The One Million Dollar T-Shirt

You know that scene in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory when Charlie Bucket finds the last ticket?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, quiz

Wowzers!

That’s kinda how I felt when I found this tee the other day:

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Click photo to view in store

I’ve found quarters in the street, $20 bills flitting through the air and even a diamond ring once but I’ve never found a T-shirt worth a million dollars! It would suffice to say that THIS tee is the Holy Grail of all vintage T-shirts. You may have an original Rolling Stones tee worn by Mick Jagger at their first show or any number of other rare and collectible tees and it wouldn’t come close to a million bucks.

Now, I personally don’t wanna be walking around wearing this tee because people are crazy and I might just find myself mugged and shirtless outside of an estate sale one day. It needs to go to someone like Kanye West or Justin Bieber. Someone who has body guards who prevent T-shirt robberies from happening. Or it should go to an eclectic collector of things like this who would frame it above their mantle or put it in their safety deposit box for safe keeping. Maybe Sir Richard Branson would enjoy wearing this T-shirt as he sipped margaritas on the beach of Necker Island? I don’t know who deserves such a shirt, but I’m gonna find out who.

So, for the ridiculously low, low price of only $50,000 (and also because eBay won’t let me price it any higher) this MILLION DOLLAR T-shirt can be worn by YOU!! That’s a ridiculous reduction of 95% off the sticker price on this million dollar tee! I’ll even let you pay five monthly increments of $10,000 if that helps!

I will accept best price offers as well. But, don’t lowball me like this guy:

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So, start your new journey through life by buying this million dollar tee right now! Get it before it’s too late and Sir Richard Branson buys it!

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Only thing missing from this shot is a Million Dollar T-shirt

 

 

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I’m A Toys “R” Us Kid

Growing up in Norway, there was no Toys “R” Us. Only IKEAs on every corner and supermarkets where fresh fish smells filled the air in my nostrils to a point where I can’t stand the smell or taste of fish anymore.

However, the absence of a supermarket full of toys made it all the more fantastic when we visited the States and my older brother would take me there. Nothing beat the rush of serotonin upon entering that place and getting the feeling of… well, never wanting to grow up:

What makes being a picker of vintage T-shirts so fantastic is that you never know what you’re going to run into and the memories it will bring to the surface. That’s why I love doing what I do. Being able to attach myself and other people to their past is something that never gets old.

Which is why, when I found this sweatshirt (yes, I’ll pick things other than tees if it peaks my interest), I was transported back to that time before deodorant and pubes when things were much simpler.

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In an adult size too! A miracle! (Click image to view in store)

Needless to say, Toys “R” Us had everything that Norway did not. Most importantly, to me, they had… ROCK LORDS:

What’s that? You never heard of ROCK LORDS??? Powerful living rocks? C’mon, they were the coolest! No? Well… to me they were my toy of choice. Sure, they weren’t as cool as Transformers or GI Joes or My Little Pony but they were unique, different and not everyone had them which made it all the more desirable to me. I had every character and played with them endlessly.

Unfortunately, when I grew up, I sold them all for beer money. At that time, beer was more important than toys. A decision I’ve regretted for a while. The good thing about the internet is that you can find things like Rock Lords and vintage T-shirts with only a few keystrokes. Speaking of… look at my store when you get a chance. You never know what kind of memories my collection may invoke and if you have any Rock Lords, maybe we can do a trade 🙂

 

These Vintage Mickey Tees Look The Same! Why Are They Priced Different?

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Outside of one being black and one being gray, what do you say the difference is?

The standard Mickey Mouse tee is perhaps one of the most overproduced T-shirts out there. I recently went to Disneyland several months ago and there was absolutely no shortage of Mickey tees wandering around the park.

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1st and quite possibly the last

So, if everybody has a Mickey tee, what makes the two tees above so damn special?

Well, the black one on the left is from the 80s. I know this because it’s a Stedman brand, 50/50 poly/cotton tee.

