I’ve been digging into the history of the retail branded No Jives from Tom Kuhn in the mid-80s. I’m trying to nail down the release dates and run sizes for the Kreeger & Sons, Abercrombie & Fitch and Neiman Marcus models. My research on the Abercrombie & Fitch No Jive has uncovered a minimum of three separate production runs. I’m wondering if there are others.
Here are the three that I’ve identified:
From left to right:
A&F© Copyrighted release - My guess is that this model is the first release before the A&F name was a registered trademark for use on yo-yos. Based on the history of A&F’s trademark applications I believe this model came out after 1981 and before 1987. My gut feeling is that the copyright release came out around 1984.
A&F® Registered small - I peg this model as the middle release but that’s just a guess. Aside from changing the © to a ®; there is another change. The diameter of the circle that “Abercrombie & Fitch” is wrapped around is wider than the © version; possibly due to a request to ‘make the logo bigger’.
A&F® Registered big - I believe this to be the final release of the three models. My feeling is that this small ® model was delivered to A&F and their lawyer decided the ® symbol needed to be bigger (typical lawyering). This model would have been released no later than 1987. In 1988 the A&F brand was purchased from Oshman’s by The Limited and all inventory was divested.
During the period of time that Tom Kuhn was producing A&F No Jives the brand was owned by Houston based sporting goods company called Oshman’s. Oshman’s opened its first A&F store in 1979 in Beverly Hills as a high end retailer catering to the upscale consumer. By the mid 80s Oshman’s was operating four A&F stores (additionally in Dallas and two in New York City). With only four stores and a catalog business I can’t see production runs numbering more than a few hundred at the maximum. Tom Kuhn’s minimum run in the 80s was 100 units and I expect that each of the runs probably numbered between 100 and 200.
If anyone has additional A&F designs or details on their released that I haven’t documented here I’d appreciate hearing about them.