Does anyone else remember the Sampsons? I know this isn’t something I just dreamed up. The Sampsons were very popular for about a year or so and then all the merchandise disappeared, as well as all reference to them anywhere. For those that don’t know, the Sampsons were imitation Simpson merchandise that hit right about the time that the Simpsons were blowing up huge in the early 90’s. They didn’t have a TV show or any of that stuff, it was simply bootleg Simpson stuff with all of the characters being black.

At the time Bart Simpson was everywhere. Along with all his “Don’t have a cow man” and “Cowabunga” stuff. I don’t remember what Bart Sampson’s shirts said, although I know some of them just said the same thing. However I think some of the others were more racially themed.

This was during the great African American clothes revolution of the 1990’s when dashikis, Malcom X hats and the colors of Africa were all the rage. Along with all that came the Sampsons… Which were basically black Simpsons wearing dashikis, Malcom X hats and the colors of Africa. Noticing a trend?

The fad didn’t last long, but the Sampsons seemed to have lasted even less. I can only assume that either the Matt Groening personally killed off whomever created the Sampsons, or Fox just put the major kibosh on the whole thing. It’s strange because they had hats, t-shirts, posters, etc… Seems like a lot of stuff to just completely disappear.

There appears to be no evidence that these characters ever existed, but here are some rather cheap imitations. The Sampsons stuff actually said “SAMPSONS” on it as opposed to the Simpsons. Whereas these items aren’t quite the same. I don’t remember the Sampsons stuff being so racist looking either, but it could have been for all I remember.


Bootleg Simpsons from South Africa

I myself, never owned any Sampsons stuff. I’m not even sure where you could buy it at, but I seem to recall actually seeing it in stores, in addition to flea markets and such. It wasn’t completely bootleg, someone was making it… But who, why or how I guess I’ll never know.

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4 Responses to The Sampsons

  • Ethan Freeman says:

    Yeah, found your blog when i googled The Sampsons. I remember a kid in my grade school at the time had a white t-shirt with The Sampsons under a picture of the family. weird that you can't find hardly anything about them.

  • I get a lot of traffic to this page, so clearly lots of people search out the Sampsons. Yet nobody seems to have anything on it. Kinda strange. I'm guessing Fox and the Simpsons crew had all that stuff destroyed big time.

  • die slow says:

    I dont think anyone likes the pic of the african Sampsons. I sure dont!

  • Bronwyn says:

    I remember them!! I remember seeing them on a t-shirt in like '90 or '91? It was at Wal-mart or somewhere like that. I've thought about them from time to time.. like now.. and stumbled on this page. At least we can remember them together. haha

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