Archive for the 'Krusty Brand Seal of Approval' Category

16
Dec
10

Dead Homer Society Xmas Gift Guide

Homer's Barbershop Quartet6

“Human roaches, feeding off each other’s garbage, the only thing you can’t buy here is dignity.” – Mayor Quimby 

It is the stated position of the Dead Homer Society that the fount of filthy lucre that is crappy Simpsons merchandise is a major reason behind the continued existence of Zombie Simpsons.  Merchandise generates twice as much cash as the television show, and the continued production of new episodes has been explicitly linked by people at FOX to licensing revenue.  And while one person’s purchasing decisions wouldn’t even register as a rounding error on that mountain of money, why buy things that support Zombie Simpsons, especially when they tend to be cheaply manufactured garbage? 

With that in mind, here is the official Dead Homer Society Xmas Gift Guide.  These are all homemade or repurposed Simpsons items that won’t put a penny towards next season’s production budget.  And if you’re wondering if I got all of these by searching Etsy for Simpsons stuff, you would be correct.  All prices are in US Dollars, though most items have non-US/Canada shipping available.  Isn’t this better than clock radios that can’t be plugged in and horribly deformed Krusty dolls?

Art

5 pc Simpson Hand Painted Russian Nesting Doll – $55 – For some reason Bart, not Homer, is the largest one here, but these are actually from the Ukraine so who cares?

Homer Simpson framed original pop art, Neil Jam style – $13 – Homer is staring back at me with his dead eyes:

Neil Jam Homer

Limited edition signed numbered audrey hepburn simpson fine art print – $45 – Time for breakfast at Margie’s:

Audrey Hepburn Marge Simpson

Bags/Wallets

A Homer Simpson Christmas Tree Reusable Bag/ Tote – $7 – Homer stands with a Christmas tree made of Duff on the side of this all purpose reusable bag. 

Homer Simpson Not-so-Handyman – $7 – Another Simpsons bag from the same source as the one above.  This one isn’t Christmas themed, but it would make a nice gift. 

The Simpsons/Groundskeeper Willie Mini Duct Tape Wallet – $7 – A compact wallet that just wants to know if you’ve got any grease. 

Simpsons Trifold Wallet – $12 – This wallet has plenty of space for your membership cards in the Elks, the Masons, the Communists, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and the Stonecutters.

Naughty Bart Simpson drawstring bag for library, toys, sheets, cotton – $9.50 – Nice little Bart Simpson bag. 

Where’s Bart Wristlet – $4 – A small Simpsons zippered pouch. 

Simpsons Coin Purse – $6.50 – That’s right, a purse! 

ipod blackberry itouch cell phone case SIMPSONS – $12 – A small Simpsons case for your small electronic device.

Simpsons Wallet – $22 – From merry old England comes this impressive use of recycled materials:

This wallet is made from recycled Simpsons caramel biscuit packets, encased in a super sturdy vinyl. Lisa, Bart and Homer also feature on the inside.

There are 5 inside pockets made from the same clear vinyl, allowing the features of the wrappers to show through.

Bridal?  Bridal.

Marge & oo Homer SIMPSONS Wedding Cake Topper Simpson 1 – $98 – If you’ve got a wedding cake that needs topping you could do a lot worse.  I don’t think they come to life and have little parties at night, but I could be wrong. 

wedding garter BART SIMPSON bridal set white – $26 – Yep, it’s a Bart Simpson garter.  I would try to catch that so hard.  (Here’s a blue one.) 

Clothing & Such

Bart Simpson inspired Flannel Blanket – $30 – Bart looks like undersea explorer Bart Simpseau here.

Adult size full apron made with vintage Simpsons bed sheet by Kiss Me Designs – $20 – That is a very vintage Simpsons bed sheet alright, and the apron looks great to boot. 

Hand Felted Wool Slippers. Can be made in 2 days. Bar(t) Simpson – $56 – That looks more like Homer in the picture, but I guess you can get whatever you want.  Holy crap do those look warm. 

Stonecutters ID Reel – $9 – I would love to walk into one of those buildings where you need to wear ID at all times with this clipped to my shirt:

Have you always wanted to belong to a secret society? Perhaps one that participates in the failure of both the metric system and the electric car? The Stonecutters might just be for you. Now shhhhut up. It’s a secret.

8 Simpsons Pinback Buttons – $7 – Some classic quotes, though I continue to wonder why people spell Jebus with two “e”s. 

Jewelry

The Simpson’s – Bart Simpson – Guitar Pick Earrings – $2 – Not exactly the height of fashion, but that’s not why you’d wear these, is it?

