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Awesome 80's T-Shirts

When you were a kid, clothes were the absolute last thing you cared about. They were just itchy pieces of fabric you couldn't wait to throw off when you got home from school. That is, unless they were clothes adorned with your favorite cartoon characters. 


I always had Fruit of the Loom's featuring He-Man and Optimus Prime (though this ALF style escaped me), but no one could appreciate that, so at least 5 days a week I sported a pop culture character t-shirt. Come to think of it, that's pretty much how I dress now. What follows are photos of my awesome 80's t-shirts from 1984-1990, so join me as I strike a pose.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1984)


Being born in 1982, I wasn't in on the massive E.T. hype during the film's theatrical run, but the merchandising was hard to ignore, even years after the original release. Like many kids I had the vinyl-skinned stuffed animal, but I just recently discovered this photo, which shows me wearing an E.T. t-shirt! This was taken when my Mom was running a daycare out of our house and by the looks of it, we also made E.T. gingerbread cookies, which is definitely something my mother would have come up with.

Spider-Man (1984)


As you can see, I wore a lot of Spider-Man themed clothing in my early years. In fact, these shirts show up in 75 percent of my personal photos from the era. But who could blame me? Look at these eye catching graphics. If it wasn't Spider-Man striking a heroic pose or running to save the day, he was busy kicking a boulder into a million pieces. On a side note, I once used a permanent marker to draw the Spider-Man costume webbing onto my body, most likely because my shirts were in the wash.

Masters of the Universe (1985)


If it wasn't the web-head, you can bet your sweet Orko I was decked out in my He-Man duds. You'll have to take my word on this because after hours of searching I couldn't find a clear picture of these shirts anywhere online. The blue one features Skeletor in the bottom right corner with the Masters of the Universe logo prominently at the top, while the red version is mostly obscured, I can tell you that it was a very muscly He-Man leg and arm poking out from behind the straps of my harness (yes, I was one of those kids).

Snoopy (1986)


Here's little Hoju having a chat with my main man, Santa during the Christmas of 1986. As you can see I swapped out my comic book themed gear for a classic comic strip character, Snoopy. I had that classic sno-cone maker featuring the beagle formerly known as Joe Cool and even a storybook cassette of "Snoopy Come Home" that I used to drop into my Fisher-Price cassette player on a regular basis. So my familiarity with the crafty canine pilot who took on The Red Baron was very well established.

Fievel, An American Tale (1987)


OK, technically this was a pajama shirt, but clothes are clothes! How do I know this picture is from 1987? Well, An American Tale came out in November of 1986 and this was taken on my 5th birthday, which was in May and thus, 1987. I'm fanning a wad of cash with my left hand and a Stonedar from Masters of the Universe in my right, so this was a good year indeed. But back to Fievel, I actually had a large plush toy that I think came from Sears and I also used to serenade my Mom with the radio hit "Somewhere Out There" from the film's soundtrack. I was all in on that little Russian mouse.

Batman (1989)


I was a Batman fan thanks to the Super Powers cartoon and accompanying action figure line, even sporting a powder blue cap emblazoned with the Caped Crusader's comic book logo while jumping off the living room furniture. Here you can see me rockin' Batman PJs while activating my Kenner Ghostbusters Proton Pack. Since Ghostbusters 2 (a personal favorite) was eclipsed by the Warner Bros marketing blitz for Batman in the summer of '89, it's very fitting that the 2 franchises "crossed the streams" in my childhood living room.

The Flash (1990)


In the wake of Bat-Mania I as all about The Flash when the Scarlet Speedster hit the CBS network in 1990. Yes, my 8 year old self proudly wore this amazing shirt to elementary school, though it's only partially visible in this image. Luckily speedforce.org had a great shot of the graphic, which doesn't look all that much like John Wesley Shipp's Barry Allen, but is still an amazingly dynamic drawing. I felt like I could run 500 MPH when I wore this thing.


Yes, our kids apparel odyssey is already at an end, but unless you wanted to see me sporting the striped polo shirts my Mom forced me into when my will was weak, there's not much to talk about. So which characters found their way into your dresser as a kid?

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Superman Posted on Jun 15, 2018 at 03:52 PM

Most of my shirts as a kid consisted of either Batman or Star Wars characters.

jkatz Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 03:59 PM

J***s NLogan, that's some impressive work.

Vaporman87 Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 08:47 AM

After I saw there were suddenly 8 comments on this, I knew without a doubt NLogan was involved. LOL! Well done sir!

Hoju Koolander Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 02:25 AM

@NLogan Wow...thanks a lot! That's crazy. We can never doubt your online detective skills, you've made the past more clear for us all so many times.

NLogan Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 02:15 AM

You need to work the phrase,"You can bet your sweet Orko" into your daily parlance, especially with strangers.

NLogan Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 01:53 AM

My google-fu is strong. 15 minutes.

NLogan Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 01:52 AM

He-Man and the Power Sword mini comic

NLogan Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 01:46 AM

This is the design on the blue Masters of the Universe shirt, it was also on the very first mini-comic included with the figures. It has the flying boulders super imposed behind the image from the toy logo.



The second Masters of the Universe red shirt both blurry and harness pics is of Battle Armor He-Man with Pterodactyls flying in the background.

OldSchool80s Posted on Jun 13, 2018 at 12:40 AM

Love this! Thanks for sharing your awesome 80s t-shirt wardrobe. Fun stuff.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Jun 12, 2018 at 07:11 PM

@vaporman87 I had that same thought and searched for iron on patches as well, but came up empty as Skeletor's ocular cavity.

Vaporman87 Posted on Jun 12, 2018 at 04:28 PM

Those Masters of the Universe tees may have been iron-ons. Perhaps that's why they are so elusive online. They look like iron-ons in the photographs.

You sir, had impeccable style in your youth.

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