But That’s All I’m Allowed To Say: Awesome Apple T-Shirt

I thought that I’d post this exclusive Apple T-Shirt while it’s making the rounds on the Internet. I first spotted it over at Cult of Mac, but later realized that it was originally posted over at iLounge. The shirt simply reads:

“I visited the Apple campus. But that’s all I’m allowed to say.”

So awesome. The shirt sells for $17, but to get one you’ll need to get you butt over to the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California. Why? Because this shirt is only sold (officially) at the official Apple Company Store. I’ve been there. It is awesome. If you’re an Apple fanboy/fangirl then you MUST visit the 1 Infinite Loop before you die.

Of course, if you’re looking for more Apple tees, you’ll need to check out my list of 101 Apple T-Shirts.

Via iLounge + Cult of Mac.

You Say Commie Like It’s A Bad Thing.

Ban T-Shirts on the use of the word commie:

If you ever get called a “commie” then this T-shirt is for you. Of course most people who use the word “commie” have no idea what communism actually is, or anarchism, socialism, liberalism, libertarianism, or any other political theory: they just think that anyone who disagrees with their ideas is a “commie”. So getting called a commie is usually a sign that you’re doing something right.

Agreed.

You Say Commie Like It’s A Bad Thing is available now from Ban T-Shirts for $20.

Miami Herald Congratulates Miami Heat For Winning NBA Championship

Well, sort of. Actually, the premature and incorrect congratulations came from Macy’s, who, unfortunately ran an ad prematurely notifying Miami Herald readers that Heat Championship T-Shirts were now available for sale at Miami Macy’s locations. Hah! That’s pretty funny considering that 1. the Heat  didn’t win the 2011 NBA championship, and 2. the Heat  didn’t win the 2011 NBA championship.

I have to say that I did watch the Finals with a close eye and am very happy that the Dallas Mavericks finally won an NBA championship. I’m happy for Dirk Nowitzki and I am happy for Jason Kidd, two players that I have been following for a very long time. In fact, throughout the playoffs, I was reppin’ a vintage Kidd replica jersey circa 1994. It’s about damn time that the both of the won some hardware.

By the way, if you’re interested in picking up an official Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship T-Shirt, you can grab one now at the NBA Store.

With that said, in 2012 it will be all about one red Rose and the Chicago Bulls.

I’m Back! Say Hello To Dr. Gonzales!

Hey Guys! Hope everyone has been doing awesome. Some of you regular readers may have noticed that I’ve been blogging  and doing video reviews pretty inconsistently over the last 6 months. There’s a perfectly good reason, and it’s not because I’ve fallen out of love with indie T-Shirts. Over the last couple of months I’ve been making the final push towards finishing graduat school, defending my dissertation and earning my Ph.D. in Psychology. Well, I am happy to say that I have finally completed this particularly grueling journey in my life and am now Dr. (or Professor) Coty J. Gonzales. How awesome is that?!

I thought that it was appropriate that I mentioned this life accomplishment on this blog, for two reasons. First, I started this blog as a way to de-stress way back in 2008 when I completed my Masters thesis defense. So in many ways, this T-Shirt blog exists because of my academic pursuits. Second, I’ve developed a lot of awesome relationships with YOU – the readers of this blog. I’ve shared with you some of the greatest moments in my life over the last couple of years, and this one might be the biggest so far.

With that said, we can now get back to blogging!

Here’s a pic of me after I successfully completed my defense. I didn’t wear a T-Shirt, but I did wear an awesome Johnny Cupcakes tie (you can kind of see it in the pic). Hey, I had to “tie” in the indie T-Shirt world somehow!

Here’s a pic of me with my Dissertation advisor. You can see the Johnny Cupcakes tie a lot better in this one!

Ugmonk: Minimal Series

Are you a minimal person? Ugmonk steps out of the box, a little, with their new Minimal Series. I say “a little” because, well, they’ve always been about minimalism. Maybe a better name for this collection would have been Shapes. Cubes, circles and triangles are featured on the new tees. I must say that I’m quite the fan of Mountains, (the triangle tee). The design and color selection contrast nicely on the black T-Shirt.

“Today we are introducing the new Minimal Series: 3 designs focused on shape, form and simplicity. We’ll keep the words to a minimum and let the designs do all the talking.”

The new minimal T-Shirts are available now at Ugmonk for $24 a piece, but you can use the coupon code “SPRING20″ at checkout for an additional 20% off your entire order (valid until May 15).

Now wouldn’t it be cool if the T-Shirts came shipped shaped in the shape the shirt is featuring?

The Official Threadless iPhone App Reviewed

I’ve reviewed a couple of Threadless iPhone apps in the past, notably Threads by Ian Marsh and ♥s Threadless by Hung Truong. Both were pretty okay apps, but they left more to be desired. First off, I’m surprised that Threadless waited this long to release an iOS app. Mobile is where it’s at, and I’m so stoked that they’ve finally entered the mobile game.

