The Many Faces of Nintendo Blogging – Interview Series – Insert Coin Clothing
Welcome to the Newest installment of “The Many Faces Of Nintendo Blogging.” This month, we are happy to have one of our affiliate sites getting into the fun. They make some of the coolest video game-themed clothes out there and have done a great job. My personal favorite is the Zelda fishing tournament shirt. Please allow me to introduce Dan Long and Insert Coin Clothing, Welcome to the Nintendo Scene!
Name and Location
Dan Long, Head of Comms at Insert Coin – Southend, UK
How did you guys get into the clothing Business?
We started Insert Coin because we were so disappointed with the quality of gaming tees out there. Loads of companies seemed to think it was easy to make money out of an average gamer – print a naff design on a cheap tee and just cash-in. We wanted to change that – we wanted to make high quality, designer gamer wear, essentially original tees that gamers would actually want to wear. No one else was doing that and we knew we had the gaming knowledge, design skills and production know how to make it a reality.
How tough is it to design a shirt?
It depends on the game and the design we have in mind. Most designs come quite readily and start with a good idea of what will work. Getting it absolutely perfect though is the trick – it takes time, patience and a strong attention to detail.
Does it ever go through your mind that “no one is going to get this reference?”
It’s a careful balancing act – we know that true gamers will get the references straight away… but it’s all about balance. We know that a non-gamer won’t even get something as broad as an Ocarina or Cake reference, where a gamer will shout ‘Zelda’ and ‘Portal’ straight away.
Thoughts on how the video game industry is moving forward as a whole?
These are incredibly exciting times we live in and it is very easy to take it all for granted. Only a few years ago, touchscreen wasn’t possible and 3D wasn’t something you took in your pocket. We can never wait to see what’s around the corner next!
How did you guys decide that Nintendo Scene was a good fit for affiliation?
We work with a lot of different websites, and NS have that passion for gaming!
If you could do it all again, would you do anything different?
Not at all – we’re only two years old, but we’ve been featured in every magazine, on every website, and on TV. We work with companies we’ve loved since we were kids and we have the most amazing community supporting us. We’re blessed and we never take our good fortune for granted!
How did “Insert Coin” become the name of the business?
It was just an obvious fit for us – both Jon (creative director and co-founder) and I are kids of the arcades and ‘Insert Coin’ is a phrase that was a big part of our life!
Easiest game franchise to come up with ideas for?
There isn’t really an easy – or a hard – franchise. You’re either passionate about them or not and that shines through in designs, which is why you see so many lacklustre gaming tees out there on other sites just trying to cash in!
When did you feel that Insert Coin had arrived on the scene?
Ooh, that’s difficult to pin down… but it was huge for us when we had our first store at Eurogamer!
I see that you now have dressing gowns and gloves due for release soon. Will there be any other surprise designs in the pipeline?
There will always be surprises – but we can’t tell you about them, otherwise they wouldn’t be surprises!
Favorite games to play?
It’s difficult to pin down a favourite game – of all time, it’d be between Shadow of the Colossus, Gunstar Heroes, Mario Kart and Portal 2. Right now, it’d be Spec Ops and TTT2!
3DS Regular or 3DS XL?
Regular – it’s the perfect size when you’re on the move!
Looks like you guys have worked with some heavy hitters of the video game world. What goes into the process of working with one of these companies?
Luckily for us, a lot of these huge companies come to us first – which is amazing! We’re lucky too because these companies get what we’re about and what we offer to gaming communities. It isn’t difficult to put any old design on a tee – but it is a whole different thing to create an awesome design, produce your own tee to your own spec, and then bring it all together into something a gamer will be proud to wear.
Is it hard to design clothing for international release?
Not really – good design is sans frontiers!
Would you let Dr.Mario perform surgery on you?
Erm, would you?
There must be a shirt or two that was left on the cutting room floor, able to share?
We do post up some treats from the drawing board every so often – usually on our Instagram account! Check it out for sneaky peeks…
Favorite Smash Brothers title to play?
It’s difficult to beat the original!
Would it be easier to stick to one video game company or is it more fun to be able to do as many companies as possible?
No, variety is the spice of life, definitely!
What side of the console wars were you on in the 90’s?
We’ve never been fanboys on any side of a console war – we love all games far too much for that!
Toughest video game you have played so far?
The Impossible Game!
Your girl is taken by a Giant Monkey, would you fight like hell to get her back?
Yes. Especially if there were barrels to jump over…
Weirdest video game related moment/memory you can think of.
You mean apart from being asked if I’d rescue a loved one from an oversized primate? There are so many glitches that we’ve enjoyed down the years… the swing in GTAIV was a great example!
Can you do “The Mario?”
Yes. And no you can’t see…
Is it tough to run a clothing franchise/website?
We’re very lucky to run a company that is a pleasure every day. Challenges are what you make of them and we’ve managed to make Insert Coin the leading name in video game gear in just two years… it’s been a LOT of fun!
What type of road blocks do you guys run into on a daily basis?
To be honest, we don’t have a lot of road blocks to deal with… we just concentrate on working on new, even more exciting designs!
Would you ever make clothing for a different genre of games, such as a sports franchise?
Absolutely – we cover loads of genres of games… so never say never to any kind of IC gear appearing in the future!
Last Wii game played?
Ooh, probably Animal Crossing… or Pikmin!
Last NES game played?
NES game? Oh man, no idea… it was a long time ago!
Wii-U- intrigued by it or “whatever?”
You wouldn’t be much of a gamer if you didn’t want to know more about it… it looks like it could be a lot of fun! ZombiU in particular looks really cool!
What could you do for one of my favorite games, Mega Man 3?
Oh, there are loads of ideas perfect for Mega Man… it’s a fantastic franchise!
Mario fan or Luigi fan?
I think you have to admire Mario’s amazing history… not many plumbers are so widely recognised or have brought so much joy to so many lives!
Anything you want to tell the people reading this to get them to buy clothing from Insert Coin?
We’d just like to thank everyone who has supported us and spread the word about what we do. You tee-vangelists have helped let geeks and gamers know that they don’t have to settle for second best any longer and they just have to ‘Insert Coin’ for the very best video game tees and hoodies!
Well, that’s it for another edition of The Many Faces of Nintendo Blogging. Hope everyone enjoyed it and keep an eye out for the award-winning monthly series. Ok maybe the series hasn’t won any awards yet, but we can dream right?