Merchandising is a funny old business; it seems that absolutely anything in this day and age will be used to promote or sell games and their spin-off products. In this modern world we live in, is nothing now too sacred or bizarre enough not to be used to make a fast buck or advertise PlayStation products ?
I'm going to take a look at what I think are the top 5 weirdest pieces of PS merchandise that I have come across on my travels on the worldwide web, and show you that when it comes to promotion or making money there are no limits to what people will use.
Let's start with BioShock Infinite and look at one piece of merchandise that players who enjoyed the game might want to spend their hard-earned money on. Now, when I think about BioShock Infinite, I think about the violence, the twisting plot and the amazing ending -- at no time do I think of cuddly toys.
However, it seems someone in the BioShock merchandise department did and now you can buy a plush cuddly Songbird. Yep, that's right, that massive piece of twisted bio-mechanical engineering that tears airships to bits is now available for you to buy and snuggle up with at night.
It looks adorable doesn't it ? OK adorable might not be the right word, but as you can browse Songbird merchandise at one stage in BioShock Infinite itself, I suppose a real world version was a no-brainer. I still think it looks creepy and suitable only for the Addams Family's children, but what do I know ?
The next piece of weird merchandise comes from Dead Island: Riptide, which came out earlier this year and had a Collector's Edition that comes with what I think is the result of a blow to the head in the developer's merchandising department. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the headless zombie torso in a bikini statue.
Yes, nothing says zombie holocaust more than a torso in a bikini. But just how well was this controversial item received, you might ask? Well, considering publisher Deep Silver had to apologize for offence caused by this item (as seen below), we think that should give you a rough idea.
"For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island."
"We sincerely regret this choice... For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again."
I have been unable to confirm any rumours that the statue was or even has a removable bikini as I have better things to do (or rather I don't, but the line had to be drawn somewhere).
While we're on the subject of zombies, have you ever worried that if there is a zombie outbreak you might not smell your best ? Well what better way to solve that problem than with the Resident Evil aftershave.
Part of a range of products called the Leon Collection, I'm unable to find any review on what it actually smells like, so we'll just have to imagine that it was something Mr. Kennedy himself would have been proud of. Me? I'm sticking with Hai Karate.
The GTA series has never been one to steer away from controversy and when it comes to promoting the game with weird merchandise there are no exceptions. Naturally, drinking and driving are not two things that are supposed to go together so promoting GTA IV with free beer might be considered a weird idea, let's have a look at the beer in question.
Ah yes, good old Pißwasser, just the type of beer I like to drink when running down pedestrians while escaping from the cops. Or maybe not. Fair play to Rockstar, as they didn't sell this beer but gave it away free to promote GTA 4. As you'd expect though, bottles of it surface on eBay from time to time for silly amounts of money, but one man's junk is another man's treasure. As for what Pißwasser actually tastes like, look no further than these notes on the side of the bottle:
" Enjoy the crisp salty taste of Pißwasser.. ..brewed from barley, hops and the fresh urine of Bavarian virgins. "
Last on my list is what I think is the ultimate in PS3 merchandise, and needless to say I wish I had thought of this idea as maybe I might be able to get rich of it and retire. Feast your eyes on these:
That's right, you're looking at earrings made from an old PS3 motherboard. Have a butcher's at what the maker had to say about them below:
"These handmade earrings made earrings were cut from a Playstation 3 motherboard. The motherboard is on copper ear wires. You will receive the exact earrings pictured here, as with all of my listings.
These PS3 motherboard earrings will make a great gift for any gamer, tech junkie, or otherwise nerdy person.
These motherboard earrings were upcycled from my boyfriend's old Playstation 3, which had to be decommissioned after freezing one too many times while he was killing dragons. After dissecting the PS3, I hand cut each piece from the motherboard, filed the edges to perfection and drilled holes to add the copper wires."
Tacky or inventive ? I'm on the inventive side, but would you wear one?
So there you go: five weird items of PS merchandise that prove people are either very imaginative, twisted, greedy or perhaps all three. What can't be denied though when is that when it comes to gaming merchandise, the sky or the gutter is surely the limit.
What the weirdest piece of PS merchandise you've ever seen ? Let us know in the comments section.