HARLINGEN — Hometown entrepreneurs Mason and Cris Andrade are living like movie stars and selling thousands of T-shirts with the Blue Ranger.
While David Yost was playing Billy Cranston — the brains of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers — in the 1990s, Mason and Cris were glued to the TV like millions of other fans watching the Blue Ranger help save the world from Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.
“I used to ride my bike twice as fast just so I wouldn’t miss the show,” Cris said.
This week, the Andrade twins, 29, will join Yost on the red carpet in Los Angeles for the world premiere of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reboot movie.
Mason and Cris, 2007 graduates of Harlingen South, are quickly taking orders and selling their Affirmative name brand clothing line with Yost worldwide.
Mason and Cris founded the Affirmative clothing brand with Yost last year and since then have sold more than 30,000 T-shirts.
The shirts are all designed and printed in Harlingen and sold worldwide at comic conventions and online.
“Once we printed the first batch they just kicked, and we have been selling out at every ComicCon,” Mason said.
The three of them travel the country and parts of the world attending 40 comic conventions in a year — selling T-shirts and reaching out to fans.
On Friday morning, Yost called Mason for a quick morning chat about their T-shirt business.
At the time, Yost was strolling through Huntsville, Alabama, getting ready for a VIP party with Joey Fatone of NSYNC fame before the weekend Comic and Pop Culture EXPO.
Mason and Chris were sitting in the CM/JaMar Printing conference room in Harlingen with Miguel Plata, who designs and prints the T-shirts.
They caught up and at the end of the conversation Yost didn’t forget to tell Mason about a T-shirt order he had just put in for fans.
Mason replied, “Affirmative. We got the order and its being processed now.”
“We wanted to do something positive in the world and help people feel better about themselves and that is what Affirmative is all about,” Yost said over the phone. “We are getting more and more customers every day because more and more people are learning about the brand.”
The name of the shirt comes from Yost using the word “affirmative” more than 300 times in the TV show.
Mason said Yost had an original idea for the clothing line name but swapped it for Affirmative after Mason said that was the word he became known for in the TV series.
The T-shirts have nearly gone mainstream after many superhero actors, fans and the original and new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have been seen wearing the T-shirts.
“It’s a great clothing line and we take extra care in making the product that we put out,” Yost said. “We want people to feel good about themselves when they are wearing the shirts.”
And how did the partnership get started?
Mason’s brother Cris dragged him to the Victoria City Comic Con where they met Yost for the first time.
After that meeting in 2015, Yost said Mason was relentless in terms of contacting him and they soon became good friends.
“I feel very fortunate to be in business with them,” Yost said. “We have been very fortunate to have a very successful first year and we are off to a great start for our second year.”
Some of the other merchandise being sold on the Affirmative line are hats, cups, long-sleeved shirts, jackets and bags.
“It’s definitely a success story and it’s due to Mason and Cris’s outgoing personality,” said Plata, CM/JaMar Printing co-owner. “I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Plata said being the graphic designer of the T-shirts and printer of the Affirmative brand has been a great experience.
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