80stees.com rips off “Change into a Truck”

I knew eventually some lame-o would rip off Tim Doyle‘s “Change Into A Truck” design, and it looks like 80stees.com is the winner!

Yes, I know that it is also a rip off of Shepard Fairey’s original print, and it’s also using a copyrighted Hasbro character, but I believe it falls under fair use as a parody.

The first design below was released by Nakatomi Inc as a limited edition poster on 2/24/2009. You can see the blog post announcing it here, and you can find the second edition in the online store here.

The second design below could not be any more obviously a rip off. It was released by 80stees.com right here (as much as I don’t want to link them). Good job guys! They’re even denying that they copied it on their Facebook page.

Tim Doyle’s “Change Into A Truck” poster:

80stees.com weak rip-off on a t-shirt:

Posted by nathanbeach  |  13 Comments  |  in Design, Fashions


  1. Alex 08/01/2011 12:24 am

    First off, it’s better with the original Optimus in the “rip” …… i forgot the second thing…..

  2. Nate 05/17/2011 7:47 am

    So 80stees ripped of your work, which is a rip-off of both Transformers and the “Hope” Obama posters, which themselves were a rip-off of a photographer’s picture of Barack Obama.

    Yes, 80stees did wrong, but I’m having a hard time finding sympathy for you.

  3. Jeff 04/25/2011 3:30 am

    Hahah- none of you did your homework- if you look at the 80sTees facebook page linked to above, you will see 80sTees fessed up to copying the design, and offered Tim Doyle part of the royalties, AFTER they were called out on their blatant copy. I think the copy is well executed in terms of aesthetic appeal, but whoever the artist is should be ashamed for ripping off someone else’s idea.

    To those who think the original design is a ripoff, there is a part of copyright law called ‘Fair use’ that allows the use of copyrighted property for the purpose of parody or education, which this design clearly falls under. Mad magazine don’t need permission to lampoon popular culture, and if they did it would be supression of free speech. On the other hand, if you are going to take someone else’s parody and sell it on a t-shirt, that’s stealing.

  4. Anon1 04/16/2011 11:36 am

    @ C.K Hawes, Can’t see any compromise in what you say! You just want to let the “Knockoff” designers get away with it, AND say their art is somehow better.

    That’s kind of holding out for one side! Not a compromise at all.

    I still hold the rip-off is a far weaker piece of art without taking into consideraton its a copy as well.

  5. C. K. Hawes 04/15/2011 7:33 am

    Let us compromise. While the original may be a better mimic of the obama-dealy it’s based off of, the “knockoff,” in a purely aesthetic sense, is hands down better looking. Except the border. Also, I wouldn’t be too entirely surprised if the alleged “knockoff” wasn’t a knockoff at all, but a completely and innocently independent example of convergent imagination. More complex and unlikely things have been generated by minds or processes completely independent of one another. I’m not saying that’s necessarily what happened, or even that it’s particularly likely, but it’s a reasonable plausibility. Especially considering the contemporary re-popularizing of Transformers, their strong connection to the word change, and the “savior” archetype of Optimus Prime

  6. teabag 04/06/2011 5:57 pm

    You guys are all idiots. 80′s tees doesn’t design the shirts, they just sell them. Find the company that holds the Transformers license and designs the shirts and give them shit.

  7. Anon1 04/05/2011 7:45 am

    @David…You could have a fair point there. though at least Tim Doyles added something new, in terms of some detailed artwork and a different message. But yeah..maybe…

    Did you create that yourself (the title of the album suggests otherwise), if not do you know the origins?

  8. David 04/02/2011 6:09 pm

    You all ripped off me … I did mine in Oct 13, 2008.


  9. Anon1 03/29/2011 8:22 am

    Have to disagree with some others here about the copy being “better”. The colours and shading of the original pay homage to the Barack Obama poster much more closely, which is a main thrust of the artwork. The colours chosen in the copy therefore “miss the point”. The original artwork also has more of a “soul” behind the transformers eyes and figure in general, the second, seems much more inanimate, and a pale yellow border on a white tee shirt, no thanks.

    @Useless, you suggest Tim Doyle “did the design and then didn’t do too much with it”. Erm he made a poster, and you can buy it. This doesn’t mean other people have a right to steal the idea to put on other media because he hasn’t. He doesn’t have to produce pencil cases and mugs to prevent others making them, he does what he does, its his domain.

    But the main thing, its a clear rip. That always makes it bad, second rate, and lame, the art is empty. Maybe I could redo the mona lisa “better”? The original is just that, original. The copy is just a bad copy.

  10. useless 03/28/2011 8:31 pm

    I’d have to agree with Puck. I think the rip is better than the “original”. To me the point of those Obama stylized icons is that they are iconic and quick to digest. Yours is a bit to detailed and complex for easy iconographic digestion. Plus the way they have Optimus Prime looking upwards kinda speaks to the OBAMA HOPE icon zeitgeist.

    Regardless, I can appreciate it stinks when someone else steal your shirt idea. But given the pop iconography of the components and theme…it’s hard to think of this as a serious rip. Did you take your design to market. If you had than you might have some more ammunition. But I’m guessing you did the design and then didn’t do too much with it? When it comes to T-shirt designs you’re talking Wild West country. Use it or lose it. Anyone can come up with an idea for a t-shirt and put it up on a website. If you don’t exploit your own idea and make a dent with it…you can’t really blame someone else too much for actually taking it to market.

    On a side note, how does one deal with someone taking an existing idea and doing it better? I can almost empathize a bit with someone seeing a design and realizing that it isn’t optimal…and wanting to tweak it to make it work better.

  11. kels 03/25/2011 6:10 pm

    Transformers should sue you both for using their brand with out a license anyway.

  12. Larry 03/24/2011 1:01 pm

    Actually, I hate the 80tees rip, I think it’s terrible.

    That said, yes, they stole your idea and your words, but that’s about it. You’re right, your image falls under fair-use law. Sadly, so does theirs. They stole your idea and made it lame. I really do prefer your original piece much more!

  13. puck 03/23/2011 2:42 pm

    Usually I can tell the rip right away from the quality of the work, but this is one of the very few times I think the supposed “rip” is much better looking than the “original.” Given the artist having some talent, and the fact that the homage source items are pretty popular, I’d be hesitant to say it’s an undeniable rip.

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