Monday, 12 May 2014

These Are Not The Masks You're Looking For

I received an interesting email from Bauer Hockey today. With Disney rebooting the Star Wars series, it appears that they are marketing the Star Wars brand hard across a number of industries. The sports industry, specifically hockey, will not be overlooked as Disney and Bauer Hockey have combined forces to produce five new goalie masks with Star Wars themes on them for those players who wish to play net like a Jedi.

We had an example of a couple of goalies who used the "Darth" moniker over the past few years. "Darth" Martin Gerber and "Darth" Jonas Hiller both went with primarily black masks to prompt the name change as they resembled Darth Vader from Star Wars. With their all-black masks, the two Swiss goaltenders looked more like they hailed from the Empire rather than the land of skiing, chocolate, and clocks.

Bauer rolled these masks out today with a rather impressive email. They wrote,
Bauer Hockey, the world’s leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, announced today that it has launched a series of five Star Wars themed goal masks that are now available at select global retail locations.

"For as long as goal masks have been worn in hockey, there has been an evolution of incredible artwork that showcases the goalie and the team's heritage and provides inspiration in preparation for battle on the ice," said Greg Goyer, Category General Manager for Goalie Product at Bauer Hockey. "Given the film's unique and global following, we're excited to offer the series of Star Wars themed goal masks as the next chapter in the history of goal mask battle paint."

More than two years in the making, each BAUER goal mask features iconic characters and worlds from the classic film series, including Luke Skywalker, Shock Troopers, Yoda, Boba Fett and Darth Vader.

Included below are brief descriptions of the artwork, scenes and characters featured on the goal masks:

LUKE SKYWALKER Goal Mask: With designs from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, this goal mask features X-Wing pilot Luke Skywalker equipped for battle on the ice planet of Hoth, the location of the Rebel Alliance base.

SHOCK TROOPERS Goal Mask: This goal mask features designs of the Galactic Empire ground force, the Shock Troopers, and brings to life the fiery volcanic world of Mustafar, the location of the legendary battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

YODA Goal Mask: Yoda, one of the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in Galactic history, is featured on this goal mask poised to duel, armed with his lightsaber while channeling the Force.

BOBA FETT Goal Mask: The notorious bounty hunter, Boba Fett, is featured on this goal mask in battle in his customized Mandalorian armor firing his blaster rifle and in-flight with his Z-6 jetpack engaged. The Mandalorian symbol is displayed on the center of the mask, just above the wire facial cage.

DARTH VADER Goal Mask: The Emperor's dark enforcer, Darth Vader, is featured on this goal mask in his infamous black armor and in battle with his lightsaber in hand. The Galactic Empire Imperial symbol is displayed on the center of the mask, just above the wire facial cage.

The series is available on the BAUER NME3 goal mask. This high performance mask includes a LEXAN EXL polycarbonate shell, a dual density liner and a carbon steel round wire cage. The Star Wars series BAUER goal mask is available in a variety of sizes, including senior, junior, youth and street youth.

Bauer Hockey is the No. 1 brand used by athletes in the National Hockey League, including goal masks.
Aside from the shameless self-promotion at the end, it sounds as though Bauer may have something here for the netminding Jedis and Padawans out there. I would have liked to have seen a Padmé mask for the vast number of girls and women playing net, but it may still be done depending on the success and sales of these five masks. I do appreciate the fact that whomever was responsible for the paint jobs decided to stay closer to Episodes IV, V, and VI. Personally, the young Luke Skywalker and the young Boba Fett can't hold a candle to the three "prequels" that George Lucas produced.

What say you, readers? Good? Bad? Horri-awful? Would you wear one if you were a goalie? Personally, they're not too bad at all. For those who can't afford to get a custom paint job, this might be a great solution to that problem. And the best part? No Jar-Jar Binks!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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