Movie buff alert: You can snag some merchandise marketed to hype movie villains and heroes of yesteryear. There’s a toaster that burns an image of Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddie, a child murderer and presumed pedophile, onto bread. Tougher finds include the infamous video game in which E.T. sadly ambles about and a Rambo coloring book featuring the bare-chested fighter’s weaponry.
Sound freakishly inappropriate, if not downright scary for youngsters? That’s likely why a lot of these are no longer available. But it also hasn’t stopped other licensing arrangements from going forward, including such ill-considered ads as having Darth Vader clear his schedule to do a little shopping for PCs.
Not all movie merchandise teeters on the ethically challenging, though. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling kept close tabs on Coca-Cola’s tie-ins. She nixed fast food but approved Harry Potter Pancake Mix, like any thoughtful Muggle would.