Mmmmm ... novelty food items
If you've been living under a rock for the last month or so, you might not have heard: the Simpsons movie is coming out later this month. To get the buzz a-buzzin' here in LA, Fox has turned several 7-11 stores into faux Kwik-e-Marts, stocked with everything from Homer's famous pink donuts to Buzz Cola. (All they're missing is Duff Beer, but since the movie isn't rated R, they didn't make any.) Naturally, there are lines around the corner to get in -- probably a first in the history of 7-11 -- but I managed to score a few collectables. Behold!
Of course, this isn't the first time pop culture has been used to sell novelty food items. One of the most famous examples is "Billy Beer," which traded on the redneck image of then-president Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy. His endorsement on the side of the can read "I had this beer brewed just for me. I think it's the best I've ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot. I think you'll like it, too." Over two billion cans were produced, but sales were poor. Today, these "collectible" beers are worth maybe a few bucks apiece on eBay (which means I probably won't be hanging on to my Krusty-Os for 30 years, though they'll be fun to have around for awhile).
Other novelty beverage flops include a Dallas-themed beer called J.R. Ewing's and a M.A.S.H. brew dubbed 4077. But methinks this type of marketing works better on kids ... and, apparently, Simpsons fans. D'oh!