Thirty years ago this month, America’s favorite animated family made their debut as part of The Tracey Ullman Show. To celebrate, CoS will be broadcasting live from Springfield all week with a slew of Simpsons features. Today, Zack Ruskin acts as your personal shopper and tips you off to absolutely must-have Simpsons merch.
“I will personally spit into every 50th burger!” – Krusty the Clown
In building the world of Springfield and beyond, The Simpsons have introduced a number of business and product lines, as well as more than a few blatant cash grabs over the years.
Just as any episode may feature a scene with Apu or Groundskeeper Willie, viewers are now just as primed to expect the appearance of a can of Duff beer or a pack of Laramie cigarettes. While many products are played for absurdity — like Barnacle Bill’s Home Pregnancy Test or the Powersauce bars that inspire Homer to climb The Murderhorn — others merely serve to reinforce the familiarity of Springfield as a real place in a state-not-to-be-named.
For all the insane and memorable products that have appeared onscreen, there are an equally large number of real-life counterparts, many inspired by a rabid fan base that is quite literally willing to buy Simpsons anything. In assembling the featured items below, the goal was to highlight things that were notable both for their originality and for the quality of the reference to the show.
While the time when we may need to hunt down a Krusty Brand Geiger Counter grows frighteningly close, for now let us bask in the truly insane offerings below.
*Itchy & Scratchy money not valid for any purchases below.
10. Krusty the Clown Plush Doll
The most straightforward item on this list is also one of the most essential. Whether he’s being hunted by Sideshow Bob, lobbing steroid-infused tomatoes at Principal Skinner’s backside, or working on his play, Bart’s beloved Krusty doll is never far from his side. One of the few products to carry the Krusty Seal of Approval and not be a total sham, no child should be without a Krusty the Clown doll of their very own. Just make sure it’s set to “Good” and not “Evil.”
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Available now on Amazon.
09. Simpsons Pogs
Remember The Simpsons? They’re back ― in pog form. While you won’t find a coveted Alf pog (they should go back in time and fire the 1990s marketing team that missed that slam dunk), you can choose from pogs that feature everyone from Pepi (the boy Homer cares for as part of the Bigger Brother program) to Mr. Teeny, Krusty’s chain-smoking monkey sidekick. Also, apparently MIA is “the ultimate pog.” Regardless, get your nostalgia on with the game no one actually played. Slammers not included.
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! You’ll find many Simpsons pogs looking for their forever homes on eBay.
08. Bart Ska-mpson Shirt
If you’re going to make one reference, why not make several at once? As any longtime Simpsons fan will know, the market for bootleg show merchandise ― often featuring Bart ― has been around for almost as long as the series itself. The creative team at IFC’s Portlandia took this concept to absurd heights in a sketch where Simpsons creator Matt Groening sues Spike (Fred Armisen) not because he’s ripped off a copyright, but because the shirt sucks so much. Well, good news! Now you can take that joke one step further and actually wear the fake shirt the character on one show made as a rip-off of another.
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Get your deep reference on at TeePublic.
07. Bart Simpson Landline Phone
Do you have a landline or a time machine that can take you to a time before iPhones? If so, you should probably get yourself a bona fide Bart Simpson telephone. Making prank calls to Moe’s Taverns is what Bart was born to do, as evidenced by the immaculate super-cut below. Now you too can ring the hapless bartender of your choice and ask if Amanda Hugginkiss or Hugh Jass is around.
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Last name eBay, first name search.
06. Otto Bong
Many fans have found certain … herbal supplements … make The Simpsons even more enjoyable. Hell, even Homer went through a stoner period (but if you’re hitting up a Phish concert, you better have a prescription slip). One of Springfield’s most notable tokers is bus driver Otto Mann, so of course someone took the necessary steps to make him into an actual bong. Now you too can stare at your fingers and see if they ever actually “fing.”
Can You Buy It? Ho ho, no sir-ee … but with enough demand, maybe this site will make more some day.
05. Bootleg Enamel Pins
Enamel pins may be the currency of hipsters, but hot damn if there aren’t a ton of incredible Simpsons pins paying tribute to even the most obscure references. Of the two featured here, one celebrates the classic Springfield Film Festival entry Man Getting Hit by Football while the other uses a chain to connect Homer to the ‘Stone of Triumph’ he was forced to lug around as a member of the Stonecutters. There are literally hundreds of other pins, many created by an incredible network of fans and makers that use Instagram as their Simpsons pin marketplace. Simply search ‘Simpsons pin’ and be prepared to go broke fast.
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Get a Man Getting Hit By Football pin here. By request, we won’t link the other company here, but if you search the name of Ned Flanders’ business on Instagram, you’ll find your way to a Stonecutter pin.
04. The Homer Car Kit
Sadly, “The Homer” was a commercial failure when its namesake designed it and, as a result, bankrupted his half-brother, Herb Powell. The car was a bit of a mess (but that horn that played “La Cucaracha” is still pretty sweet). The sticker price of $82,000 was less endearing, but now you too can own the car Forbes Magazine once called “The Blunder of the Century.” There is actually a more widely available Hot Wheels toy, too, but don’t be a miser. This assembly kit version of “The Homer” is clearly the only way to go.
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Drive on over to the eBay superhighway.
03. Make Your Own Gummi Venus de Milo
Hailed as “the rarest gummi of them all,” the Gummi Venus de Milo was said to have been carved by gummi artisans who work exclusively in the medium of gummi. Homer and Marge see this masterpiece of confection at the Springfield Candy Convention, which leads to this simply amazing sequence (skip to 3:15 below for the gummi magic).
Now you too can be the proud curator of a Gummi Venus de Milo. They don’t come prepackaged, but what is the Internet here for if not to teach you how to make your own candy version of an iconic statue that itself is a reference to an episode of a cartoon show that aired in 1994?
Can You Buy It? Absotively Posilutely! Just get yourself a Venus de Milo mold and follow the instructions here.