January 10, 2009

Beards Over Babies T-Shirt: Cute But A Tough Sell


The beauty of Yo Gabba Gabba is it's unassailable merchandising logic. They're not just cranking out random dolls to capitalize on the show's popularity; the characters themselves are the dolls. Totally different! By weaving the product into the story, it's not crass exploitation to sell the merch; it's a natural, even inevitable, element of the audience's relationship with the characters.

Which is why Ryan North's efforts to sell t-shirts by creating Dinosaur Comics, nurture it along for three years, and then have the main character, T-Rex, propose an organization called Beards Over Babies, which celebrates the superiority of man's ability to "engineer hairy faces at our LEISURE" to women's ability to "feel the miracle of life growing inside them and the joy of birth," and then to suggest the perfect t-shirt design, is so admirable.

The only problem, of course, is that there are only ladies' sizes left, and plenty of them. Whether women are not interested in joining organizations founded by a small-brained, self-important, extinction-doomed males generally, or whether they have specific issues with the comparison of pregnancy & birth with sit around & grow a beard, it's still too early to tell. Perhaps a couple of well-timed comics focusing on the many, difficult challenges of beard-growing will generate some sympathy--and some sales.

Beards Over Babies T-Shirt (Closing Out - Ladies Only), $17.50 +s/h [topatoco vai sullivan]
Beards over Babies - Dinosaur Comics [qwantz.com]


Could it be that they are promoting fathers close relationship with their babies? Rather than growing beards over them?

Funny that when I first saw the picture I thought it was maybe a promotion for some new front end baby carrier/sling designed for fathers. Maybe if they changed it to a promo for involved fatherhood they might sell off some of those women sizes and have an even heavier demand for the men's sizes.

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