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It’s not super rare, but it is somewhat hard to find and is in awesome condition so I have it priced reasonably at 39.99.

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Click to see in store

Now, the one on the right is quite special.

Before I tell you why, understand that in the history of people collecting things, no one has ever wanted a reproduction. The most sought after items are the originals.

First edition Harry Potter books can sell for thousands of dollars.

The first issue of Superman sold for over $3 million dollars.

And an original Led Zeppelin T-shirt from 1979 sold for $10,000.

The gray Mickey tee on the right is not only an original tee from the 70s but it is also a “Tri-Blend” tee meaning that it was made with three materials: Cotton, polyester and Rayon.

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Coupled with the fact it is thin, threadbare and in impeccable shape for being approximately 40 years old (almost vintage for a human being) warrants this Mickey tee to be thrust into the upper echelons of vintage Mickey tees. Which is why it is priced so much higher than the black tee on the left.

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Click to see in store (Update: Now Sold)

It may not be “The First” Mickey tee ever made (undoubtedly not) but it certainly is old and has survived several decades without becoming a dust rag. It is “original”, it is “vintage” and it is “expensive”. It will “sit in my store for a long time”  (Update 12/15/16: this incredible Mickey tee has now been sold) because many people probably won’t want to spend “$300 on a T-shirt” but I’m willing to wait because I guaren-damn-tee you there ain’t many of these out there right now.

It’s an investment.

Thoughts?

 

Hi! I’m A Historical T-Shirt Preservationist

I’ve always struggled trying to tell people exactly what it is that I do. Usually, when I tell people “I sell vintage T-shirts on eBay” it is followed by them saying, “Oh, so do you print your own designs or what?”

*facepalm*

*facepalm*

No, man. No. Were you even listening to what I just said?

I’ve learned that most people just don’t understand and, well… that’s okay! “Vintage” is a MASSIVELY overused term. With so many modern day tees printed with that “vintage look” (i.e. “retro”) I think people get confused with the notion as to why someone would want to sell “old” T-shirts. Why not just print your own that are new but look old?

Well, maybe it’s for the same reasons why Mike and Frank of American Pickers enjoy picking through piles and piles of “junk” to find that airplane propellor or car battery sign.

Mike and Frank of American Pickers

It’s the history of the tees that fascinate me.

While I may never know the story behind the T-shirt itself or the person who wore it, I can research why it exists at all.

For example:

Click photo to see item in store

Click photo to see item in store

This is an easy one. Everyone knows the story of OJ Simpson and his incredibly overhyped trial. It wasn’t long before anyone and everyone was trying to capitalize on it. Who knows how many were printed or how many still exist today. All I know is that I have one perfectly documented within the pages of eBay and that’s awesome. Now it just needs a good home (I’m looking at you Guy Who Buys OJ Simpson Trial Stuff).

How about this one:

Click above photo to see item in store

Click photo to see item in store

I love this T-shirt because of it’s history. It was printed at the dawn of the age of video games. Sierra is best known for its multiple lines of graphic video games that started in the 80s and proved influential in the HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES. Sierra is now owned by Activision who is a major player in the video game arena. So, I assume this tee was probably provided to players of the antiquated games of the 80s (remember 80’s era 3D?). This isn’t just a cool tee, it’s a historical artifact.

Granted, not every T-shirt provides me with a history lesson, but many tees are wrought with emotion. Whether it be from a marathon, someone’s tour in Desert Storm or from an aerobatic airplane show (where the exact plane pictured on the tee eventually crashed into the ground killing the pilot) each shirt was bought or obtained for a reason! I can feel that reason. In the same way an archaeologist uncovers dinosaur bones and forever links himself to the dinosaur he found, I’ve found the same relationship with the T-shirts in my inventory.

This is more than just a job and more than just selling old T-shirts. It is preserving the past for others to experience.

That’s why I’m a Historical T-Shirt Preservationist.

 

Did You Know Vintage T-Shirts Make Great Stocking Stuffers?