Donut stud earrings (pink sprinkles) – $20 – Mmmm, earrings. 

Cartoon Skateboard Sk8 Charm Pendant Necklace Skater Chain – $12 – With skateboard lingo, no less:

Cartoon figure and his red and green signature striped skateboard is so sick! A 1.25" metal charm pendant on a chrome-finish silver-tone 23" ballchain necklace.  He is throwing down mad skills on his board!  He’s got on a fierce-cherry-red tshirt and some blue shorts with matching blue hightops.

Kids

Child’s apron and chef’s hat set with utensils – $35 – From Australia comes this Bart Simpson apron and hat for ages 4-10. 

Skater Bart I Spy bag – $15 – A homemade toy for your tiny Simpsons fan in training. 

The Simpsons Oversized Baby or Toddler Bib – $4 – Speaking of children, how about a bib with the whole town of Springfield on it? 

BART SIMPSON KIDS/TRAVEL Pillowcase – $5 – Pretty much what it says. 

Baby Simpsons Shoes – Elastic Fit – $15 – Cute little Simpsons shoes for infants. 

12 Crayon The Simpsons Caddy Roll-Up – Crayon’s Included – $9 – On the go crayon coloring. 

Miscellaneous

Naked Homer Simpson,with added bits – $60 – A standard Simpsons doll, denuded of clothing and given that which man has always had but dolls usually lack.  A little pricy, but just imagine the look on someone’s face when their eyes first alight on Homer’s dong.

The Simpsons – Homer, Smithers, Lenny, Mr. Burns, the Ace of Clubs and the Ace of Hearts Playing Cards Organic Upcycled CAT TOYS with Feathers – $5 – Six cat toys for one low price, and they know their market:

Is your cat sick of all the time you spend watching The Simpsons when you could be feeding or petting him?
Well now your cat can have it his way with these six fun toys!

Superior Intellect (SALE) – $1 – If you’ve got to send out holiday cards, why not quote Kang & Kodos on something done on an old fashioned letter press? 

Choo Choo Choose You 8 x 10 Matted Print – $25 – Tell someone you love them with a Ralph Wiggum quote that will last. 

Simpson Corkboard – $50 – You could hang a lot of D- tests on that.

Custom Itchy & Scratchy Simpsons Coffee Table – $379 – And finally, this thing ain’t cheap, but look at it.  Just look at it:

Itchy & Scratchy Coffee Table

Excellent.

24
Jul
10

Collectable Cookies

Pathologic

“I don’t know why I did it.  I don’t know why I enjoyed it.  And I don’t know why I’ll do it again.” – Bart Simpson

Shitty, unimaginative marketers have long taken advantage of the idea of “collecting”.  The basic premise is simple enough: you create a group of things, and all but dare people to spend money getting them all.  The more they get, the better for you.  It’s simple, easy and profitable; and on some level it even makes sense, e.g. all the players on a Major League roster, or all the main characters from a Star Trek series. 

Not surprisingly, the marketing jackasses behind Simpsons merchandise are big fans of this idea.  For example, should you find yourself at Comic-Con this weekend, you can get an “exclusive” Lard Lad figurine, amongst other FOX intellectual properties.  I see press releases and news posts all the time touting Set X of Characters Y from Company Z.  However, profiting from people’s desire for completeness, exploiting that urge to have the entire set, can cross over from simple exploitation into an unthinking reflex.  If you give a lab rat a treat every time he presses a lever, he’s going to press that fucking lever until his arm falls off. 

It is in that context that one must appreciate this most recent example of Simpsons merchandise.  These are Simpsons cookies.  From the looks of things they appear to be some variety of short bread, no big deal there.  But take a look at the packaging and you’ll see the addict’s word “collect”.  Mini-MagnetIndeed, every package comes with one of thirty(!) “MEGA MAGNETS” “to collect”.  As you can see from the photo at right, at about two inches long there is nothing at all “mega” about them.  In fact, the word “mega” has been so ill applied here that one has to wonder whether or not they are even magnets. 

The urge to conjure something collectable has become borderline pathological for the people behind Simpsons merchandise.  How else can one explain using the cudgel of collectability to sell a few extra packages of a perishable foodstuff?  In different circumstances, this kind of monomaniacal focus would be grounds for psychiatric medical treatment; here, however, we’ll have to content ourselves with a hearty round of pointing and laughing from the internet peanut gallery. 

Ease down, fellas, for your own sake.  I’m sure you have plenty of other tricks up your sleeve when it comes to conning people into thinking a drawing on the package makes something valuable, why not use another one for a change? 

