Whatever Happened to the Classic T&C Characters?
In the late eighties, for reasons unknown to me, there was a dramatic split within the T&C organization. The net result was that the Hawaii-based group, who founded the company and owned the rights to the T&C name and logo went one way, and the California-based group, with whom I had developed the classic characters went another, retaining the rights to the characters only.
The Hawaii-based people have continued to prosper as T&C Surf Designs, although their clothing line has never duplicated the success they achieved when they were using the characters.
Despite several attempts, the California-based people had very little success marketing the characters on their own, without the brand recognition and loyalty that the T&C brand justifiably commanded. Having sold my interest in the characters, I was largely excluded from any attempts to revive the characters as a separate entity from T&C. Their efforts suffered from the work of artists who had no real appreciation or understanding of the characters, and the results sadly speak for themselves.
In short, the Logo never did as well without the Characters, and the Characters died without the Logo.
Are the Classic T&C Character Designs Still Available?
No. They have not been produced for more than a decade. Barring a miraculous reconciliation between the parties involved, they never will be again. Sometimes the original old shirts become available on Ebay, and command a handsome price.
Is There Any Chance of Nostalgic Investors Reviving the Classic T&C Character Designs?
Again, no. T&C is still alive and well, and has been getting by quite nicely for years without the characters. Due to what I sense are deeply held personal reasons of the key players involved, T&C will never seek to again utilize the characters in conjunction with their name and logo.
Do I have any Classic T&C Shirts or Memorabilia I’d like to sell?
I have retained quite a collection of original art and merchandise, but for sentimental reasons, am not seeking to sell any of it at this time.