As I browsed through the many retail stalls at EGX, I started to become fatigued. As usual the majority were flogging the same old generic wears.
Poorly printed Street Fighter tees? Check. Foam Minecraft swords? Check. Super Mario character plushes and novelty plumber hats? Check. Check.
The stallholders had obviously all been to the same cash-and-carry-for-nerds & bought a job lot of identical stock. I wondered how any of them made a profit given that 80% were selling the same old tired goods.
It dawned on me just how hard it is to buy good quality, well designed video game merchandise.
But after an hour or so of disinterested wandering I stumbled upon Gametee’s stall.
I was initially drawn in by their beautiful monochrome prints inspired by video game characters. The bold black and white imagery immediately jumped out amongst the sea of generic cut and paste art hung from their competitors stalls.
I loved the prints, there was something pleasantly grown-up and mature about them.
I also immediately fell in love with Gametee's sweatshirts. Bold iconic logos and premium print graphics on high quality fabrics. I liked that they were not glaring obviously video game related but if you know - then you know.
It’s the sort of thing a fellow nerd would spot walking down the Street. You make eye-contact, they look at your shirt, smile and nod knowingly in approval, then you both continue about your day.
They were like nothing like I’d seen before. "Luxury for videogamers" and it was, so naturally I picked up two.
Loki my dog also approved.
Loki my dog also approved.
Talking to the friendly staff manning the stall, I learned the business is British and an 100% artist owned company.
You could tell from the way they passionately spoke about their designs that they weren’t just there to peddle any old toot to gamers for profit. They had seen a gap in the market for high quality, original products and used Kick-Starter to achieve their goal.
Another distinctive string to their bow was the video game inspired scented candles. Now between me & you I’ve never previously shared the missus’ enthusiasm for "Caribbean Sunset" or "Moon Dust" scented wax that she often dots about various nooks and crannies of the house.
But I had an immediate change of heart on discovering Gametee's Koopa Beaches and Hyrulian Forest offerings.
A hypocrite? Maybe…but the gaming novelty was enough to draw me into giving them a whiff and when I did I was immediately converted.
Unfortunately the Hyrulian Forest tri-flame candle wasn’t available at the expo otherwise I would have snapped it up. Imagine playing A Link To The Past whilst the scent of Hyrual fills the living room? Interactive gaming at it's finest and one for the shopping list I think.
I walked away pleased I'd discovered Gametee and happier still with my new purchases.
Gametee proves that video game merch doesn’t have to be boring or clichéd. It can be original, high quality, quirky and perhaps most of all ...it can be cool.