When Video Game Merch Gets WEIRD!

Gamers get used to corporations pandering to them in the oddest ways. As consoles or games get popular, different companies will attempt to cash in on that. This can mean things that are helpful, like different sorts of controllers or peripherals that could make an experience better. It can also be practical or fun, bringing people shirts they can wear or different kinds of controllers. But, then there are the oddities. Things like one piece jumpers, speaker hats, and soda. As odd or pandering as these may seem, we shouldn’t be too hard on them. Rather, we should appreciate their officially-licensed, goofy goodness.

For example, let’s think of one of the more practical oddities. Jones Soda has a habit of teaming up with companies to make video game-themed beverages. Now, I’m not talking about the 2005 promotion, where Jones Soda just slapped Metroid Prime Hunters labels on the company’s normal flavors, like blue bubblegum, fufu berry, and green apple. I’m talking about the Fallout 4 and Final Fantasy XV varieties. These were ones designed to look like the actual in-game products, with the one being Nuka Cola Quantum and the other Wiz’s Energizing Elixir. They had the right colors. The labels went 100% into it and replicated the ones seen in-game. They also had good flavors, with the former being radioactive berry and the latter orange cream. Silly? Absolutely. Better than you’d expect? Definitely.

Know what was also ridiculous, but practical? The Xbox toiletries. In Austalia and New Zealand, Microsoft is working with a company called Lynx on different hygiene products. There will be a body spray, deodorant, and shower gel that smell like lemon, lime, mint, sage, clearwood, and patchouli. Which, haha, brings up jokes that gamers live in basements and don’t shower and such. But honestly, it sounds like it could smell refreshing and good. Also, sillier things have gotten themed toiletries. So sure! Why not offer this? We were fine with the Super Mario shower power accessories and body washes!

I mean, even the official candles can be fun. A surprising number of games have themed candles to go with them. Numskull created a Resident Evil 7 4D candle you were supposed to fire up while playing the game in VR. It smells like blood, leather, and timber, which is exactly what that Baker home probably smells like. Rockstar had a number of Red Dead Redemption 2 candles, which would smell like amber, blood orange, incense, rockrose, sandalwood, and smoked cedar. That sounds old west-like to me. Crash Bandicoot even got Numskull candles designed to have an island appeal, since they smelled like ginger and white lily, pomegranate, and wild clematis. I mean, there have been odder candles.

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Even the high-end, luxury oddities can be fun. For example, there have been actual Call of Duty cars. Two, to be exact. One was the Call of Duty: Black Ops Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in 2011, and the other was the 2012 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Special Edition Jeep Rangler Rubicon. These were actual limited edition cars. People paid over $30,000 for them. There would be special decals, tail lamp guards, fuel-filler doors, and spare tire covers designed to show off people’s love for the games. I mean, at this point, it’s so ridiculous that you kind of have to love it. Know what? If Call of Duty means that much to you, then go ahead and spend one to three year’s worth of pay on a car based on it.

Sure, it could be fun and easy to hate on things like these, Atari speaker hats or amiibo cereal boxes. Instead, why not just let them brighten your day. They’re goofy and good for a laugh. It’s not like you have to buy them. Besides, it’d probably be better to get some Xbox bodywash or a Red Dead Redemption 2 candle as a gift from some well-intentioned family member instead of some Minecraft toy or some Five Nights at Freddy’s merchandise Walmart discounted.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Writing Team
Date: 06/11/2019

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