So let’s take a look at what the Threadless app has to offer. First off, you’re presented with a menu bar featuring 6 different options that you can tap on. The first two options, the “Home” and “The Challenge”, don’t offer much. The “Home” button, basically provide links for you to score designs or shop for tees. But, there are already options in the menu to do those things, so that’s a little redundant. “The Challenge” menu brings you to four screens that you can swipe to the left or to the right that tell you what Threadless is all about. They’ve also got news on current design challenge (right now, they mention the iPhone case challenge). And once again, they offer a page that links to yet another page were you can score designs. So far, three different links that you can click so that you can score designs. They must really want you to score designs! But once again, a little redundant, no?! I think that they could have probably consolidated both the “Home” and “The Challenge” screen into one menu option. So, instead of having “The Challenge”, you’d just have “Home” and that would serve as the main news/updates outlet for the app.

The “Score” page is really slick, I really dig how they implemented. Scoring is simple and straightforward here. You can even choose to be notified if the scored design is ever printed. You can even post the design to Facebook or Twitter. Nifty! You score tees just as you would on the Threadless website, using a scale of 1-5. However, one scoring option is notably missing … the famous Threadless “$”, indicating whether you’d buy the design if it was indeed printed. Despite this, scoring designs was well implemented on the Threadless iPhone app.

Scoring made easy! I love how they have the scoring set up, except, why is the iconic $ missing as a scoring option?

This next option on the menu bar is the “Shop” option. You’d think that since selling stuff is the business that Threadless is in, this part of the app would really shine. It doesn’t. Buying tees using the Threadless iPhone app is really clunky. It seems as if they just link straight to the Threadless website and used a stripped down, mobile version of their online store. It doesn’t seem optimized at all for the iPhone app. Browsing through the shop was often times very slow and unresponsive to the touch. Another issue encountered was that although I was logged in to my Threadless account on the Threadless app, I wasn’nt logged in when I tried to shop for tees. You had to log in once again if you want to purchase and checkout tees using the “Shop” option of the app. Don’t you think you should already be logged in to shop if you’re logged in to the app already? I think that the Threadless app developers really need to rethink the “Shop” option on the app, and really consider optimizing it for the iPhone, instead of simply using the a mobile version of the Threadless online shop. Shopping for tees on the Threadless app is mediocre at best.

Clunky shopping UI. I should be able to see pricing and T-Shirt info as I am looking at the design. In fact, here, I can’t even see all of the design unless I scroll up. They really need to optimize the shopping experience for the iPhone app.

I’m already logged in to the app, why do I need to log in again when I want to purchase some Threadless tees?

Now, the BEST part of the app is the “Wacky Stuff” option. This part of the app is genius. First, you have a little doodle pad that you can use to sketch stuff on a makeshift T-Shirt or iPhone case. Think a digital version of the Threadless Field Notes booklet. You have the option to change pen tips, and then when you’re done, you can save it to your Photo Album or email it. My favorite part of the Threadless app, though, is the “Festasizer” and the various other “Threadcams.” These cameras allowing you to take wacky photos of your face, with iconic Threadless designs layered over (or Charlie Festa’s iconic beard). Nifty and fun! The one option, though, that I feel is missing from the Threadcams is the option to switch to the front facing camera. Why not? I mean, what if you want to take a photo of yourself? Using the rear camera would make it very difficult to position the design perfectly over your face.

All in all, the official Threadless iPhone app is pretty neat. It definitely offers more than the other Threadless apps available in the Apple App Store. Although the Threadcams and the ability to score designs shine, the developers really missed the mark when it comes to shopping for tees on the app.

Threadless
by SkinnyCorp, LLC
Price: Free

Steve Jobs Frozen In Carbonite?

Yup, Steve Jobs is definitely frozen in carbonite in this very awesome iPhone case by Society 6 member Greg Koenig. And if you’re not sure what this iPhone case is referencing, then you’ve got some movie watching to do. long time ago, in a galaxy far far away … a man named George Lucas made an awesome movie called Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. If you haven’t seen it then you might as well slap yourself now.

Of course, there’s a T-Shirt to accompany that Steve Jobs Carbonite iPhone case – but it’s a little meh. The case is way cooler. The case is available now from Society6 for $35 and the T-Shirt can be had for $22.

TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael Costume Flip Tee

Okay, we all know that flip tees are a little cheesy, but this might have to be an exception (or not). It’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael flip tee! It’s Raphael from the 1980’s series, which is awesome. Of course, the T-Shirt wearer must exude a lot of cool and some (or a lot) of crude. If you got the previous sentence, then you’re a bonafide 80’s kid. Cheers, to you!

