Re: Which Hat...

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Posted by Michelson from on July 24, 1998 at 08:00:30:

In Reply to: Re: Which Hat... posted by Isaac on July 23, 1998 at 19:33:26:

: Go with the Custom Hatter. He is the only one who knows the
: differences between the hats in each movie. And they are different.
: I don't care what everyone says about the HJ. It's a stock fedora
: re-blocked to look similar to the original- with a HJ seal placed
: inside the crown to complete the illusion- so it can be more
: effectively marketed. If HJ made the originals, why don't they have
: three different models? I received my HJ "custom designed" by the
: Richard Swales and both the shape and cut were obviously not
: authentic. It's all about money. Same with the jacket. Why do you
: think everyone keeps coming up with these strange inconsistencies
: which may be found with a scrutinizing eye? Trying to deal with the
: ribbon tone was quite nerving as well. I even ordered the Petersham
: from Hymen-Hyndler which was the worst forty bucks I ever spent.
: The CH has a nice contrast of tone between the ribbon and the hat. I
: do not believe that the Custom Hatter made the original for the
: movies. I will also give HJ credit for once being original. But I do
: not believe that the hat they are presently marketing as "authentic"
: is anything more than a good business arrangement which pulled me in
: as well as many others who still will insist that it is authentic.
: The CH is more expensive, but made of far superior quality. If you
: trust majority opinion, then go with the HJ. I am pissed off because
: I have spent so much money trying to obtain the "real" outfit. After
: reflecting, I can see how obvious it would be for a business to claim
: authenticity once the demand for the merchandise began to rise.
: All have their own opinion, but I trust mine. And I'm sure Mr. Swales
: and Mr. Botright are laughing all the way to the bank. The only thing
: I have which I know is "real" is the whip. Maybe the pouch and the
: boots. I remember first receiving the HJ and Wested, and being so
: excited that I forced myself to believe they were authentic. All I
: know is that I think the shaping, cutting, and color of the CH is
: more "authentic" than the HJ. Then again, maybe my understanding of
: Indiana Jones material is warped because I honestly cannot understand
: how anyone could give credence to anything post- Raiders, all of
: which completely destroy the character psychology and story tone- for
: many reasons in which marketing strategy may also be applied.
: Isaac

Good gracious, Isaac, you seem to have become quite cynical. Please keep in mind that everyone isn't looking for what you are in terms of the "Indy" items as you are. I agree with you on the changes in the Herbert Johnson, and in recent personal email between a friend in London and myself, he dropped the fact that in a personal visit with Mr. Swales (sp?), his attitude seemed to be one of complete indifference to the movie crowd, and was actually fairly tired of making all the hats, 40 to date for the movie alone. He is a professional hatter, not a movie prop man. If you plow that into the equation, you can see the attitude of the man reflects in the changes, to subtle, to the hat design. The recent posts of the changes in ribbon and ribbon width, felt suppliers and so forth, show this fact. Also remember, we, as the Indyfans, sought HIM out, not the other way around. The Herbert Johnson in is the well to do area of London next door to the Ritz hotel. They cater to the influential clientel that pass by their door in their world, not for us movie buffs waiting at their window wanting a replica of a movie we all love. This conversation that I refer to took place just last week. I have another friend on his way there literally as I write this to obtain a fedora from Mr. Swales, and we'll get his spin on it next week. Now the Wested Leather statement really wasn't called for. The materials available today are not the same ones that were available 17+ years ago to make the original jackets, specifically the zippers, D rings, etc. They come as close to what they can obtain to the original as a manufacturor can come. Once again, we sought them out, not the other way around. Mr. Botwright put up a web page just help those who were seeking the information that we've just been passing back and forth between ourselves. His dealings have forward, sincere, and in the interest of the fan. I do own a Wested Leather Raiders. I could not purchase a jacket of this quality anywhere in the country for less that $100 to $200 MORE than what I spent for his. From personal emails I have received from 3 friends, he spends his own personal time talking to anyone who comes through the door. The differences between the jackets were slight except for the Crusade jacket, and the story he tells himself is that they could not find the patterns when the order came in, and tried to make the collar by memory. After the jacket went into production the patterns appeared, and they found out how that they were not exactly on target. To late for the production to change. Some folks are happy to own items made by the original companies that made, and still make, the original Indy items. I would love to own a 1946 Chevy sedan. I can still buy a Chevy, but I won't find a 1946. I can find several people who make exact replicas, and do a fine job. They aren't the real thing, but darn they look good, and right there next to an original. It's all in the way you, as the collector, want to look at the item. I have spoken to Mr. White on several occations. He is very proud of his work, and believes that everyone else's work is just a bare reflection to what he creates. Well, maybe he's right. I just personally don't think $395 worth of right to get an item that is correct in design, but a copy by nature. Doens't make him wrong, or the person who chooses his work. Just don't shake a finger at those who choose differently. Regards. Michaelson

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