Merchandise for videos games used to be non-existent, but with the gaming industry morphing into a multi-billion dollar industry, contemporary consumers have an easier time finding cool shirts and cute figmas without having to traverse the underbellies of the internet to find them.
Still, most of the merch costs the Macklemorian “Fifty dollars for a T-shirt,” or the designs grow stale after they’ve been slapped on every item in every store. Some overcome the herculean hurdle by making their own video-game inspired items, while others accept the fate of three overused shirts with different variations of Link saying, “Call me Zelda one more time.”
But not all video-game inspired merch needs to be laminated or emblazoned. Some of it can come from hobbies older than video games themselves. For those who like to or are fans of cross-stitching or latch-hooking, video game merchandise isn’t (really) widely available. They have to rely on their own creativity to design something — or they can check out Armada Designs.
Armada Designs started in 2002 on Etsy and has since expanded to a proprietary website. The company even had a panel at Salt Lake City’s 2017 ComiCon.
Customers can buy cross-stitch kits that include everything needed for any of the projects the store provides — even the needle and hoop. But the best part is most projects and items from the shop are video game-related. From classic Pokemon to Dragonball Z to Final Fantasy sprites, Armada Designs appeases cross-stitcher enthusiasts so they no longer have to stare despairingly at a piece of blank grid paper in hopes that if they just believe hard enough, the vision in their head will appear on the page.
Though there aren’t a lot of Pokemon to choose from — not even 150 — most of the classics are present (Haunter, anyone? Dratini? You’re gonna make me say it — Pikachu?), and the shop mentioned at ComiCon that whatever they didn’t have, they’d be happy to design upon request, although they did say that may take a while.
Most of their designs range from $6 to $11, with their biggest projects costing around $30, but considering they ship everything needed with the package except a pair of scissors, that’s a decent price for the solid 4+ hours of stitching. That’s not to mention the awesome video-game inspired piece you’ll have on your hands when you’re done.
So sure, maybe cross-stitch isn’t as practiced among the younger generation as the older — but one day, that younger generation will grow up, and instead of spending hours playing video games, they are going to spend hours wishing they could be stitching those video games.
And Armada Designs will have probably reached 802 Pokemon by then…right?
You can visit the Armada website here.