By the way, if you’re a Turtles fan, be sure to read my post on my exclusive trip the Nickelodeon Studios for a special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Preview event for the upcoming TV show.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael Costume Flip Tee is available now from TV Store Online for $20.95.

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Preview Event

NOTE: Before I begin, I should note that everything that I mention regarding the new Teenage Mutant Ninjs Turtles Nickelodeon show is, at the moment, a MUTATION IN PROGRESS. Nothing yet is set in stone. Storylines and Voices can still be changed and replaced. Mutation In Progress, keep that in mind!

About a month ago, a representative for Nickelodeon contacted me regarding attending a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles preview event in Burbank, California. Now, I get a lot of emails, but this one was pretty far out there. And lets not forget, most of my emails pitch T-Shirts, not mutant turtles. Needless to say, I was curious and so I replied back (the email said I needed to reply within the day in order to be considered). The next day, I was informed that the following week I would be contacted by some Nickelodeon representatives to discuss the Turtles. Neat.

Turns out, Nickelodeon was recruiting TMNT fans throughout the country, to attend a fan preview event at their studios in Burbank, California. I figured, I wouldn’t be chosen considering that I’ve only just blogged about the turtles a few times on this blog and each time it was in regards to TMNT themed T-Shirts. In retrospect, though, and looking back at those videos and TMNT posts, I spoke pretty passionately about the turtles and growing up with them. Despite this, I thought I had no shot … I mean there must be tons of other more uber mega super Turtle fans out there. Like, serious, serious fans. I certainly would not be chosen.

I was chosen. The madness begins.

About a week before I was scheduled to fly out to Burbank for the even, I received the official invite to the event. Can you guess how they delivered it? As a pizza! That’s right, someone dropped off pizza to my home in a custom TMNT pizza box. It was a pretty good cheese pizza too! At this point, I’m pretty excited because they are obviously going all out for this event.

The day of my departure arrives. I had an early flight, and I’m out of Honolulu at 8am on March 29th. I arrived at LAX at around 4pm and I have a personal driver (arranged by Nickelodeon) waiting for me at baggage claim to drive me to my hotel. Nice.

I arrive in my room and lo and behold, what’s there waiting for me? Ninja Turtle stuff! It was more like a big, circular gift box (made to look like a manhole/sewer) filled with goodies to keep me occupied throughout the night. Inside were some pretty dope snacks, as well as a TMNT T-Shirt and a VISA Gift Card. Awesome!

The big day arrives. I really didn’t know what to expect. Should I wear a TMNT shirt or not? I came prepared with three. I am a T-Shirt blogger after all. I decided to go with Heroes In An Art Shell by John Hillier from Threadless. 8:30pm rolls along and all of the people that flew in for the event meet up in the lobby of the Hotel Amarano. We are then driven to the Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

After waiting in the transportation van for a bit, we are finally allowed to enter the NICK lot. I should note, that they really know how to build up the tension. As we were all waiting in the van, each and every one of us was boiling with excitement. We didn’t know what to expect!

We were then finally let in and are told that we needed to give up our cell phones and any recording devices during the event. Meaning, I unfortunately could not take any pictures whatsoever. This sucked. Plus, I kept reaching for my imaginary iPhone in my pants pocket throughout the day! Those imaginary phones can be such a distraction. Once we turned in our goods, we were treated to a pretty good breakfast spread of baked goods. All the while, we mingled with our fellow TMNT brothers and sisters. Now during this time, we were unknowingly being treated to some music that they were considering for the show. This included music from Handsome Boy Modeling School and DJ Shadow. Pretty good vibe so far.

We were then officially led inside the studios (breakfast was in the front courtyard) and brought into the official NICK gym. Of course, they converted the gym into something more like a TMNT fanboy’s dream man den. It was seriously cool. Imagine lot of green uplighting and barrel’s of oooze and TMNT paraphanilia. The room itself elicited a bunch of ooohhs and ahhhhs from many of us.

Once inside, we each took a seat. We were then introduced to the president of Nickelodeon Animation, Brown Johnson, who welcomed us to the studio. We were then each asked to introduce ourselves to the group. One-by-one uber turtle mega fan after another introduced themselves. It was pretty crazy. There were people there known for being Sexy April in the cosplay world to the current Guiness record holder for largest gathering of people dressed as Ninja Turtles. We had people there with Ninja Turtle Tattoos, large Turtle toy collection, and webmasters of the most popular TMNT fansites and forums. It was pretty insane that they were able to put together such a group of TMNT fans. I guess, thank you to Google and their amazing search engine?

