Heroes In A Halfshell…….. and T-Shirt, Mug & Loungepants!

The year was 1989 and a phenomenon had just began – four fearless fighting green machines quickly took over this ten year old boys life and an obsession quickly ensued!

Their names: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Turtle Mania was massive. In every store window, on every high street would be Turtles merchandise, shop keepers praying and rubbing their hands waiting for whiney kids to nag their parents to buy, posters, toys, pencil cases or colouring books. My parents would avoid taking me past such places for obvious reasons.

I could only dream of the day when I’d finally work for a place that sold such things – Backpacks, T-shirts, Loungepants, Socks and Mugs; I’m wearing my Turtles Boxers Shorts right now!

Men's Grey Marl Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Group T-Shirt £25.99
Men’s Grey Marl Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Group T-Shirt £25.99

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Backpack £44.99
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Backpack £44.99

My teacher at year four of Junior School was a kind, white haired, gentle old man by the name of Mr May and he had a somewhat relaxed approach to teaching. Some would say his class room was chaotic, sure it was noisy but a lot of great creative things would be happening. In one corner someone would be building a space ship out of boxes and tin foil ready for mission to mars. On a small round table, a group of over enthusiastic children would be discussing the merits of Jeremiah Obadiah Jackanory Jones, someone would be playing the recorder and one kid would be boinging a ruler on desk.

Meanwhile my friends, Jamie, Alan, Mark, Kieran and I would be plotting what to do with our day. As there was no real structure or timetable, our discussion soon turned into talking about  Ninja turtles – all it really took was someone to say “cowabunga” and we’d be off! Sensing that some mischief was a rife Mr May swiftly intervened, noticing our obvious obsession and hyper furtiveness he suggested we do something with our energy and just like that a grand scheme of events started:

Firstly we thought about putting on a play, this just led to us making home made weapons, all of us made nunchucks out of toilet roll tubes and paper clips which quickly led to them being banned!

Second was learning about actual turtles, their nature and such facts. We figured reading books was boring so we quietly snuck out of school and ran to Kieran’s house where his neighbour kept newts (because no one had turtles, newts were the next best thing!) Kieran dashed into his house while we waited outside on lookout duty. Kieren appeared five minutes later with a sealed box with holes poked in and four newts inside which at that precise second we named Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael. We Stomped back to school pretty sharpish and pleased as punch with our new slimy pets. When Mr. May asked us of our whereabouts “the Library” really didn’t explain the box of newts we’d acquired. All we’d really achieved was a new way to scare the girls as Leonardo and Raphael inexplicably disappeared.

Thirdly I’ve always been a good at drawing and at ten years old I wasn’t all that bad. I’d often get asked to draw random stuff for kids, cars, dwarfs with top hats, a cat on a go-kart…….. etc! Jamie my best friend/partner in crime at the time produced from his desk a Turtles colouring book, he knew my skills were good as we were desk buddies for life. Jamie asked if I could draw the images in the book? Always plotting a quick way to make a buck – Jamie’s plan was simple!

  1. Get me to copy the images from the book
  2. Advertise Turtles Posters for sale
  3. Send our friends around school to gain interest
  4. Get the innocent little scamps to give us money

Unfortunately, as my skills weren’t perfect Jamie realized no one would be interested in a part turtle, part donkey drawing so we did the next best thing! As access to a photocopier was impossible we started tracing the images. Word soon spread and demand was high for hand drawn images of The Turtles, we were getting requests for Splinter, Shredder even April O’Neil! It didn’t take long to trace an image and we shifted maybe 15 to 20 images at maybe 10 to 20 pence each in one afternoon!

We were Dons, we were grand schemers and forgers of art, proper shifty little gangsters living large and in charge. Our dreams of spending the ill gotten gains on sweets and fizzy drinks was short lived as it wasn’t long until one of the parents questioned her son on why he’d paid money for some drawing of a Turtle that had clearly been traced and poorly at that 🙁

The finger of blame was pointed right at us and we were swiftly marched to the headmasters office. Our poor attempt to convince Mr Buckley, our headmaster (no relation) that it was all for charity failed and we were forced to pay back each little blighter. Needless to say I felt pretty bad and promised not to do it again.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you’re going buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise, buy it from your officially awesome officially retro online retailer Truffleshuffle.com

Later on in my teenage years, my friend Nick would discover that I could draw whatever was put in front of me and proceeded to show me teachers signatures – guess who got a lot of merits that year? 😉

Michael Buble: “My wife bought me these Superman socks”

The legendary crooner Michael Buble appeared on Live with Kelly, a popular US chat show today and rocked our awesome Men’s Superman Figure Socks!