Christmas is coming.

Have you thought of any unique gifts? Something… different?

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Click photo to see these vintage tees and more in the Holy Idea Tees store 🙂

Stockings are my favorite part of the gift-giving Christmas process. I think it’s because you receive so many small items at once. Its an exercise in immediate gratification many times in quick succession. Each item you pull out is observed, talked about and studied before moving on to the next. Whether you like the item or not, it can be quickly pushed aside and you can move on to the next thing.

Which brings me to this point: Vintage T-shirts make great stocking stuffers!

A vintage T-Shirt is malleable. It has that pliability to fit between the crevices and gaps of the shaving kit or restaurant gift card and make themselves an excellent addition to any stocking!  However, it isn’t its ability to fit in small spaces that make them an attractive addition, it’s because of these things called “memories”.  I’ve been known to drum up a memory or two on occasion.

For example, I remember when I was 19 and got alcohol poisoning on Southern Comfort and woke up with a really weird rug burn on my forehead. I’m reminded of that experience every time I see this vintage tee:

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TEE SOLD! Click to see other liquor related vintage tees

Oh, wait. Maybe that’s not a memory worth revisiting.

Lets try you! Maybe your mom really likes Bull Terriers. She even wanted one when you were a kid but your dad hated dogs and she never got one. If you just insert a vintage Spuds MacKenzie t-shirt into her stocking, it’ll make a memory!

Click to see in eBay store

TEE SOLD! Click to see other vintage Beer related tees

Remember how you always used to pretend like you were surfing every time “Surfin’ USA” came on the radio? Maybe this tee would bring a smile to your face:

Click to see eBay store

TEE SOLD! Click to see other vintage band and concert related tees

How about when you went to that Iron Maiden concert and passed out in the bathroom before the concert even started because that wasn’t candy that one guy gave you:

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TEE SOLD! Click to see other vintage band and concert related tees

Perhaps one of these scenarios isn’t one of the 5689 Septendecillion possible scenarios out there that bring you seven degrees from a vintage t-shirt from the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow (because I have that too) but memories run deep and you never know what may spark a powerful, nostalgic emotion over an old t-shirt.

Which brings me full circle: Vintage T-shirts make great stocking stuffers!

Everyone has memories. Chances are there’s probably a t-shirt for it.

Maybe I have one here.

A Post With Lots Of Links

Glad to see you made it to my blog. If you’re reading this, you were probably directed here via one of my eBay listings or a link I put on my Facebook page or maybe you just found this blog because you were interested in vintage t-shirts. Whatever the case may be, this post is here to tell you that I’m not blogging regularly. The intention is certainly there but the time is not. I created this blog to talk about certain unique finds, tricks of the trade as well as being a central area to talk about how my business works and the specific guidelines I follow to be the best in this small little industry I forced myself into several years ago. It is here on this blog where I want to let me creative juices explode all over it’s pages but, as I said earlier, time is of the essence when starting a business. When you’re only one man, time needs to be spent in these formative moments where the rubber hits the road i.e. making THE MONEY or making MAMA HAPPY! If either one of those things is suffering, then all of this would not be possible.

So, if you’d like to follow me here, please know that it’s not updated regularly at the moment but I would strongly encourage you to follow my Facebook page where I do most of my updating for the time being. I know you don’t want to miss out on new and coveted vintage t-shirts like this 1981 Rolling Stones tee:

Click photo to view listing

Click photo to view listing

Or this vintage 1990 Ice Cube “Dead Homiez” Hip-Hop tee:

Click photo to view listing

Click photo to view listing

Or this unique vintage t-shirt of people with butts for heads playing craps:

Click photo to view listing

Click photo to view listing

Or any number of the hundreds of t-shirts I currently have available (both vintage and new). So, add me to your favorites on eBay or Facebook as those are my main sources of communication with the outside world and where you’ll find the latest updates on blog posts. There are many great works in store for this blog so I don’t want you to go too far 🙂