Etsy is our virtual street fair, our virtual swap meet, our version of the dudes hitting you up to buy their cheap repro t-shirts as you walk out of the concert. Of course, there would be an influx of items to purchase “in tribute” of David Bowie on Etsy within a few minutes of the man’s passing. To be fair, some were there before he passed; but there are currently over 5,000 items on Etsy when one searches for “David Bowie”.
The David Bowie tribute items available on Etsy break down into the following major categories:
- Aladdin Sane
- Aladdin Sane plus
- None of the above
The lightning bolt across Bowie’s face is probably the image most strongly identified with him. It’s usually labelled as “Ziggy Stardust” when in fact the image comes from “Aladdin Sane,” the record right after “Ziggy.” Not surprisingly, this is the image that dominates most of the Etsy listings, or attempts to—the lightning bolt has a very specific shape, but that doesn’t stop every seller with anything remotely lightning-bolt shaped from slapping a BOWIE label on it. Not gonna fly. Here are some of the best Aladdin Sane-themed items on Etsy:
The “Solid Sterling Silver Lightning Bolt Ring” comes from a seller who also offers a very respectable replica of Keith Richards’ handcuff bracelet, so some actual thought went into this item.
There’s a smaller/more economical/more practical version of the ring from another seller:
How about a Dia de los Muertos sugar skull?
No? What about a ceramic ram?
Right, not very practical—so here’s a shower curtain:
An apron—“Dance yur ass off while you’re cooking’ in this apron” FOR MEN OR WOMEN (good to know!)
There are also throw pillows:
…or if you’d like something more realistic:
From a more useful standpoint, there’s a wall clock
and, while I know this is the cheapest and most obvious last minute ‘let’s rake in some cash’ effort, it has more design sense than a lot of things on Etsy right now.
If you’re looking for something to hug, I can offer the David Bowie Doll:
…or the Custom David Bowie My Little Pony!
But if your child (or you) are too young for that, there’s the crib mobile:
In the “You tacky thing, you put that on” department, you could stun your friends and coworkers with this hand painted leather jacket:
This short-sleeve skater dress: (which, I won’t lie, I thought about buying for about five minutes)
And last but not least, Moonage Daydream lollipops:
ALLADIN SANE PLUS
For some reason, people like to combine the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt with animals, most often cats.
So there’s a t-shirt:
A magnet using Grumpy Cat:
Cat stud earrings:
Not a cat, but here’s your inevitable Bowie and Star Wars mashup:
It’s not surprising that there are almost as many Labyrinth inspired items on Etsy as straight Bowie items, and they almost exceed them in pure awesomeness.
In a listing sure to give you nightmares, there’s the “One of a Kind Extra Large Jareth Goblin King Fan Art Doll” which is 28 inches tall, and which the listing reminds you “This doll is not a toy and not intended for children.”
It comes in at $1k but the seller will make payment arrangements!
This Jareth is a little cuter and cuddlier (and far less expensive):
For the Babe With The Power who now Works In An Office, there’s a mug to remind you of those days when you were lost in a labyrinth:
There’s also a charming handmade banner touting the same message:
For when you’re heading to the gym, there’s the “I Solved Jareth’s Labyrinth And All I Got Was This Stupid Baby” t-shirt (https://www.etsy.com/listing/240387929/labyrinth-shirt-i-solved-jareths).
And when you’re ready to tie the knot, there’s the “David Bowie Labyrinth Garter Set” with “Goblin King charm”
Finally, Jareth panties to complete your ensemble!
NONE OF THE ABOVE
If you’re looking for some truly unique items that don’t fall into the above categories, Etsy sellers will not fail you.
For $475, this “Ziggy Stardust Bowie Inspired Jacket” was made for a tribute concert. Does not include matching pants, more’s the pity.
The Laughing Gnome: literally.
How about a sculpture of Bowie’s crooked teeth? The artist was originally not going to be selling these, but, well, you know. “Bowie sang to us through his crooked gaps and it was enchanting! So while nostalgically wishing Bowies teeth back the idea for the sculpture evolved.” ONLY 20 AVAILABLE.
But the best item of all is the “David Bowie Inspired One Shoulder One Leg Body Suit.” I owned a live-size poster of Bowie in this outfit, and I often wondered how comfortable it could have been (the original was knit, and it seemed awfully hot). Also, there’s not one photo of Bowie in this particular getup where there’s not about to be a wardrobe malfunction in the crotch area. You have to admire the seller’s ambition in even thinking of this as a thing to sell in the first place.