Men's Superman Figure 2pk Socks Michel Buble Live with Kelly

He revealed “My wife bought me these Superman socks, they say a lot about your personality!”

Great choice Mrs Buble!

And this isn’t the first time he’s been spotted sorting socks featuring the Man Of Steel!

He made an appearance at Brown Thomas to unveil their Christmas windows and to switch on the Grafton Street Christmas lights in Dublin, Ireland on November 18th and wore them again while talking to reporters!

Men's Superman Figure 2pk Socks
Men's Superman Figure 2pk Socks

Get your very own pair for just £7.99 here but we quick! They’re flying out faster than the big man himself!

Top Gifts for Boyfriends

Christmas is creeping ever closer and I’m sure some of you out there are already panicking about what special gifts you can get for the man in your life but fear not because I’m here to help with my handpicked selection of great gifts for boyfriends.

We’ve come up with our very own Gift Finder which is perfect for tweaking your search to help find the exact sort of gift he’ll love.  Going out with a Rock God, a Movie Buff or even a wannabe Superhero?  We have loads of great gifts perfect for his tastes, give it a try here!

Being a bit of a retro gamer geek myself I know I would personally love to receive some of these old skool treats that would remind me of the great computer games from my youth.

Check out our awesome Tetris Heat Change Mug that changes appearance with the heat of your cuppa!  And what about these gaming treats, our Pac-Man Alarm Clock, super popular Pac-Man Belt and my personal favourite this Sesame Street Invaders T-Shirt which puts the Sesame Street gang into the world of Space Invaders – all great gift ideas for gaming geeks!

Maybe your boyfriend is a bit of a Movie Buff, in which case we’re sure he will love some of these great film T-shirts.

See Bowie do his thing with the Dance Magic Dance Labyrinth Poster T-Shirt, pay tribute to Ghostbusters with this Don’t Cross The Streams T-Shirt, Star Wars fans will love the Boxing Stormtroopers Photographic T-Shirt and our Gizzy is the Shizzy T-Shirt is just perfect if he’s a Gremlins fan.  A great selection of classic movie tees!

And finally we present the opportunity to make the boring old tradition of gifting pants and socks fun again!  Check out these cool Vintage Print Optimus Prime Transformers Boxer Shorts or give his confidence a boost with the ultra cheeky Monty Python Biggus Dickus Boxer Shorts, just what every man wants to hear!

We’ve got socks covered too; make him feel like a hero with our Superman Figure Socks or if he’s a film fan, our Ghostbusters Assorted Socks Gift Set would be perfect.

I hope this has helped all of you that are struggling for ideas, if you are still looking for some more inspiration check out our Gifts for him link to get the full list of men’s pressie ideas.  There’s tons of possible presents for him waiting to be found!

For even more inspiration for everyone else in the family check out Amy’s Gorgeous Gift for Marvelous Mums, Simon’s Great Gifts for Dads and Dave’s Great Gifts for Men.


Great Gifts for Dads

With December just around the corner and your Christmas shopping trip imminent, it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect present for your Dad. That’s why we offer a wide range of great gifts for Dad that are sure to surprise him. These amazing gifts for him are designed to suit every type of man, from Movie Lovers to Wannabe Rock star Dads.

To help you decide which dad gift to get we have our very own Gift Finder. You can tell us what sort of Dad you have and we’ll show you great gifts they will definitely love! Why not try it out now? CLICK ME.

It’s common knowledge that Dads love TV so why not get him a Top Gear Shoulder Bag, a pair of Only Fools And Horses Trotters Reliant Robin Van Slippers or a Ceramic Eggsterminator Egg Cup? And if he enjoys a good brew whilst catching up on his favourite programmes how about the Only Fools And Horses Giant ‘Cushty’ Mug… this holds all the tea one man could ever need!

If your dad (like mine) sees himself as a bit a Superhero we guarantee he will love the Marvel Comics Characters Inside Print Wallet, Marvel Iron Man Pow Cufflinks, Superman Apron and he really likes a laugh how about a Men’s Batman Joker Bath Robe

Still stuck for ideas? You can’t go wrong with socks, here my favourites…

Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration for gifts for dads. But if you need even more inspiration why not check out Dave’s Great Gifts for Men or Claire’s Christmas Gift Ideas: Retro Cufflinks posts, for more great ideas for gift for dads.