With great subscribers comes great opportunity to cash in, and Blizzard has joined the Jim Davis School of Garfield Marketing in slapping its well-known World of Warcraft moniker on anything and everything that moves. Here’s ten of their more bizarre attempts over the past half decade
1. VISA Credit Cards
“The card the pays you to play!” the advertisement announces. And why not run up a bit of credit card debt with this puppy, as it practically pays for itself! You get one free month of game time when you get this card ($15 worth), and then accrue additional game time at the amount of 1% of your purchases. Don’t worry, you’ll only have to spend around $1,500 to get a free month, and that’s practically nothing! Of course, it is important to pay attention to the fine print…
Are you so obsessed enamored with your WoW character that you need to take it to the next level, perhaps to show off your uber gear to your “offline” associates? Turn ye, therefore, to FigurePrints, an outfit that scans your online character and uses a special 3D printer to build an approximate likeness for your desk and/or holy shrine. Don’t let the $130 price tag throw you off, especially when you consider that you’ll want to get a new one when the next expansion releases and you get better gear!
3. Beer Steins
Because nothing says “14-year-old demographic” like hardcore beer drinking, Blizzard licensed Taverncraft to manufacture and sell WoW steins for $90 a pop. Bottoms up, and don’t forget kids — liver disease and blood alcohol poisoning is just a myth, as we all know that the only drawback to excessive drinking is an intense screen blur and hiccups!
4. Chinese Coca-Cola
While marrying a soft drink to a pop culture medium is hardly new, the Chinese ads for WoW-themed Coke starring a music group called S.H.E. are practically begging for MST3K-style treatment. I guess the message they wanted to convey is that if you dare to consume acid-flavored high fructose corn syrup while the WoW client is running, you can and will be robbed and then abducted by giant cows.
Hey, pop quiz! What connection could vehicle manufacturer Toyota and World of Warcraft have in common? After watching this commercial, all I can come up with is “the mutual ability to confuse and bewilder meek 33-year-old bloggers”.
6. Collectable Card Game
“Yo Syp!” you’re now saying, with your gangsta baggy pants and all, “You be whack, dawg! How is a CCG ‘extreme merchandising’?”
Good point, homeslice. I’d concede the point that the WoW CCG isn’t that extreme, considering that everyone these days has a CCG made of their IP. But the WoW version had a bit of a twist — incredibly rare “loot cards” that rewarded buyers with in game items, like see-through sabertooth mounts. Sure, it might take you upwards of $1,440 to either buy enough packs to get one (unless you want to take your chances on eBay), but that’s why you have such an engaging hobby!
7. J!NX’s “Murlocos Tacos” T-Shirts
Not everything on this list is a joke, but this certainly is, even though it’s an awesome joke. Out of all of J!NX’s considerable WoW-themed clothing, the Murlocos Tacos takes the cake. And it’s up to you to buy me one for Christmas. “Best Fish Tacos on Azeroth!” indeed.
8. Official Night Elf Ears & Makeup
“Great for Halloween or BlizzCon!” the ad proclaims on the Blizzard store, but we’re guessing that if you’re going so far as to purchase giant mutated ears so that you can dance on mailboxes to get attention, you’re going to be wearing these more than just a few days a year. Try, non-stop.
9. Epic Weapons’ Frostmourne
Nothing says “I trust you not to decapitate me in my sleep” than purchasing your significant other a limited edition $379 replica of WoW’s famous Frostmourne sword. Seems pricey? Some guy actually purchased the #1 edition of this sword for a mind-blowing $20,700 at an auction.
10. The WoW Pod
Looking to enclose yourself into a cramped area? Does it take too much work to hoof it over to the bathroom to do your business? Need large amounts of sugar and caffeine near at hand for all-night raid benders? Then you might want to invest in a WoW Pod, an orc-themed indoor hut that screams “I NEED AN INTERVENTION ALREADY!” With a built-in toilet and no room for self-respect, this item instantly became the point in the WoW phenomenon where even die-hard fans winced and went, “Dude, let’s scale it back a tad.”
Right now, the WoW Pod is just an “art piece”, but who are they kidding — Wal-Mart should have these in stock by next Christmas.