We wanted to pull together an article about something that we genuinely love and then also speak to the team behind the vision. Instantly we were drawn towards Insert Coin Clothing, having a mild addiction to their products and can often be found squabbling over who gets to order the latest t-shirt design. Check out Lopez’s thoughts followed by some answers from Dan at Insert Coin Clothing.
I love Insert Coin Clothing, they represent most of my wardrobe real estate currently. Insert Coin Clothing do some amazing game based merchandise, I discovered it a little while ago when they had some Resident Evil t-shirts on offer, though I was too late for the Shenmue hoodie in my size as they’d started phasing it out at that point. I’m now at a point where I’m 99% sure that most of my t-shirts and hoodies have been ordered from their website (www.insertcoinclothing.com for reference).
The site has a huge collection of ranges, which gets added too pretty regularly and the ranges stick around for a decent amount of time too so there’s not usually any issues getting hold of an item. I counted that I’d bought items relating to 24 different games so I dread to think exactly how many items I’ve got from there and how much money I’ve dropped, but by the same token I regret nothing.
What’s nice is that Insert Coin have what they call a Coin system which is essentially a loyalty program where you earn money off future purchases. With each purchase you make and it’s actually pretty generous, I’ve saved a fair bit this way. There are also regular sales and offers, such as 3 for 2 or a free bag when you spend a certain amount which is always pretty nice. The guys also come across as being genuinely engaged with their community too, ensuring that updates are posted to Facebook and Twitter, and encouraging followers to send pictures of them wearing their gear. The teases prior to an announcement are infuriating from a personal standpoint, but that’s more down to my wanting instant gratification rather than waiting to find out what’s what.
That’s not to say I don’t have things that I see as less than ideal. Some t-shirts occasionally have a neck that feels a little tight and I’d like to see more items like gloves, hats and things like that just to go with the stellar t-shirt and hoody ranges. These are obviously completely my personal opinion and aren’t things that would stop me getting my stuff from there, just things that would be nice to have.
In terms of future ranges, I’d like to see Halo, Final Fantasy 7 and Red Dead Redemption all of which would be pretty sweet, though I assume they’d be hard work to license. Nights, Skies of Arcadia and other Sega classics would be great as there’s already a relationship with Sega in place. More Mass Effect items and maybe a branch out into Dragon Age would work, also Breath of Fire 4 and Suikoden would figure highly for me on any wishlist.
I’m looking forward to what’s coming in the future, with every order placed I have it in my head that I won’t need to buy anything else then something gets released that’s an absolute must buy and I’m drawn back in. With the announcement of Shenmue 1 and 2 getting HD remasters there’s already been a tease of more Shenmue items (hopefully a hoodie) which are undoubtedly going to be instant purchases. All in all, I just hope that the quality continues and that new and awesome games are added to the ranges on offer, I’m excited about future reveals.
Now for the fun part, over to Dan who has kindly provided some background information about the company and the processes involved in making their vision a reality.
How did Insert Coin become a reality and the background behind the idea?
Insert Coin first started as an idea to make video game apparel that people would actually be proud to wear – something beyond promotional gear or items that just act as walking adverts. Gamers deserved better and so we set out to offer them something new.
How do you decide what licences to go after?
There are lots of factors to consider, but the most important one is ‘do we love the game’. There needs to be community love too of course – because it is the community that drives everything we make and do. We also honoured that a great many games companies come to us now, which is absolutely awesome.
Are there any licences that have fallen through or had to be cut, if so were there any reasons behind it?
We’ve been very lucky that we’ve worked with most of the companies that we’ve wanted to so far. It’s a great experience and a real honour to work with so many different devs and publishers.
Is it hard to negotiate deals with companies that own the properties and what issues do you face?
We’re very lucky that most companies completely ‘get’ what Insert Coin is all about – and many come to us directly now too, so they know how we can add even more to their video games.
If you could create a dream range, what would it be and why?
We’ve already launched loads of awesome ranges, but we are always looking to add more – we do have some epic ones lined up though, so watch this space!
Has Insert Coin considered creating a kids range for the mini gamer out there? (my two boys would love them, which actually means I would force them to wear the designs I like)
We have already made kids ranges, but we don’t have plans to bring them back any time soon. But you never know for the future.
Were you Sega or Nintendo (or other) growing up?
Personally, I was very much in the ‘SEGA’ camp, but we’ve got a good mix at Insert Coin Towers, so we have a great background to draw on!
Who would win in a fight between Sonic and Mario?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. Nowadays they’re the best of friends, right? Or at least not at each other all the time? They’re probably more likely to be sharing a chilli dog. They’re a great example of how fans should act, to be honest!