Friday, September 21, 2007

Rothco's Lara Croft Halloween Costume

Friday, October 17, 2008

So here's my second military themed costumes

Besides Movie Actors, Video Game costumes are second on everyone's list. Remember Halloween isn't just for kids! There are many adult Halloween parties thrown every year where adults dress up in costumes. You too can be one of the few to wear one of the top choices for Halloween costumes this year. Lara Croft is the heroine in the Video Game World, an intelligent, athletic, tough, heavily armed adventurer and one sexy Brit. Lara Croft came to life in 2000 when Angelina Jolie played the role as Lara Croft in the movie, Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft's complete Halloween Costume Kit:
8010 Women’s Khaki 100% Cotton T-Shirt
3176 Women’s Olive Drab Shorts
5081 Ultra Force Black Jungle Boots
3460 Black Fingerless Gloves
10570 Nylon Duty Belt
10550 Black 4” Holsters
10374 Black Should Holsters
8384 and 8384 Dog tags and chain

Still continue to check back every few days for more military themed costumes.

ToniMarie Anselmo

Friday, July 13, 2007

Trying to give back a little

One of the most rewarding accomplishments as Director of Human Resources here at ROTHCO is being able to promote the Somberg’s vision of giving back to the community that has supported us for over 50 years. Each Spring, along with the buds on the trees, we start receiving applications for the Jeff Galloway Memorial Scholarship.

Each entrant is asked to provide an essay – something that tells us a little about the trials they have faced, and the challenges they have had to overcome. Something that tells us a little about their dreams, and where they would like to be in the future. The scholarship committee interviews each entrant, and every year we award 2 – sometimes 3 – scholarships. When the recipients thank us, we always try to tell them that we are getting much more out of it than we are giving – it’s great fun to be able to give back!

The ROTHCO scholarship was established in memory of Jeff Galloway, who was a long-time employee and manager at ROTHCO. Jeff faced many challenges in his life, and he had little support from his family. His untimely death prompted ROTHCO to create this scholarship as our way of remembering a valued employee and a dear friend. We wanted other young people to know that we are here to support their efforts toward growth and achievement!

ROTHCO is pleased and proud to announce the names of this year’s winners of the Jeff Galloway Memorial Scholarship:

Mark McCann who will be attending Franklin Pierce College, majoring in Psychology. Holly Kolakowski who has already begun pursuing her education with the goal toward becoming a nurse and has been accepted into BOCES nursing program. Lastly, Roy Lewis who will be attending the Long Island Culinary Academy, studying to be a chef.

We are extremely proud of all the winners, and we look forward to sharing in the joy of their success as they work toward completion of their goals.

Ginger LaLumia
Director, Human Resources

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Art of Camouflage

Recently our founder, Milton Somberg, brought an interesting book back to our headquarters here on Long Island. The cover has just the word “Camouflage” on it along with some interesting pictures of camouflage footwear. Inside the book is a detailed history of camouflage in nature, art, fashion and war going back to its first usage in World War I. There are also hundreds of beautiful pictures of camouflage in every conceivable form from high art to the battleground.

The book has a decidedly British take on camouflage which makes sense since it is published by England’s Imperial War Museum in London to coincide with their Camouflage exhibit running through November 18, 2007. The exhibition is described as “the first major exhibition to explore the impact of camouflage on modern warfare and its adoption into popular culture.” Both the book and the exhibit document the use of camouflage in nature and its early uses by hunters and soldiers going back to the 18th century. Some of the more interesting images are those of the Dazzle Camouflage used by the British Navy in World War I to break up their ship’s outline and make them hard to be targeted by German U-Boats. The last part of the book focuses on the use of camouflage in popular art and music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, something that Rothco and its partners know a little bit about. All in all, both the book and the exhibit are a fascinating look at something near and dear to our hearts and yours. If you happen to be in London this summer, stop by and check it out.

Speaking of the latest in camouflage, Rothco has just received our newest pattern, Woodland Digital Camouflage T-Shirts , styled after the latest pattern used by the Marine Corps. The tees are available in both adult and kids sizes and are already a very hot seller!

