It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, but I was still thrilled to see it. You may have spotted this earlier via Takahashi’s secret entry on the official o–o.com site (“concealed in tomato of a lower right ‘green pepper’ area”), but now it’s official: Portland software company Panic (the studio behind Mac FTP program Transmit and web dev tool Coda) have scored the exclusive license to sell T-shirts based on Keita Takahashi’s just-released PlayStation 3 downloadable Noby Noby Boy, just as they did for Katamari Damacy. And they’re perfect.
What made Panic’s Katamari shirts special was Takahashi’s directive that they explicitly not look like typical ‘game’ wares. Instead, he created a series of images that to the knowing fan were instantly recognizable, but to the rest of the world just looked like good design. Elephants, ostriches, dripping Prince heads and the all-caps ‘FEELING’ (ignore the later Monogram editions), all were a sly wink from one fan of the game to another.
Takahashi has gone in a similar direction, though less diverse, for now, with the Noby shirts. It’s the only direction he could’ve gone really: just longer and longer.
The shirts will come in four different “lengths” — that is, BOY stretched to 12, 48 and eventually the 144 inch tangle that’s little more than a dust-bunny squiggle with feet and that trademark hapless little •.• face. The 24 inch shirt is the only of the bunch that features GIRL, patterned with her signature static hearts.
Though the shirts aren’t yet back from the printer, Panic has just officially opened up its doors on this Noby launch day to take pre-orders, which will begin to ship sometime in the neighborhood of mid-March. Best of all, the site to order the shirts will be accessible at the ridiculous visual-punny URL Takahashi revealed today: www.o–T–o.com (www.o–T–o.com/jp/ for overseas orders).
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