it was going to happen.  Like the album, even with ticket confirmations in my email inbox, I could ignore and put the tour on the back burner.    Yesterday, though, it hit me.  It really hit me.  I’m going on tour soon!  What caused this?!  Simple!  The merchandise for the VIP package arrived!!!  It felt like Duran Christmas or a birthday (or a pretty view!).  Who doesn’t love opening up packages with Duran stuff in it?!  That said, I thought people might be curious as to what I thought about what we got!

The VIP package contains 4 items:  tote bag, t-shirt, laminate, and lanyard.  3 of the 4 items were very focused on Paper Gods with the album cover theme.  The t-shirt was not.  So, what do I think of each item and the package as a whole?

Laminate:

In case, you don’t know what I’m talking about, a laminate is like my work id card that is worn to show, to indicate one’s status as a VIP.  In the past, Duran has included these in their tours as well.  Yet, there has been a varying degree of quality.  For example, for the Astronaut tour, it appeared that the laminate was created with a piece of paper and a simple laminating machine.

Astronaut Tour Laminate

For the All You Need Is Now tour, they appeared a little more professional.

2011 Tour Laminate

This time around, clearly, they are even better!!

Front
Front

Back
Back

In this case, there is no plastic shown at all.  It looks very professional!  I’m impressed!  The only thing that could have improved them would be to add the location and date on it.  Clearly, yes, these are universal, which is fine, but I wouldn’t mind the reminder of when and where I went VIP to a show.

Lanyard:

If you look at the first two pictures above, you can see what the lanyards looked like for previous VIP packages.  Basically, they were like shoestrings that had a fasten at the end to attach to the laminate.  In the case of the first one, the lanyard was black and, in the case of the second one, it was white.  Both were fine, in my opinion.  I would not have even thought about how to improve this part of the package before I saw the one sent for this one!

Lanyard

This is NOT just a shoestring, by any stretch of the imagination.  No, it is silk like material and very obviously displays the color scheme of the album along with the stickers and logo.  It truly goes along perfectly with the laminate.  I’m impressed.

Tote Bag:

How many of you use tote bags?  I do.  I use them a lot.  I use them at the grocery store or places like Target all the time.  I’m one of those people who want to carry all of my packages in at one time and tote bags make this much easier for me.  Thus, I have a collection.  I even have a Daily Duranie one.  (You can, too!  Visit our Cafe Press page here to get one for yourself!)  Anyway, I was excited by the one that came with the VIP package.

Tote bag

Again, it captures the album art well and the image is sharp.  I could almost see discussions take place as people want to know what the various pictures represent.  I also appreciated that it was of good quality.  While it isn’t super huge, it can hold some weight as it isn’t paper thin (ha!).

T-Shirt:

I am a sucker for all things Duran, in terms of merchandise.  I won’t lie.  I’m an easy sell, which is why I have a ton of Duran t-shirts.  I stopped counting how many because I fear that I crossed the line into ridiculousness.  That said, I couldn’t wait to see what the t-shirt for this tour was going to be like.  In the recent past, it was the Careless Memories single cover or the logo from the first album.  Thus, it has typically been more retro in content.  This one is no different.

T-shirt

Obviously, this t-shirt is focused more on the Is There Something I Should Know/Seven and the Ragged Tiger/1983 era Duran, style wise.  I loved that logo.  I still love that logo.  I don’t have much with it so I welcome that.  That said, I was really thrown by the colors here.  Those aren’t the colors I think of when I think 1983, at least not all together like this.  Then, the colors seem so off when I think about the current palette.  The blue works but the red?  The brown-orange?  I think what they should have done instead is use the retro logo but combine it with the current colors.  After all, the album cover features new and old.  On a different note, the t-shirts seem maybe slightly on the big side, size wise.  That isn’t necessarily bad, just something I observed.

All and all, I thought that the package was good.  The items were clearly made by professionals with quality.  The only part that did not live up or exceed my expectations was the t-shirt.  I’m sure that I’ll live, though!  😉  Now, if the tickets would just arrive…

-A

DDM Gold Membership Merchandise Wrap Up

Last week I received an email letting me know that my Duran Duran Music Gold membership merchandise package had been shipped. I was surprised because I’d completely forgotten about it!  I vaguely remembered reading that it would take about 6 weeks (after renewing) to receive the merchandise, and to be honest I couldn’t even remember when I’d actually renewed, but I was excited to read that it was on its way.

