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(Fast) mouse in the (skate) house
By Adam Tschorn, Times Staff Writer
April 21, 2007
After years of strip-mining the legacy of better-known Looney Tunes like Bugs, Daffy and Tweety, Warner Bros. is launching a clothing and accessories collection that features the fleet-footed rodent Speedy Gonzalez.
Last night, at a skate exhibition and party at the West L.A. shop Nine*Star, Warners introduced Speedy-emblazoned Vans footwear, washed-down, vintage-looking and Mexican-art-influenced T's printed with the image of the sombrero-wearing mouse and the words "Eat My Dust," short shorts proclaiming "Loco for Luv" and hooded sweatshirts bearing the slogan "so cute, so small, so speedy" at prices from $28 to $114. For now, Nine*Star is the only outlet for the limited-run apparel. Soon, it will also be available at Diane Merrick in Los Angeles, Rumors in La Jolla and online at www.shopintuition.com through the end of the summer.
The entire evening was a tongue-in-whiskered-cheek juxtaposition of anti-authoritarian mouse against rebellious skate rats who boarded through the store. Someone in a Speedy Gonzalez costume (complete with a huge yellow sombrero and red ascot) obligingly working the crowd, appearing on the red carpet alongside actress Kristin Cavallari and mingling with the likes of Mario Lopez and "Jackass" human prop Steve-O. On a skate ramp outside the shop, pro skateboarders Patrick Melcher, Danny Gonzalez and Steve Caballero wrapped up a 12-city "Ándale Posse" exhibition tour on which they shared billing with the "Fastest Mouse in All Mexico."
Tables were stacked with endless varieties of cheese, the drink menu included the "raging bull" (Red Bull and vodka) and servers circulated with actual skateboard decks stacked with appetizers as skate videos blared.
It's the kind of demographic cross-pollination that makes the Mirror muse that this mouse might be in a run for the money.
So, what can one make of this? Are they now trying to make Speedy the "Tweety" for the extreme-skating retro-punkish crowd?