Recently, an article from Metal Insider regarding strange merchandise from legendary band Slayer, piqued interest. Some of the choices were depicted as bizarre and others possibly just intriguing. It begs the question, “When is the band just pocketing money and when is it actually providing for the fans?”. Much of this would depend on the individual, thus making for an opinionated debate.
The ultimate gods of merchandising of course are KISS. It is well known that Simmons and Stanley typically put their names on anything, from coffins to potato heads. One of our favorites, actually here in the office, just happens to be the Gruntz Dressed to Kill KISS collectibles (shown below). Still, what makes these collectible over a potato head, or the ultimate collectible, a coffin?
A plethora of wines have been produced lately with mainly classic rock groups as the benefactor. The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, even AC/DC have signed on to wine their wares. Vince Neil is no stranger to lending his name to liquor, having a tequila brand and wine label. Of course, Sammy Hagar made a small mint when selling off his Cabo Wabo Tequila and Maynard from Tool has a very legit wine orchard in Arizona (enough to have a whole documentary about it).
Other oddities include: Durex marketing their condoms using bands from JLS to Slayer. Rammstein apparently has their own lines of sex toys. Having seen them in concert numerous times, this actually makes a lot of sense. Bill Wyman of the Stones endorses a metal detector. Mastadon have a “horn” to drink from and Motorhead has a beach ball (We must confess this is in the office also- when we think Lemmy we think beach!).
Perfumes, pasta sauces, sodas, energy drinks, if the money is there the bands will come. The line of action figure type replicas are very collectible and can increase in value rather quickly. Motley Crue, Lemmy, Slash, Iggy Pop, Ozzy, Hendrix, Morrison, and Metallica are just a few who have been immortalized in plastic. The bobblehead industry is booming too. Just “head” on over to Amazon or any number of websites to check out the various bands that are represented.
The bottom line is that consumers want these products. If they did not no one would be putting the money into manufacturing the trinkets and toys and who knows what. Let the consumer beware and judge. If someone loves KISS so much they want to be buried in a KISS coffin, so be it. As rock n’ roll collectors ourselves, the variety beyond the usual tees and posters is exciting and also an opportunity to laugh. With the market for song distribution so confusing these days let the bands make the money where and when they can. And let us put the debate to bed. Hey, where are my Misfits slippers anyhow?