The package made it to my house yesterday, and it felt a little like Christmas as I opened the long, rectangular package addressed to me. I didn’t realize that this was coming from DDM until I opened the box and pulled out the first item: an umbrella!

sorry about my beautiful place mat in the background

Admittedly, the umbrella is what sold me on the upgrade to gold membership on DDM. If I think of the amount of times I have said that I needed to bring an umbrella to a DD concert for possible use during White Lines…well, when I saw the gold package included an umbrella, we’ll just say it spoke to me. This umbrella does not disappoint and is not your ordinary drugstore umbrella.  No…this thing is HUGE, measuring about 4 feet across when open (from spine to spine across the middle) It is a push-button automatic open (pull down to release and pack away), and feels very heavy-duty compared to the cheap umbrellas I buy for our California sprinkles over the years.  Two people could easily fit underneath, and if our predicted “El Niño” weather pattern holds true for California this year, I am sure it will get a lot of use!

Yes, those are my cat's paws in the background there. She is incredibly strong-willed and not very well-behaved...and very big.
Yes, those are my cat’s paws in the background there. She is incredibly strong-willed and not very well-behaved…and very big.

After pulling out the umbrella and realizing what this package was, I excitedly pulled the rest of the merchandise out of the box: a t-shirt, a keychain in a black pouch, a power bank, a pen, a pad of post-its, and a lyric sheet.

The t-shirt came to me with the correct size, and when I tried it on, it was very roomy. The silver foil looks great, and I’m very happy with it. I’m pretty sure this is a unisex sized t-shirt, and while I’ve heard of people getting the wrong size, I am happy to say that mine worked out just fine.

tshirt

The keychain (pictured without the pouch) has a nice quality silver-finish, and doubles as a bottle opener (they know their fans and I love the utilitarian value here). The interlocking D’s are engraved on it, and it’s already doing it’s duty on my keychain.

my apologies for the blur here...my phone didn't like taking a picture of this one.
my apologies for the blur here…my phone didn’t like taking a picture of this one.

I can hardly wait to be out and about and use my power bank – especially while on tour with Amanda. Seriously, I’m always out of power with at least ONE of my electronics…so this is handy! I like that the end lights up blue and indicates when it needs charged….and truly, it takes very little to entertain me!!

powerbank

 

The pen is a really fancy ball point pen that I haven’t tried using yet…this will be hidden deep in my closet so that my family doesn’t steal this pen like they have my others…

pen

 

The post-its were probably the least exciting item in my gold package. This is not because I don’t want DD post-its, but because I will be afraid to use them for fear of the day when I run out! I’m the same way about the DD wrapping paper and other “consumable” items that the webstore sells…which probably says way more about me than anyone cares to know…

these are about 2 x 3 inches...about the same size as a typical post it. They're great unless you're like me and afraid of using them all...
these are about 2 x 3 inches…about the same size as a typical post it. They’re great unless you’re like me and afraid of using them all…

The lyric sheet was the one real “miss” in the entire package. You see, when I pulled out all of the merchandise and went through it, I realized that I didn’t have the lyric sheet. So, I looked in the box to see if I missed it. Didn’t see it right away, so then I felt around and sure enough – I found it.  The lyrics are copied onto standard thickness stationary that has a beige stippled look to it.  Kind of reminds me of the kind of paper one would use for a treasure map, so it sort of has that “old” look to it.  Nicer than putting it on a standard piece of copy paper, not quite as nice as having it on cardstock. The problem is that due to the way it was packed along the inside of the rectangle box (to fit the umbrella) and now has fold marks. I didn’t really know what I would do with this, but framing it is kind of out of the question now (probably??) since the paper is now wrinkled…but I don’t think I would have framed it anyway because that’s not really my thing. That said, I know my fellow fans. Someone out there probably would want to frame it, and this is likely going to piss that someone off.  I don’t know what DDM could have done to ship this so that it wouldn’t be folded and wrinkled, except to maybe do the merchandise in two shipments, one for the umbrella and hard sided items and another for these lyrics so they could be shipped flat. Yes, that would cost more, but I think that at least having that option available for fans (to pay for better shipping), might solve the problem. As it is now, I don’t really know what I’m going to do with these lyrics…not that I really knew what to do with them before. It’s one of those things that is nice to have since Simon wrote them (and completely mislabeled the second verse as v1, which makes me laugh because you know that he dashed these off super quick!), and now I get to figure out how best to save them.

lyrics
not sure if this really shows the wrinkles as well as it does in normal light…just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you’re still waiting for your merchandise!

All in all, I’m extremely pleased with the merchandise! No, it wasn’t all that important to have, but they’re nice “extras” and I don’t treat myself to DD merchandise all that often (as in maybe once every couple of years!!). Thumbs up from me!

