From the start, The Simpsons has been a merchandising bonanza, all while mocking merchandising via Krusty The Clown's willingness to slap his name on everything from cereal to home pregnancy tests. But sometimes the Simpsons brand extensions have been as strange as Krusty's, as a quick trip to the frighteningly thorough website simpsonscollectors.com reveals.
Item: Eat My Shorts Cereal
Description: A UK cereal whose pieces resemble tiny shorts.
For collectors only? Most assuredly. They're the only souls hardy enough to overlook the cereal's creepy overtones of cannibalism and noxious-looking combination of flavors (maple syrup, frosting, multigrain). Even more disconcertingly, the box shows Bart blithely eating his own shorts, man.
Description: Remember those innocent days when some Simpsons fans doggedly insisted that Smithers couldn't be gay, because that would make them feel all icky inside? The Basic Fun toy company hushes those naïve mouths with this mobile figurine, featuring the boss and his right-hand man riding a swan, with one of the men in particular displaying a twinkle in his eye.
For collectors only? Not necessarily. According to the back of the box, Basic Fun also sells a windup Homer with his fingers stuck in a bowling ball. Wind-up-toy-racing aficionados, today's your lucky day!
Item: Franklin Mint Collectors Plate, featuring Marge serving Blinky The Three-Eyed Fish to Mr. Burns, to his visible horror
Description: Part of a series of plates, this one captures one of the most disturbing moments from an early episode.
For collectors only? Yes. More specifically, this is for folks who love The Simpsons, yet don't seem to realize that a collectors' plate from the reverent, irony-free Franklin Mint represents the antithesis of everything the show stands for. Or maybe it's so unironic that it's actually über-ironic, but in a postmodern, subversive way. Or maybe it's just a stupid plate with a three-eyed fish on it.
Item: Shirtless Angry Groundskeeper Willie Plush Doll
Description: It's a shirtless, screaming Groundskeeper Willie plush doll.
For collectors only? Not on your life! This is the perfect addition to any rickety shack or hut. Bitterness, rage, and despair included! Willie's horrifically O-shaped pie-hole makes this a fun natural target for beanbag tosses and/or bottle caps.
Item: Valentine With Jellied Bart Head
Description: Significant others everywhere will thrill to a Valentine's Day card that means getting stared at by the goggly, lidless eyes of TV's best-loved underachiever, bugging out from a surprisingly translucent head.
For collectors only? Not at all. Anyone who likes extruded chemical goop will enjoy choking down Bart's slimy, sugary bust.
Item: The Simpsons by David Levinthal
Description: A coffee-table book featuring artful photographs of Simpsons toys.
For collectors only? This is solely for Simpsons obsessives who claim, during chichi cocktail parties on the upper West Side, that they genuinely enjoy Andy Warhol's early experimental films and Yoko Ono's late-period work. According to the Amazon description, Levinthal's work "reveals elements of discrimination, obsession, and unrest in the evocative realm of this satirical cartoon." Sounds like a load of larfs. Most pretentious Simpsons tie-in product ever!
Item: Razor holder
Description: A British washroom accessory that recreates, in miniature-statue form, the scene from The Simpsons' first season when Homer showed Bart how to shave. (Pop-up stubble not included.)
For collectors only? Razor holders are handy items for any post-pubescent male, but only those with a special affection for the Springfield clan will want to stare at two rabid-looking yellow humanoids during every morning shave.
Item: Wall pockets
Description: We have the Japanese to thank for this variation on the standard space-saving toy/jewelry storage sheet. Colorful drawings of the Simpson family—pets included—adorn each little plastic pocket.
For collectors only? Not just for collectors, but especially for collectors of Simpsons figurines, who can match up the characters to their designated vinyl homes. This item will also satisfy those who'd like their bedroom closets to smell like a shower curtain.