Thinking Back on the SHIRT TALES Gang

Digger, Tyg, Rick, and Pammy from SHIRT TALES (art by the 8-year-old me, 1983)

Digger, Tyg, Rick, and Pammy from SHIRT TALES (art by the 8-year-old me, 1983)

Way back in 1983, when I was literally 8-years-old (rather than figuratively, like I am now), I drew this picture of the Shirt Tales gang for my little sister – who was 4 at the time. She had it hanging in her bedroom for years, and she recently rediscovered it.

Shirt Tales was a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon series that both of us enjoyed. Like many shows of that time, it had a brief burst of popularity – including associated merchandise.

Technically, merchandise inspired the show, as the Shirt Tales originated at Hallmark before we became familiar with them via the cartoon series.

My 1983 drawing was actually of the 7-inch tall stuffed animal versions of the gang that were available with Hardee’s kids meals that year.

I recall that my favorite character was Digger, at the far left. I was also a fan of Tyg, sitting next to him. It was funny to see that name, as I had forgotten that was what the tiger was called. I used “Tygrrius” as an online pen name for a few years until deciding to just use my real name. It seems I swiped the spelling from my ol’ pal Tyg.

It may not look like much now, but I quickly found that the girls in my 3rd grade class really liked my drawings of the Shirt Tales stuffed animals. I must’ve made 5 or 6 of these in total to give away. My 5 minutes of 3rd grade fame were fleeting, though.

I am sure the one I gave my sister (the first one) is the only one that has survived. It was really fun to see it again.