The humble T-shirt has come a long way in the fashion stakes over the last few years. Walking into a pub with something off the shelf from what the high street determines is cool this year is all very well, but can be classed as a little soulless as it shows nothing about you and who you are.
A wise man once told me that the bible says “blessed are the geeks, for they shall internet the earth”. Which might explain why people now like to get their geek on by displaying artistic designs from companies like Threadless or Last Exit To Nowhere.
However at last a company called Insert Coin Clothing who have put together a collection of unique designs, inspired by the world of video-games. They proudly state that “No ridiculously massive prints of Mario or Space Invaders here; just cool references to cool games, that let other fans know what you like and that you’ve got great taste when it comes to gaming and clothes.”
With geek chic being all the rage, and us loving the chance to wear a unique t-shirt that only those in the know will understand, we tracked down Dan from Insert Coin for an interview. Keep an eye out later for our upcoming competition, with one reader winning the tee of their choice.
Q. Where did the inspiration for the Insert Coin’s concept originate?
“Well, we always wanted to get cool video-game tees, but everything was so obvious. When we did find some tees that had slightly better designs, they were terrible quality. So we thought ‘we can do better’ and so we set ourselves a set of standards; in quality of design, quality of tee and customer service. All our designs are from our favourite games, all our tees and hoodies are made to our own specifications from scratch (we don’t use cheap off the shelf items) and we will do everything we can to make sure our customers have the best experience when they buy stuff from us.”
Q. Are you surprised at just how popular you have become in your first year?
“Very surprised and really touched too. We’ve kinda built up this community too, which is really lovely. Our fan and followers are absolutely awesome and it’s all about them really.”
Q. What kind of feedback have you been getting?
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Again, we’ve been really touched. Rarely a day goes by that we don’t get five or six emails or phone calls thanking us for quick delivery or saying how chuffed they are with the tees they’ve bought. We’re lucky to have such constructive fans; they’ve really helped to shape our designs and our service!”
Q. Are there any celebrity gaming fans of your t-shirts out there?
“We’ve had our tees worn by a few famous faces; Phill Jupitus and Ed Byrne have worn them on TV and we have fans from across the gaming industry, from Xbox (they’re worn regularly by Dan Maher and Graeme Boyd) to Sony, as well as Sega, Nintendo, LucasArts, Blizzard, Capcom and Naughty Dog. They’re championed by our ‘patron saint’ Julia Hardy and the guys at Ginx TV too. We’re lucky to have such great support… we love all those guys.”
Q. What is your most popular design?
“It’s difficlt to say because they all sell really well; we’ve been really lucky with the designs we’ve chosen. I guess the most popular ones though are the ones in the new range. They sold out before they even came in stock!”
Q. What design are you most proud of?
“That’s a tough one. Our favourite designs change all the time… we love them all! I guess, most proud of… hmm… I love the Afterlife tee at the moment. Anything that gets people wearing purple is a good thing!”
Get your geek on with a Mass Effect 2 themed t-shirt.
Q. Can you tell us about any future designs to get excited about?
“Well, we have six new designs coming out for summer. We can’t say too much about them yet… except that we have two official designs we’ve done for Sega, to help celebrate Sonic’s 20th birthday. They are really cool and Sega have said how much they love them too!”
Q. Have you had any strange requests?
“All the time, ha ha! No, we do get some obscure tee requests… but we love some pretty mad games ourselves, so we’re used to it!”
Q. Have you been prevented from making a design by publishers?
“We’ve been really lucky in that publishers and developers have been really supportive. We’re helping to keep their franchises alive and out there, so it’s all been pretty positive!”
Q. What are your team’s favourite games of all time?
“We love all kinds of games; from Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid, to Shadow of the Colossus and Gunstar Heroes. One favourite would be impossible!”
Q. Does this cause any arguments?
“Nah, we’re all pretty cool about it all and we love the fact that we all appreciate different genres. It’s something that really helps us design tees to be honest!”
Q. Who would win in a fight between Scorpion and Sub-Zero??
“Smoke, hee hee”
After I thank the guys for their time and for bringing a wonderful unique product that allows you to illustrate to the world that gaming is cool. They have also very kindly offered a t-shirt to one lucky reader of This Is My Joystick in a special competition which will be coming your way soon.
If you would like to be in with a chance of winning an Insert Coin T-shirt, make sure you drop by.