Earlier this year I have been approached by the brand Eighty Sixed, who are a small gaming merchandise store offering game related t-shirt and keychains. They offered to send me some of their products for my blog to review, so I took the opportunity to do a mini-interview with the vice-president Danny Shnorhokian.
How did the Eighty Sixed brand start? What was your motivation?
Danny: Eighty Sixed was originally founded in 2011. Our goal was to create a collection of well designed video game apparel on high quality garments. We were tired of buying low quality shirts with stock game assets printed on them. We simply wanted products that we wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear ourselves. This is what motivated us to start the brand.
Can you introduce a little bit your current team?
Danny: Although we work with many artists from all over the world, our core staff consists of only 7 people. Each member of our team comes from a different background and has an expertise in a different field.
How did you decide which game brands you’d like to market for?
Danny: We only work with games we love. For us, it is not about working with the largest and most mainstream brands. We simply want to make products we love, and we can’t do that if we don’t love the brand we’re making products for.
How long did it take you to go from an idea to your first product?
Danny: Every product that we create usually begins with the statement: “It would be cool if ____ existed.” Whether that’s a Street Fighter Chibi keychain, or a Smite Pentakill design printed on a high quality fabric – every product begins with our personal desire to own it ourselves.
Are you going to introduce new game brands or product types?
Danny: Absolutely. We’ve signed several new games as well as designed a handful of new product types over the last year. We will be announcing them soon.
Thank you for your time to answer my questions, Danny!
The Eighty Sixed store homepage doesn’t waste time talking abour their products or the company but it shows the designs of the t-shirts straightaway on real people. There’s no fancy bells and whistles and the site feels very clean and easy to navigate.
One thing that’s a bit unusual is the dropdown menu with all the collections. Maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing a store menu rightaway, it feels somewhat clunky but I understand the need for it since the collections may grow in the future and static menu on top of the page would soon get out of hand.
One negative aspect is that I could not find what the individual T-shirts were made out of. I feel like that’s an important thing to know before ordering.
All the t-shirts are size S with a standard cut (width 18 inches, height 27 inches). Female cut would suit me better but they are slowly adding women’s cut to all their t-shirts. At the time of posting all the T-shirts below are $24 (from S to 3XL), the keychains are $8 each.
This was the one shirt that captured my attention right away. As a gamer I have seen and heard the phrase or parts of it many many times but what caught my eye was the design. As some of you may know, I’m a webdesigner and graphic designer by trade, so I’m instantly drawn to pretty things. 🙂 So I was delighted to receive this ‘Git gud or git rekt’ t-shirt, otherwise I’d have bought it myself.
This is probably one of the softest t-shirts that I’ve ever owned. It’s relatively thin (60% cotton, 40% polyester) but you can tell it’s a quality t-shirt. It photographs lighter than it really is (both web images and mine), it’s more dark grey. I like the distressed effect of the design, the print seems to be quality after first wash but we’ll see later how long it will actually stay.
I’m so glad that Eighty Sixed did not include any annoying shirt tags anywhere and instead printed the necessary information on the inside of the collar. They also separated their own collection from the gaming one by their logo on the back of the shirt.
My rating: 5/5
Street Fighter Delta Red T-Shirt
I haven’t played Street Fighter since the original, so I was not familiar with the character portrayed on this t-shirt. It’s Cammy, who joined the franchise in Street Fighter II. The t-shirt is soft and fairly thin (60% cotton, 40% polyester) but since it’s light colored, anything dark colored under it will be quite visible. The waistband of my black pants showed quite prominently through. That’s why I give it only 4 out of 5 rating.
My rating: 4/5
Killer Instinct – Onryō T-Shirt
Thanks to the 100% cotton, this shirt feels heavier than the previous ones but is no less soft. I’m not familiar with Killer Instinct but I do like the large design and the color scheme. As with the other t-shirts, the print seems quality.
My rating: 5/5
I also got 3 Skullgirls chibi keychains, Squigly, Filia and Marie. They are all very cute and I love the fact that they’re not just portrayed in a character pose but really as if they were hanging from the chain (complete with annoyed/surprised looks). Their size varies but they’re all around 2.5 inches across. They seem strudy from quality soft rubber PVC.
In the future I’d worry a bit about the hole for the chain (especially for Marie). Although they are pretty thick (approximately 2mm) but flexible, I don’t know how much it could take to snap the rubber on the edge and the chain to fall off (either by regular wear and tear or by force if you get accidentally stuck on something).
Here’s a video introducing all of the keychains from Eighty Sixed:
I think if you or your friend are a fan of the franchise, I’d recommend it.
My rating: 5/5
Overall I really liked the quality of the products. Personally I’d buy only the Git Gud t-shirt only because I’m not that familiar with the other game franchises. All the designs still look very cool though and the items are pretty good quality, so if you’re a fan of these games or the other games that are offered on Eighty Sixed website, give them a shot!
Let me know what item from Eighty Sixed you’d like the most in the comments below (or if you already own one)!