Daily Archives: July 12, 2019

The Good, the Bad, and the Mildly Amusing

One of the things taking up space in my Fuzzy Room of Elvis stuff is a stack of old ShopElvis.com catalogs.

 

I don’t know what motivated me to save them, but they are headed to the recycle bin now. Before they go, I thought it would be fun to feature some of the more interesting offers here on ElvisBlog.

 

SUMMER 2007

 

The Good:

Although this light is pretty expensive, it is very cool. Turn it on and have the red lights blink in sequence while “Don’t Be Cruel” plays. Perfect for a party.

 

The Bad:

 

This is just pathetic. The sunglasses look fine, but those phony sideburns hanging down from the temples are lame. I’d be embarrassed to wear this. The wig sucks, too.

 

The Good and Bad:

I like the bottom plate because of the good color picture of Elvis and the simple clear message. The top one is stupid. RCK N’RL just doesn’t work, and the Elvis picture isn’t near as good.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

This shirt is pretty dark and hard to read, but that’s part of its appeal to me. Say you’re walking toward someone wearing this shirt; the first thing you could make out is FREAK. “Hmm, what’s this?” Then Stone Cold Natural comes into focus. “Hmm, who is it?” And finally, you see the answer is Elvis. Okay!

Non-fans have no idea that “Stone cold natural freak” is part of an Elvis quote from his August 1, 1969 opening night at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. He was actually relating to his audience what they might be thinking about his return to live concerts.

“Hair flying everywhere, he’s gotta be a weirdo, man, I’ll tell you. Stone cold natural freak, man. That’s why he ain’t been in public nine years.”

I can’t believe Graceland ever authorized an Elvis T-shirt that calls him a freak.

 

FALL 2007:

 

 

The Good:

I own this book; bought it when it was first offered. It’s wonderful, filled with terrific jumpsuit photos. A real bargain. If there was a catalog Hall of Fame for good Elvis stuff, this book would be the first inductee.

 

The Bad:

Notwithstanding the history of this design, I think it’s way low on eye appeal. It looks like Elvis had Charlie or one of the guys iron white letters onto  blue T-shirts. And what does having “ElvisInsider’s.com” on the back add?

Here’s the shirt’s design history. Elvis Presley Enterprises sponsored a football team in the early 60s. Elvis is circled, and you can easily find Red West. If anyone knows that other players were Memphis Mafia, put it in Comments.   [Frequent commenter Gerard Montz has identified Alan Fortas to Red’s left, and on the opposite end of that row Sonny west.]

 

The Mildly Amusing:

This is amusing because it is both good and bad. The price of $115 is pretty steep. The big problem is that it’s terrible as a cookie jar. You would have to use both hands to pick up the lid. The good part is that probably nobody will ever put cookies in it. It’ll look fine on a shelf.

 

More Good:

$22 sounds like a very good deal for 3 CDs of Elvis Karaoke songs. In a tin, no less. They did a good job picking out the three photos. I never bought this set, and now I kind of wish I had. I’d play them while doing stuff like house cleaning, just singing away.

 

SUMMER 2008, Vol 2

 

 

The Good:

This item makes no pretense of being a simulated real gold record award, but they have done a good job creating a pseudo one. This plaque would look great hanging on a wall with other Elvis stuff. The record is gold-plated, the photo is colorful, everything is nicely arranged, and the matting is first class. I think it justifies the high $150 price tag.

 

The Bad:

I can’t figure this one out. Does the salt and pepper come out end of the guitars’ necks? If so, could there be room for more than one hole? That would take a whole lot of shaking to get anything out. How do the guitars stand up? Not worth $30 to me. We have looked at other Elvis salt and pepper shakers on ElvisBlog before, and they were all better than this set.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

The main item here is the Elvis shower curtain, and for some reason, I like it. My wife would never allow it, though. I wonder if you ladies would be intimidated by having Elvis in the room while you are undressed…or maybe not. If you want something a little less in-your-face, maybe the Elvis soap dispenser is more your speed.

The one part of this set I totally dislike is the Elvis trash can. It’s made of clear plastic, so a pile of used tissues and other junk will frame Elvis’ picture. Please, no. EPE failed to meet their own standards for objectional use of an Elvis image. I can’t believe many people bought a trash can with Elvis on it.

 

More Bad:

I’m sure my dog wouldn’t care if his collar had pictures from Elvis movie lobby cards on it. And his fur would cover them up so much I couldn’t see them, anyway.

The collar is made of leather and the images are not bad. Maybe they should just make it longer and market it as a belt for people.

 

SUMMER 2008, Vol 3

 

 

The Good:

The photo of this wallet in the catalog is about 1” by 1-1/4” so you could barely make out the embossed image of Elvis. But in actual size it is pretty good. $40 doesn’t seem outrageous for an Elvis leather wallet, so this one works for me.

 

The Bad:

I like the idea of a leather Elvis duffel bag, although the $500 price is way too much. But what ruins this item for me are the images of Elvis that are screen-printed onto it. Here’s a blow-up.

The one on the left is just bizarre. There is an Elvis head coming out of the top of another Elvis head. That’s bad enough, but the distended hand freaks me out. That’s just about the ugliest Elvis image I’ve ever seen. The other one is better, but the S in Elvis is part cut off. What genius came up with these two losers?

 

The Mildly Amusing:

I don’t know how ShopElvis figured people would choose the socks based in these tiny catalog pictures of them. Today, everything is sold online, and you can get a big image with just a click. Much Better.

As I studied these socks, several were just a jumble of shapes and colors I couldn’t make out. I wondered what “Comic Elvis” really looked like, so I blew it up.

To me, this should be called “Angry Elvis.” It probably wasn’t a big seller. I sort of like the socks with the white suit from the ’69 Comeback Special.

 

FALL 2008

 

 

The Good:

I have stated in here many times how much I like Joe Petruccio’s artwork of Elvis. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to the wonderful images he creates. And, Graceland has been very liberal using them on all sorts of products. I think using them on flasks is a great idea. My favorite would be the Sundial Jumpsuit back view – the one Elvis wore at his last concerts.

 

The Bad:

Now that I’ve said good things about Joe Petruccio, I hope he won’t mind if I criticize one of his paintings. Sorry, but I just don’t find this image of Elvis attractive. Maybe in those big poster reprint he sells online the image will show better.

 

The Mildly Amusing:

When I first saw this, I said, “Hey, that’s a good idea, and $60 seems reasonable.” Then I realized with two of these designs your butt would be sitting on Elvis. Maybe that wouldn’t turn others off, but for me it would have to be a set of the signature bar stools.

 

More Good:

You know about the “Elvis Presley Boulevard” street signs that came out decades ago. Here’s a nice alternative. $13 sounds like a good deal for a 24” long sign. If I had one it would be installed over the doorway to my Fuzzy Room of Elvis goodies.

 

More Bad:

There are a number of die-cast models of different cars Elvis owned out there. I’m fine with that. But why did they do a 1957 Chevy station wagon? Elvis never owned one of them. Sometimes, they just go overboard trying to think of new Elvis stuff to sell us.

 

So that’s it. The first five ShopElvis catalogs in my stack. There are lots more, so we will do this again.

 

 

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