Gift guides are fun. Each year, we put one together here at Batman News, and each year, I discover at least one thing that takes me surprise. Last year, it was Buckle-Down. Named for the wide assortment of seatbelt-based products that they offer, their catalogue includes belts, wallets, pet collars and leashes, and more. They have an extensive collection based on DC Entertainment properties, and they just sent me a box of Aquaman stuff that looks downright rad. But how will they fare in undersea battle? I’m not going to answer that question, but I will tell you whether or not they’re made well, look nice, and honor their inspiration.
A place for doubloons
I’ve been using a Buckle-Down wallet since last year, and in addition to it being super-stylish (it’s got the image from the cover of Detective Comics #27 plastered all over it), it has held up remarkably well. This Aquaman bifold is a different material—more of a synthetic leather-esque material—but it still feels incredibly well-made. Given the shiny DCEU Aquaman logo, this material is way more appropriate than the nylon on my Batman wallet. It has the same pockets as the other one, too, so functionally, it’s identical. Still, if I’m choosing which wallet to carry, I think I prefer the feel of the nylon. I’ll be interested to see how this one fares after some use—I suspect it may improve.
For those formal, undersea gatherings
If you’re like me, you hate dressing up. So when I have no choice, I try to make things as interesting and expressive as I can. An Aquaman necktie is therefore right up my alley, and as a somewhat tallish man (6′), I appreciate that it’s actually long enough for me to use. It looks fantastic, but I’m not totally in love with the material, which feels a little bit on the cheap side. Of course, I won’t be rubbing it between my fingers while fake-laughing with local politicians, so since it’s doing its most important job—namely, looking good—just fine, I don’t have much of a complaint.
Lanyard is Atlantean for “badge holder”
Lanyards aren’t very exciting as a general product category. You clip stuff to them. You hang them around your neck. BUT, if you have to carry around a Comic Con badge, or if you’re one of those uncivilized monsters who hooks his keys to a lanyard and then still shoves them in his pocket, then how your lanyard looks is actually very important. I go to at least two conventions each year, and they are both pop culture/comic events, so having a well-made, stylish lanyard actually means something to me.
This is a wonderfully-made lanyard, too. The materials are quality, and it’s well put together, but most importantly, it nails the classic Aquaman aesthetic. The logo looks great, and the colors are represented, but by far, I love the scale-mail pattern in the orange most of all. Aquaman isn’t my favorite character, but when I look at this (and the next item), I almost want him to be.
How to keep from losing your shorts while riding a shark
I saw this last year when I was looking through Buckle Down’s catalogue, and I knew then that it had to be mine. And now it is! The belt itself is well made and looks super cool, but c’mon—LOOK AT THAT FREAKING BUCKLE. Gut-pokes notwithstanding, how can you not feel like a super-studly King of the Seven Seas when you’re wearing this bad boy? I absolutely love this belt.
Watch out for men clothed in diving suits and skullduggery
As a fan of DC Comics, I’m psyched for Aquaman. I hope it’s as awesome as it looks in the trailer. The story seems interesting, and we’ll finally get to see Black Manta up on the big screen. If you’re the sort of person who likes to dress on-brand when you go to the movies, this stuff from Buckle-Down is a great way to do just that. It’s well-made, looks rad, and holds up very well—even with frequent use. Head over to buckle-down.com if you’d like to check it out (they’ve got great stuff for Batman, too).
Special thanks to my model for several of the photos in this article, Batbear.