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Spider-Man 3: The Retail Invasion!
by: -RoG-

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Spider-Man 3 is coming out and everybody's been talking about how it's the most expensive movie Sony Pictures has ever made. While some are saying that it actually cost over 500 million, I think everybody should take note of how the merchandising for this movie appears to be right on par with those big numbers. After visiting a some big retail shops such as Target and Toys 'R' Us this past week, I was amazed by just how many spidey-branded items there were for sale. So let's take a look at a bunch of these items to see what's worth picking up and what you should avoid like the plague.



Spider-Man 3 "Spi-Dogs"!

Few things on this earth bring the word "abomination" to my mind, but I'll be damned if these Spider-Man "Spi-Dogs" don't do just that. It's bad enough when pet owners dress up their animals in ridiculous costumes to make them look more human, but this is really just going too far. So what do robotic dogs who dance to iPod music have to do with Spider-Man? What, you mean you don't know? Yeah well... neither do I. Gotta love it when completely random companies try to cash in on a big movie even though they clearly have no products that could be logically tied in with it.

Actually, you know what I said about the Spi-Dogs basically being worse than when people put their pets in ridiculous outfits? Yeah, I wasn't serious about that.


TRUE ANIMAL CRUELTY.



Spider-Man 3 Animated Slurpee Cups!

Ah, good ol' 7-Eleven... you can always count on them to deliver you nothing but the finest plastic goblets plastered with your favorite superheroes. While all three look damned nice, there's no denying that the animated Venom cup is the most desired one. When I went to Sev in search of a Venom cup, I had to go through about ten of 'em just to find one. The storekeeper looked at me like I had some serious mental issues as I was pulling cup after cup from the dispenser. While I wasn't going to argue with his opinion, I wasn't about to let it stop me from finding my Venom cup either! They may be harder to find, but believe me, in the end you'll be glad you dug through all of those leftover Sandman cups to get to Venom.



Mr. Potato Head - Spider Spud!

After they saw the success of their Star Wars themed Mr. Potato Head toys, such as Darth Tater, it's no surprise that Hasbro has decided to try their luck with other big franchises. "When a radioactive spider bit Peter Parker Potato, he became Spider Spud. With eyes for trouble, this web slinger uses his starch-strength to mash out evil and save the day." You really can't go wrong with a potato that has a back-story like that. I also can't deny my desire to store real potatoes in that removable Spidey suit too.



Spider-Man 3 Bug Vacuum!

At first glance you might be thinking, "What the hell? Since when does Spider-Man use a gun?" Well, my friend, that's no ordinary gun... it's a bug vacuum. It's a little-known fact that, in his spare time, Spider-Man is a practicing entomologist. Coming in both Spidey and Venom patterns, you can use these vacuums to suck up any bugs you can find. I suppose it's better than taking the chance of being bit by one, but isn't that part of the excitement of catching bugs when you're a kid? Defying death 'n all? Besides, getting bit by a bug isn't always a bad thing. Look what it did for Peter Parker! Anyway, as if the bug vacuums weren't interesting enough, once you've captured your creepy crawlers you can dump them in here:


Spider-Man 3 Bug Habitat!

Yes indeed, why settle with storing your bugs in a typical jug when you can let them live out their days in the big city? With big cartoony skyscrapers to climb all over, your bugs will surely feel like gods.

If only they could reverse the airflow on those bug vacuums, then you would surely have yourself a nice Spidey hairdryer! Just make sure you've emptied the bugs from it first.



Operation Game: Spider-Man Origins!

So who hasn't thought about dissecting Spider-Man to see what all of his bones and organs look like? Ok, nobody's thought about that. Nobody except the people at Hasbro who apparently saw the release of Spider-Man 3 as a perfect chance to breathe new life into their classic Operation game. So the basic premise of this game is that Spidey is feeling a bit under the weather, so it's up to you to grab your trusty tweezers and remove all of his ailments. Believe it or not, they actually have a CROTCH AILMENT. Yes, Spider-Man is suffering from a "costume wedgie" and they want you to pick it out for him. Picking away at Spider-Man's crotch with tweezers? Wow. The things some people will do for fun these days...



Spider-Man 3 Monopoly!

"The fate of the city is in your hands! Spider-Man is in a race to the finish as he web -swings across the city trying to outbid Goblin 2, Venom and Sandman. The villains' plan is to buy, rent and sell everything they can get their hands on, but can Spider-Man outsmart them at their own game? The one with the most money in the end will control it all." Hahahahahahahahaha, YES! If there's one thing that Spidey and his enemies are really interested in, it's buying up real estate. All I know is this: it would really suck to have Venom as your landlord.



Spider-Man 3 Crayola Crayon Maker!

What better way for aspiring young comic book artists to learn how to draw Spider-Man than with their own homemade spidey-shaped crayons? Ok, so maybe sticking with more traditionally-shaped writing tools is the best way to go, but there's no denying the fun of seeing the details of Spider-Man's face slowly getting rubbed out just so you can write "Kick Me" on a sheet of paper.



