When companies make big movies, they typically release products alongside them in cooperation with fast food chains, toy brands, and more. A lot of them make sense, like action figures or clothes, but many of them are very strange. Here’s a list of funny movie tie-in products from some of the biggest (and not so big) films over the years:
The Fifty Shades trilogy is all about bondage and sexy times. There’s nothing “cute” about it. However, for Valentine’s Day, Vermont Teddy Bear released an officially-licensed “Christian Grey Bear.” He wore a grey suit and held a mask in one paw and a pair of handcuffs in another. The description is equally disturbing: “Dominate Valentine’s Day this year. Give the one you want something that will obsess and possess them.”
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Iconic villain Freddy Krueger haunts the dream world and can kill people in real life when he kills them in their dreams. The franchise keeps getting resurrected, with the fifth entry, Dream Child, coming out in 1989. Enertech, a company that specialized in battery-powered water guns, tried to take advantage of the film by releasing a water pistol resembling Freddy Krueger’s head. It’s terrifyingly realistic, and seems like a terrible gift for the recommended ages of 4 and up.
Spider-Man 3/The Dark Knight
Fast food restaurants frequently sell movie tie-in products, which always seemed weird to us. In 2007, Burger King started selling a “Dark Whopper” in honor of the movie Spider-Man 3. The idea was that just like Peter Parker starts heading into his “dark side,” the Whopper was becoming darker. It had pepper cheese and sauce on it, with a side of web-shaped fries. Just the next year, Burger King released the Dark Whopper again, this time as a tie-in with The Dark Knight, sans webby French fries.
Starring Will and Jadin Smith, After Earth was a huge critical failure. Despite the intriguing premise of a young boy forced to brave a hostile planet after a spaceship crash, audiences and critics hated it. The company spent $100 million on marketing. One of the movie tie-in products included a backpack of camping gear, which to the movie’s credit, at least sort of makes sense. The company also released a few books to supplement the movie’s world and story. We doubt anyone cared enough to read them.
We couldn’t talk about movie tie-in products without mentioning Marvel. It’s a huge franchise that just said goodbye to some of its iconic characters in Avengers: End Game, and it gets a nice chunk of revenue from products. Some make more sense than others. Along with expected toys and clothes, the Marvel universe spawned a set of colognes based on the heroes. Captain America’s scent was “Patriot,” Hulk was “Smash,” Nick Fury was “Infinity Formula,” Thor was “Worthy,” Iron Man was “Mark IV,” and Loki was “Mischief.” Wonder what they actually smell like? “Smash” is described as a “woody aquatic cologne,” with a long list of fragrance notes from tarragon, water lily, nutmeg, musk, and sharp cedar.
Odds are, if a movie exists, there’s a novelization of it. Vice versa, books are often turned into movies. Here’s a list of upcoming adaptations.