NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Back in September, we looked at 10 products that have made the leap from Hollywood’s imagination to the real world. Often produced as marketing tie-ins, everything from True Blood’s titular drink to South Park’s Cheesy Poofs have been available for purchase in real life. And recently the NBC Universal store began selling branded copy paper ostensibly created by Dunder Mifflin, the paper company from the network’s hit show, The Office.
While it thrills us to see products break the fourth wall in this way, it also saddens us that many other fictional products from TV and film remain a Tinseltown dream. Here are a few that we would pay just about anything to see on store shelves.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
The idea of a having all the knowledge in the universe in one book was a mind-blowing concept when it was introduced in the late 1970s. But now we have the Internet – including that vast repository of information, Wikipedia – and anyone with a smartphone and a data connection can access it wherever they are. In fact, the idea of having to carry an actual book seems antiquated.
But The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy contains real, practicable knowledge for a galactic traveler, and it’s presented with a personality that can’t be found in a group-edited article. Take its entry on alcohol, for instance. The Guide’s main competitor, the Encyclopedia Galactica, describes alcohol as “a colourless volatile liquid formed by the fermentation of sugars,” and the Wikipedia entry on alcohol manages to be even drier. By contrast, the Guide tells you that the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (another fictional product we wish were real) is the best alcoholic beverage in existence, then goes on to tell you where you can find a really good one and how to make one yourself. Now that’s information you can really use.
The Guide also has the advantage of presenting information in proportion to its importance. While Wikipedia is cursed with long, rambling articles on video games and obscure cartoon shows, the Guide knows when to be brief. The entry for planet Earth, an inconsequential planet in galactic terms, simply reads: “Mostly harmless.”