Spider-Man Bump 'N Go Web Rider!

Ignoring the fact that Spider-Man has no need for vehicular transportation when he can get around the city via web-slinging: Can somebody please explain to me how the hell adding mechanical spider legs to the base of a motorcycle is going to make it go faster or improve it in any way whatsoever? Hmm, you know what? Don't even bother trying.



Spider-Man 3 NERF Weather Blitz Football!

"Yo Spidey, toss me the pigskin!" Once again, I'm not really sure what Spider-Man and football have in common unless you compare Spidey getting his power from a spider bite to a football player getting his power from 'roids. Anyway, NERF is claiming that with the special web-laced grip patterns, you'll never drop this football even if it's raining out. After all, why actually practice a sport to get better at it when you can have technology make you look way better than you'll ever truly be. And hey, since it's a NERF ball you can go all out during the big game without any fear of being hurt just like a real superhero! Besides, even if you do get hurt, you can simply put on a Spider-Man band-aid to make yourself feel all better.


Awwwwwwww...



Spider-Man 3 Ooze & Compounds!

Now what kid doesn't love some fun globs to make a mess with all in the name of fighting crime like a superhero? I used to buy goop like this from the grocery store vending machines by the truckload. Nowadays, it comes in all sorts of crazy new varieties, and perhaps none are more impressive than the jet black Venom Ooze. There's also the new Sandman "Sand Compound" which does look a lot like sand, but is really more like Floam. Still, I say stock up on the Venom Ooze. It's just rare that you see ooze of any kind come in a solid black color like this. It's usually some bright neon color instead... presumably so moms can spot it easily when trying to extract it from the carpet on which it was spilled. Trust me though, even with ooze that old saying still stands true: once you go black, you'll never go back.



Spider-Man 3 Mega House!

Hey kids, check out the all new Spider-Man 3 Mega House! It features bright graphics of your favorite superhero swinging high in the air between the city skyscrapers. More importantly, it's a great place for you to hide and immerse your mind in a fantasy world created to block out the sounds of mommy and daddy fighting again.



Spider-Man 3 Reversible Costume!

While the quality of this costume isn't much greater than your average Hefty brand trash bag, I doubt that's something most kids would really care much about as long as they get to pretend they're the webbed wonderboy. The one good thing I can say about it is that you get two costumes for the price of one, which is surprising since you would think most companies would try to sell the two costumes separately to make some extra cash.



Spider-Man 3 Talking Camera Phone!

Forget about Verizon and tell Alltell to shove it where the sun don't shine because who needs real friends to call when you can talk to Spider-Man? On a related note, Amazon.com's promotion text for this phone includes the following: "Little superheroes will love carrying around this pretend-play phone so they're at the beck and call of the next emergency in Gotham." The next emergency in GOTHAM!? Wrong superhero, genius. Maybe Spider-Man and Batman can team up to kick the asses of Amazon's copywriters. When it comes to superhero justice, there's no room for typos.



Spider-Man vs. Venom Water Slide!

When two people can't agree on something there's only one possible way to settle things once and for all: With a race on a Slip-N-Slide. This new slide allows you to race side by side to see who can capture the flag first (which, for some reason, is like the key to the city) while the other person gets a face full of water. Actually, I'm pretty sure both people get a face full of water regardless of who captures the flag. But hey, for you superheroes out there, if you want to stop Venom in his tracks, make sure his side of the slide is on top of a bunch of gravel. Not only will he lose the race, he'll be out of commission... permanently.



Spider-Man 3 Swim Mask!

Why stop with a mere water-slide when you can completely submerse yourself with the help of the Spider-Man 3 Swim Mask! In all honestly, I can't think of a better way to distance yourself from the opposite sex by walking around with this thing on. Of course, you could add in some Spidey Arm Floaties or Spidey Flippers for added effect just to ensure that not a single person on this planet will ever speak to you. Either way, enjoy your new life as a pool recluse.


Yes, you too can be a winner... just like this kid!



Itsy Bitsy Spider-Man!

There are some things that Spider-Man was NEVER meant to do... singing and dancing would have to be near the top of that list. Yet here he is doing just that with the Itsy Bitsy Spider-Man interactive plush doll. Having him actually dance to the Itsy Bitsy Spider song has got to be the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to him. And that's saying a lot consider we're talking about Peter Parker here. But don't just take my word for it, watch the horrific commercial.


No, that's not your Spidey sense tingling... that's nausea.


Alright that's all the Spidey merch for now, but you can expect plenty more to pop up in the stores soon enough including plenty of food tie-ins. Consider this an early warning for the inevitable Spider-Man 3 media blitz that's going to follow in the coming weeks. Spider-Man: He's in your stores, taking your money.

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Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email -RoG-


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