The Best, Worst and Weirdest Gaming Promotional Products Ever Made

A large chunk of videogaming merchandise today is made up dust-attracting statuettes and those cool-for-the-first-week irregular shaped steel cases and unless one ever wishes to entertain the fairer sex, these should be considered junk. While there is nothing wrong with that life-sized bust of Master Chief, the more modest fan will usually want some practicality from their gaming related purchases. Below are some of our favourites.

Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox 360 Controller

Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox 360 Controller

Though “Special Edition” controllers are ten-a-penny for most big budget modern releases, they often fabricate a sentimental value for their primary users. Admittedly, the painted design of the Halo 3 Xbox 360 controllers aren’t quite to my taste (the oafish brute on the left isn’t even my favourite of the Covenant races), the relatively unique status of the controller makes it feel appropriately mine. I feel a similar connection though not one quite as deep to my Gears of War 3 controller. Forever alone.

Nintendo Club Super Nes Wii Controller

Nintendo Club Super Nes Wii Controller

At arguably the platuae of design for controllers considered classic, the Super Nintendo controller is a favourite. Nintendo used it as the basis for the design of their Classic Controller for the Wii. Like the masters of fan service they are, they produce the Super NES Classic Controller. A Club Nintendo exclusive, this gem is only available to fans who’ve bought and registered enough Nintendo Software. Fully compatible with Virtual Console titles and sporting the superior multicoloured buttons of the European and Super Famicom verisons. Some US players might tell you the purple concave buttons on their version of the controller are better. They’d be wrong.

Grand Theft Auto 4 Collectors Edition

Grand Theft Auto 4 Collectors Edition

The Grand Theft Auto IV Collectors Edition boasted some of the more useful gimmicky pack ins for much hyped game. Alongside the usual soundtrack and artbook was a cool duffel-bag similar to the one carried by the games protaganist during that widely acclaimed bank-robbing mission. Not enough? What about a safety deposit box emblazoned with the games logo complete with keys? Perfect for stashing your ill-gotten gains. We are still wondering why Rockstar didn’t include the disclaimer; GTA IV is a piece of interactive fiction, please don’t commit a heist of any kind.

Special Famicom GameBoy Micro

Grand Theft Auto 4 Collectors Edition

And probably the finest example of “I gots to have it” the special Famicom version of the GameBoy Micro. A system released after the Nintendo DS that one could only interpret as having “modest” sales at best has probably the coolest collectible alternate colour-schemes of all time. Many western gamers recognize the mesmerizing combination of crimson and gold of the original Famicom as far more appealing than the plainly pleasing gray and black of the NES version of the system. Things from Japan, as always, are generally cooler.

Wu Tang Controller (This is real!)

Wu Tang Controller

If you had a PlayStation, you may remember Thrill Kill. The game that never came out, but everybody had anyway. If you’re gonna salvage a game that would otherwise be heavily censored, re-tool it to star the Shaolin word-smiths of Staten Island, New York. Wu-Tang: Taste The Pain (Shaolin Style in the US) was a surprisingly fun arena brawler not entirely unlike Power Stone or Smash Bros. It’s Special Edition came with possibly the most impractical peripheral ever manufactured. A controller in the shape on the iconic Wu-Tang “W.”

Godfather 2 Brass Knuckles

Godfather 2 Brass Knuckles

The Godfather 2 was a mediocre sequel to a mediocre game. EA were almost certainly left trying to hide their scarlet faces after some genius had the idea to ship out fully-functional promotional brass knuckles to members of the video game press. An incredibly idiotic move (they had to be recalled), distributing highly illegal offensive weapons as means to get writers excited about a game based on the most iconic organized crime film series in history. It leaves us wondering how such a move went under the radar, maybe it was a marketing exec hell bent on moving away from branded stickers such as these.

What’s your favourite piece of gaming promotional memorabilia? Let us know in the comments below. Think you have any innovative promotional ideas like they do at Stay Sourced? Let us know yours in the comments below.

About Author
Written by Paul Norris, UK blogger and gamer.

Juan is a Design & Tech Blogger with strong interest in digital art, human computer interaction, enterprise system and system automation.

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