NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- We've all wished we could buy the fictional products featured in movies and TV shows. How much would you pay for K.I.T.T., the talking car from Knight Rider? Or for Marty McFly's hoverboard in the Back to the Future sequels? And we know some gun enthusiasts would pay a pretty penny for the ZF-1, the all-in-one gun from The Fifth Element.For the most part, movie buffs can only dream of making such purchases. But occasionally a fictional product from a movie or TV show will cross over into the real world. A few companies now specialize in cutting licensing deals with movie studios and other entertainment companies to make props into real-life products. Here are a few of our favorites.
|Nike has made a limited run of 1,500 of the shoes from Back to the Future II -- or as close to the famed Nike Mags as it could, given the limitations of current technology.|
Movie: Back to the Future II
The first sequel in the trilogy saw Marty McFly travel to the year 2015, a time of flying cars, hoverboards, self-drying clothes ... and shoes with power laces. That future footwear has long been coveted by fans of the series, and earlier this year Nike ( NKE) finally made it happen. Rather than sell them in stores, though, the company did a limited run of 1,500 of the shoes and auctioned them off on eBay ( EBAY), with the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Sadly, the most futuristic feature, the power laces, was not feasible for the shoes, with the company explaining that the technology won't be available until 2015. Kwik-E-Mart
Movie: The Simpsons Movie
When the denizens of Springfield need a quick cup of coffee or a bite to eat, they stop by Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store run by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. So in the run-up to the long-awaited film adaptation to The Simpsons, Fox ( NWS) hit on the brilliant idea of transforming 11 real-life 7-Eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts. The stores even sold fictional items from the show, including Buzz Cola and Krusty-Os. Tru Blood
Show: True Blood
In the fictional universe of HBO's hit series True Blood, the world's vampires have "come out of the coffin" after an invention that allows them to co-exist with humans: Tru Blood, a synthetic form of blood. To promote the show, HBO teamed up with Omni Consumer Products, a company that specializes in licensing and "defictionalizing" products (appropriately, the company is named after the evil corporation from the Robocop films). The result was a sweet, tangy beverage that looks like blood and comes in a bottle identical to the ones served at Merlotte's and Fangtasia in the show. Pete Hottelet, who founded Omni, says the company has started producing plastic versions of the bottles, which should expand the number of stores in which the drink appears. And in a twist, the show has started using his bottles in filming, and has even used the beverage itself as prop blood in some scenes. In other words, this is a product that crossed over from a TV show into reality, then crossed back into the TV show.