One of the most popular traditions here at RRoy Report Central is the Holiday Gift Guide. And this year, for the first time, we are expanding the guide beyond its traditional November opening.
After all, people buy gifts all year long. Why should Christmas get all the attention? There’s Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Birthdays. And you know people forget what was on the guide five months ago.
Besides, some items are time sensitive and some may be long gone by November, so best to make people aware of them now. There’s only two items so don’t freak out.
For years I have searched for the right pair of superhero swim trunks so that I could be the coolest guy at the hotel swimming pool at LawyerCon. But for some unknown reason, while it’s no problem to find comic book related t-shirts and shoes and caps and socks and ties and underwear — it’s very hard to find swimwear. For men at least.
I used to have a pair of Superman/Batman swim trunks with matching muscle shirt that I got at the Warner Bros. Studio Store but the elastic wore out on them about the same time the WBSS went out of business.
Last year I found some DC/Marvel trunks at Hot Topic. I picked up an extra-large in the Batman motif and took it to the counter. “Did you want to try them on?” the young woman with multiple piercings asks me. Hmm, is that a hint? Extra-large is the largest size they have. Surely they will fit. I tried them on. They didn’t.
I went home and searched the Hot Topic website where I learned they don’t deal in anything bigger than XL. Really, Hot Topic? If you want to move nerd merchandise you need to study your customer base. There are basically two sizes of nerds: Small and skinny and Extra-Extra-Large. You’re not fooling anyone with those medium size models on your website. Those guys are not hitting the beach in Deadpool shorts.
So imagine my surprise last week when I was in a Target of all places and I’m walking down an aisle and there on the end, in prominent display, were a stylish pair of Batman trunks and a Marvel pair with Thor, Cap, HULK, Spidey and Iron Man. In Real Man Sizes! I almost bought a pair then and there but I was with someone.
The Batman shorts are nice because they have the pocket on the side and they’re not too showy. Batman would never wear showy swim trunks. Well, maybe Adam West Batman would.
The Marvel shorts are more playful and, yes, goofy. The advantage to the Marvel shorts is I have many t-shirts that I can wear with them, while for some unknown reason I only currently have one Batman t-shirt. I’m not sure how that happened. The disadvantage is they’re missing Hawkeye but that is to be expected.
So this got me thinking if as mainstream a place as Target is now carrying super swim trunks for men, they may be everywhere. Sure enough, Wal-Mart had a nice pair on their website but they are listed as “not available at this time” which is a shame because I think I like that design better than the Target one. It’s based on a random selection of comic book panels and includes the X-Men and Silver Surfer. Still no Hawkeye.
Maybe it’s just too early in the season for Wal-Mart to have their swim trunks out yet. I haven’t gone into one to see. The other issue is that they didn’t have sizes listed on the Wal-Mart site so i don’t know if I would fit in them. Hot Topic has the largest selection but they still insist on not catering to the large-waisted swimmer.
Oh, and if you’re looking for swimwear for the ladies in your life, Hot Topic and Spencer Gifts offer a wide, wide variety of styles. And yet I have never in my life seen a women poolside or on the beach in a Wonder Woman bikini.
Thank You Disney Store
Speaking of Hawkeye, I had pretty much decided after acquiring my last Hawkeye action figure that I would retire from collecting Hawkeye memorabilia. Well, at least action figures and statues. I’ve got one shrine in the office and another shelf in the main RRoy Cave, so I’m thinking maybe that’s enough. Which is not to say that I would ever turn down Hawkeye-related gifts, mind you.
Anyway, my plan was shot to hell recently when it was announced that the Disney Store would soon be carrying “The Avenging Hawkeye” action figure based on the award-winning (and much hyped here) series by Matt Fraction and David Aja.
The figure comes with two heads — all serious sunglasses Clint and busted nose regular guy Clint — multiple arrows, bows, a gun (not sure why) and the best accessory of all time: Lucky, the Pizza Dog. My Hawkeye shrine now feels sadly incomplete without Lucky. I do have an issue with the dog. I’m pretty sure the real Lucky is missing one eye. That’s a minor design flaw I’m willing to overlook.
Now all we need is a Kate Bishop. Hopefully in time for Christmas.