After the introductions, we were then given a tour of the NICK Animation Studios by Rich Magallanes, Vice President Current Animation Series Production at Nickelodeon. We first stopped in on a live voice recording for Fanboy and Chum Chum. We then passed by the areas dedicated to shows such as Avatar and Sponge Bob Square Pants. All the while, passing by all of the awesome artwork that hang in the hallways. Speaking of the hallways, many of the walls are made of whiteboard to encourage people to doodle when they feel inspired. Neat!

Afte the tour, we were then treated to a little snack session. And by little, I mean they went all out. They were handing out smoothies and milkshakes for crying out loud.

Post snack session, we returned to the gym turned makeshift Turtle den. Now came the good stuff. We were now treated to a sneak peak of the pilot episode in animatic format. Think moving storyboard with the voices. This wasn’t the CGI stuff that they are promising for the actual show and again, they emphasized that this was a “Mutation In Progress”, meaning that what we were seeing, may not even make it to the final version of the show. Makes sense, if they had made up their mind then why would we be there in the first place. I watched the animatic intently, it was about 25 minutes long. I can tell you that the rendered images of the Turtles looked great. Again, the characters looked great and each were well defined.

Following the animatic presentation of the pilot, Playmates gave a short presentation of the new Turtles toy line that will be released in conjunction with the new TMNT series.

Following the Playmates presentation, we were then treated to yet another surprise. Up to this point, we had no idea who the voice actors were going to be. And we had no idea that we would be treated to a script reading by the actual cast. This was fucking awesome. I was excited. We were all stoked. One by one, they introduced some of the producers, writers and then voices for the show. Of note were Jason Biggs as Leonardo, and Ron Paulsen as Raphael. Meeting Jason Biggs was exciting, but meeting Ron Paulsen was epic (he was the voice of the original Raphael voice and even the voice of Pinky from Pinky and the Brain). Trust me when I say that during the script reading, we all had big smiles on our faces – we were all so excited to be there. I should note, however, that the voices have not yet been finalized. An official announcement of the TMNT voices should be coming from Nickelodeon shortly.

Lunch time. As expected, there was pizza and pasta, as well as some throwback snacks from our childhood … can you say dirt pudding cups with gummy worms. Seriously, we were all in 1980’s heaven at this point. What’s even better is that the voice actors hung around for lunch. Jason Biggs even stopped by my small table to chat, as did Ron Paulsen. They were both super cool, Ron even did a few of his vintage voices! I had lunch with Pinky from Pinky and the Brain! Crazy insane.

After lunch, the real work began. For the focus groups, we broke up into small groups of four. I’m not going to go into detail about what we specifically talked about, but I will say that we discussed both positives and negatives of the new series.

We ended the day with a nice Q&A session with the writers and developers of the show. These were all questions that we had handed back to them after seeing the animatic and prior to lunch.

And that was the day! After the Q&A, we were given a poster and thumb driver with some key art for the show. Following a group picture, I was then driven straight to LAX, and I was back in Hawaii at 8pm on March 3oth. This was one 24 hour trip that I will never forget.

So quickly, some things about the new show:

  • The animation is top notch.
  • The action sequences looked great.
  • Not a big fan of the changes they made to April Oneil’s character. She’s 15/16ish and emo!
  • No mention of the origin story, they made it a point not to tell us this.
  • The renderings of Shredder looked badass (though he wasn’t in the trailer).
  • Loved the dark tone.
  • The city landscape look great, it just feels like New York.
  • Splinter is big, agile and not crippled. He can fight!
  • It was funny without being campy like the 1987 series.
  • Didn’t hear cowabunga or turtle power once.
  • Each of the turtles look slightly different (height and weight differed).

And that’s my roundup of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Preview Event at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios. It was seriously a great time, and I am so happy that I actually checked my email the day they initially sent me the invite (thanks to Philip Ross of the Pitch Agency for finding me)!

Here are some sites you should check out that are run by some of the TMNT preview event guests:

Go Green Machine

TMNT & Other Strangeness

Mikey’s TMNT

Ninja’s Pizza

http://www.tmnt-ninjaturtles.com/blog/

www.tmnt-ninjaturtles.com

The Technodrome

Everybody Wants Some: Awesome Chewbacca T-Shirt

It’s been a while since I’ve given A Better Tomorrow some love, way too long in my opinion! But I couldn’t deny this T-Shirt it’s moment in the spotlight. Everybody Wants Some by Andre Grünhoff features our favorite furry creature, Chewbacca. It almost looks as if it’s a play on Where the Wild Things Are. I’m not too sure why I feel that way, maybe it has something to do with the typography. Either way, Chewbacca is awesome here. He looks triumphant and regal at the very same time. You go, Chewie.

Everybody Wants Some is available now at A Better Tomorrow for €22,00.

And while you’re here, check out the Chewbacca music video below. It will change your life forever. Okay, maybe not, but it is awesome.