In another example of camouflage and art, below is a great video made by Chuck Jones, creator of all those great Bugs Bunny cartoons for Warner Brothers. Called “A Lesson in Camouflage”, it stars Private Snafu and is part of a series of shorts made for the U.S. Army during World War II. While not the high art featured at the Imperial Museum, it is an interesting and amusing tutorial on the use of camouflage. At the same time, it clearly shows the U.S. military’s perception of cunning and deception used by the German Army. Which brings us back to Mr. Somberg who, before founding Rothco in 1953, was a publicist for Warner Brothers in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Perhaps this experience in show business is why Rothco has always been such an entertaining place to be a part of.

To watch the video "A Lesson in Camouflage", just click the Play arrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The World’s Fastest Camouflage in Honor of our Nation’s Noblest

Memorial Day will soon be upon us. To many, it’s about BBQ’s, beach, soccer tournaments, baseball, burgers and hot dogs. With the United States still involved in its most difficult military struggle since the Vietnam War, Memorial Day should certainly be a more important and somber holiday. It is possible that on the Memorial Day holiday itself some of our brave men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan may make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

With that in mind, it is interesting and comforting to see that Dale Earnhardt Jr.will be driving a Desert Camouflage car to honor our nation’s troops at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. Along with Dale Jr., many other top drivers will be sporting special paint schemes in tribute and to raise funds for military families and the U.S.O. through the American Heroes program.

It’s a great and appropriate tribute to folks that absolutely deserve it and it takes one of those traditionally light and fun Memorial Day events and helps add some appropriate perspective to it. Personally, I’ll have the opportunity to take my daughter’s soccer team to march in the Smithtown Memorial Day parade where we’ll march and sing patriotic songs in honor of those who have given their all in conflicts past and present.

Speaking of Dale, Jr., I note that he chose Mother’s Day week to tell the world he was leaving Dale Earnhardt Incorporated headed by his stepmom, Teresa Earnhardt, at the end of the season. Having a stepmother of my own who’s just this side of Cinderella’s stepmom, I can understand why he would make such a break. It will also make him a very wealthy man, an even bigger free agent then Roger Clemens.

By the way, if you like the combination of NASCAR and the military, Rothco’s got the perfect tee for you. It features Mark Martin’s Army 01 Racing Car on a heavyweight 100% cotton tee in a multi-color 2-sided print . Mark Martin’s Army 01 Racing Car on a heavyweight 100% cotton tee It’s a great way to show your love for NASCAR and your support for the largest branch of our military.

Have a happy, safe and meaningful Memorial Day.

John Ottaviano

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Ultimate Bag in the War on Terror …

… is the one presumably carried by Counter Terrorism Unit Agent Jack Bauer on the television show “24”. During the past season, Jack’s bag of tricks helped him defeat Russian separatist terrorists and a conspiracy that went all the way up to the Oval Office. Whether he was dodging bullets or evading Secret Service agents, Jack’s trusty messenger bag helped him carry the tools of his spy trade through all 24 episodes.

Rothco, as part of our Vintage Classic Packs and Sacks bag line, has a selection of over a dozen messenger bags in various colors and sizes. The best seller is the Heavyweight Classic Messenger Bag , a 22 oz. dark canvas bag that, according to a Seattle Times article , IS the same bag used by Jack Bauer in Season 5.

What makes the bag so special? Probably a lot of the same things that make Jack so special: it’s tough, versatile, looks good in just about any situation, has lots of great, rugged features, and is affordable (after all, Jack IS a civil servant).

Here are the bags features:
• Jumbo 15” x 11” x 6” size to fit weapons, hand tools or even a laptop computer
• An inside zipper pouch for those stealth items
• 3 Outside pockets for Jack’s never-needs-charging cell phone and other at-once tools.
• Brass hardware for durable good looks
• A 2” wide, adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying
• 2 Outer Canvas Gear Straps to hook pens, carabiners, etc.

