pillowHeat x sneakers MAG ¬ under the RADar ¬ vans peanuts collection review/comparison August 31 2014


is it just me or are snoopy & the peanuts gang having an extended global moment in the collective unconscious right now?? maybe its the case whereby ever since i heard vans were re-releasing the peanuts collection i have subsequently seen them everywhere. i believe the RAS is the part of the brain responsible for this phenomenon.... or perhaps its just good marketing. it must be subliminal however because at the time of writing this there was no active marketing for the snoopy drop. of course vans want to keep news of the drop under the RADar which is where they have remained since the 80's with the only exception being internal product launch booklet photos leaked online.

based on educated guesswork & a self-taught carbon dating system of original handmade examples, i believe peanuts vans saw first life circa 1989. following on from the vans x disney release last year, the vault sub-group again entertains iconic animated characters in the form of charlie brown, snoopy, lucy & linus van pelt, peppermint patty & sally brown. i admit to adoring my snoopy stuffed toy of my youth however im not a peanuts nut & nor do i have an aversion, however two things i do love are vans & pastel tones. one of the strengths of the vault range (& not of my personal collection) is the inclusion of the original pastel aqua, purple & pink colourways albeit with fancy modern names. I'm not sure in what boxes the vault line will be housed but i do love how the colourways resonant of the comic strip reflect shades of the original boxes of the radical late 80s era.... & also that of the highly collectable spruce sweats of the 70s.

og pastel style #95 via sumally.com


the vault line sees the return of 2 original prints including the 'snoopy & the gang' & 'camp snoopy' efforts. although sitting somewhat more superficial on the canvas (which has more to do than quality of materials than anything), for the most part the prints are spot on & do justice to the original 80s design & charles m schulz's illustrations. for me the laid back joe cool effort is the standout print..... but im not entirely sure why they insist on calling him "camp"? he looks far from effeminate or flamboyant in his joe cool sunglasses ha! the 'alphabet snoopy' print of the original 80's line did not see recital this time. admittedly the print was on a small scale which made it difficult to decipher the text & character however is somewhat more bold than the softer modern alternatives.

a welcome addition to the 2014 collection is the printed sk8-hi in the original form of the 80's style #38! before the days of the 'ollie patch' the 1st generation sk8-hi featured a slimmer eye-stay & heel-stay which has seen a re-birth in recent times of heritage influence. the favouring of the sk8-hi is a strong move which replaces the rubber toe style #25 high top of the 80's/90's collection. the move is strengthened further if im correct in assuming the sk8-hi indeed has the asymmetrical aqua (lateral) & purple (medial) quarters & the pink tongue of its original style #25 counterpart?? to complete the line i would have loved however to see the slip-on's inclusion which is the undoubted van-of-the-moment & perhaps with the colour-coordinated toe bumper of the originals.

the most obvious vault oversight you will have noticed is the absence of the printed midsole or vans 'scene' featured on the american-made examples. custom 'scene' options were part of the rich tradition of vans customisation dating back to the late 70's, a concept which itself has gone under the RADar (& is also another story entirely). as with the disney re-issues, vans vault decided to overlook the foxing detail for reasons unknown. what i do know is production methods of handcrafted originals are now seemingly obsolete however did result in a rubber compound of greater integrity. vans do entertain the 'scene' on the occasional modern release however perhaps it is the integrity of today's rubber compound which is not conducive to print? of course the scene is what separates my originals from the re-issue which is a bonus for me however i feel it is this overlooked detail which would have elevated this line from its previous trajectory under the RADar.

the original peanuts vans did fly low through the late 80s & early 90's & outside of the odd example surfacing in japan, the made in usa examples barely register on the vintage global RADar.  of course the range was marketed for the 80's youth & like original disney vans were believed to have only been manufactured in womens & kids sizes. i am lucky enough to have 2 vintage examples of mens snoopy vans, which were customade however. i do hope that if vans are going to appeal to the 'kids-only state of mind' in us all as they claim then the vault drop should be available in all sizes! no need for an EpiPen because this drop could be the shot of adrenaline for those with peanuts addiction or aversion alike!