Sunday, May 20, 2012

Retro '71

Welcome back to Designerland and another fun-filled Retro '71 shirt concept. This week’s shirts are based on the House of Magic Shop on old Main Street. 

As a child and growing up on the Magic Kingdom, no visit could be complete without a stop to this store. As the evening would come to an end and the fireworks finished, we'd start to make our way back to the monorail. To avoid crowds we would stop into the many great stores the Magic Kingdom had to offer at the time. My mom would be off in the classier stores looking for something to bring back my grandmother while my dad and I would head over to one of the coolest stores imaginable, The House of Magic.

As a young boy I was fascinated with all sorts of things: monster makeups (thank you Dick Smith), haunted houses, skulls, pirates, masks, puppets and so on and the House of Magic catered to all those odd interests. I only visited the House of Magic during the evening hours right before the park closed, which made the shop even more mystical. As I recall, the shop was dark and mysterious. The shelves were lined with Adam's Prank and Magic products, books on studying magic, card decks, those invisible dog leash gags, rubber monster masks, some Haunted Mansion carryover items and black light/glow-in-the-dark skulls by Randotti. It was pure heaven.

Being so young, the more advanced magical merchandise that the House of Magic offered didn't interest me. I would pass up those cheesy invisible dog leashes and make my way straight to the display of molded ceramic spookiness, the Randotti skulls. The Randotti Company was a small mom and pop operation out of California that manufactured chalk and plaster skulls, totems, tikis, tombstones, and plaques for various stores, amusement parks and theme parks. Most of the products were treated with glow in the dark paint. They would glow forever, bright and strong all night long it seemed. I remember many a night dozing off to sleep as the eerie, ghostly glow illuminated my night stand.

 I would purchase the same skull each year (skull #829 to be exact, but also had #891 in my collection at one time).  I don't think my mom cared too much for the macabre merchandise because it would seem to disappear a few months after our vacations. I would ask her if she had seen it and she would say that she packed it up with the Halloween decorations. Moms can be so fickle but Dads are so great because like clockwork he'd let me buy one each year while Mom was on the other side of Main Street. It was like our little thing. 

The House of Magic and the infamous Randotti Skulls play a big role in my Disney World childhood, so what better way to pay homage than with a shirt design of their very own, slightly distressed and printed in glow in the dark ink of course.

Well that does it for this week’s post. Tune in next week when we conclude our Main Street Typography Case Study. Have a greek week and see you soon!