The most hilarious confrontation of Hollywood's knack for making an excess of products attached to any blockbuster film was in Mel Brooks' 1987 film, Spaceballs.
"Merchandising! Where the real money from the movie is made! Spaceballs, the t-shirt! Spaceballs, the coloring book! Spaceballs, the lunch box! Spaceballs, the breakfast cereal! Spaceballs, the flamethrower - the kids love this one."
It's a joke, of course, but Mel Brooks wasn't far from hitting the mark. There are some pretty outlandish examples of merchandising going too far out there - maybe not as far as flame throwers, but still pretty crazy! There are examples that make sense, and that everyone really expects movies to make: we all expect that the Harry Potter franchise will make wizard robes available for purchase, and that the Star Wars franchise will have novelty lightsabers in toy aisles across the world. Then things get a little weirder: it's not too weird to have a Lord of the Rings version of Risk, or a Doctor Who themed toothbrush that looks like a sonic screwdriver - that's just creative! Then there are things that just don't need to exist, or flat out shouldn't exist. A graphic board game made for kids from the movie Alien with gut spilling characters in it? Or a Total Recall sex doll with three breasts? Why was this necessary? There are limits and lines in the merchandising world, and there are certainly studios and brands that cross it.
From snuggies and cookbooks to dangerous weapon replicas and weird desserts, here are some outrageous and hilarious examples of merchandising gone too far.
15 Game Of Thrones Dothraki Language Book
14 Hermione's Yule Ball Earrings
If you're a Harry Potter fan, you either loved or hated the fourth movie (The Goblet of Fire), in which the students take a break from a ridiculously deadly gambit of magical trials for underage wizards for the adolescents to have a school dance. At the dance, Hermione somehow shocks everyone by showing up in a gorgeous dress and looking stunning (who knew a smart girl could be so pretty, the crowd goes wild).
13 Batman V. Superman Cereal
12 Twilight Barbies
There were some truly terrible items made in the merchandising for this film series: diapers, an Edward-shaped man pillow, Twilight condoms and glitter lube (commonly found at Hot Topic) - replicas were even made of Bella's engagement ring that ran for at least $2,200. While some of these weird and despicable products got the official licensing of the studios and some did not, they were all pretty atrocious and everyone should be appalled that they were bought.
11 Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker almost freezes to death on the ice planet of Hoth. He likely would have succumbed to the freezing temperatures if Han Solo hadn't been so bold as to slice open a tauntaun with Luke's lightsaber for Luke to sleep in and keep him warm. It's totally gross, but it saves Luke's life and this scene has become iconic for the devotion Han has for his friendship with Luke.
10 Star Trek Marshmallow Dispenser
Yes, you did read that title correctly: this is a Star Trek themed marshmallow dispenser. First of all, it's important to note that someone believed it was necessary to have a dispensary for marshmallows. Are they difficult to pull out of the bag? Do they create complications when stored in bags? Never before has someone expressed the need for a dispensary for marshmallows.
9 Dune Coloring And Activity Books
If you haven't seen or read Dune before, you definitely should; it's an iconic piece of science fiction that all nerds should see. If you have seen or read it, you know that it's a very complex story (we're talking Game of Thrones complicated) and it is definitely not a story for kids. Yet, that didn't stop merchandisers from making coloring and activity books for little kids with really disturbing quotes at the bottom.
8 Letters To E.T.
This book released not too long after the iconic film was released on VHS for the public; the title would lead fans to believe that it was a collection of letters written to the fictional character of E.T., a beloved icon that maybe children believed in and found a friend in.
7 G.I. Joe Shampoo
G. I. Joe shampoo: for when your hair is filled with cobras.
The shampoo was made at a time when children's cartoons rarely had things like shampoos made for them. Now you can find that stuff everywhere. You can even find Frozen themed sunscreen and if that doesn't confuse you, nothing will.
6 Merle's Knife Hand From Walking Dead
Spoiler alert, if you haven't figured that out already. Fairly early on in AMC's The Walking Dead, Merle Dixon makes a hard choice and cuts his hand off in order to escape a prickly situation. He replaces the hand with a knob-knife attachment, pictured above. For someone with Merle's seemingly bottom of the barrel IQ, it's a fairly ingenious design and we all gave him kudos for surviving as long as he did.
5 Jar Jar Binks Candy Tongue
Just looking at this piece of candy is enough to make a person lose their appetite.
4 WWE Talking Soap
3 Boondock Saints Rosary
2 16 Inch Tall Darth Vader Christmas Inflatable
Do you think making Darth Vader hold a candy cane makes him Christmasy? NO. YOU'RE WRONG. AND YOU'RE RUINING CHRISTMAS, DARTH.
Of all Star Wars characters to make a sixteen foot tall inflatable version of for Christmas decorations, they chose Darth Vader? The most unhappy and angry character in the series? That's like replacing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with a sliced open tauntaun, or replacing Frosty the Snowman with Obi Wan Kenobi (get it? Because when they both die, they just turn into puddles of clothes on the floor...).
1 Hunger Games Light Bulb
That's right! The fan girls and boys out there worried about function over fun can still get their geek on with a Hunger Games light bulb. This bright idea is brought to you by the dummies at NECA, the National Entertainment Collectables Association, who are probably going out of business right about now for such horrible ideas as these...
The light bulb doesn't even light up all the way: the mockingjay at the center lights up very faintly, about at the intensity of a nightlight. So basically, if you're willing to blow $20 (plus shipping and handling on a delicate and fragile item) on a light bulb that barely lights up and can be used to show you where the light switch is in your bathroom in case you have to get up in the middle of the night, this is the perfect product for you. Otherwise, maybe just opt for a normal light bulb like any other normal human being.
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