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FABULOUS FLOPS

By Janet Spencer

Some products make it and others don’t. Tidbits takes a look a few fabulous flops.

  • Studebaker Dictator. Not exactly “the heart-beat of America” when it was introduced in 1934. According to one auto industry ana-lyst, “after Hitler and Mussolini came to power, a name like Dictator was downright un-American.” But that didn’t stop the na-tion’s number five automaker, in fact the Dic-tator was in production for three years.
  • Bic Perfume. What every woman wanted – perfume in a lighter. At least that’s what the company had hoped. Why wasn’t the $5 per-fume a hit? According to one industry ex-pert, “it looked like a cigarette lighter.” Bic lost $11 million.
  • Chilly Bang! Bang! Juice. Not the best pack-aging idea – The kiddie drink came in a pis-tol-shaped container. Kids drank it by putting the barrel in their mouths and squeezing the trigger. Outraged parents, and complaints from officials, got it yanked from the shelves.
  • Hop ‘N’ Gator. The inventor of Gatorade sold his original drink to a major corporation in 1966. Then, in 1969, he used the money to create another can’t miss product: a mixture of Gatorade and beer. The Pittsburgh Brew-ing Company sold the drink for a couple of years but unfortunately sales never took off.  People didn’t want Gatorade in their beer.
  • Zartan the Enemy Action Figures. Hasbro promoted the first version of this soldier doll as a “paranoid schizophrenic with multiple personalities.” After mental health organiza-tions complained, Hasbro made a second ver-sion that doesn’t reference either mental dis-order.
  • Pepsi A.M. Why not get your morning caf-feine from cola instead of coffee? The world’s first breakfast soft drink didn’t get far. It didn’t take long for Pepsi to find out that most consumers didn’t want a breakfast soft drink, and for those who did drink Pepsi in the morning – “still preferred the taste of plain old Pepsi.”
  • Hands Up! Kid’s soap in an aerosol can, in-troduced in 1962. The spray nozzle was a plastic gun . Kids got soap out of the can by pointing the gun nozzle at themselves or bath partner and squeezing the trigger. The Hands-Up-slogan: “Gets kids clean and makes them like it.”
  • Colgate Kitchen Entrees: Colgate tried to market a variety of food products with the Colgate name. The products never took off. Colgate may have thought this a clever idea – eat Colgate food then clean the food off your teeth with Colgate tooth past. Sounds appe-tizing right?
  • Cocaine Energy Drink: Cocaine is a high-energy drink, containing three and a half times the amount of caffeine as Red Bull. The FDA declared that the manufacture, Re-dux Beverages, were “illegally marketing their drink as an alternative to street drugs.” It was pulled off U.S. shelves in 2007. De-spite the controversy, Redux Beverages has no intention of ceasing production and still sells the beverage in Europe and a few stores in the U.S.
  • The DeLorean Car: John DeLorean quit General Motors in 1973 to start his own auto company. The car debuted in 1981, but failed two years later due to lack of sales. The car may have been too space age in design for the times, with it’s unpainted, stainless-steel exterior and gull-wing doors. Only 9,000 vehicles were manufactured.