RETRO-RANK: Twelve Over-Hyped Products That Signal The End of the World

1 12 2010

Originally Posted March 3, 2010.

If you’re seeing this, that’s because I’m taking a little longer than I expected to get back online. So to go along with my last over-hyping, here’s some other over-hyped products.

See ya all when I return! If I’m not back in a week, send Nicole Kidman after me. Thanks!

1. Segway

Back in the day of the Jetsons (old 70’s cartoon for those born after 1995), this seemed like an awesome idea. Along with the conveyor belt sidewalk, pill-based foods, and robots that cater to our every need. That show proved that the “Future” was going to be built for the lazy. But it wasn’t. What we got instead are movable airport walkways, energy drinks laced with liquor, porn-bots, and this two-wheeled moving podium. For shame! It’s not cool when the invention you created actually makes golf carts look cool.

2. iPad

All feminine hygiene jokes aside (yes, I’ve heard them all at this point). The only thing that the iPad improved over the iTouch is as either a substitute for older folks who want an iTouch with large print or as a larger novelty iTouch like the giant sucker or a massive foam cowboy hat. So disappointing was this ground-breaking piece of technology that even Hitler is in dismay:

3.  New Coke/Crystal Pepsi

Lumped together because they equally sucked. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, both companies tried to re-invent themselves to appeal to the young anti-corporate Gen-Xers. So they think: how about one of us totally remake a perfect recipe with a mediocre substitute and call it New Coke…while the other decides to make 7-Up taste like Pepsi? Result: Much hype that lasted about a summer until those same Gen-Xers decided that the corporate giants that made this decision where morons and went back to what they grew up with.

4. McDonald’s Arch Deluxe

Who actually remembers this bland tasting burger that was supposed to eventually eclipse the Big Mac? With ‘adult’ ingredients (a full piece of lettuce, a giant slice of tomato, cheese, and a sauce that I only can connect to tasteless mayonnaise), the Arch fell flat on it’s face after a year or so expelled to an island of other forgotten menu items like McDonald’s Pizza, McSpaghetti, and peanut-butter-and-jam milk (alright…this last one was one of MY failed concoctions but it seems Disney perfected it since…I expect royalty cheques anyday now).

5. Apple Newton

When I think of Apple Newton, I think of Fig Newtons…with apple. But no, this technology was just a victim of being ahead of it’s time and using technology that the world wasn’t prepared to support. Timing is everything but this didn’t occur to Apple. Years later, Blackberry re-introduced essentially what Newton was but with great improvements. The Apple Newton now sits at the bottom of a Fig Newton tray.

6. G’N’R’s Chinese Democracy

When you hype something up for FIFTEEN years…not just a normal hype…but a slow burn and you keep mentioning it every couple years past the time your band breaks up…you better deliver! And much like democracy in China, it never happened. NO! I said this album NEVER HAPPENED!

7. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy

In the mid-90’s, who didn’t want to get out of the dreariness of a Grunge world into to blood red Mario Bros Tennis 32-bit world? Not too many people. The music was better in the real world…and you didn’t have to wear bulky goggles to see. Real world – 1, Nintendo – 0

8. Zune

You’ve got to give it to Microsoft. When they stumble upon a great idea, they jump on it with no apparent improvements, an antiquated Window’s system (when compared to Apple), and a completely unnecessary copy of something already done very well by the iPod. And a couple years later, they try it AGAIN by introducing “Bing” as a replacement for Google. I give both Zune and Bing a big BONG!!!!

9. Window’s Vista

Hyped as the operating system that would revolutionize how we compute, Vista only succeeded in more crashing, more blue screens, more incompatible products, and more frustrated customers. It looked VERY slick…but underneath that shell causes nothing but pain like a certain cybernetic organism.

10. Jimmy Dean’s Chocolate Chip Pancake and Sausage on a stick

I like chocolate chips. I like pancakes. I like sausages. I like sticks. But why couldn’t they somehow create a vehicle in which to combine ALL of them together into a cholesterol explosion on a stick? Jimmy Dean’s did! But sometimes all that ruins a product is mixing too much of a good thing…oh yeah, and the risk of heart attack.

11. 3D-TV

Unless there’s a turn around in the hype surrounding this system…or some improvement that doesn’t require the user to wear those glasses you wear for 3D movies…I’ve got to say this one is the mostly likely candidate for Over-Hyped product of the future. But folks…don’t worry…some day we’ll have the Holodeck and we’ll all be able to pretend we’re in Survivor with your respective hero or heroine.

12. Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace

Simmer a bunch of Star Wars fans for 30 years, tease them with new digitally remastered and CGI-improved original trilogy, add in that trumpet music we all know so well, and you’ve developed a hype machine that created such a frenzy that people actually cheered the glowing green Lucasfilms logo at the beginning. This movie had such promise and such high expectations that no one could live up to they surge of excitement. It’s easy to blame Jar-Jar for ruining a good movie…but it really was the awkward relationship of Anakin and Amadala, and the fact that George Lucas felt the need to explain that the Force was really just a virus living in a Jedi’s blood. Thanks for ruining the magic. Down with Medicloreans! Sometimes things are just better to imagine as magical instead of an actual scientific explanation. This movie spawned two mediocre sequels to round out the sextology and diminished a once glorious franchise.


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