Throughout the decades of film history, movies have been chock-full of fictional consumer goods. “Why?” you might ask. Well, sometimes the desired technology perhaps does not exist, and in other cases, the filmmaker simply opts not to gain the rights for use of a particular product. Regardless, these fictitious consumables continue appearing on the big screen and moviegoers have taken notice.
In fact, you may have already observed that many of the fictional movie products on this list are not so fictional anymore. The demand for a number of these movie props have transcended the world of film entirely, and now they are finally available for purchase in real life. That said, if a product started on the big screen, then it is fair game for this article.
This list features a countdown of the best fictional consumer products in film. Whether it be food, branding, or futuristic tech, you can find it all right here. Prepare to do some serious cinematic window shopping.
Here are the 14 Best Made Up Movie Products.
14. Sex Panther – Anchorman (2004)
Sex Panther is the must have cologne for any man. Extensive studies have been conducted, and the findings are incredible; “60 percent of the time, it works every time!” Whether it be a night on the town of San Diego with your best gal or even an important dinner meeting, Sex Panther is “made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.”
Who are we kidding? Sex Panther is a terrible product. Characters within the film itself describe the scent as resembling pure gasoline and even a “used diaper filled with Indian food.” It could be desire, or it could just be that this cologne is simply, offensively pungent. Still, that has not stopped the fragrance from leaping off of the big screen altogether, as it is now available online for purchase. Much like Brian Fantana, the creative minds behind the marketing of Sex Panther cologne do a pretty solid job of selling consumers on their respective product, and probably for that reason, we still want to get our hands on it.
13. The Stuff – The Stuff (1985)
The Stuff was certainly a revolutionary product in the 1985 film of the same name. Marketed as a no calorie, delicious alternative to ice cream, The Stuff quickly became a nationwide craze and thus made a real dent in the market. As a result, it drastically went on to hurt the sales of its respective competitors. However, the rest of the film goes on to prove correct the age old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
After further investigation, it is revealed that The Stuff is in fact a parasitic organism. Acting as a sentient being of sorts, the nefarious product begins to overtake the brain of the various consumers, mutating them into zombie-like creatures.
Okay, so maybe this is one made up movie product that still needs to undergo a few testing stages. Still, a zero-calorie alternative to ice cream is certainly intriguing, as long as it – you know – does not turn us all into zombies.
12. Paper Street Soap – Fight Club (1999)
The 1999 cult film Fight Club has gone on to become an iconic piece of cinema, and almost as iconic is the image of a young Brad Pitt with a pink bar of soap displaying the title of the film. This bar of soap, as made by Paper Street Soap Company, is both thematically and narratively important to the film. Not to mention, it was a pretty good business model as the narrator and the rest of his gang “were selling rich women their own fat a**es back to them.”
Paper Street Street Soap Company was responsible for producing one of the best high-end soaps on the market. The narrator claims that his partner, Tyler Durden, was selling the product to department stores for $20 a bar, and “Lord knows what they charged.” That price may sound a little rich for a bar of soap, but even so, we just gotta know what it is like.
11. Dapper Dan Pomade – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
While pomade has been making a bit of a comeback recently, the hair product still suggests a different time, and that is exactly why Ethan and Joel Coen decided to include the styling wax into their 1930’s set, adventure comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Instead of using an established brand such as Royal Crown, however, the writing/directing duo chose to make up their own label entitled “Dapper Dan.”
As anyone who has seen the film can testify, George Clooney’s character, Everett, is a self-proclaimed “Dapper Dan man.” Now, including pomade may not appear to be an important or even a notable decision on the surface, but it certainly served to make the Deep South of the 1930s feel just a bit more genuine. Even with all of the Coen brothers’ more quirky characters, there is still a sense of authenticity to their films, and Dapper Dan Pomade is just one of many great examples.
Additionally, like many of the great products on this list, online shops have started selling this fictional brand, so now every guy can be a Dapper Dan man.
10. Vapoorize – Envy (2004)
First of all, if Jack Black is selling a product, you better believe that we are gonna be among the first in line to buy it. Besides, he produces one hell of an infomercial. Vapoorize is “the miracle spray. One spray, and doggie-doo disappears. No fuss. No muss.” No camera tricks, and no “too good to be true” blanket statements are made by the creators of Vapoorize.
All joking aside however, it does appear to be an incredibly useful daily cleaner. As Jack Black says, “no matter what kind of dog you have – let’s face it – they all have to do their business.”
Vapoorize may no be the most glamorous product, but it would certainly prove pragmatic. Whether you are a pet owner, a zoo employee, or just a mere traveler wondering the streets of Venice, Vapoorize is there to make clean-up a breeze. “Vapoorize, because life is tough enough.”
9. Soul Glo – Coming to America (1988)
If you were looking for a hair spray to keep your Jheri curl shined and sexy back in the late 1980s, chances are you were reaching for a bottle of Soul Glo. As featured in the John Landis directed, Eddie Murphy written and starred comedy, Coming to America, Soul Glo was the fictional hair product designed and marketed towards people with the 80’s style hairdo, the Jheri curl.
Not only is Soul Glo one of the best fictional movie products ever created, but its promotional material features one of the all-time greatest comedic songs in the history of cinema. In fact, Nile Rodgers – legendary producer, songwriter, and musician – took to Twitter to jokingly claim that “Soul Glo” is among the best work of his long and successful career. When looking back on the funniest and most memorable moments from Coming to America, the commercial and corresponding theme song for this running gag still stands out, almost 30 years later.