17
Jul
10

Collect the Whole Set!

“Maybe the drawings were a little crude, but all the characters were there: Itchy & Scratchy, Grampa Simpson, and Krusty the Klown.” – Troy McClure

Deviated Septum Krusty Look at this picture of a Krusty stuffed animal (it’s the same one I put on our half assed Twitter feed yesterday).  That has to be among the worst deviated septums in the history of stuffed animals.  His nose is above his eyes!  And let’s be clear, the people in charge of merchandising for FOX can’t blame this on shoddy manufacturing at whatever third world factory slapped this thing together for them.  The mouth and the eye pieces are just way out of proportion to the size of the head.  This is a design problem, an extremely lazy one that someone in a nice office didn’t care enough to fix.

 

Original Krusty That it bears more than a passing resemblance to the intentionally crude Krusty from the “138th Episode Spectacular” is surely coincidental, though no less damning for being so.  I doubt that the people who make this type of stuff even watch the show, much less that they’d either a) be clever enough or b) care enough to have made the connection.  But it can’t be denied.  What was once an exaggerated joke about the show’s cheap beginning has become a sad, polyester reality in its twilight.

Merchandise of this exceeding quality (Krusty: Now with Forehead Nose!) accounts for the vast majority of Simpsons related revenue and profit, and is the main reason Zombie Simpsons continues to exist.

07
Jun
10

Krusty Brand Seal of Approval: Energy Drinks

The Canine Mutiny4

“Wow, Trucker’s Choice.” – Lisa Simpson

One of the basic positions of this blog is that the continuing production of Zombie Simpsons is due primarily to merchandising.  “Simpsons” merchandise generates twice as much revenue as advertising, and with none of the overhead of actually producing the show.  Moreover, the success of merchandising is directly related to how fresh the characters remain in the public mind.  For a similar example, see this recent New York Times article about Warner Brothers’ efforts to get the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck back into the spotlight:

Ask a first grader to identify Bugs Bunny and the response more likely than not will be a blank stare. Dora, sure. Mickey, alive and kicking. But Porky who?

Worried that the low profile of the Looney Tunes cast of characters among children is the start of th-th-th-that’s all folks for the historic cartoon franchise, Warner Brothers is embarking on a five-alarm rescue effort.

There’s no subtlety or shame about what this is about either:

Sales of Looney Tunes merchandise have been sliding for about eight years, but still ring up over $1 billion annually on a global basis via 1,000 licensees. (To compare, Winnie the Pooh generates about $5 billion annually for Disney.) The hope is that “The Looney Tunes Show,” supported by the theatrical shorts, will fuel new product lines.

“We have to invest quite a bit of money in the content first,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Brothers Consumer Products. “Once there is new content out there, then retailers will become more interested in it.”

They’re producing new content, a television show at $750,000 per episode, with the explicit purpose of selling more branded crap.  (Whether or not it’s a good idea to make a new show for that reason, instead of because someone had a good idea or actually created something, is a whole other discussion.)  The parallels with Zombie Simpsons are obvious.  If/when the show goes off the air, the brand instantly becomes less valuable to News Corp and FOX.

Which brings us to today’s affront to common sense, the Flaming Moe energy drink: Flaming Moe Energy Drink

This is not the first time they’ve made an “energy drink” (which is a misnomer, but nevermind) out of an alcoholic beverage from the show.  Back in 2007, in what I assume was a movie tie-in, there was a Duff energy drink.  Like that, this is mindless, lazy branding at its best.  There’s nothing the least bit special or innovative about this drink, it has nothing to do with the show or with the Flaming Moe.

It’s just a generic energy drink – mostly caffeine, some filler – that happens to have a copyrighted drawing on the can.  And while I am not a connoisseur of energy drinks, my strong suspicion is that this is probably not the world’s finest concoction.  The appeal is strictly cosmetic, it has nothing to do with the actual product.  Presumably the market here is impulse buyers, the curious, and the collectors (can’t forget them).

 

 

 

 

 

To see just how little thought was actually put into this, check out the Amazon product page (red lines added electronically by Channel 6):

Flaming Moe Energy Drink2

Generally, when I read the sentence “Not intended for use by children” I assume that means five-year-olds.  But that’s just me.  Now, I’m not going to get righteous about the fact that they’re selling this to kids.  (Nor do I see how the can is a choking hazard.)  But it’s patently obvious that no one bothered to properly classify this item – or even to proof read the product page.  From the time someone said “Let’s make a Flaming Moe energy drink” right up through the product page going live, no care or thought was put into anything.  It’s also worth noting that this is listed on Amazon under “Toys & Games”.

Shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, things like this are why Zombie Simpsons continues to exist.  Of course, Zombie Simpsons itself is shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, so at least they’re consistent in their apathy towards their work.

09
Mar
10

KBSoA: A Mildly Clever Homer Clock

Homer Clock

I am opposed to most Simpsons merchandise for a number of reason, it tends to be crappy, it tends to be overpriced, it supports the continued existence of Zombie Simpsons.  However, they do occasionally come up with something that is at least a little bit funny.  Behold the Homer clock to the left.  As the clock ticks Homer alternately raises (and eye fucks) either the donut or the beer. 

The photo certainly makes it look like a cheap plastic piece of crap, and the price of $40 seems awfully steep.  But I’ve got to admit, it is at least a decent use of the character. 

Interestingly enough, nowhere at that link does it state whether the clock is battery operated or whether it plugs into the wall.  I don’t buy a lot of clocks, but were I in the market for one I imagine that “How is it powered?” is one of the questions I would ask.  The lack of that kind of basic product information on a page that’s going for an order says a lot about the kind of people who buy this stuff.  They don’t care how (or maybe even if) it works, they just want to have it because it looks like Homer. 

One presumes that, if it does plug into the wall, it gets incredibly hot if you leave it plugged in. 

(via Gadget Review)

24
Feb
10

Crowd-Sourcing eBay Merchandise

Grandpa Wanted Poster Yesterday I came across a wanted poster for Grandpa Simpson for sale on eBay.  As is my custom when I find eBay Simpsons stuff that doesn’t totally suck I linked to it on our pathetic Twitter feed.  I thought most of the text was too small to read (image at right), but then Ryan W. Mead (sometime commenter, Twitter follower, and all around good guy) came through in a series of tweets with the text.  He has better eyes than I do, a better monitor than I do, or both.  Bravo.  Full text is below (it’s pretty amusing):

Abraham Simpson

Height: 5’8 (believes himself to be 6’2).

Age: Unknown (to him).

Weight: 175 (believes himself to weigh 180).

Occupation: burden, annoyance (believes himself to be valuable member of society).

Possible whereabouts: the retirement home, the 1940s.

Possible Accomplices: Jasper.

Possible imaginary accomplices: General Patton, Billy the Kid, Mae West, Jasper’s beard.

Possible motives:  1. May have confused Mr. Burns with a German solider, may have confused his own gun with a surrender flag.

2. Anger at Mr. Burns for causing old age home to collapse, destroying friend’s girly magazines.

3. Angry confusion.

4. Anger at being the butt of cruel and unfair jokes just because of his advanced age.

5. Just because he’s a stupid old fool.

WARNING: Suspect may believe that he is armed and dangerous.

Thanks Ryan! 

(Incidentally, the same seller has some similar items, including a black and white Simpsons Halloween drawing, an old image from Disney’s Pinocchio, and wanted posters for Krusty, Willie, Lisa and Smithers.  $10.00 per may be a bit much, no bids yet.) 

10
Feb
10

What If I Want a Drawing of Part of Marge’s Arm?

“This?  This is a Snagglepuss drawn by Hic Heisler, it is worth something.  This?  This is an arm drawn by nobody.  It is worth nothing.” – Comic Book Guy

I come across a fair number of weird Simpsons stuff on eBay but until this week I had never come across an actual production animation cel from the show.  In fact, I found the concept so ludicrous that I titled a whole post after it just last Saturday.  But this week I found two.  The sale for the first has ended, and it’s a good thing too because some yutz bought it for $128.50:

Animation Cel1

According to the eBay page (scroll way down) it’s from “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” (though there’s lots more stuff going on in the actual scene).  There’s even a certificate circa 1992 to verify its authenticity.  Then there’s this one that’s still for sale, the current bid is a less insane but still high seeming $26.50:

Animation Cel2

As you can see, it’s a little bizarre.  Here’s the explanation from the eBay page:

I’m offering this original Animation Production Cel of Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons. It is 4th season, and from the episode Kamp Krusty. It has been placed over a photo copy of the background drawing from this scene.

That explains why this thing doesn’t quite look how the actual scene looked (in the episode there’s no tent, the fire is going, and there are kids sitting with him). 

I’m certainly no expert on eBay stuff for sale, and for all I know production cels get moved there all the time; it just strikes me as a little odd that two Krusty cels pop up on eBay so close together.  (They’re from different sellers.)  Did someone who once worked at Klasky-Csupo recently clean out their garage or something? 




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