Some products dreamt up seem as though they should have remained just that, dreams. There are some wacky things that have been thought a good idea at inception that just didn’t do so well in the real world. Here’s a list of 16 Biggest Product Fails.
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6. Colgate Kitchen Entrees
There was a time when Colgate—yes, the toothpaste company—tried their hand in making food. Launched in 1982, the company hoped to jump on board the ever-growing frozen food craze and make delicious, ready-to-eat meals for their customers. Their goal was to make people enjoy their food and inspire them to then go out and buy their toothpaste as well. It turns out, most people don’t like to associate the minty, fresh taste of their toothpaste with the taste of their food, and the meals were quickly discontinued.
5. Smokeless Cigarettes
This bad idea was first released to the public by R.J. Reynolds in 1988 and was pulled from shelves less than a year later. It was introduced to reduce or eliminate the less-than-savory side-effects of cigarettes for smokers and the people around them. Almost immediately, activists pointed out that the cigarettes could be used in aiding the delivery of other drugs. Smokers themselves also didn’t like them, saying they had a charcoal aftertaste and there were even special instructions to teach people how to light them. While it was pulled from shelves in 1989, R.J. Reynolds tried their hand with the cigarettes in India in 2002, but by 2003 they were also removed.
4. Baby Wee Wee
Back in the early 2000’s, a super creepy kids toy was released known as Baby Wee Wee. The doll waves his/her hand letting the owner know that it has to use the bathroom. Keep in mind that the owners of these dolls were children, adding to the strangeness of the toy. The, the doll urinates into a toilet or wherever it’s standing or lying at the time. Designed by Famosa, the toy is no longer sold, but can still be found on eBay to this day.
Sony seems to have bad luck with introducing new products from time-to-time, and the eVilla is no exception. Released in 2001, this internet appliances sole-purpose was to provide access to the internet. In a time where making personal computers that could do more than just access the World Wide Web was becoming cheaper, this product was a failure from the start. It cost $499, while desktop computers that could do a whole array of things were dropping to nearly that price. Just two months after the eVilla’s release, it was pulled from shelves. Sony was a good sport about it and offered everyone who had bought one their money back.
No, we’re not talking about the drug here, we’re talking about the energy drink. In September 2006, a Las Vegas company called Redux decided to try out an energy drink that not only turned heads but eventually ended up pulled from shelves. Cocaine was the name of the drink, and it was touted as containing three times as much caffeine as Red Bull. Retailers like 7-11 refused to sell the drink, and the FDA eventually stepped in saying that the marketing of the product as dietary supplement was illegal. Redux renamed the energy drink “No Name” for a brief period to continue selling it, and it is now back and being sold in the USA, Europe, and online.
1. WOW Chips
Frito-Lay announced a new chip in 1998 that was fat-free and made with olestra. The chips were called WOW, and if you’re a fan of going to the bathroom, these chips would have been for you. The olestra that the chips were made with resembled the fatty taste found in other potato chips, but it had one significant side-effect: it made consumers run for the bathroom as olestras molecules are too large to be digested by the human body. In fact, if someone ate too many WOW chips, the snack acted as a laxative and gave them stomach cramps and diarrhea. The FDA did require a warning label to be added to the bag, but most didn’t seem to take notice, instead, chomping down the chips anyway. Frito-Lay eventually changed the name to “Light,” but the company ultimately discontinued the laxative chips.