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11 TV and movie products that crossed over to reality

By / 08.05.12

prayitno, Flickr


Mattel announced that this Christmas they’ll begin selling replicas of the hoverboards seen in Back To The Future: Part II. Except instead of hovering, these will make “multiple whooshing sounds and will glide over most surfaces,” which is just so lame and soul-crushing on so many levels. While this poor man’s hoverboard didn’t deserve to make the leap into reality, several other fictional movie products have crossed over into our dimension with all their features intact. It’s what industry knobs call “reverse product placement.” Here are 11 other fictional products that materialized in real life, and we’ve rated them based on their similarity to the real (fake) original.

Photo credit: prayitno, Flickr

11 Nike MAG Shoes

Appeared in: Back To The Future: Part II

Yet another Part II product to cross over. While these kicks look the part, like the hoverboards they are missing the vital technology: they don’t tie themselves. According to Nike, self-lacing exists, it’s just not cost-effective. Although, maybe the guy who invested massive amounts of capital in self-lacing R&D shouldn’t be the one preaching about what’s cost-effective?



Accuracy: 7/10

10 Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator

Appeared in: Idiocracy

In the highly underappreciated Mike Judge film, Brawndo is used to water plants because “it’s got electrolytes. And that’s what plants crave… not water, like from the toilet.” The packaging here is virtually identical, and the beverage itself is green and packed with electrolytes. All it’s missing is the movie’s nightmarish dumb-scape scenario, but hey, just give America some time to get there.



Accuracy: 10/10

9 Cheesy Poofs

Appeared in: South Park

Frito-Lay produced Cartman’s snack of choice last summer as part of South Park’s 15th anniversary. Or, more accurately, they put Cheetos into the packaging for Cartman’s favorite snack. Apparently the name “Cheesy Poofs” was too vague, so the bag redundantly said “Cheesy Poofs Puffs.”



Accuracy: 8/10

8 Scorpion Jacket

Appeared in: Drive

Steady Clothing moved fast and had these replicas ready right as the movie made waves last year. To make this product any closer to the original, you’d have to wear the jacket as you commit a few horrifically brutal murders, while maintaining an impossibly cool and sexy gaze in the process.



Accuracy: 9/10

7 Dunder Mifflin Paper

Appeared in: The Office

It’s paper and it’s white, so yeah.



Accuracy: 10/10


6 The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Appeared in: The Mighty Ducks

Now called the Anaheim Ducks, the team was founded by Disney in 1993 in a brilliant cross-promotional move that made every kid think that someday ALL their favorite movies would be turned into shitty real-life THINGS. Turns out we weren’t that mistaken, judging by this list.



Accuracy: 4/10 (Different colors and logos, players were pros and not pesky troubled youths.)

5 Everlasting Gobstoppers

Appeared in: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

In the movie, they looked like colorful mini versions of those spiky barricades on the beaches for the invasion of Normandy. And they lasted forever. The real version lasts about five minutes if you keep yourself from chewing it. Which is impossible.



Accuracy: 2/10

4 Sex Panther Cologne

Appeared in: Anchorman

Unfortunately, it isn’t made from real bits of panther. Or fake bits of panther, for that matter.



Accuracy: 1/10 (In this case, a low rating is a good thing, since the original smelled like Bigfoot’s dick.)

3 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Appeared in: Forrest Gump

No, this one was not founded by an idiot savant and a legless Vietnam vet who did their shrimping on a tiny boat. This chain was started by a corporate behemoth and now, inexplicably, there are 33 locations spanning 7 countries. That means the phrase “Why don’t we hit up Bubba Gump’s?” has been uttered in at least seven languages. Astounding.



Accuracy: 2/10 (They do serve shrimp.)

2 Nikki Heat Thriller Series

Appeared in: Castle

Really, America, enough people watch this show to warrant a series of crime novels written by the fictional crime-solving crime novelist? Maybe for his next mystery, Castle should work on finding out who is actually watching Castle.



Accuracy: 5/10 (Seems about right… not like there are any Castle viewers out there to dispute it.)

1 Leg Lamp

Appeared in: A Christmas Story

Now people can say “I love lamp” and mean it.



Accuracy: 10/10



(Originally published on March 5, 2012.)


TAGSArbitrary RankingsBrawndoBubba GumpCheesy PoofsDunder Mifflin PaperfeaturedGobstoppersLeg LampListsMighty DucksMovie memorabiliaMovie productsNike MAG ShoesNikki Heatscorpion jacketSex Panther CologneTV memorabiliaTV products
Carl Williott
About Carl Williott... Carl Williott lives in NYC and has written about music and pop culture for estimable outlets like MTV, CNN, and Time Out New York. Right this second he is either eating pizza, ignoring a phone call, or cropdusting at a concert in Brooklyn. His chest hair is shaped like an anvil.

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