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Primark Retro Gaming Range

The Way In!

On Saturday 12th April, Primark’s flagship Manchester store held the launch of their new retro gaming clothing range. The event, which ran from around midday until 4pm, had everything a retro gamer could need – free arcade games to play, loads of new t-shirts and hoodies to buy and guests from the world of YouTube.

Visitors had the chance to meet and chat with popular retro YouTube channel creators Slopes Game Room, Nostalgia Nerd, Octav1us Kitten and Kim Justice. There was also a guest – Jon Stoodley – who held the joint world record for the perfect game of Pac-Man. Jon held a short talk on tactically playing Pac-Man.

The Clothing range is genuinely superb, with many systems and games covered. It doesn’t matter whethet you are a fan of the Commodore 64, the Mega Drive, arcade games, Sega or Nintendo, there was something for everyone.

All the items shown below are available in Manchester, but Primark are advising anyone who is planning to visit their local store to phone ahead to see if they are in stock. They didn’t have a list of when stock will reach individual stores, but they expect most stores will eventually stock most of the items. Also, if you are venturing out and aren’t sure where to find them, the retro clothing range is in the Mens section of the store. There is a small range of ladies retro gaming t-shirts which feature a more fitted shape, but the vast majority are in the Mens area.

So, the event:

The event started properly at 1pm with Matt introducing the YouTubers. Kim Justice, Slopes, Nostalgia Nerd and Octav1us Kitten each had a brief wave to onlookers and gave a quick explanation of their respective channels. (I have included links to their channels and a brief description of why I watch them at the end of this article.)

Shortly after the introductions, and while people were mingling and chatting, there was a talk by Pac-Man legend Jon Stoodley. Jon covered a huge amount on Pac-Man facts in a short space of time, like how the ghosts work, where you can put Pac-Man so that the ghosts won’t kill him, how to gather ghosts together to aid in obtaining the perfect game and what happens at the kill screen. I could have listened to him talk Pac-Man tactics all day, because I’m really into geeky stuff like that.

After Jon finished it was time to look at the retro wears. (Or retro warez?) I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge clothes shopper. Whenever I have bought a t-shirt online in the past it has been around £15-£20. But the price of these Primark t-shirts genuinely surprised me. They were ALL £6.

Fully licensed t-shirts from huge gaming brands like Sega, Nintendo, Namco and Commodore, ALL £6. Absolute bargain! (I took a few photos for general perusal, but if you would prefer to look at the designs a little clearer, check out towards the bottom of this page.)

They are all genuinely fantastic designs. I mean, I’m a Spectrum person but even I was tempted with the Commodore one.

There was also a short competition to see who could get the best score in 1 minute on Space Invaders. Matt, the announcer, tried to tempt the younger generation to join in by saying “Kids! Come and play Space Invaders. It’s like Fortnight but with less colours!” It certainly worked because the length of the queue for Space Invaders shot up!

While wandering around the event I also bumped into twitterer and YouTuber VillordSutch, and into veteran legendary Spectrum games programmer Jim Bagley.

Anyway, check out the t-shirts, (but please note this is only around half of the range on offer.)

It was a great event and I would like to say a huge thanks to Primark for launching their superb range, and also to Replay Events for inviting me along to cover it.

I have tried to answer as many questions as I can on The Twitters, but just to recap, if you are planning to visit Primark to buy any of the retro range Primark suggested that you would be best contacting your store directly first to see if they have any in stock. The event I went to was their launch day, and so only Manchester had them in on that day.

The Guests:

Slopes Game Room has a mixed bag of videos, ranging from Complete Histories of gaming franchises, to Kickstarter scammers to Lets Play videos.

Nostalgia Nerds videos cover everything relating to gaming and general computers ranging from the 80s right up to modern day retro hardware, like the recently released TheC64.

Octav1us Kitten, along with occasional sidekick Horace (the blue one who likes to ski,) is a fan of the Spectrum. Her videos include History Of, Lets Plays and one of my favourite games, Manic Miner.

Kim Justice has a superb series talking about the A-Z of Licensed Games. There are also documentaries and a huge section of Spectrum game reviews.

Thanks also to fellow retro reporters Retr0Joe and Gamin_guys who covered the #PrimarkArcade event.

Regarding the YouTubers, this might seem like a weird thing to say, but it was so good to put people to the faces I’ve seen on the internet. What I mean by that is I subscribe to and watch the YouTube videos for all of these people. I had met Slopes before very briefly at Play Blackpool, but I hadn’t met Nostalgia Nerd, Octav1us or Kim before. It was so good to get to tell them directly how much the videos they put online mean to people like me, and fans of nostalgia. I think a few of them were a little taken aback or possibly overwhelmed with being one of the reasons people may have turned up. From their point of view when they are not on YouTube they are just normal humans, so it was good to let them know that their videos were such a positive influence.

Thanks guys – you all rock!


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