We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, an anonymous staffer reviews the official merchandise of the former First Son.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in December last year I sat outside my flat, sweating into my phone, too ashamed to put my name on an order for a Max Key fidget spinner.
Disclaimer: it wasn’t for me. I had drawn Alex Casey in our office secret santa and thought she’d appreciate the pop culture aspect of a dozen bitmoji Max Keys on a bright pink fidget spinner. As she’d said before, this one piece of merch managed to sum up 2017 in one plastic spin.
So I ordered the product under my flatmate’s name on December 9th 2017 and waited. And waited. And waited some more until it finally arrived on Friday the 5th of January, 27 days later. After opening up the sodden envelope and wondering why someone would send a palm-sized toy in an A4 paper envelope, I realised it was from the post office itself. Inside the envelope was the original packaging, complete with incorrect postcode. This fidget spinner had been on a journey.
But journey or no, I opened the wrapping to find a completely different product to the one I purchased. Not just smaller, or a different shade of pink. Completely different. I went back to website to see if I’d missed something but I was once again met with a fun image of a cool pink, patterned spinner. I looked down at the uncool, white, plain spinner in my hand and sighed. I’d been owned yet again by Max Key.
Is this illegal? False advertising? Fraud? Other words that mean rip-off? It probably is. There’s not one photo anywhere of the fidget spinner that I received in the mail. Maybe it’s a special edition one after Max Key somehow found out that this anonymous journalist, whom he blocked on Instagram after our previous interactions, had purchased some of his merch under a false name.
Or maybe Max Key is not a good small businessman. In any case, I gifted Alex her late Christmas gift and she gave it a test spin. It worked, but not well.
Verdict: Don’t lie, kids. It’s not good for the soul.
Good or Bad: Bad.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.