Forever upset that my tour with Red Carpet Tours is over, luckily I bought lots of souvenirs to help me remember it. Looking back I wish I bought more stuff, especially books! I have no idea how I managed to stop myself from buying more copies of LOTR and The Hobbit.
First group of items I bought were from the Hobbiton movie site store. The fact that I managed to spend only about $60 USD is a miracle. This was only the second day of the tour so I knew I had to pace myself, if I didn’t I would have easily spent all of my NZ budget. Kicking myself that I didn’t buy that two-volume edition of The Hobbit, that store was the only place I’ve seen it! Next time — that’s what I keep telling myself. So this is what I bought:
- The Hobbit cap – I never wear hats, but I bought this so I wouldn’t a get sunburn on my face. I gave it to my dad when I got home.
- Green Dragon mug – Every mug was different, the colors were never in the same exact spot which I loved.
- Green Dragon shirt – The back has some lyrics from the song.
- Hobbiton postcard – I should have bought more!
- Hobbiton Movie Set pen
- Hobbiton Movie Set bottle opener – I don’t drink often so I don’t see myself using this any time soon but it’s so pretty! Obviously I needed it.
- Hobbiton Movie Set magnet – I love that it’s made from wood.
My next big shopping spree took place at the Weta Cave, the store of my dreams! Since we were with RCT, we were given some discounts, including ones for the Frodo statue and 40 Bagshot Row hobbit hole. This isn’t pictured but I also bought their set of LOTR postcards, I have no idea where I put them though (I was going to send them to friends).
- Frodo statue – My biggest splurge item and worth every dollar.
- 40 Bagshot Row – I wasn’t going to get it but it was about half off sooo
- Balrog shirt – I got this for my dad, wish I got one for myself too!
- Button of Bilbo Baggins – I had to buy this.
- Acorn button magnet – I had to buy this too.
- LOTR Bookmark
- Oak Leaf from Bag End – Wasn’t able to find one from Hobbiton so this is a good substitute.
- Floor Plan of Bag End print – This has been sold out on Weta’s site for so long! Happy that it wasn’t at the Cave. I got it signed by Daniel Reeve the next day!
- Map of East Farthing – Also got this signed by Daniel Reeve!
After all the Weta goodness we went to see the folks at Meniscus. We were able to create our own leather key chain/necklace, so I chose the acorn design. SHOCKER. They also had LOTR key chains for sale, you can find them on their site.
Ahhh, the Daniel Reeve day!! Resisted the urge to spend all of my money and bought two things for myself, the top I commissioned from him (watching him write it out was so cool! Made me want to get back into calligraphy), the line is from one of my favorite parts from The Hobbit. The second one is another Bilbo quote — no one is surprised. It was one of many quotes he had already written down.
One of the perks of being with Red Carpet Tours is that you have access to some awesome discounts, including jewelry! Once again I got something related to Bilbo, a sterling silver deed of contract pendant. Is it obvious yet which character is my favorite??
We spent the last few days of the tour in Queenstown, and there was a shop that was also the store of my dreams. There were lots of Hobbit merch but there was A LOT of old school LOTR merch everywhere. You have no idea how hard it was not to spend hundreds of dollars there. I need to add that they were selling LOTR Toybiz figures for $100 NZD???? That’s about $65 USD and I thought $30 USD was a lot…
Aaaanyway, I bought 6 post cards (guess which one is my favorite), a pen and Smaug pin. I think I did well at that store, I didn’t go into debt so that’s a plus.
One of the things I’ll miss about NZ is Global Culture, they have lots of great shirts and hoodies. During one of the lunch breaks, a bunch of us from the tour went to Global and almost bought their entire stock of Middle-earth shirts.
One of the last days I was in NZ I had the opportunity to meet Dallas Barnett and I got a his autograph! The other thing pictured is from Pelorus River, where the barrel scene was partially filmed.
I also got some non-Tolkien souvenirs!
- A tiny kiwi plush (named it Wayne)
- Cat figurine filled with paua shells
- Tiger eye stone necklace (I think the shape is supposed to represent friendship?)
- NZ pen
- NZ post card
- Kiwi pin because why not
- Wooden bookmark that says “Kia Ora from New Zealand”
- Adorable kiwi coin pouch
- Metal kiwi bookmark
I grabbed all the brochures and business cards I could.
And finally, my Red Carpet Tours souvenirs.
- Name tag that I think I only wore twice, oops
- Certificate that made me cry when I got it, I miss everyone
- RCT key chain from our tour guide, Julie
- My itinerary
- RCT shirt I won for placing second in a Tolkien quiz
GOOD HAUL, GOOD HAUL.