8. Bubba Gump Shrimp – Forrest Gump (1994)
Benjamin Buford Blue – better known as Bubba – had only one thing on his mind, and that one thing was of course shrimp. His mom cooked shrimp all her life, and his grandmother and great-grandmother before her cooked shrimp all their lives. Basically, Bubba’s family knew just about everything there was to know about the business of shrimp, and he shared all of the information he could with his old Army buddy and comrade, Forrest Gump.
Unfortunately, Bubba never made it out of Vietnam, but Forrest decided to continue the legacy of his best friend and try out the business for himself. After some early struggles as an entrepreneur, Forrest began to experience overwhelming success as Bubba Gump Shrimp went on to become a household name. Not only did Bubba Gump Shrimp evolve into a wild success during the film as a fictitious brand, but it also went on to become a prosperous restaurant chain off the screen as well, with over 40 locations worldwide.
7. Schnitzengiggle Beer – Beerfest (2006)
Schnitzengiggle Beer is a secret family recipe brew so good, that it has been known to literally bring grown men to tears. One drink, and you may feel the desire to “freeze it into ice blocks, skate on it, melt it in the spring time, and drink it.” Regardless of your preferred method of consuming delicious beverages such as Schnitzengiggle Beer, chances are, those who watched the 2006 comedy almost certainly wished to purchase a pint at their local bar.
Fortunately enough, Schnitzengiggle Beer has finally crossed over from the big screen to the real world, joining the ranks of other great made up movie products on this list. Voodoo Brewing Company, out of Meadville, Pennsylvania, has heard the cries of moviegoers everywhere and decided to take a crack at this fictional lager. The reviews are in, and Voodoo Brewing Company’s reimagining of this decade old movie prop appears to be pretty good. Whether or not it will actually bring you to tears or not remains to be seen, but we are willing to give it a shot.
5 & 6. Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple Cigarettes – Pulp Fiction (1994)
A fictional Hawaiian-themed fast food chain by the name of Big Kahuna Burger, and Red Apple Cigarettes, a fictional cigarette brand, both have been referenced in several of Quentin Tarantino’s films, but each appeared first in the 1994 classic, Pulp Fiction. An aspect of this Best Picture nominee that stands out to this day is the feeling of authenticity concerning these Los Angeles mobsters. Much of that authenticity can be attributed to the world building tools, such as these fake products, which have become rather iconic in the decades since.
In fact, Big Kahuna Burger has almost transcended the big screen entirely. One needs only to complete a quick Google search in order to find numerous links for recipes and restaurants serving serving up Brett’s “tasty burger.” Additionally, Red Apple Cigarettes has become an Easter egg of sorts, as they have been strategically placed throughout several Tarantino written and directed films. To this day, the fictitious brand serves as a bridge, connecting the various films within Tarantino’s cinematic universe.
4. Everlasting Gobstopper – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
“For children with very little pocket money,” the Everlasting Gobstopper is the perfect product. The idea behind the candy is that it never looses its flavor or grows any smaller, becoming an endlessly enjoyable treat. Last we heard from Willy Wonka himself, it is still in the trail phases. That said, it does sound like an exciting product that looks to “revolutionize the industry” and perhaps even “sizzle old Slugworth.”
As we now all know, the Everlasting Gobstopper has hit store shelves and is available today, virtually wherever candy is sold. We get the feeling however, that the term “everlasting” is a tad loosely used. While these Gobstoppers tend to last a while, calling them “everlasting” might be a bit of an exaggeration. Of course, this product was designed as a merchandising tie-in for the film in the mid 1970’s, so maybe we should cut them some slack considering the fact that the candy is still indeed extremely delicious.
3. Flubber – The Absent Minded Professor (1961)
To this day, we are still not quite sure what Flubber is exactly or how it even works. That being said, we have witnessed numerous, incredible feats accomplished by utilizing this fictitious product, so we won’t concern ourselves with the “hows” and “whys.”
Whether your looking to fly your Model T, jump to incredible heights, or perhaps even just become an accomplished dancer overnight, Flubber might just be the item for you. The daily uses for this fake movie product are practically endless, as it is truly only hindered by your creativity. The display of imagination throughout the 1961 Disney film The Absent Minded Professor was so fun and inventive in fact that it spawned a sequel – Son of Flubber – and of course two remakes; one in the form of the 1988 television series, and another as a film yet again. The cinematic reboot was called Flubber, and it starred the late, great Robin Williams.
1 & 2. Nike Air Mags and Matell Hover Board – Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Revisiting Back to the Future Part II may prove to be a exercise in disillusionment, as the present may not seem as futuristic as it once did in the 1989 classic film. That being said, we should not complain too much, as Nike did release their power laced Air Mags in commemoration of the film last year. Still, hover boards are still not as accessible as we would like them to be today – even if they have trouble running on water.
Regardless, the year 2015 in Back to the Future Part II was so iconic and inspiring in part due to the great inventions that we hoped were waiting for us in 26 short years. The idea of strapping on a pair of self-lacing Nike Air Mags and hopping on our very own hoverboard was – and still is – absolutely captivating. We may have to wait a few more years yet for these made up movie products to hit store shelves, but the technology is certainly there on both fronts. Videos of self-lacing sneakers and real life hover boards are circulating the web today, so hopefully we will not have to hold out much longer for these fictional film props to finally become reality.
What are some of your fake movie products? Make sure to let us know in the comments section.