From everyone’s favourite Mighty Mutant Power Turtles to the always-refreshing Dr. Becker soft drink, we count fifteen craptacular knock-off products from around the world!
15 – Knock-Off Starbucks,
- Nothing says ‘capitalism’ – I mean, America – like Starbucks Coffee. The coffee-house chain’s been a global powerhouse since the 1980s, and has sprouted locations all over the world.
- But this hasn’t stopped a whole of slew of imitators from riding Starbucks’ coattails and trying to make a quick buck. Check out China’s Sunbucks Coffee, which uses the famous Starbucks logo design for its own selfish end.
- Starsbuck and Bucksstar Coffee commit the exact same crime, as does USABucks Coffee, which I hear is in the running for a subtlety award. Starbucks has a long history of taking imitators to court, so you’d best think twice before opening that Snarbugs Coffee joint.
- In 2014, Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder opened a Los Angeles coffee-house called ‘Dumb Starbucks Coffee’. It caused quite a stir, but was ultimately revealed to be part of a television publicity stunt. The suits were not amused.
14 – Imitation Toys,
- They say imitation’s the sincerest form of flattery, but there’s not much that’s flattering about these baffling toy knock-offs. Guaranteed to fall apart within a half-hour of opening, these future junk heap liners spread disappointment wherever they are found.
- Check out New Style Ninja Tortoise, a bastardisation of the I-can’t-believe-it’s-still-going Ninja Turtles franchise. I’d hate to be the poor kid who opens this sucker at Christmas. ‘Thanks for listening to me for the last eleven months, Dad! New Style Ninja Tortoise is just what I wanted!’
- There’s also the Mighty Mutant Power Turtles, which is what you end up with when Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles drink too much wine together.
- The Star Wars franchise has some doozy knock-off toys, too, including Laser Sword, which is like a lightsaber only lamer, and Star Knight, which appears to be Vader moonlighting as a camp, scooter-totin’ police officer. Very European.
- Finally, every unloved child should own Robert Cop 2. No, he’s not Raymond’s police officer brother from Everybody Loves Raymond, but he’s just as surly!
13 – Not-Quite-Right Confectionary,
- Everyone loves to indulge in their favourite confectionary item, but sometimes you just don’t feel like paying those premium brand prices.
- You should, though, ’cause most imitation brands just aren’t very good. Ask anyone who’s travelled to South-East Asia. They usually taste like cardboard, and you’ve got a 70% chance of finding a syringe or bandaid when you reach into the packet.
- These knock-offs deserve points for creativity, though. I mean, M&M ripoffs called S&Ms. Now that’s a gateway candy. You’ve also got Sour Frittles, which, on account of sounding like an STD, are a whole lot less appetising.
- Orios’ imitators are Borios and Crème Betweens, which ooze pun potential. Interestingly, Orios themselves are knock-offs of the original sandwich biscuit: Hydrox. But Hydrox sounds like a water boss in a Zelda game and is unmarketable, thus Orios win.
12 – Imitation Butter Knock-Offs,
- The J.H. Filbert company had no idea what a phenomenon their hilariously named butter substitute – I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter! – would create. ‘I can’t believe it’s not …!’ was the pun of the 90s. It was referenced in countless sitcoms and sounds like something Chandler would’ve riffed on. They even had Fabio in their commercials. Just stellar stuff, guys.
- Of course, the imitators soon took notice, and along came the astonished Engrish of Unbelievable – This is Not Butter! (Forgiveness please!), ASDA’s puntabulous You’d Butter Believe It! and Gold n’ Soft’s timid, unsure Could it be Butter?
- Honourable mentions also include What, Not Butter! and Butter, It’s Not!
11 – Imitation Soft Drinks,
- All around the world, small-scale beverage companies struggle in the sugary shadows of behemoths like the Coca Cola Company. What’s the little guy to do? Why, shamelessly replicate brand likeness, of course!
- To give you an idea of the sheer scope of these imitations, here’s a list of international Mountain Dew knock-offs: Mountain Lightning, Mountain W, Mountain Rapids, Mountain FROST, Mountain Shoutin’, Mountain Explosion, Mountain Lion and Wild Mountain. Just reading them feels like I’ve climbed a mountain.
- Here’s a similar list for Dr. Pepper: Dr. Bob, Dr. Thunder, Dr. Skipper, Dr. Fine Soda, Dr. Perky, Dr. Snap, Dr. Perfect, Dr. Becker, Dr. Bold and Dr. Right. I’m not sure any of these are real doctors. I certainly wouldn’t confide in Dr. Thunder, or Dr. Right. Maybe Dr. Right Now …
- Pepsi is also kind of a crap knock-off of Coke, but that one’s up for debate.