Monday 8 February 2010

More Unusual Licensed Products

Back before Christmas, E14 ran an article detailing some Un-necessary licensed products, the subject of which was unusual video game accessories such as...well, read it yourself actually, I thought it was pretty good.

This week, Emotionally Fourteen brings more products that make you wonder just how much money is allocated to tie-in merchandise, but allows you to at least be sure that it falls into the category of "Too much".

Sneak King (Xbox 360 Game)

Sneak King was released in November 2006 for the Xbox and Xbox 360 as part of an advertising push by Burger King. The game came with a value meal at an additional cost of $3.99 USD (around £2.50 GBP).

Now, there is precedent for adver-games (as they're known) on Xbox Live Arcade, with Doritos' Dash For Destruction, an enjoyable free downloadable game which degenerates into a small arcade driving game where you drive around to checkpoints in an isometric perspective while being chased around the map by a dinosaur. Yes, you heard me correctly. As I say, the price is an obvious plus, as well as the game being genuinely quite fun in small doses. Now, I've not had a chance to play this one, as it was US-only, but I'll admit I was intrigued.

What's interesting about this game is the sheer amount of detail involved in the game's execution. The game is an action stealth game in the vein of Splinter Cell. Predictably, the idea of the game is to go around an open map and deliver burgers to marked people on the map as they become hungry, but for some reason there are people on the map who can foil your progress by seeing you. I'm not sure why that's the case, but there you go.

Clearly, nobody ever really gave a thought to the moral implications of "forcing your whopper" on un-suspecting NPC's.

Edgar Allen Poe action figure (Toy)

When I saw this (thanks to a random Googlewhack), my sanity took a critical hit.

I'm trying even now to understand in what way Edgar Allen Poe constitutes the kind of personality deserving of their own action figure line. I understood G.I Joe, I understood Transformers, I even quite prophetically as a ten-year-old kid anticipated the launch of Mortal Kombat action figures long before they came out and subsequently underwhelmed.

But Edgar Allen Poe?! It comes with a raven, by the way, in case you need the subtext bashed about your face with a rake. He wrote The Raven, in case you were wondering. Clever, eh? I mean, for fuck's sake, he's also responsible for other works, just so you know, marketing people, but I don't see a fucking pendulum ANYWHERE in the package! There's no pit either, but come on people: use your imagination and a front garden.

What's more terrifying is the range of action figures available under this novelty line. I get the whole "people thinking Jesus as an action figure is hilarious" thing, I don't agree but I get it. I will, however, never understand the point of an action figure themed on Bach, particularly when the Chopin figure is nowhere to be seen in this range. Having said that, I suppose the tuberculosis really only left him with "suffering" as an action.

Anything involving Che Guevara (Flags, posters, hats etc)

First, a history lesson kiddies: Che Guevara is known most primarily for his part in the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista (not the wrestler) and the liberation of Cuba from his dictatorship. It should be known as an aside that Guevara was a Marxist, a school of thought generally synonymous with anti-capitalist sentiment.

Why then is it possible to buy just about anything with Che Guevara's picture on it? I see a lot of posters all over student walls, T-shirts, even fucking MUGS with Che Guevara's visage across them. What kind of message does that send?

"Celebrate the anti-capitalist sentiment of Che Guevara by pouring scalding hot tea into a ceramic mug bearing his likeness, which you undoubtedly paid more for than a standard mug would otherwise cost."

As if that wasn't bad enough, there exists
an online store for Che Guevara merchandise! I can't be the only one who sees the irony of this. Buying merchandise to commemorate a guy who hated capitalist society and those who made money at the expense of the poor.

To their credit, they do give away one T-shirt a week. And in order to get the web space, they did overthrow the merchandise store for previous dictator Batista, which you can find

Some fight. Other fall. All are heroes.

This soaring, action-packed journey of heroism and sacrifice, in the sweeping tradition of “Black Book” and “The Red Baron”, follows one crusading journalist’s desperate fight to uncover the horrors buried within the infamous Nazi siege of Leningrad in the savage winter of 1941. With the enemy’s grip closing ever tighter on the war-ravaged city, a makeshift band of survivors must battle to stay alive and fight for the ultimate prize: their freedom.

Inspired by true events, this is the tale of the tragedy that befell Leningrad during one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history.

Attack on Leningrad is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 15th February.

Thanks to our friends at Metrodome Distribution, we've got three copies of Attack on Leningrad to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Monday 15th February (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!


  1. Sneak King wasn't the first fast-food video game. In fact, bar its limited graphics, it's apparently a pretty solid game. There have been far worse.

    I remember back in the early nineties, there was a McDonald's licensed game on the Mega-Drive, called "Global Gladiators", which had a very Captain-Planet style message in it. Well, that was the overt message. The subliminal message was along the lines of: "Sregrub uoy yub ot Dad dna Mum teg!!

    And there was also a Cool Spot game. Although the original enfant terrible was Pepsi Invaders by Atari, which was nothing more than Space Invaders, with the aliens replaced by the word "PEPSI".

    Five minutes clicking through Wikipedia will doubtless reveal more.

    However, credit where credit is due - that action figure looks a fuckload like Edgar Allen Poe.

  2. In reference to the anti-capitalism; System of a down, that oh-so-anticapitalim-for-15-yr-olds band are more than happy to preach the same message.. but then release 2 mediocre albums all within a year (as a 2 parter) when both albums would quite easily fit on one disc...charging fans twice!!

    they or their record label werent thinking very anti-captialist then were they?

  3. They made an attempt at reclaiming credibitably by releasing "Steal This Album!", which was rather oddly copy-protected.