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Thursday, July 05, 2007

At the Kwik-E-Mart 

A short review.
At the Kwik-E-Mart
I thought the funny thing about the cartoon stand-ups is that while they looked pretty naff in person, they look really good in photos! Something about the flattening effect of photography.

As for the rest, it was...a good try. The fact that the signature Krusty-Os and Buzz Cola were an instant sell-out (along with the pink donuts, and the Radioactive Man comics) diluted the effect a fair bit. But the bizarro slogans ("rich in bunly goodness!") and the Kwik-E-Mart uniforms were great.

Of the products I saw, the Buzz Cola was a brilliant reproduction of the original, but looks a little cheap when translated into the real world. The Krusty-Os packaging was a work of genius, and I still regret not buying a box. Both were way more convincing than the Squishee cups.

Why? They played it straight. The Buzz Cola can is what it is: a can of Buzz Cola. There's a subtle "Simpsons Movie" logo tucked above the bar code on the back side of the can.

The Krusty-Os are even better, with their lovely styling and various slogans and ad copy ("the best you can expect from a TV clown.") It is as if magic hands have plunged into the Simpsonverse and pulled back a consumer product for our delectation.

The Squishee cup is less perfect. I have two versions of the cup, one cardboard and one plastic. Two different Squishee logos, and neither cup can help itself: they both add 7-11 and Slurpee logos to the cups as well, and break Kayfabe (thanks, Colby!) by putting large "Simpsons Movie" logos on the back sides of the cup. The plastic one goes one worse, by actually having a Simpsons character on the cup as well. At the risk of sounding like an idiot [that's a no-risk proposition! -ed], I'm pretty sure when Bart goes to the Kwik-E-Mart to buy a Squishee, his family members are not emblazoned on the cups.

In short, I have a feeling that had Disney's Imagineers been on the job, I would have been fully convinced that I was in the Kwik-E-Mart. As it was, I felt like 7-11's Imagineers did the job, with all that entails.

Chief Wiggum, what are you doing here?

Don't get me wrong: I think they went farther than anyone had any right to expect out of a rebadged 7-11. Maybe my expectations were too high.

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