When TVStoreOnline.com contacted me about the possibility of sending me some samples from their costume web site, I agreed to write a positive review if I was duly impressed. I made the decision not to bother writing a negative review if I was not impressed because, frankly, doing so seemed like the exhibition of a definite lack of character on my part. I’m not adverse to writing supremely negative review of companies and products, but only when I am monetarily victimized. On the other hand, I have written a number of positive reviews for products and services with whom no remunerative transaction took place at all.
The funny thing about the items offered for sale on TVStoreOnline.com that I chose to sampe for potential review is that two of them are related to movies that are not among my favorites. Heck, one of the items comes from a movie I actually rank very low. But I have always loved Ferris Bueller’s vest and I love Communist Soviet iconography. You can read about how the most authentic replica of the Ferris Bueller vest sold at the most affordable price is not just available on this costume site, but it worth way more than it costs.
The other item I chose personally for myself to sample this Halloween from TVStoreOnline.com was a replica of the robe worn by the Russian boxer Drago in “Rocky IV.” Well, actually, I only think it is a replica of the robe worn in the movie. I only got through about fifteen minutes of “Rocky IV” about twenty years ago and remember mercilessly little of it. I don’t even remember clicking on the “Rocky” link at the bottom of the home page at TVStoreOnline.com because, well, I am the polar opposite of the world’s biggest “Rocky” movies fan. Somehow I did wind up on the page devoted to “Rocky” merchandise and the really amazing thing is that I even got to Drago’s Russian robe. To get down that far, you have to scroll past a bunch of T-shirts sporting images and phrases from the “Rocky” series that I’m sure would have hardcore Rocky Balboa fans reaching for their credit cards while their wives or girlfriends reach for the power cord on the router. I care not for Rocky, understand, but I when I saw that yellow hammer & sickle in a sea of bright red, I was sold. Didn’t matter if the boxing robe was connected to a movie series I consider the nadir of boxing movies. I wanted that commie robe.
And then I saw that you not only get the robe, but boxing shorts as well! And all in glorious communist red. You better believe I asked to be sent this costume item for the possibility of review and if it was only half as cool in reality as it was in the virtual reality of e-commerce, I knew I would be saying good things about TVStoreOnline.com.
And here’s where things get prickly. When the package of items for review arrived, everything was as it should be. There was the Ferris Bueller vest and the Community T-shirt for my son and Jayne’s hat from “Firefly” for my other son. But when I opened the package containing a boxing robe that seemed to be a much darker shade of red than the commie red of Drago’s robe, I saw that I had been sent one of Rocky Balboa’s robes instead. A robe with the words “Italian Stallion” emblazoned on the back and a faux advertisement for Shamrock Meats placed above. A very nice boxing robe with a hood and unattached belt. Made of polysatin and suitable for wear as a robe every night. Not a costume. But not the gorgeous socialist red red with the hammer and sickle on the back and the matching boxing trunks, either.
The mix-up was certainly not enough to warrant consideration of publishing an article with a negative tone, but it could have been enough to warrant a downgrade of what seemed headed toward a positive article. I immediately contacted TVStoreOnline.com and informed them of the situation. Two days later another box arrived and this one contained Drago’s Soviet robe. I had offered to return the Rocky robe I didn’t care about in exchange for getting the communist robe I preferred to sample, but they told me to keep both for the purposes of sampling.
Such consideration and efficiency was not something I could choose to ignore. I’ve dealt with enough online merchants to know that the kind of quick response and immediate attention to a complaint (which wasn’t really a complaint in the usual sense, but you get the picture) is perhaps not entirely rare, but also not common. And that lack of commonality among online merchants is what really stimulated me to provide you with what I hope has been an informative bit of advice on one choice out of many to check into when putting together costumes.
The Soviet boxing robe with matching trunks retails for $45 at TVStoreOnline.com. I have personally tried on dedicated robes in well-known stores that sell for at least twice as much that are of lesser quality when it comes to the material. In this case, polyester rather than the polystain of Rocky’s Shamrock Meats robe. The difference is that while the Rocky robe that sells for almost $20 less feels like a costume, Drago’s Soviet commie power robe feels like something you would wear anytime you get out of the shower. Except that it comes with a hood and those high quality trunks. If I were going to shell out money for a costume having to do with the Rocky series, I’d pitch in the extra twenty bucks or so and get the Soviet one. Not only is it far cooler, you can complete the costume with the trunks and then feel perfectly fine relaxing in it on a daily basis.
You don’t have to buy the “Rocky” Drago communist red boxing robe and shorts at TVStoreOnline.com. It is available elsewhere and you can probably find it somewhere selling for a slightly lower price. But you may be taking a gamble on the level of customer service. And it is that particular aspect of e-commerce so often lacking that makes me suggest you at least check out TVStoreOnline.com when doing your costume shopping.