Jan 082014

Hodor shirtI used to be a dream customer for merchandizers, buying shirts and books and magazines and barely canon-related comic books. And yes, two bottles of Tru Blood, too.

Started off innocently enough with a X-Files shirt given as a birthday gift and went nuts from there.

Lately, though, things have been more sparse. A single Doctor Who t-shirt is the only one in the last year or so.

HBO’s store in New York is obviously a financial nightmare.

Haven’t bought more than just one Game of Thrones-shirt – Starks, obviously – the pictured one would be a nice companion to that.

TV Thursday #15: Merchandized

Feb 072012

Inigo Montoya shirt

How do you pick names for your characters?

By thinking up something appropriate for the campaign, at least moderately cool-sounding, and avoiding the worst clichés.

Sometimes only two of the factors are in place: e.g. Dixie Lynch, the surprisingly lucky gunman of the haunted west, embodied all what the name implied.

The impressively post-modern, yet irrevocably geeky t-shirt is available from Thinkgeek.

May 172011

Neighborhood of the Chandler HotelAfter getting settled into the hotel it was time to venture out into the surprisingly chilly streets of the Big Apple. The Empire State Building was almost across the corner, and easily visible from the front steps of the hotel.

First things first: buying a weekly metroticket, even without spending seven days in the city, it’s a better and far more convenient deal than dealing with each subway trip separately.

The target of the day was Times Square, but the first shop of the day was to the south of that, the HBO Store. The selection of the house shirts from Game of Thrones was incomplete – the southernmost kingdom, that of Martells, was not represented yet. Toyed with the idea of buying multiple shirts, but finally settled on just the Starks’. The finest design was the kraken for Greyjoys, and the Targayrens’ three-headed dragon wasn’t shabby either. Picked up the newly released first season of Treme, and had thus given the little finger to the demons of shopping.

Dined in Heartland Burger, their beer (half a dozen self-brewed variants available) was excellent, and the Kobe burger was just the thing to stave off hunger (year, that’s TWO Kobe beef items in a couple of days for those scoring at home).

Times Square was its busy and very crowded self. Virgin Megastore is gone, replaced by Forever 21, a clothing store for girls and the Naked Cowboy was nowhere to be seen either.

Bought yet more shirts (thanks, Aeropostale), a second shrimp magnet and came to the conclusion that there are such things as unpleasantly crowded shops. The M&M store was packed to the gills, and left without any chocolate.

Return to the hotel was effortless with one of the 5th Avenue trains.

Watched the tail end of the Knicks-Celtics game in the hotel’s lobby bar, 12:31. Knicks lost, predictably, even if Carmelo Anthony had a night for the records.

Times Square

Feb 062011

Teefury: coexistTeefury is a pure limited edition shirt shop. The designs are available for a single day only.

Not all the designs are worthwhile, but at least once a week something of distilled genius comes up. Such as this coexist that attempts to prove that geeks need not be segregated on account of fandom type.

Nov 092010

MeeGo Conference 2010 t-shirtIn a week’s time I’ll be in Dublin for the inaugural MeeGo Conference (got to unlearn calling it a “Summit”, bad habits die hard).

I have no speaking engagements, will be there to discuss the present and future of the SDK.

Two days free form, one day in a workshop.

And hopefully catching a couple of pints of Guinness in general, and specifically the Ireland – Norway football game to cap the trip.

The official t-shirt of the occasion is offensive to teetotalling leprechaun-fanciers only.

Jul 052010

Meiji shrineSpent the morning of April 11th in Harajuku.

Meiji Shrine next to the Harajuku railway station was familiar from an earlier visit. The area was as impressive on the second time around. The park was in full bloom, and the visit to the shrine proper capped by a surprise wedding ceremony. The somber-looking priests were wearing the funkiest hats either side of the Pecos river, and the actual proceedings diverted quite a lot from the western norms. Picked up a cache and a mighty thirst. Skipped the garden of the empress, it opened quite late and there was already a queue forming in front of the entrances.

Shinto clergy

Ehkä SöpöHarajuku itself was empty of cosplayers. According to the travel guides they would congregate into the park in the late afternoon, but we had an engagement with Totoro for that hour. Walked up and down a couple of shopping streets, and picked up the third and fourth shirts of the trip (the former accompanied by gratis shorts).

The clothing on offer was not truly outrageous, though a couple of shops stocked uncommon wares. Some so uncommon, that photography of the shop was allegedly a fineable offense.

The most peculiar sight was a ladies store equipped with an appropriately twee finnish name. “Ehkä Söpö” translates into “Like, Cute”, and fit the profile of the area well.

Jun 212010

Akihabara street viewIt’s been a long time since the previous entry about the April trip to Japan. Been busy and uninspired. Will try to conclude in decent time.

Akihabara had changed somewhat in six years since the first and thus far the only trip there.

The big stores, even chains have taken root and crowded out the weird small shops.

In 2004 it was easy to discover shops packed with old videogames and game soundtracks. This time they were in minority, superseded by ubiquitous porn-games for windows.

The weird shops were close to the metro station, present either as singular windows in buildings, or rather well-hidden in office blocks that show no signs of their contents outside.

Picked up the first t-shirt of the trip (grey on black, always an exuqisite combo) and cemented my position as the premier gaming geek in Nöykkiö by purchasing a Professor Layton figure. Sadly, the soundtracks of the classically-musiced series were nowhere to be found.

View towards the Akihabara station

Jan 062010

Under the guise of “RESEARCH”, Japan practices very non-scientific whaling.

A confrontation between a research vessel and a Sea Shepherd trimaran turned almost lethal last week.

As usual, the bigger vessel outclassed its smaller competitor.

Me, as a firm believer in rooting for the underdog, have a serious hankering to buy a Sea Shepherd t-shirt or two. And a much deeper ingrained plan to wear such shirts on any future visit to Japan.

The organization’s website seems to be hammered right now. Hopefully this raises the awareness even further.