METAL BABIES: Metal Merchandise For The Little Ones

Mark DeVito, a die-hard heavy-metal buff and graphic artist, has launched Metal Babies, a new line of baby garb that parodies the concert T-shirts of the giants in metal including AC/DC, METALLICA, and even BLACK SABBATH. The clothes range from $12-$18, and are available online at www.metalbabies.com.

Metal Babies was born of the 36-year-old's frustration over the standard rainbow colors of baby clothing and shirts featuring bunnies and dump trucks embossed on them.

"My wife and I looked all over for cool clothes for our son that wouldn't make him look like an Easter egg," said Devito. "We couldn't find anything except licensed goods from actual bands. I didn't necessarily want my son to promote certain bands — it was more that I wanted to find cool gear that wasn't insulting to the child, wasn't offensive."

DeVito has designed shirts for METALLICA and works 9-to-5 at Oakland's Cinder Block, a company that produces concert-tour T-shirts. His own business is about a month old, and is still getting its walking legs.

So far, Metal Babies has received about 15 orders, including one from MTV. Word of this niche line is slowly getting out, with members of metal bands such as METALLICA and the East Bay-based EXODUS getting a kick out of them.

"If the parents are rocker or a metalhead, it's perfect," said Gary Holt, the guitar player for EXODUS.

This certainly isn't the first time that babies have been dressed up according to parental taste in music. A punk line of clothing for wee ones is available, but
unlike Metal Babies, those items are of a more potty mouth nature.

"I knew that it didn't have to be offensive or demonic or anything like that," DeVito said. "It's baby clothing, after all."

Among Devito's designs are one that says "BA/BY," AC/DC style, with "My Day to Yell" as a tagline. There's also "Nappeth Baby Nappeth" á la BLACK SABBATH, and "Last Diaper" written in DEF LEPPARD skript, with the tagline "I Ain't Dry."

"I went from my gut as far as what I would like to ... be able to buy for our child," he said. "It just happened to work out that the designs were things that a lot of my friends and their spouses felt comfortable putting on their children. I think it is a niche that needed to be filled."

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