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9 baffling movie merchandise tie-ins

Every summer, movie season collides with merchandising mania to create a perfect storm of licensed nonsense. We, the human race, have proven to Hollywood time and time again that we will empty our pockets for anything with our favorite movie logo hastily slapped on it. But at least most of that junk allows us to momentarily remember why we loved the movie: Thor’s hammer. A Star Wars X-wing toy. Then there are these.

1. James Bond Scented Candle

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The James Bond Scented Candle is the triple threat of bad movie marketing:

1. Yes, James Bond has romanced many a lady, but he’s never been the “flowers, box of chocolates and scented candles”-type romancer. Bond’s trysts usually begin with gunplay, and end with a hot tub materializing somewhere nearby.

2. Is James Bond really the most romantic impression you want to make with your wife or girlfriend? Yes, he gets the ladies, but monogamy–not his strong suit.

3. What would a scented candle infused with the essence of James Bond smell like, exactly? My guess: gun powder and testosterone—which sounds awesome for a bachelor pad but not so much for date night.

2. Transformers Toy Shaving Kit

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Let’s quickly rattle off everything that makes no sense about the Transformers Shaving Kit:

1. Robots don’t shave.

2. Kids don’t shave.

3. You can’t actually shave with this kit anyway. No blade (thank goodness), so you just pretend to be your favorite Autobot and shave your face like Optimus Prime did in the movie. Oh wait.

3. Matrix Reloaded Phone

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The Matrix films take place in a distant future. We don’t know how far in the future, but we do know technology has advanced enough to create underground cities, hover battleships, battle mechs, working holograms, and, of course, a completely realized virtual world. Everything about The Matrix world is high tech. The Matrix phone, however, is quite the opposite. Released in 2003, The Matrix phone did indeed look like Neo’s phone from the movie (or a cheap toy facsimile, anyway). But that’s where its usefulness ended, because The Matrix phone couldn’t take pictures or play MP3s, didn’t have Bluetooth—it was completely barren of any of the cell phone technology of the time. So it’s just a toy, right? At $500, no way. This phone was so backwards technologically, marketers might as well have produced The Matrix Abacus.

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