-R

 

The Story of Two Little CD Inserts Part 1

Once upon a time, there were two little cd inserts.  These inserts were relatively happy.  After all, they had been marked by the “FOUR”, those rock stars that their owners loved so much.  Oh yes, these little inserts were lucky ones as they had been given to dedicated fans who truly appreciated and loved them.  They weren’t just thrown into the trash or hidden in some dark, lonely desk drawer.  No, they were allowed to be out and proud in well-used rooms in their owners’ homes.  At times, their owners would pick them up, sigh and give a really big smile.  Life was good.  Despite this, the little inserts knew that something was missing, something ESSENTIAL was missing.  What could it be?  The little inserts would soon found out.
 
About a month and a half ago, the inserts heard their owners talking to each other.  Something was definitely going on!  Something exciting!  It sounded like whatever was going had to do with those rock stars that had marked them years before!!  The inserts were extremely happy for their owners as they knew how much these owners of theirs loved the FOUR!  Even more exciting, it sounded like whatever was about to happen involved a trip!  Again, the little inserts were happy for their owners but didn’t think much of it as they didn’t travel anymore since arriving in their current resting place.  While the inserts didn’t mind going on trips, they understood that their owners didn’t want them to get lost or get damaged in some way.  Thus, they accepted their lack of traveling.  
 
Yet, this event seemed different!  The Wisconsin based insert noticed its owner packing one night in between exchanging messages with the California insert owner.  The little insert knew that packing meant that the house was going to be quiet and there will be no action taking place in the office in which it rested.  Suddenly, though, its owner burst into the office and grabbed the frame in which it rested!  “What was going on?!,” the little insert wondered.  “What was she doing?” it thought.  With that, the frame was opened and the insert was removed.  The insert became scared as its fate seemed unknown.  “Would she throw me away?  Would she move me to a dark drawer?  Would she sell me to some other fan?” the insert questioned.  This didn’t make any sense!  The owner loved the insert, it thought.  Then, with a huge sigh of relief, he heard her mutter, “Let’s see if we can’t get you completed!”  The insert then knew it was time to travel as its owner placed it in a blue folder along with plane ticket information, hotel information, show information and more!  The insert knew that it was in for something special!
 
Soon enough, the little insert and its owner were on their way.  This trip found them first driving in a car, then traveling up in the sky!  The insert had traveled by plane before but then it was in the mail, in a package.  This was different.  This time, the insert could hear its owner and other people near by talking.  While the insert wished to be out of the folder, it was still very excited by what was going to happen!  After the plane landed, the insert remained patient as its owner met up with that other insert owner.  The little insert knew enough to know that crazy things happened when those two humans were together!  The excitement increased!
 
The next day, the Wisconsin insert found itself traveling again in a car.  Anticipation was high as the insert owners were exhibiting enthusiasm about this trip, even though both humans tried to act so cool, so unconcerned.  Yet, the Wisconsin insert worried about where his matching insert was.  Why didn’t the California human bring her insert along?  The Wisconsin insert wished that he could be with the California insert as it felt certain that they, too, could have fun.  Wait…what’s happening?  The car is being turned around?!  What’s going on?  In fact, the car turned around a few times but the only time the Wisconsin insert cared was the last time.  Why?  It was reunited with its fellow insert!!!  The two little inserts were together!  Oh, yes, something was definitely going on!  Something big!  Important!  Exciting!  The inserts couldn’t wait!
 
After a brief drive, the inserts and their owners made it to their destination.  At this point, the Wisconsin human held on to both inserts.  The inserts wondered and wondered what she was going to do with them!  They hoped it would be something good!  More importantly, could this be the time in which the inserts would finally be made complete?!  They had spent years feeling like something was missing.  Could this trip be the one to end that feeling forever?!
 
At first, during this time that the inserts were together, it seemed quiet and uneventful.  While they still sensed some excess energy from their owners, they remained in the Wisconsin human’s purse where it was quiet and dark.  Soon enough, though, they heard music.  Good music.  Familiar music.  Very familiar music.  Could it be that the FOUR who had made their marks on them were near?!?  It would make sense and be the reason that the humans were buzzing.  Did the human have some plan for them?  Something that involved one or more of the FOUR?!  They could only hope!
 
The night wore on and the inserts got worried that there really was no plan for them.  They were just going to take up space in the purse.  That isn’t right!?!  Then, suddenly, they felt a human hand reaching for them and handing them over to another human.  A British human.  They heard their owners explain that this British human needed to add his mark, his signature to them!  At first, this new human didn’t seem to understand as he began to flip through the inserts, ignoring the front when the California human explained that this male human needed to add his mark on the front along side the FOUR.  Then, each insert felt the smooth motion of a pen across the front of each of them.  Then, there was nothing but a huge sigh.  RELIEF!!!  Finally, they were complete!  Whole!  They now featured the marks of all FIVE!!!!!  Yes!!!  This was the best night ever!!!!
-A
Stay tuned as part 2 will be posted this week then any and all questions will be answered!!!