Have you ever seen those cheap colas at the store? You know, “Mt. Dude” or “Dr. Pebbers”, something like that? That kind of pathetic attempt to jump on the bandwagon of success has a certain attractiveness to it. I’ve had a sip of Mountain Dude before and it was fairly good. It wasn’t EXTREME good and actually tasted very similar to Mountain Dew. I was colored impressed. That is why I’ve come up with this list of copycat products that were terrible and somehow beautiful at the same time.
#4 THE SUPER-HERO
If you didn’t want to be a super-hero when you were a kid, you were probably a recluse – born from deep-sea marine life and manifested to glory through years of trench-water pressure only to emerge from the sea as a legend and savior that brought communities together through their common disbelief in your very existence.
..in which case I guess you would actually be a Super-hero.
Regardless, every child – borne of sea-life or not – wanted to be a Super-hero. That was my main goal in life when I was eight years old. I would safety-pin a red towel to my back and run around the neighborhood making “whshhhh” sounds. I’d then pretend to land, slap my brother in the face, then take-off again. If I wasn’t Superman, I’d color myself green with my markers and run around as the Hulk – picking up empty boxes that were substitute buildings and smash them over anything that needed smashin’. Those were the days. Now, it’s come to this:
See that mask? It’s supposed to be Rorschach from The Watchmen . In case you haven’t seen The Watchmen, Rorschach’s mask is supposed to be a changing blotch of ink that moves as he breathes…he also doesn’t have eye holes. He also doesn’t look like a pen sneezed on him. He looks like this:
…You see what I’m getting at here? Being a kid, part of the fun of making up costumes for superheros was to see if you could come up with a better way to look like Superman or Batman without aid from companies or store-bought items. The red towel I used for Superman was ten times better than the yellow one my neighbor used, so I got to be Superman and he was either the Boy Wonder or Spaceghost – who’s superpower was apparently the ability to interview bugs. Once corporations get into costume building, they have to make a valiant effort to give you a decent likeness for your money and that mask of Rorschach is horrid…I mean, give an effort with all your expensive machines and creative engineers, otherwise we’ll just go back to making masks ourselves.
Intergalactic machines came from outer space with the goal to locate the allspark to keep Cybertron and their existence in tact. This was the goal of the Autobots, to protect the allspark from Megatron and the Decepticons.
The Autobots would use the allspark for energy and they had the power to transform from gigantic robots to vehicles or working machines to travel quickly or fit-in to a normal society (depending on if you watched the cartoon or movie)…great plot huh? I think so as well…anyway, the Autobots were led by this guy:
That’s Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. He turned into a Tractor-Trailer so he could rule the roads as he ruled the the good guys. Note the genius of his design; The windows in place of awesome pecs, the radiator/grill sufficing as ripped abs and a bumper serving as his solid core that complimented an all around solid physique. Optimus Prime was badass and when transformer toys came out on the market (produced by Hasbro), the people at Tonka got angry and wanted to make money as well so they came out with Gobots – other transforming robots that turned into vehicles. The difference? Well, here is their Leader:
If you’re wondering why I capitalized “Leader”, it’s because that’s his name – Leader1. That’s right, the Gobots named their leader, “Leader”.
Let’s take a look at the genius of Leader1’s design:
First of all, he’s wearing glasses. He’s also got something of a neck-brace going on because his weakened condition won’t permit him to support his own head. His shoulders are rounded and soft looking and his hands look molded into a permanent fist that I can only imagine would be used to eat popsicles and tactfully make Transformers smile. Oh, and he’s smiling. Gobots smile.
I’ll admit though, I had Gobots.
#2 THE NFL
It’s no secret that as years go by, players in the NFL make more money and it gets less violent…that in turn leads fans to call the players crybabies. To quote the great Jim Brown, “I don’t understand why a running back would run out-of-bounds.” Amen, Big Jim, amen.
Well, in 2000, that’s exactly what Vince McMahon (yes, of WWE fame) thought as well. He had an idea that – in his mind – would eliminate the “soft” part of professional football, and this was the cure:
Yes, the “Xtreme Football League”. Now, in theory this was a good idea – pay the players more than they’d make out of college, and eliminate some of the rules that players sometimes take advantage of that make the NFL not-so-crashy-bangy – things such as a defensive back calling for a flag when he was obviously burned by a good receiver or no contact after 5 yards on the wideouts. Oh, and of course there was that whole calling for a fair catch so as not to get obliterated rule – the one that is in place to prevent paralysis…yea, they got rid of that too.
Here are some rules that Vince put into the XFL:
- Salaries – all were generalized per position, not person. Quarterbacks got about 5k/week, kickers got $3,500/week. Bonuses for playoff wins
- Bump and run – cornerbacks could have contact with receivers whenever they wanted as long as it wasn’t from the back
- No point-after – McMahon considered extra points freebies, so a TD in the XFL was 6 points then you basically had to run an offensive play from the 2-yard line to get one more point.
Call me crazy, but I liked those rules. But you also have to call me sane because Vince came from the WWE. That means that he’s big into putting on a show, so he got kind of cartoonish and ridiculous with it as seen by these rules:
- No coin toss – one player for each team would sprint to a ball laid on the 50-yard line and whoever got it got possession first. This was kind of stupid considering the first time I ever had to solve an argument on anything in my life, I did it this exact same way AND I was at recess. Secondly the very first injury in the history of the XFL happened during one of these, and the players had to pay their own health insurance
- No franchises – All teams were one entity – meaning they were all owned by Vince and his investors, no separate owners…this gave the feeling to a bunch of people that games could be fixed. If you’ve ever watched WWE, you know what I’m talking about
- Kicks – who the fuck could even understand the kick rules…check them out for yourself
- Apparel – you were allowed to put whatever you wanted on the back of your jersey…like the infamous Rod Smart who was affectionately known as, “He Hate Me”.
This could have been good…a rougher, more raw form of football. Instead, Vince decided to get showy with it and from what I hear from various ex-wrestlers, wanted “complete control”. So instead, we get a cartoonish variation of football with shady feelings toward competition. I was excited for the XFL and after watching the first game I had the same feeling in the pit of my stomach as Scut Farkus did when Ralphie went all Ralphie on him.
I know what you’re thinking – even a crappy beer is better than no beer. That’s partly true because this does exist:
That’s beer. If you haven’t seen that particular version and you’re over 45, you probably remember the same thing only in a yellow can. As generic as it is, I have to admit that whoever made and canned this stuff in their basement got kind of wild with it at one point and made this:
Here’s the thing about beer – depending on the day, it rivals boobs as the thing I most want in my face. Just by looking at that can I can tell that the stuff inside is disgusting, amazing and followed up by a hint of confusing.
There’s a certain buoyancy in rip-off products that I’m willing to accept and this isn’t it. My beer is as important to me as my unwillingness to accept that I probably won’t die in a movie explosion. I will however, admit that crappy beer and “near-beer” have some pretty funny facets. Take this commercial for Rainier Beer:
THANKS/CREDITS: to Chris Black, Cody Forbes, Tony Butler, some dude on e-bay and superficialgallery.com