You’ve seen the movie, now buy the inexplicable tie-in product. Here, classic examples of real merchandising efforts run amok.
Ernest Borgnine Action Figure (1979) The gruff, rotund thespian as he appeared in Disney’s The Black Hole. How did he look? Well, let’s just say he was no G.I. Joe.
Dirty Dancing Bicycle (1987) Something about the words Dirty Dancing on a little girl’s hot pink bicycle just didn’t seem right.
Freddy Spitballs (1988) A Nightmare on Elm Street water squirters resembling child-killer Freddy Krueger and one of his bloodied victims. Labeled ”Ages 4 and up.”
Dick Tracy The Tramp Doll (1990) The packaging described The Tramp as ”stinking up the city sewers.” But not for long — advocates for the homeless had the offending action figure yanked from store shelves.
The Addams Family Sweetened Cereal (1991) There must be a better way to start the day than with ”creepy crunchy” puffs shaped like human skulls, headless dolls, and dismembered hands.
Batman Returns Tortilla Chips (1992) Flying rodent-shaped chips. Who wants to think of vermin every time they reach for the bean dip?