Back in 2003, my brother and I went on our first trip to Japan. Being the Toyotaku that I am (and especially fanatical about AE86s), one of the first things on our agenda was hitting up Toyota’s Megaweb showroom in Tokyo. At the gift shop there, I came across the most amazing sweat shirt I had ever seen.
The main image had four overlaid blueprint drawings of a Sprinter Trueno in top, side, front and rear view. It was dark blue. It had a bright red TRD tag. The back had another TRD logo on it. The pièce de résistance was a nonsensical English phrase that said, “A HIGH QUALITY HIGH RELIABILITY AND A SPORT MIND ARE STIRRED UP.” If that doesn’t say Toyota AE86, I don’t know what does.
I can’t remember how much it cost, but it was pretty expensive. It was pretty goofy looking too, puffy and with super-tight elastic wristbands that made me look like I was in an 80s teen comedy. It didn’t matter. I had to have it.
Today, Megaweb is a shadow of its former self. The gift shop, once a cornucopia of AE86, MR2, Altezza, and Supra goods, has been rebranded to sell a bunch of generic car- and F1-themed stuff.
Keep in mind that in 2003, though, it was 20 years after the AE86 was introduced, and Toyota was still selling this shirt brand new. There’s no way that you could walk into a Toyota showroom today and have them sell you a shirt with, say, a 1998 Supra on it (I mean, look at this crap). But they definitely should.