7 Strangest Pieces of Evangelion Merchandise
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Editor's Note: Lynzee's off this week for the holidays, so we've left you with a Classic gift-giving themed List for the Christmas weekend! We'll see you with a new List next week!
This year (2015) was the 20th anniversary of Hideaki Anno's genre-defining giant robot anime. The series has cultivated a large fan following dedicated to its immersive lore. Viewers still argue for Rei or Asuka and its iconic characters have, for better or worse, inspired mountains of merchandise and tie-in goods. Neon Genesis Evangelion is like a star athlete that, sales wise, can do no wrong. This has led to some strange and nonsensical ad campaigns.
7. Rody Rompers Rody by itself is eerie. The rubber children's toy is based on the same idea as the giant exercise ball adults bounce around on at the gym. As off-putting as its ever-present toothy smile is, it's managed to work out collaborations with Hello Kitty and Hatsune Miku. Someone on a committee must have looked at the other collaborations and thought pairing Evangelion with children's wear needed to get weirder, so they made onsies based on the franchise smashed with a rubber horse toy. What we get is an outfit that transforms an infant into one of the creepy, smiling ponies while color-coded as biological deadly robots.
6. Tomato-Fighting Juice Limited edition tie-in sodas and drinks are extremely common and usually only require new label packaging or maybe a limited edition flavor. Evangelion's marriage to Kagomi juice seemed like more of the same, until it released an advertisement of the Eva pilots attacking an ominous, giant tomato in the middle of Tokyo-3. The company went on to release a second commercial in the style of the "next episode previews" hosted by Misato showing Asuka and Shinji weren't even piloting Evas, but giant juice boxes.
5. Schick Razors Evangelion and Schick razors began its silly series of ad campaigns in 2012 and show no sign of stopping. The ads caught fan attention by putting a smile on the cold and distant Gendo Ikari and removing his iconic beard. The ads star a "refreshed" Gendo who touts the benefits of razors and a perfect shave, far from the scheming man seen in the series. The campaign also releases Eva-themed razor accessories and figures to hold the razor when it's not being used.
4. 61-foot Tall Rei Ayanami Blow-Up Doll The promotional team for Shiohaku Expo 2012 gathered inspiration from End of Evangelion to create a 18.5-meter (61-foot) Rei Ayanami blow-up doll (albeit in her plug suit, not nude) in Tokyo. The best part? After scaling the figure, visitors could race down a slide. Based on the images, Rei was in a seated position with the slide replacing one of her legs. To put in perspective exactly how tall she was, the life-size Gundam statue at Tokyo's Odaiba island is two feet shorter.
3. Preserved Flowers For every funny or creative bit of Eva merchandise, there are twice as many lazy ones. Surfing through the official Eva Store will turn up loads of standard household or fashion items with a tiny Eva-related charm, embroidered patch, or color designated accessory. Suddenly a pair of pants are $150 dollars because the button is red and orange and the back pocket has "02" stitched on it. These preserved flowers are the epitome of that phenomenon. This is a small bouquet more or less like any other in a nondescript black box. They're preserved, so they won't die on you quickly and the recipient doesn't have to water them. But they're "Eva" flowers because they're color-coded like Unit 01 and thus will cost you US$126.
2. Bishōjo Angel Figures Over Evangelion's 20-year career, fans have gotten almost every costume incarnation possible of Rei Ayanami and Asuka Sohryu. Figure maker Wave decided to diversify the options for the series' 10th anniversary but instead of picking Misato or Ritsuko, they took the creepy Angels, some of which aren't even humanoid, and made them into bishōjo figures. Sachiel, who later became the series "weak" mascot and got a ton of his own respective merchandise, looks like a busty Rei variation. Tabis wears Shinji's shirt (without pants) but has hair similar to Kaoru. Only Zeruel appears to be uniquely designed with her LCL-filled breasts.
1. Shinji & Kaworu Body Spray What does a body spray modeled after Shinji Ikari smell like? Desperation? Self-loathing? According to the Evangelion Store "Shinji: Blue Musk" is a "gentle aroma that spreads like the sea and sky" while "Kaworu: White Citrus" is a "refreshing scent that's clear like water." They're sold as a pair, so read into that as you will. The three main Eva Units also inspired body spray which included a key art image of Rei and Asuka opening Shinji's shirt and spraying him, maybe to battle his teenage BO?
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When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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