As soon as there were video games there was video game merchandise. (Hence the "Official Pong White Plank of Wood" from 1972.) But not everything featuring a beloved game character was guaranteed to fly off the shelves…or into your mouth.
Atari Asteroids Halloween Costume
When people get dressed up for Halloween they want to look like recognizable characters or creatures, not like walking fungus or plagued with the facial pockmarks of unchecked syphilis. But Atari believed that simply nothing is more fun than pretending to be a chunk of orbiting rock with eye sockets and a shirt that doubles as free ad space. The end result was something repeatedly greeted by the question "And what are you supposed to be?" only to be followed by the sad, muffled reply, "A serious purchasing error."
What if Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were made into plush puppets the exact moment they were arrested by vice cops? Well, then you’d have this magical merchandise no doubt inspired by the seedier side of the video game world not seen in "Wreck-It Ralph," in which a pixilated john and hooker are turned into strung-out playthings for kids of all ages. Taken from a 1982 Montgomery Ward catalog, the above photo clearly shows the Pacs just as they were either about to complete an alleyway transaction or come to the horrifying realization that all those dots in their games were actually tabs of mescaline.
Super Mario Cheez Whiz
Let’s forget what not even being able to use the correct spelling of "cheese" says about your product’s ingredients and instead focus on how a Japanese character of an Italian plumber came to represent the most American of foods outside of Twinkies and just shoving wads of white bread in our mouths. Super Mario has appeared on every food item possible from cereal to canned pasta to probably whatever you’re halfway through eating right now. But this time Nintendo seemed to set the bar for what a stomach can handle a little too high, as if asking, "Just how much do you really want to eat all this whiz so you can finally have someplace to store your pennies?"
Sonic the Hedgehog Crystal Wine Goblet
While fans of Super Mario got to enjoy a polymer being passed of as a dairy spread, Sonic the Hedgehog aficionados could enjoy this limited-edition stemware etched with Sonic’s 10th anniversary logo and carefully wrapped in gold foil and blue satin. That way gamers could sit back on their leather chairs in their estate’s reading salon, gently adjust their ascots as they ring the bell for their canapés, and lift their exquisitely detailed glass chalice of Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac in a toast to just how unbelievably, unforgivably dreadful "Sonic the Hedgehog 2006" truly was.
Video Game Cartridge Vinyl Figures
What could be more fun than playing a video game? How about playing with a Nintendo cartridge action figure based on a video game that never actually existed? With these fully poseable…things…kids everywhere can enjoy such imaginative playtime activities as pretending what it feels like for a cartridge to be shoved unceremoniously into an NES, stored in the basement with all the other outdated technology, remembered as the lousy game Grandma got you for the holidays, or sold used to Game Stop for 40-cent credit.
Angry Birds Bra
Finally the warring factions of bird and pig come together in lingerie that will have you saying, "Isn’t it just a little creepy that they’re staring at one another and laughing? Or sneering? Or saying to one another ‘I bet mine’s bigger!’"
Which is the worst piece of merchandise?? Let us know in the comments below!