The Seattle Times writer is not the first to write about the bag. It’s popular all over the blogosphere, with articles at the appropriately titled, which speaks of all things Bauer related, at the somewhat mysterious, and at, a site touting itself as the “#1 buyer’s guide for men” which features a TON of cool stuff, and lastly, a blog named after and devoted to the bag itself, The Jack Sack.

The Jack Sack actually has an interesting feature where readers list the items THEY carry in their Jack Sack. Here’s a list from LEK, a newspaper crime reporter from West Virginia, who carries a cool list of items including the types of lights and knives you can purchase from Rothco:

"I'm a newspaper crime reporter and go to a lot of funky, somewhat dangerous places. In my bag, I carry two notebooks, numerous pens, two spare Nikon camera batteries, a flash attachment and batteries for same, Surefire 6-P flashlight with a striking bezel on it. Bottle of drinking water, 2-4 power bars, Cold Steel X2 Voyager folding knife, checkbook and 2-3 extra loaded magazines for the Glock 26 9mm handgun I legally carry everywhere but the courthouse, schools and post office."

In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that not only do I sell the “Jack Bauer bag”, I’m also a hopelessly addicted “24” fan from day one. I’ve cheered all of Jack’s heroics and booed all the bad guys whether they are Chechnyan, Middle Eastern, Bosnian or American in each and every season. You can obviously guess how juiced I am that the props people at Fox chose our bag for our hero. Watching “24”, I wonder as many others do, why our real agents aren’t able to diffuse crises in just one day the way Jack does. Tonight is another new episode and I’ll be eagerly watching.

John Ottaviano

P S There's a new stonewashed version of the bag that just came out in Rothco's new Hardstone canvas washed bags. See the picture above or click here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

With a Little Help from our Friends

It’s been a whirlwind last month or so as Rothco has finished its world tour with the SHOT, MAGIC and ASD trade shows, among others. It’s been great seeing customers in person, showing off the new items from the new 2007 Rothco Supplement , and sharing information, ideas and a few laughs.

Here’s a picture of some of us enjoying ourselves at the ASD show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The show was an excellent opportunity to make new friends and meet old ones. In the picture you can see, from left to right: Howard Somberg (Rothco President), Howard Wasserman (of ANSOM), ToniMarie Anselmo (Rothco sales associate with the cool new ‘do), yours truly, Lance & Trey Rousey of Texas Supply Depot and Chuck Moore (Rothco Sales Manager). The show was very productive for us and customers were really excited about our new products, specifically the Vintage Woodland Camo T-Shirt, Vintage O.D. Army Air Corp T-Shirt, Vintage Infantry Utility Shorts, HW O.D. Stonewashed Courier 4-Pocket Shoulder Bag, Black U.S.M.C. Bulldog Tee, Women’s Vintage Subdued Pink Camo Raglan Tee, Booty Camp Shorts, Women's Black E.M.T. Pants, Infant Pink Camo One Piece Bodysuit, and G.I. Type Sierra Sole Desert Tan Boots.

Rumors were flying all around the A.S.D. show about changes in the show location and a proposed new Surplus trade show to be held in August. Here’s the lowdown as we have been able to figure it out:

· This August there may be a Surplus/Outdoor Trade Show at Caesar’s Palace to be held at the same time as the A.S.D./A.M.D. Trade Show

· Next February/March the A.S.D./A.M.D. booths ordinarily at the Las Vegas Convention Center will be temporarily moved to the Mandalay Bay casino because of a Caterpillar event.

· In February/March 2009, the A.S.D./A.M.D. booths ordinarily at the Las Vegas Convention Center will be permanently moved to the newly expanded Sands Convention Center

There has been a bit of concern among military and surplus exhibitors that the show’s attendance has been dwindling. Rothco has been fortunate to be able to continue to do strong business because of your interest in our new offerings, but we are also considering participating in the new event in addition to the traditional A.S.D./A.M.D. show. We have had mixed responses from our customers about the show. Surprisingly, many of them think it will be inconvenient to have to attend both shows. We would love to know your thoughts on the matter, just leave a comment at the bottom of the article.

