So, gentlemen, can you tell me a little about your company? Where does T&A come from?
Super Girls Gone Wild features
-Shower Fresh Poison Ivy
-Totally Tanked Harley Quinn
-“Is it cold in here?” Mary Jane Watson Parker
-Sports Top Barbara Gordon
-Beer-Balancing Supergirl with RealHangover-TM Voice Chip.
Upstart Manufacturer Grabs Marvel, DC Licenses--Answers Question “What’s Four Inches Long and Has a Head and Fractal Tech Gear?”
While attending this Fall’s seventh biannual Customcon Event, housed this September/October in beautiful downtown Waco where it’s not so much the heat from the incendiary bombs Janet Reno has fired into your compound as it is the humidity, Slap Happy Times reporter Slap Jermama caught up with the two men behind T&A Toys, LLC. T&A was formed late last year by 18 year-old Oliver Clothesoff and the 19 year-old Randy Kidd. The founders agreed to an off-the-cuff interview regarding their new offering, Super Girls Gone Wild.
Slap, our enterprise is more than just a company, it’s a new paradigm in action figure manufacturing. We intend to deliver what every 15 to 25 year-old toy enthusiast wants. And we believe they’re gonna want T&A.
That is so true, dude, he’s like not even kidding. Our stuff is different because it’s made FOR fans and BY fans. It’s FUBU, man.
Wouldn’t that just be…FFFF?
Slap: Yeah, ffff.
T&A came out of mine and Randy’s action figures club, Guys Who Like Little Men. As a club, we had all been thinking for a while that we weren’t as fulfilled by sitting around the high school’s gym and playing with our figures on Friday nights as we used to be. It was about that time that Randy came up with the idea that maybe it was the fault of the action figures themselves, and as no one could come up with any other reason for the gnawing emptiness we were all feeling, the group was in agreement.
Slap: So it was then that you decided that you could create better figures than what were available on the market?
Randy: No, it was then that we decided to commit ritual suicide. But Oliver said we should use grape Kool-aid, and some other guys said cherry, and then nobody was happy when I showed up with orange, and not everybody could find black Nikes in their size, and we all just decided it was more trouble than it was worth.
Yeah, one guy showed up in sandals. ****ing sandals. Geez.
Anyway, some of us got to thinking about making our own figures, and when the idea came up at one of the Friday meetings, everybody thought it was a pretty good idea.
Randy: Well, almost everybody. There was Keith…
Oliver (to Randy): I told you we weren’t going to talk about Keith again. He ****ed with us and he got ****ed with.
Randy: His mom keeps asking me where he is…
She does? All right. All right. I’ll take care of that.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, we wanted to make a figure, but didn’t really know what character or license we should go after. Two of the club members, Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald, really thought we should go to Marvel for their Giant-Size Man-Thing title.
Randy: Yeah, those guys loved the Man-Thing.
Yeah, they’d usually bring their comic collections with them to share after the meetings, and after everyone else would leave, they’d stay and spend hours looking at each other’s Man-Things.
Slap: Uh…right. So what finally gave you the idea for Super Girls Gone Wild?
Well, we decided that action figures should be art. So we started looking at art, studying art, stealing it, selling it on the Italian black market, and the thought finally occurred to me. The Mona Lisa, Birth of Venus, Whistler’s Mother—what did they all have in common?
The answer: Art is full of beautiful renditions of the female form. With bigguns.
Not only that, we also asked ourselves, what kind of role models will inspire young girls to grow into the kind of women we, as a nation, would like them to be? And the answer to that was, of course, sloppy drunk sorority girls.
Randy: That are easy.
Well, that goes without saying.
Slap: So tell me, how do two upstart toy makers steal the Marvel and DC licenses away from powerhouse companies like ToyBiz and Mattel?
Well, I’ll tell you. Lots of people ask that question, and the answer is simply that you have to know who to talk to.
Randy: Right! Do you think that we would have gotten the DC license if we had talked to some vice-president? Heck no.
Nope. With DC, we went into their offices at 3 a.m. and found this guy named Gus who was sweeping the floors and emptying the wastebaskets. So we asked him if we could use the Batman characters, and he said he was okay with it.
Randy: Right, and we did the same thing at Marvel. John Byrne was sweeping the floor there, and he told us we could use Mary Jane and that if we wanted them he’d give us Next Men and Labrats, too.
Yeah, we passed on those, though. All that was left was to come up with a name for our company. We knew we had Talent and Ambition, so we decided to call our company T&A.
Randy: Oliver’s the T, and I’m the A.
I thought I was the A.
Slap: I think you’re both A’s.
Well, that’s good of you to say.
Slap: Who would you say have been your biggest inspirations getting to this point?
Well, for me, it would have to be Todd McFarlane. I mean, look at how creative he was in taking Spider-man and Batman, combining them, and coming up with Spawn! Not everybody could have combined Spider-man with Batman like that.
Randy: Not everyone would have the guts to do it.
Exactly! His stuff was just like that! Then he started his toy company and helped give thousands of children jobs.
Randy: My biggest role model would have to be Helen Keller. Her struggle against her infirmities, blindness, deafness, being mute, was trulty inspiring. I think that if Helen Keller were into action figures like I am, then she would probably start her own company, too. With all the money she made off her book, I’ll bet she could even afford a yellow Daredevil like I want. Not that she’d know if it was the yellow one or the red one, I guess.
Slap: Dear God… So, uh,what’s next for T&A?
Randy: Well, we’re hoping to do really cool Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne figures so that when our club meets on Batman Night everybody can whip out their Bruces and their Dicks and just have a really good time.
It was at this point that the individual transcribing this interview quit in apparent disgust. Super Girls Gone Wild will be appearing in October wherever they are sold.