Following our earlier feature on UK artist Terratag (click here to view), giving an introduction to the Japanese-influenced artist's work as well as an interview, we now present an update showcasing the latest designs.  Terratag (aka Paul Nicholson) told Animetion that three new series - Neon Genesis 777, Mecha and Afro Samurai - take a broad look at Japanese culture as well as being anime influenced.  As well as focusing on each of the new designs, we will also be speaking to Paul about Terratag t-shirts featuring on Play.com

T-shirt from the Neon Genesis 777 range

T-shirt from the Mecha range

Neon Genesis 777 range

First up is a look at the Neon Genesis 777 range.  Featuring vibrant loud prints, the designs echo the neon-lighting of Tokyo and expand on this by remaining visible under UV light. 

Asking Paul to comment on this range he told us it was '
an experiment, a project in which we take a leap in a new direction. This project is about having more fun with design, so in came the pop colours, the Engrish, the neon. We also introduced Terra, the Terratag Toy-bot, a characterisation of the Terratag 'T' logo.  Terratag has an affinity with Japan and how I absorb and adapt that cultural input will be the future. It has to be one in which a distinct visual language is generated.'

With t-shirts featuring Tokyo districts Roppongi and Shinjuku, coupled with the bright designs, the series has great cross-over appeal to clubbers as well as those interested in contemporary Japanese culture. 

Interestingly, this series also features a range of fluorescent shoulder bags - something new to Terratag that could spell the way for more 'accessory products'?  We posed this question to Paul who replied 'We are hoping to significantly expand the scope of Terratag. Cannot say too much right now, but it we can pull it off it will blow your mind.'  Well, sounds good and as soon as Animetion hears more we will let you know. 

Mecha range

At first glance the Mecha range may just appear to be a relaunch of old designs, but look again and you will see a range of new designs underneath as well. 

It is not so much a re-launch', Paul told us, 'more about giving the Mecha designs their own space on the site. With Terratag it is important to continue developing themes, trying new things out. Keeping Mecha separate will allow the robot side of things to evolve independently.' 

Which is good news for fans as best-selling designs such as Robotto and Hunting Club are easily located under the Mecha section.  New designs can be found here as well though, included a Neon Genesis version of Hunting Club as well as the menacing RX-78 which features a silhouetted Gundam.  The Mechaflage range (as seen in our previous feature) is still available under this section also.

Afro Samurai range

One of the coolest anime of recent years, Afro Samurai could not be more suited to for a Terratag range.

Featuring two awesome t-shirts, a new T-bag, bandana and A2 prints, this is coolness taken to a whole new level.  It was also one Paul was very happy working on when we asked about this collaboration:

'I had met with Gonzo (the studio behind Afro Samurai) and we spoke about a project he would like us to work whilst it was still at the hush hush stage. Around about May the wraps came off the project and I was approached by Gonzo to develop some funky merchandise for the Afro
Samurai project.

A2 print from the Afro Samurai range

After the initial meeting with Gonzo in the UK, designs were drawn up to get the ball rolling and then developed between Terratag and Takashi Okazaki, the creator of Afro Samurai in Japan.  Before being contacted by Gonzo, I was already aware of Afro Samurai having seen some seriously cool vinyl figures in Japan and loved Okazaki's artwork and character design. Understandably, I was seriously chuffed to be asked to collaborate on some merchandise.' 

So are there any plans to work on any merchandise for other anime series?  Paul said that there are no such projects at the moment but, given how well the Afro Samurai project ran, he would definitely be up for more of the same. 

Terratag on Play.com!

As mentioned at the beginning of this feature, t-shirts from the Mecha are to feature on massive online retailer Play.com

We asked Paul what had changed for such a big step: 'Nothing had changed, just we hadn't contacted them sooner. When we emailed the guy at Play it turned out he was already a fan. I guess if you don't ask, you don't get. Anyway, they love robots on shirts and who does it better than Terratag - LOL!'

Indeed - who does robots better then Terratag?  We wish Paul well with the new ranges and all future projects. 

For more information visit www.terratag.com