It would be great if Toyota sold stuff like this AE86 sweat shirt again

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.

 

permalink.
This post is filed under: japan and
tagged: , , , .

8 Responses to It would be great if Toyota sold stuff like this AE86 sweat shirt again

  1. Indeed the Toyota merchandise site needs to step things up. I see a lot of trucker hats for the hipsters, but not cool stuff like this.

  2. Joel said:

    Us members of the Supraforums.com and Suprmania.com had to create our own merchandise.

  3. BlitzPig said:

    Toyota knows it’s market, and we are no longer it.

  4. nlpnt said:

    How about some 1/25 scale plastic promos? Start with the new Corolla hatch, RAV4 and Supra.

  5. steeko said:

    I was in Japan just recently for the trip of a lifetime with my family.
    We went to Toyota Megaweb in Tokyo as well as the commemorative museum in Nagoya.
    I need to return to just do Nagoya as there are even more Toyota museums to visit.

    I have to say, from what I saw it was almost like Toyota was ashamed to be Toyota.
    The gift shops were void of almost ANYTHING Toyota – the megaweb F1 shop is 99% euro stuff.

    The historic garage at megaweb has cool diecast cars (many Toyota) however I could not get a shirt, keyring or fridge magnet with a Toyota emblem on it (maybe they were sold out?). The tiny die cast models of AE86 were $200, why?
    Surely you could have affordable models for kids to take home as their prize possession.
    note – we did find some Takara TOMY models in Nagoya Commemorative Museum for about $8 each, however the choice was very limited to a AE86 and Lexus LFA. The kids were looking for my celica or supra models… again we came away dissapointed with what was available.

    Nagoya Toyota commemorative museum was fantastic and I will go back – however – again the gift shop was lacking anything much of historic or new Toyota items… why? I thought if this was a Chevy or Ford factory – then I’m guessing it would be filled it with pro-brand items to proudly buy to show your faith and loyalty to the brand.

    I felt like Toyota in Japan is almost cowering in the corner – kind of saying – we are not worthy to have pride in our brand like those great european brands… I was shocked/dissapointed.

    At Toyota Mega Web – my kids (under 12s) spent two days at the driving school just for kids and graduated through 3 driving tests and licenses (electric and hybrid cars).
    Eventually they got to drive the Hydrogen car – it was the highlight of our trip overall for them and it was the greatest experience – we have nothing like that for kids in Australia.
    Best of all the cost was so cheap for what got – literally $1 per lap of their circuit with traffic workers, cross walks, traffic lights, etc.

    Finally as a tourist – I think Toyota need to totally change what is on offer to buy at these Toyota places of worship. There is money to be made and life long fans to be embraced – give the people what they want.
    I get that most people in Japan wear plain clothes – I believe this is cultural – so as to not stand out.
    However for such big tourist attractions to foreign tourists, the gift shop seemed pathetically small and with few items of value (mostly plastic junky gift stuff for little kids without any Toyota branding).

    I fear even if they do offer T-shirts or similar then it will just be in a tiny selection of sizes for the Japanese.
    As a tourist in the Philippines I was able to get plenty of great shirts and polo’s in my size (6’4, 100kg).
    I think the best way to get a Toyota shirt for us in the West is to make it ourselves with the designs we want as I don’t see Toyota embracing that any time soon.

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Yes it’s very different now than in 2003-05. As big as Toyota is, they don’t seem to do a very good job of marketing to the enthusiast. If you go to the Nissan Gallery in Yokohama, there’s a lot more stuff that plays on their Skyline and Z heritage. Honda similarly has loads of cool tchotchkes in their gift shop with themes of Super Cubs to NSXes and everything in between.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *