Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, May 30, 2021

Ridemakerz is the kind of toystore concept that would make my 4-year-old twin nephews yelp with joy — and make their parents yelp with financial pain:

Customers select a chassis type (street or monster); body styles (stock or custom, a Ridemakerz brand hot rod, a Ford Mustang GT or Dodge Ram pickup, to name a few options); paint schemes; sound effects (for example, sirens or race sounds) and style of locomotion (free wheel or radio control).

After the 10- to 12-inch cars are assembled, there are ample customizing and accessorizing options: tire treads, grille guards, side pipes, snowboard racks and decals. Mr. Andreini estimates that a fully tricked-out vehicle will run about $75, including $25 for radio control. For the budget-minded, there’s a stock tuner car for $12.

Yep, it’s a hotrod version of Build-A-Bear Workshop. In fact, Build-A-Bear has bought 25 percent of Ridemakerz, seeing it as a perfect boys-targeted complement to the major soft-and-cuddly DIY business.

My chief critique: Hate that “z” in the name. Kitschy. Makes it sound like some hokey beach bar you’d hit while on Spring Break…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/30/2007 06:47:30 PM
Category: Business, Creative
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The other night, I was out at some bar and noticed this guy who had his shirtsleeves rolled up. They revealed his forearms, one of which revealed a set of those trendy Chinese-character tattoos on the skin.

Nothing out of the ordinary, these days. But what really caught my eye: The characters were arranged in a straight line, running up the inner forearm, from just above the wrist to just below the elbow joint. And they were in blue ink.

To me, this ink job very much evoked the tattooed serial numbers that the Nazis branded onto Auschwitz concentration camp inmates.

I didn’t ask the guy if a) he was aware of the similarity, or b) if it was somehow intentional. I didn’t know they guy, so it would have been an awkward way to introduce myself. Plus, if it was intentional, I’m not sure I’d have wanted to know about the intent. If it was unintentional, then informing him would have elicited either extreme embarrassment or apathy -and I didn’t particularly want to watch either reaction.

Maybe I’m the only one who’ll ever come away with that impression of such tattoo art. I’ll admit that I’m biased: I don’t care for tattoos in general, and I find them to be a turn-off on women. But that’s how this one hit me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/30/2007 08:17:07 AM
Category: History, Society
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