Every year on April Fools’ Day, businesses do their best to capture the public’s attention by making silly, impractical or otherwise ridiculous brand announcements, to mixed results. One company is especially dedicated to this annual holiday of deceit — ThinkGeek takes its April Fools’ Day pranks to the next level by actually manufacturing some of its most beloved fake products.
Since 2001, the GameStop-owned novelty company has announced a handful of silly products, usually as some form of pop culture reference. Last year, for example, Stranger Things mania led to a Where’s Waldo parody called Where’s Barb. This year you might have been fooled by a remote-controlled Fortnite Battle Bus.
If you clicked on any of these listings, you’d be directed to a landing page presided over by Salt Bae, asking you not to be “salty” that you’d been tricked. You’d also find a survey asking which of this year’s fake products you’d like to see added to the store for real. (Personally, I checked the D&D-themed Stat Discovery Kit and QuestBoard.)
True to its word, ThinkGeek actually has manufactured some of its most popular April Fools’ pranks. Last year’s Tentacuddle blanket, a Snuggie-like knitted blanket with tentacle arms you can put your hands or feet through, went semi-viral as a fun, darker take on the mermaid trend. It’s now available for purchase at ThinkGeek’s website for $59.99.
In 2012, the Technomancer hoodie, with light and sound effects to simulate spellcasting, was listed as an April Fools’ Day prank. It was so popular — among LARPers, we’re guessing — that ThinkGeek came out with a 2.0 version with improved tech. It’s on sale right now for $44.99.
By far the most celebrated of ThinkGeek’s pranks-turned-actual-products is a 2009 April Fools’ Day listing, the Tauntaun sleeping bag. With an intestine-print lining and lightsaber zipper, it’s an impressively accurate recreation (minus the smell) of the iconic Hoth scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It even got written up in The New York Times. The Tauntaun sleeping bag is currently out of stock for the next six to nine weeks, though you can enter your email to get notified when it’s back up.
Check out all of the formerly fake products on ThinkGeek’s website, or see the full listing below.
- Tentacuddle Blanket — $59.99
- Technomancer Hoodie — $44.99 (usually $149.99)
- Canned Unicorn Meat — $9.99
- Das-Can-in-Stein — currently out of stock on ThinkGeek, but it’s on Amazon for $12.93
- Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping bag — currently out of stock
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