• MBTA Memorabilia?

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by MaineCoonCat
 
In these days of funding problems.I see the New York MTA is now selling memorabilia. Any chance of the "T" following suit?
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Click the image or → http://www.mta.info/nyct/materiel/colle ... index.html ←
  by Type7trolley
 
Satisfy collectors and make money at the same time? Sounds WAY too logical for the MBTA.
  by 3rdrail
 
Ebay is a great source for that kind of stuff. With their auto notification service if a catch phrase which you leave shows up, it's really pretty easy to wind up with some interesting collectibles. If cash is tight, make up a "train fund" so that you can pounce on a nice item if one pops up suddenly. With a little patience, you can pick up some nice stuff. As far as the MBTA is concerned, neither they or their predecessors have ever had much of an interest in doing that kind of thing commercially. Admittedly, in the general scheme of things, those kinds of sales wouldn't make much of a difference in the kind of deficit that they are facing supposedly, but I wish that the MBTA had more of an interest in the historical nature of the system that brought to America it's first subway. Not only memorabilia, but excursions and a possible permanent display or museum would benefit.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
The little convenience store thingy at the Green Line level at Park St. used to sell all kinds of T memorabilia...T caps, "T"-shirts, T Christmas ornaments (Xmas tree balls with a T logo on them), and so on. I've still got my circa-1999 black T cap, which they stopped selling after 9/11 for looking too much like the employee ones (and which I won't actually wear on the T for fear of getting it confiscated). It's a conversation starter when I wear it around. They used to sell the shirts in red, green, blue, and orange in assorted designs (including spider map ones). Those too went when Menino raised a stink about the color shirts being used as gang symbols in some neighborhoods.

Unfortunately they just don't do anything creative like that anymore. Wasn't just railfan-wear, they were good urban buys for both locals and tourists and had a nice kitsch factor to them. I seem to remember the merch selling pretty well those couple of years when they actually tried to make a go of it.
  by diburning
 
I don't think they can confiscate your hat as that would be infringing upon your rights. I wear different hats all the time, one of them is a BET hat and no one gives a second look.

Keeping on topic...

Selling memorabilia is a good idea for the T. They could perhaps sell mugs with a vehicle on it, or t-shirts with a particular station on it, or something.

When that store down at Park st sold those caps and shirts, would they need to contact the MBTA for permission to use the maps, the T logo, etc? Is it a trademark? Would they have to pay for licensing?
  by sery2831
 
The BET is hat is not an official hat, nor does one exist for the CR. The MBCR logo hat is just a baseball cap and not to be used in service as a uniform hat.

As far as T hats go, I can see the point the T has. But it sounds more like an excuse not to sell stuff.
  by StevieC48
 
There are a few employees who do use EBay to sell T colectiables, but as for the T it would make sense if they sold out of date items etc on EBay. It might create a few jobs for someone who is unemployed.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
diburning wrote:I don't think they can confiscate your hat as that would be infringing upon your rights. I wear different hats all the time, one of them is a BET hat and no one gives a second look.

Keeping on topic...

Selling memorabilia is a good idea for the T. They could perhaps sell mugs with a vehicle on it, or t-shirts with a particular station on it, or something.

When that store down at Park st sold those caps and shirts, would they need to contact the MBTA for permission to use the maps, the T logo, etc? Is it a trademark? Would they have to pay for licensing?
The store was T-run, so no. I don't think it even goes by a name anymore, but when it first opened it was the "T Underground" store.

It actually got some press recommendations for holiday gift ideas back in the day. I know the Boston Phoenix did a little capsule on it in their holiday buying guide. Like I said it had a hip urban factor to it, and definitely positive promotion for the MBTA. And it's not like producing this merchandise was costing the T much. The shirts, mugs, Xmas ornaments, and whatnot were just pressed with a your typical cheap thermal logo (the T logo on my hat is nicely stitched, though...very high-quality product that's held up perfectly over a decade of wear!). With the markup they were charging for "authentic" merchandise they were no doubt pocketing a tidy profit.

But, alas, nobody at the T gives a crap anymore about PR. Even small things like this go a long way to creating a positive--even cool--image. I wore my hat when I was on vacation up and down the West Coast this summer. Was riding the trolley in Portland and got asked by some college student what the circle logo was, and got a "Neat!" when I explained.

Honestly, that little stand in Park St. is beyond useless nowadays. They don't sell hardly anything worthwhile that transit riders would actually buy (a non-crap selection of snacks and newspapers/magazines would certainly help). It's hardly ever patronized, and must be eking in just enough revenue to justify keeping open. I remember them doing much more brisk business at the beginning of the decade when they offered the merchandise and a much better general selection of stuff.
  by RailBus63
 
papabarn wrote:In these days of funding problems.I see the New York MTA is now selling memorabilia. Any chance of the "T" following suit?
$120 for a car number sign? $350 for a rollsign? Yikes.
  by Type7trolley
 
At one point there was a small shop at Faneuil Hall called "The Boston City Store" that apparently sold all sorts of Boston memorabilia, including MBTA signage. When I finally got over there in 2004 I found to my disappointment that it had closed in the summer of '03. :(

The website is still up, but nothing really interesting or T related is left.
http://www.cityofboston.gov/citystore/
  by jwhite07
 
In the early 90s that retail space was a Mike's Donuts. There were long lines there pretty much all day.
  by ST214
 
I have one of those hats.....Got it at the Springfield train show a few years ago....Have worn it a few times in the subway with no problems...Lots of comments, but none negative.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The little convenience store thingy at the Green Line level at Park St. used to sell all kinds of T memorabilia...T caps, "T"-shirts, T Christmas ornaments (Xmas tree balls with a T logo on them), and so on. I've still got my circa-1999 black T cap, which they stopped selling after 9/11 for looking too much like the employee ones (and which I won't actually wear on the T for fear of getting it confiscated). It's a conversation starter when I wear it around. They used to sell the shirts in red, green, blue, and orange in assorted designs (including spider map ones). Those too went when Menino raised a stink about the color shirts being used as gang symbols in some neighborhoods.

Unfortunately they just don't do anything creative like that anymore. Wasn't just railfan-wear, they were good urban buys for both locals and tourists and had a nice kitsch factor to them. I seem to remember the merch selling pretty well those couple of years when they actually tried to make a go of it.
  by AutisticPsycho
 
A little something I cooked up in 10 minutes with Zazzle
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  by BigUglyCat
 
diburning wrote:What about those shirts sold in vaious touristy areas that say "I Hate The Green Line"? (a type 7 with a station sign that says "I Hate The" on the white part and "Green Line" on the green part)
I'd like to see a picture if anyone has got one! :wink: