Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sneakers and Toys

I have several hobbies, and every now and then they overlap. Like for instance when Lego said they would make a watch for adult fans of the bricks. Or when I got my hands on the Tea Robot.

I have always been into sneakers, training shoes, or shoes in general. I don't know why, but I guess I like the aesthetic, the culture around collecting sneakers. I also both play and follow basketball, where the shoe game is a big thing.

So naturally, I pay extra attention when the sneaker brands release shoes based on toys and action figures. This happens from time to time, but not nearly as often as one should expect.

The most recent was a basketball shoe from Fila, inspired by the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm a big TMNT fan, but haven't gotten around to see the new movie. I expect it to be a bad movie, but eventually, I know I will see it.

This isn't the first time Fila has made TMNT sneakers, and I actually own the previous release, from late 2012. The FX-100 Fila x TMNT is an awesome sneaker. Premium materials, lots of cool details. Even the box is TMNT-themed, with the sewer lid. And the pair came with option to switch out the strap to match your favorite turtle.

Like with toy collecting, you really need to keep up, and get the new releases when they drop, or else you may find yourself paying extreme prices. Back in 2009, Nike dropped a pack of 6 pairs nicknamed "Nike x Hasbro". Three pairs of G.I. Joe-inspired sneakers, and three pairs for Transformers. They all came packed in amazing windowed boxes, with the original toy art. You'd think this was something for me... Yes it was. Yet I still didn't pick it up when prices were still manageable.

Another mighty sneaker pack inspired by toys is the Reebok x Voltron from 2008. I have never been a big Voltron fan, but these five sneakers are delightful. Look at those colors. Each pair came with a lion robot, so if you got all five pairs, you were actually able to form Voltron.

We have seen many sneakers vaguely inspired by toys, and you are probably able to find action figures to match most of the colorways that drop. This pair of Nike SB Dunks are nicknamed "Skeletor" for a good reason. It's a perfect match.
Of course today, the big sneaker brands lets you design your own shoes. So there's really nothing stopping you in getting those Battle Cat styled LeBron 11s you always wanted...

And finally, a pair I do own. I know Star Wars isn't technically a toy line, but these sneakers are definitely toy inspired, as they came packed in a bubble, on card back, just like the vintage action figures.

If you want a more thorough article, I wrote a more lengthy piece for a sneaker blog. Read it here:
The Greatest Sneakers in the World... and the Toys that Inspired Them!

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