We saw the future, and it changed color with heat.
What wasn’t to love about HyperColor shirts? Well, a few things, but we’ll get to those later. For now, let’s talk about how rad they were. Introduced by Generra at the tail end of those color-crazy 80’s, HyperColor promised a t-shirt revolution. A patented “Metamorphic Color System” caused the shirt’s color to change when it came in contact with heat. Press a warm hand onto your belly, and your purple shirt would have a temporary pink handprint. How cool was that?
Really, you practically couldn’t afford not to buy a HyperColor shirt. I mean, it changed color, right? That was like getting two shirts for the price of one. So that price tag you saw? Remember, that was 50% off what it should have cost you. You should probably buy two then, since you’re such a great bargain shopper.
Body heat, hot breath, blow dryers… any heat source was enough to change green to yellow, blue to green, and so on. It was like a Mood Ring for the body, and matched up with acid wash jeans or Body Glove bike shorts, it made you the most outrageously outfitted fashion plate in your school.
Unfortunately (and here’s the “what’s not to love” part), there were some drawbacks. Like the fact that wearing a HyperColor shirt seemed to give everybody the right to put their sweaty palms all over you or breathe on you. Or the way your shirt reacted to all heat, including the kind produced by your armpits (no volunteering to answer questions in class on HyperColor t-shirt day). Suddenly, the idea of a heat-sensitive shirt just wasn’t all you had dreamed it would be.
The HyperColor craze faded like a bad tie-dye by the early 90’s, and Generra had to lay off one-fourth of its staff by the spring of ’92. Apparently, the world just wasn’t ready for odd-colored sweat spots and rampant personal space invasion, even for the sake of a chameleon fashion statement.