The tie-in is a long-honored Hollywood tradition of promoting a new film in whatever form of merchandising possible, from video games to specialized cereals to novelizations of a given film. But sometimes, these bits of movie merchandising get downright weird.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey Teddy Bear
The film adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey has unleashed a flood of BDSM-themed sex toys. But the most shocking toy tie-in may be this officially licensed "Christian Grey Bear," which wears a bespoke suit, iconic grey tie, and carries the mask and handcuffs seen on the covers of the second and third books in James' trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. According to Vermont Teddy Bear, he is made of "the silkiest fur we can get our paws on" and will help you dominate Valentine’s Day.
2. James Bond Popsicle
To celebrate National Ice Cream Week in the United Kingdom back in 2009, Del Monte Superfruit Smoothies made this surprisingly on point recreation of Casino Royale's Daniel Craig. The limited edition "ice lollies" were inspired by a poll of British women, who selected the latest Bond as the "coolest" male celeb. Officially, the hunky treat was called "Licence to Chill" and offered the flavors of blueberry, pomegranate, and cranberry for under 100 calories a pop.
3. The Avengers Signature Scent Collection
Maybe you love all things Avengers. Maybe you own some Hulk Smash gloves and have groomed a goatee into the perfect Tony Stark homage. And now, you too can "smell like a superhero" with Avengers colognes like "Patriot," "Smash," and "Mark VII." Fear not Loki fans—the beloved baddie also has a scent, the unisex "Mischief."
4. Star Wars Jar Jar Binks Sucker
Have you ever dreamed of making out with the most loathed creation to be spawned from The Phantom Menace or arguably any Star Wars movie? Probably not. But someone out there thought you might have, or so the creation of this nightmare-inducing lollipop from 1999 would have us believe.
5. Watchmen Condoms
Just when you thought there was nothing left studios could possibly slap superheroes on to sell, we've got condoms dyed blue in honor of Watchman's big blue nude dude, Dr. Manhattan. To promote the 2009 superhero actioner, Warner Bros. gave out matchbooks that had the iconic comic's smiley pin on the cover. Plus, the text inside declares that, much like a condom, the Watchmen are here to protect us all.
6. Star Trek Coffins
Star Wars isn't the only sci-fi franchise with some out-there tie in merchandise. This item is for those who literally want to go to their graves as die hard Trekkies. In 2007, Eternal Image created a casket inspired by the "Photon Torpedo" design of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But the quirky company that catered to dedicated fans did not live long or prosper, filing for bankruptcy in 2012.
7. James Bond Ties From KFC
James Bond has long been established as a dapper dresser. And the 007 movie franchise has always been happy to loop in some willing advertisers. But these two elements dovetailed to a truly bizarre place in 1989 with the release of the Timothy Dalton-led Licence to Kill. That's when the fast food chain KFC hosted a Be Bond For A Day contest, and sold "character ties" plastered with comic book style depictions of Bond iconography. Because that's totally something Bond would be caught dead in.
8. Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
In The Empire Strikes Back, a poor, defenseless Tauntaun has his belly sliced open to give Luke Skywalker a safe place to rest, protected from the mercilessly cold winds of Hoth. This inspired a fake product page on Think Geek for a Tauntaun sleeping bag, complete with lightsaber gut-slicing zipper and interior organs print. But what began as a gag got such a positive response from fans, the site worked with LucasFilm to make it a reality.
9. Harry Potter's Vibrating Broomstick
After seeing The Boy Who Lived soar through the skies on his Nimbus 2000, what kid wouldn't want that rush? Funny enough, it was in the wake of the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that a battery-operated plastic replica caused quite a stir. Concerned parents accused the Mattel of marketing a sex toy to children. In response to the outcry, Amazon purged cheeky reviews of the toy from their site, and Mattel discontinued the vibrating model.
10. The Lorax Gas Guzzling SUV
Another parable about the dangers of consumerism was Dr. Suess's The Lorax. But that didn't stop Universal Pictures from turning its movie adaptation of the adored children's book into a myriad of merchandizing opportunities, no matter how inappropriate. This included 70-some products, from printers to sugar-stuffed pancakes. But the most shocking were Lorax-branded disposable diapers and a Mazda SUV, which seemed to fly in the face of the titular tree-hugger's message about environmentalism.
11. Freddy Fright Squirter
Here is where the Venn diagram of child murderer and child's toy crosses over. The villain at the center of A Nightmare On Elm Street's prolific franchise is transformed into a perplexing plaything: part puppet, part water gun, all kinds of creepy. Enertech released the toy in 1989 in an effort to capitalize on Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: Dream Child. Though the film was rated R, this toy was marketed for ages four and up.
12. Sherlock Holmes Taquitos
What does a 19th century super sleuth have to do with this Mexican taco variant? Nothing—except that 7-Eleven secured the rights to promote their wares in conjunction with the release of the 2009 crime-adventure. This included an online mystery game where you could see "how Holmes" you are, and lots of puns to peddle coffee, snacks, and other sundries.