The Strangest:5) Spider-Man Pizza Print
This product is an edible picture that you can slap on pizza to give the meal a special Spidey flair. It was allegedly designed to be used at kids parties, but you just know that the real target audience is obese nerds who use this product as incentive to get up and go to the oven before they meld with their couches.
4) Marvel Comics Bubble Gum
To be clear, the items on this side of the list aren't necessarily crappy, just a bit left of center. In fact, this Marvel chewing gum that was released by Topps in the late 1970s is actually quite sought-after/awesome. Why? Because each piece came packaged with a goofy comic like this one:
Pre-Twisted Toyfare Theater
and Robot Chicken
, these comics were one of a rare few places (the others being Marvel's Pizazz
magazines) where you could see these characters being joked about. The gags on these comics are cheesy fun. When coupled with Doctor Strange's weird -- if not downright ominous -- fortunes they form a perfect storm of kitsch that simply isn't seen in contemporary bits of comic-related merchandise.
3) Hulk Gumballs
Ever want to pretend you were chewing the Hulk's testicles? Then this is the product for you!
(Okay, it's a cheap joke, but at least give me credit for not taking the Hummer/oral sex route).2) Avengers Hamburger Patties
This past summer the Avengers assembled on dinner tables throughout Europe thanks to a wacky tie-in with the Montana Beef Company. Special marked packages of hamburger patties came with neat IDs featuring characters from the film. So its sort of like when you used to get Star Wars
cards with Wonder Bread, only way more irritating to PETA. Some of the film's cast are vegans, right? I can only imagine that the existence of this had them blaring the Smiths' Meat Is Murder
while they re-examined the merchandising clause in their contracts.
1) Howard the Duck Chicken Fingers
When the Marvel Mania restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood shuttered back in 1999, it took with it the most disturbing Marvel-related food product: Howard the Duck's Chicken Fingers. As if the waterfowl hadn't already endured enough grief in his lifetime -- being forced to change his appearance because Disney felt he looked to much like Donald Duck, getting taken away from creator Steve Gerber, the 1986 movie, etc. -- he was then manipulated into more or less endorsing cannibalism for the theme restaurant. "They're good, but I'm glad they're not duck" Howard blurbed about the chicken fingers on the Marvel Mania menu shortly before his well-publicized breakdown. You notice that in these reboot-happy times that nobody is talking about giving Howard another shot at success. The duck just can't get a break. Are you out there Whedon? Throw him a bone, hasn't he suffered enough?