Ah, merchandise... the prime method by which fans can support their favorite thing while adding some sweet items to their collection. Whether it’s a fully-huggable Darkseid plushie or a replica Batarang banned in most civilized countries, DC have made plenty of merchandise available to their fans, no matter which obscure superhero you want to see plastered over your lunchbox.
And then it gets weird. Whether they’re 100% official or suspicious bootleg items, these are the wackiest DC items that even the most die-hard collectors might want to miss. Unless you just really find yourself in need of some scissors shaped like Wonder Woman, in which case…
10 Wonder Woman Scissors
Do we ever have the product for you. Exactly what benefit these scissors receive from being shaped like Wonder Woman herself is clearly beyond whoever was selling these things, especially when her logo would’ve worked so much better. It’s like the world’s greatest scientists were locked in a room and told to make a pair of scissors that felt genuinely disturbing to use, and they came up with a pair that let you split Wonder Woman’s entire midsection in half every time you make a cut. It wasn’t sufficient to turn just her legs into scissor handles; the pain isn’t real enough.
Also of note is the appearance of a metal spike sticking out of her head, which could be either a ridiculously long weapon she’s carrying on her back, or it could be that Wonder Woman now skewers criminals by running straight at them, lethal head-butt style.
Oh, and the scissors themselves look pretty rubbish.
9 Superhero Socks, With Capes
At first glance, these socks might seem like a fun little superhero gimmick. Now you also can fulfill your ultimate dream and pretend your feet are superheroes! Almost a minute of adventurous fun swinging your foot through the air while humming the Superman theme song!
Then it comes to wearing shoes, and that’s where things get a bit complicated. Aside from the irritation of tucking your super cape in every time you slip them on, the problem just gets worse when you’re wearing any kind of shoe without enough tucking space. Just think about how dignified you’re going to look trailing little pieces of fabric around everywhere you go. That look works for Superman because he can fly. You do not have that advantage.
Just picture yourself standing tall on a windy hilltop, hands on your hips in the most heroic gesture of all, while your pathetic little sock flaps wiggle about in the wind.
You just know you can't pull that look off.
8 Batman-Shaped Water Pistol
Themed water pistols are a great way to slap a brand on a flimsy item and convince kids that they’re holding the exact water-spurting weapon used by Spider-Man to catch bad guys like, all the time. Whoever manufactured this monstrosity took that concept and ratcheted it up to eleven; Batman doesn’t need to use a water pistol. He is the water pistol. And also the night, but a water pistol at the same time.
Avoiding the issue of the very unfortunate placement of the trigger, it really takes all the dignity and mystique out of The Dark Knight when you see him in a funny little bent over position, spraying jets of water from his puckered up lips. It makes you wonder exactly which parallel dimension this spray-powered Batman hails from, and how he could’ve possibly gotten himself into this position. And if we’re guessing, I’d say that this universe’s version of Joe Chill used a super-soaker to kill Bruce Wayne’s parents.
“Alfred, to fight crime, I will use their own fear against them. No longer will I be afraid of the water pistol. For I…will BE a water pistol.”
*Danny Elfman Batman theme plays on kazoo*
7 Superhero Rodent Outfits
So you might have noticed that your hamster sucks. Or rather, you will notice once you realize that they could be wearing a tiny, adorable superhero outfit. Thrill as they scurry around their cages with only slightly less drama than Superman on his way to a crisis. Watch in suspense as they run around on their little wheel, perfectly capturing the excitement of Batman chasing The Joker.
Or you can just watch in confusion at what your life has become, dressing up your rodents in comic book outfits that they almost certainly don’t appreciate.
In this case I jest… there’s nothing particularly wrong with letting your rodent buddy experience the joys of cosplay, even though the joy is actually all yours. However, it is weird that someone thought this was necessary in the first place. It’s not like your gerbil has a little Batcave in which to practice his heroics.
6 Batman Interactive Hamster House
Oh, well now it all makes sense.
This is where you’ll place your rat/hamster/assorted rodent after you’ve given him his fuzzy-wuzzy little Batman cape, and woe betide if he doesn’t start doing little Bat-pull-ups to craft himself into the ultimate fighting machine. And yes, that’s a little mock-up of the Batcave in there.
This interactive hamster house features a wheel that makes a plastic Batman spin in little circles and a ‘lookout tower’ which is literally a tiny compartment at the top where your Hamster can gaze upon the seedy domain of your room and presumably do nothing about its crime problem, because he can’t get out. Included is a proper hamster care booklet, because we all know Gotham’s Dark Knight is a cornerstone of ethical rodent treatment.