Speaking of friends, our friend Ron Henderson of S C Army Surplus in Taylors, SC sent us some great pictures of his store. Ron has a large store and, as you can see from the pictures, is doing an excellent job of using the size and height of his store to display Rothco apparel. He also uses some of the different colored camouflages, especially the pink, to brighten up his clothing displays. He does the same thing with the hanging flags in the background.

I’m sure a lot of you are looking at Ron’s store with a little envy as it is certainly a very large store. But I think even smaller shops can make good use of the height of their stores, especially if there aren’t great issues with shrinkage.

If you have any comments on store display or pictures of YOUR store, we would love to see them. You can e-mail them to me at or you can post comments right at the bottom of this article.

Thanks to Ron and all of our Rothco partners for making this job so easy and so fun.

John Ottaviano

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Giving it up for the Troops

Some days at Rothco my job is tougher than others. Today’s one of the easier ones. ToniMarie, one of our sales associates, has just tossed the latest issue of men’s magazine FHM on my desk. It’s her brother’s copy and it’s FHM’s final issue. On the cover is model Leeann Tweeden sitting on a U.S. Army vehicle wearing a golden bikini.

Toni instructs me to look at the article inside and what to my wondering eyes should I see but Ms. Tweeden, Best Damn Sports Show Period star, Queen of the Supercross, and a perennial on everyone’s list of hottest women on the planet, wearing (barely) a Rothco Camouflage Bikini in one picture and a Rothco Camouflage Spandex Tee in another. And looking damned good doing it, I might add.

Besides wearing military style clothing, she’s also posed in and around various other military vehicles. Why the military theme? Well, it seems Leeann’s getting ready for her NINTH U.S.O. Tour to entertain the troops overseas. How popular is she over there? Well, let’s just say that Robin Williams has a hard time following her on the stage. Not surprisingly, the rowdiest crowds are “always the Marines - those Devil Dogs are vocal and they make me feel like the hottest chick in the world.”

The timing is great for Leeann’s swimwear shots. Even though there’s a winter storm here in New York, bathing suit season is just around the corner. Luckily, Rothco has a great selection of women’s camouflage bathing suits women’s camouflage bathing suits. Besides the Woodland Camo suit Leeann’s wearing, we also have Sky Blue, Desert, and our new Pink Camouflage . These are available in Bikini Tops, Bottoms, Hot Shorts and Tankinis. Seeing how good these suits make Leeann look, just think what they can do for your customers.

It will be Summer before you know it. Thank goodness.

John Ottaviano

P.S. Thanks to Iceberg Army Navy for helping us place these in FHM

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Peacoat is back again, even though it never left

That’s right, the Peacoat, the preferred jacket for U S Navy sailors and wearers of Old Spices for decades, is back and in style, high-style that is. The Navy Peacoat was the fashionable military jacket of choice for young men and young women in particular for the last 5 winters, reaching a peak in 2005. Then, just when we thought the push was over and many of the mainstream distributors had gotten away from the item, the high-end market went nuts for it and we had an even better year this year.

In fact, even the venerable Wall Street Journal took notice as you can see in the attached article. Men’s dress coats, it seems, have gotten shorter and sleeker, making the peacoat the perfect dress coat. Simon Kneen, creative design director at Brooks Brothers is quoted in the article saying “Peacoats, which are in style this year, are versatile enough to be worn over suits or casual clothes”. There is even a picture of a basic peacoat (see picture) from designer Michael Kors selling for $495!! That’s right, $495!!!

Now I’m sure many of you have sold peacoats for years without ever topping $149.99 for a U.S. made jacket. Our Ultra Force brand peacoat, pictured below, retails between $69.99 - 79.99. That means you could buy at least 6 of our peacoats for less than you’d pay for one Michael Kors. Yet another example of the excellent value Rothco offers its dealers that you can pass along to your customers.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Kneen about the versatility, quality and stylishness of the peacoat. After all, the men and women of the United States Navy have always been the best-dressed of all the service branches. And the peacoat has the natural comfort, warmth, water repellant and fire-retardant properties of wool.

So why not offer your customers this fine looking jacket at just a fraction of the cost. You can check it out by clicking here . It’ll be a perfect match for that Old Spice gift set they got for Christmas.