The Crazy Top Shop was my early 1980s experience with heat-press printed T-shirts.  At Southridge Mall you could show off your fandom with slogans or images from your favorite shows.  Who can forget the smell of the melting glue as the clerk ironed your selection onto your favorite baseball jersey?  I remember getting one shirt with the Three Stooges, one with The Fonz, and one with Yoda right after seeing The Empire Strikes Back.

An online shop is now offering shirts for all sorts of fans with some great throwbacks to pop culture’s past.  From mash-ups, humor, and obscure references, many we haven’t seen elsewhere, Retropolis has an incredible variety of printed logos.  We’re betting everyone can find something on the store’s website, where it currently is offering more than 900 retro-themed shirt styles.  What’s it going to take to get you nostalgic, and what kind of nostalgia defines you–enough to display it for everyone to see on your shirt?  Do you like classic television shows?  How about toys and toy companies from the distant past?  What about forgotten advertising campaigns and the earliest pop culture slogans?  Retropolis may not have everything, but it has plenty.  How about a shirt with a vintage comic book logo, like the old Charlton Comics brand, that crazy Hey Kids! Comics, or the memorable Comics Code Authority stamp?

How about a shirt with an image of that yellow plastic 45 RPM record adapter?  How about T-shirts regularly seen worn by characters inside TV and film, like Three’s Company, John Ritter’s Captain Avenger from Hero At Large, the jersey from Teen Wolf, Snoopy’s Joe Cool shirt, Mork and Mindy, or Pigs in Space?  And a few hundred of the catalog listings are for shirts sporting famous and not-so famous superhero logos.  From Super Grover to the Flash, several 1966 Batman characters, and even Captain Carrot, if you can think of something, it’s probably there.

You can also find several mash-ups, allowing you to show off your own twisted sense of humor, like an unforgettable Marvel Star Wars comics character colliding with a Carl Weathers movie for an Action Jaxxon logo.  We also spotted Atomic Blondie, Cap’n Crunch on a Big Wheel, Fonzie’s Jump the Shark episode from Happy Days meets Jaws, and other shirts featuring Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, Monster Cereals, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Planet of the Apes.

Along with the superhero shirts, we spotted four big categories to choose from.  Like fake pop culture.  We saw Amalgamated Ice Cream (Batman), ACME (Looney Tunes), Arnold’s (Happy Days), Athlead (The Office), Advanced Idea Mechanics (Marvel), Chop Suey Palace (A Christmas Story), Camp Crystal Lake (Friday the 13th), Child Detection Agency (Monsters, Inc.), Cocktails and Dreams (Cocktail), Frostbite Falls (Rocky & Bullwinkle), Fox Force Five (Pulp Fiction), Hill Valley Police (Back to the Future), Rockford Agency (Rockford Files), and Wimpy Burgers (Popeye).

You still haven’t found something you must have yet?

How about classic show logos, like ADAM-12, QM Production (it featured shows like Barnaby Jones), As Seen on TV, Atari, CBS afterschool specials, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Clue Club, Cunningham Hardware (Happy Days), Desilu, Emergency!, Hee Haw, Sony & Cher, I Spy, Sanford & Son, Kojak, Land of the Giants, Love American Style, Six Million Dollar Man, Misfits of Science, Mod Squad, Jabberjaw, They Live, Winnie the Pooh, Police Woman, Blacula, Car Wash, Logan’s Run, The Love Bug, Freaky Friday, Norm Prescott/Lou Scheimer Productions, Rankin Bass, Remote Control, Rollerball, Evel Knievel, Screen Gems, Welcome Back, Kotter, Speed Racer, Soylent Green, Vertigo, and WKRP.  (What?  No Mark VII Limited logo from Dragnet?)

How about toys, games, and companies, like Aurora Plastics Corp., Azrak-Hamway, Big Jim, Big Wheels, GI Joe Adventure Team, MARX, Topps Baseball Cards, ViewMaster, Frogger, Pong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Gnip Gnop, Headache, Connect Four, Kenner, MacMillan Toys, Magic 8 Ball, MEGO, Pop-o-Matic, PrestoMagix, Starting Lineup, Sea Monkeys, Whitman, and (sniff sniff) Toys “R” Us.

And maybe the most surprising and great fun are all the lost advertising concepts available.  You’ll find Calgon, Chiffon, the 1976 Bicentennial logo, Burger Chef, Camelot Music, Tower Records, Commander Salamander, Dolly Madison, Dynamite magazine, lots of New York area companies of the past, Frito Bandito, Goofy Grape, classic Dr. Pepper and MacDonald’s, K-Tel, Kwik Shop, Woolco, Woolworth’s, Joy, Milton the Toaster for Pop Tarts, Mister Donut, Mr. Muscle, Monster vitamins, Montgomery Ward, Mr. Steak, classic NBC peacock, Pizza Man, Pizzazz, Charmin, Quake, Quisp, Reggie!, Remco, RIF–Reading is Fundamental, S&H Green Stamps, Kresge’s, Sam Goody, Showbiz Pizza, and two shirts with Mounds bar for you and a friend.

Check out the selection now here at the Retropolis online store.  Even if you’re not in the market for another shirt, it’s worth the trip down memory lane to scroll through the images.  We haven’t purchsed from this shop so can’t comment on the product quality or service, but we noticed the shop has been selling for more than a year and has its own Facebook page where it previews its designs.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
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