After the big “Monday Night War”, which concluded on TNA’s part since Spike is putting UFC on this coming Monday, you had to know that both companies would be competing for your dollars for either Bret Hart or Hulk Hogan t-shirts. So in I step to give my take on the shirts. As Dusty & I talked about in this audio, both of these legends have their own color scheme which of course are Pink & Black and Red & Yellow. On WWEshop.com, Bret Hart was the first thing I saw. They did scroll through other products. On ShopTNA.com, the first thing I saw was Sting. I had to scroll down to see the pictures of Hogan’s t-shirts. TNA did scroll through Hogan’s shirts at the top of the page but it should have been the first image you see. On to reviewing the shirts.
Bret Hart’s shirt is pretty typical of what his other shirts of the past. It has a skull that is centered on a pink heart. The skull is sprouting black wings which has a matrix of of white & lighter gray on the inside, a darker support gray going to the points of the wings and a nice outline of gray around the outside. The outline intertwines with the design in the background which looks like some growing vines. I think the design would work better if the vine design were white but it has enough contrast to look pretty good.
Hulk Hogan has two shirts that TNA is selling. I’m going to gloss over the first one because it is the classic/retro red shirt with yellow “Hulkamania” text. It seems that classic is still quite viable even if it’s not quite all the rage. I’m sure it’ll sell well.
The second shirt is a take off of the Barack Obama “Change” poster. I saw the “Hope” poster and they have the same design principles. Shepard Fairey was the artist who created these iconic images. He also created “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” in 1989 while at the Rhode Island School of Design. Take a look at his multiple designs for Andre here. Fairey got inspiration from old lithography posters much like Andy Warhol’s art in my eyes. The right hand side of the poster is yellow including Hogan’s face while the left hand side is yellow. Hogan’s fu manchu and what is left of his hair is white. They have “Hulkamamania” across the middle of his bandana which stays yellow. Hogan has a pair of sunglasses on above the letter. The frames change color from left to right. Hogan is wearing a black t-shirt so that you can see the word “Change” in yellow at the bottom. In the middle of the word is a faint TNA logo. The poster is bordered by pale yellow trim. On the back is a TNA logo and Hulkamania in red.
I don’t think this works quite as well because all of that yellow is a little too assaulting to me. I think it’d work better if Hogan’s face had more white in it rather than just making his fu manchu white. The Obama poster has more of a vertical feel because it uses red, beige & blue in his face. The fu manchu just throws that additional color in there without adding any design ideas. The colors aren’t as bright in the original either although I obviously understand the use of Hogan’s colors. With the changing of the colors, I would think they would also want to transition the word Hulkamania from red on the right to yellow on the left so that it was the opposite of the rest of the shirt.
I think the Bret Hart shirt is more successful but Hogan’s first shirt is a classic so it will sell well. No matter how much I picked apart Hogan’s second shirt, it is still creative and will also sell like hotcakes. – Kevin