It’s not the worst of ideas, but you have to wonder about the boardroom conversation over at Hamster World that lead to this product hitting the shelves.
“What if a gerbil...could be Batman?”
5 Pointless Superman Accessories
Toy-makers have to keep giving superhero figures hip new accessories, so that kids will want all the different types. This works great with the gadget-obsessed Batman, but not so much with the ridiculously empowered Superman. Unless the action figures are ‘Superman, with Prescription Anti-Kryptonite Sickness Medication’ or ‘Superman, with Super-Identity-Concealing Pair of Ordinary Spectacles’, there’s nothing you can give the Man of Steel that won’t make him look like a complete idiot who keeps forgetting his powers.
Up first is Superman Fly ‘Em High, for when Superman is tired of all that flying and leaping tall buildings nonsense and just wants to slowly drift to earth for no reason. Next along, they also saw fit to give his Clark Kent persona a jet-powered car that apparently has space travel capabilities, a beloved and completely necessary piece of tech I’m sure we all remember from the comics (probably the Silver Age). Ultra-Shield Superman gives him a horribly cumbersome shield, for those times when he loses his invulnerability but still has enough strength to lug around what looks like about seven-hundred pounds of steel. Finally, we’re told that the Justice Jogger is an ‘overland villain chaser’, which should come in mighty handy whenever Supes wants to give some villain a sporting chance. Or maybe it’s somehow faster than his actual super speed.
In the same toy-line but sold separately: Wonder Woman with Zimmer Frame, Flashing Neon Rainbow Batman, Water-Wings Action Aquaman and The Flash on a Motorbike.
4 The Flash on a Motorbike
3 Batman Returns Penguin Commando Figurines
You have to pity the people making the merchandise for Batman Returns. There are only so many different umbrellas you can give to identical figurines of Danny DeVito before you get desperate. And what was borne from their desperation… was penguins. Commando penguins, to be precise.
To be fair, they do appear in the film. However, it’s also a film that should probably never be shown to children, making these cutesy figurines stand out in true, disturbing Tim Burton fashion. It might also dampen the adorableness when you remember that The Penguin was planning to use his fuzzy minions as suicide bombers.
Also included in this line of action figures is "Deep Dive Batman," and as you’ll see in this overly-enthusiastic ad, he’s wearing neon yellow. Just as Tim Burton envisioned.
2 'Hero Hugs' Seatbelts
It’s tough to get your child to wear a seatbelt, what with them being an extremely vague discomfort that will most definitely save your life and all. But laws are laws, and no longer will parents worry about keeping their child strapped in when the answer is obvious: creepy, dismembered superhero hands.
It’s obvious (probably) what they were going for here: having themselves wrapped in a pair of hands will maybe sort-of conjure up the image of being saved by a real superhero, a fact that will be driven home extra hard should these hands save them from going flying through the windscreen. Still, this is mitigated somewhat when you actually see kids surrendering themselves to the disembodied embrace of what are supposed to be superheroes. Seriously, the Batman hands are just blue gloves with a few spikes.
Whether Fiat and a few spare Justice League digits managed to reduce the car accident mortality rate in Brazil is unknown, and really, all power to them if they did. Even so, it’s hard to see the Hero Hug getting kids to want to wear a seatbelt, when for most adults it would be the other way around.
1 Little Shop of Horrors - DC Comics Adaptation
Little Shop of Horrors is possibly one of the most popular musicals in the world, at least in the category of musicals about talking plants that eat everyone in the end (um, spoilers). Someone over at DC comics apparently though this was a golden opportunity, thus creating a tie-in to the 1986 film version.
The first problem here is that, unless 80s comics were even more over the top than you'd think, it couldn’t be a musical. Even without any of the iconic music, the story might’ve worked if it had been compelling for a comic book format, which it absolutely was not. The slapstick, over-the-top performances from the musical were played utterly straight, turning the comic into a bizarre slaughterfest where everyone is spouting recycled lines from the movie that just don’t work in context.
The original story never really took itself seriously, and yet the comic treats the issue of a man trying to find love through chemically enhanced botany as super serious business. It’s a comic that really shouldn’t exist, essentially.
Know of any more pieces of wacky merchandise that should make the list? Let us know in the comments!