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50 Shades Tie-In (Tie-Up?) Merchandise Blowout

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Remember 2014? It was a shitty year for a lot of things, but one big positive came out of it: we got a break in the 50 Shades of Grey mania. The title was barely on the radar for all of 2014. News about the film trickled out the way it does for any highly anticipated book-to-movie adaptation, and the trailer came out, but between those brief flashes, blessed radio silence. There were no thinkpieces on women’s sexuality and how positive the books were for it. Nobody made jokes about spankings on morning news shows. Everything was generally calm, and 50 Shades of Grey barely flitted through the consciousness of anyone trying to avoid it.

Brace yourselves. Bullshit is coming.

The 50 Shades of Grey movie is on its way to ruin your Valentine’s Day like a bad breakup on February 13th. The movie premiers on that most romantic of the commercially-driven gift-giving holidays, which makes sense because it is undisputedly the greatest love story of all time. Who doesn’t swoon when they imagine being trapped into a relationship that stresses them out, chained to a person they’re terrified of but unable to leave because that person has enough money to track them down no matter where they may flee?

Dreamy. Sigh.

In addition to all the magazine and gossip page articles we’re going to be subjected to–”Dakota and Jamie! Such Sexy! Much Hot!”–we’re also going to get shat upon by the commercial machine that is movie tie-in merchandising.

There’s already been a dustup about Target’s rather iffy placement of sexy 50 Shades merchandise, and one big giant crybaby started a change.org petition back in December to urge the superstore to stop selling copies of the novel, lest men who feel oppressed by the impossibly high sexual standards set forth in the book become, I shit you not, violent when they can’t satisfy a woman (but don’t, you know, stop selling the book because it promotes violence toward women in a more blatant and totally obvious sense. Do it to protect the male fee-fees). But the first actual movie tie-in product to come to my attention ahead of the landslide of cheap plastic shit that will no doubt flood shelves anew this February is OPI’s underwhelming nail color collection.

fifty shades of gross
Finally, nail polish that goes well with my dislocated shoulder.

OPI is a brand known for splashy gimmick collections based on movies and celebrities. They’re basically the MAC of the nail polish world in that regard. If you’ve got a movie coming out and your target demographic is females ages 18 – 50, OPI is going to be a part of your merchandising. As you would expect, the 50 Shades of Grey line has four gray polishes, a red that they didn’t even bother to name Red Room of Pain, and some kind of multi-dimensional creme/gray frost. If you go to the OPI site, you’ll find the collection, with names like, “Shine For Me,” and “Embrace the Gray,” but strangely no, “It Takes Two to Charlie Tango” which I personally thought was a shoe-in considering the fucking awful puns OPI’s marketing department comes up with already.

Since the polish names don’t match, I took the liberty of fixing them:

50 Shades nailpolish

 

If OPI’s dilution of their own brand with endless repeats of the same colors repackaged every time Gwen Stefani wants to sneeze out a collection hadn’t already driven me far, far from their products already, I would stop buying them. If you’re looking to vote with your wallet out of the mean satisfaction you’ll get (because let’s be honest, there are more idiots in this world than not, and they’d snap up an actual, human turd if someone put it in a box that had Jamie Dornan on it, so boycotting won’t do a damn thing), then I suggest you do the same.

In the meantime, if you find a 50 Shades of Grey movie tie-in product (not the book-related tie-ins that are already out there, like the godawful swill they’re selling as wine or the laughably shoddy sex toys they’re slinging), let me know. I’d like to make fun of it.

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74 Comments

  1. Maybe I just haven’t had a manicure in a while, but who the fuck wants cement-gray nails?

    January 20, 2015
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    • People paint their nails weird colors these days.

      January 20, 2015
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    • Andrea
      Andrea

      I know, what kind of a publicist thought “cement” was a good color for a “sexy” themed product?

      January 20, 2015
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    • Rhiannon
      Rhiannon

      Ha ha I totally thought ‘Who wants grey nails?!’ too 😉

      January 20, 2015
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    • Ange
      Ange

      *shamefully hides grey nails, considers butthurt change petition*

      January 20, 2015
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      • Sarah
        Sarah

        Yeeeah…but mine have glitter over the grey colour, so maybe the snazzy glitter helps?

        February 13, 2015
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    • yaygraynails
      yaygraynails

      i love gray nails. they look great with matte and clear top coats, are neutral/work appropriate without being boring (which reds and french tips are imo), and you can do two-tone designs without your hands screaming, HEY I DID SOME NAIL ART.

      luckily i already have about 5 different gray polishes, so no need for me to lust over this opi nonsense!

      jenny, your names are perfect. 🙂

      January 20, 2015
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    • Stephanie Briggs
      Stephanie Briggs

      Excellent question!

      (I love “Seattle Strangler”!)

      January 28, 2015
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  2. I have a fundamentalist Christian friend who keeps posting articles about how Christians shouldn’t support the book or movie. And I’m SO TORN because I’m all for anything that stops people from spending their money on this crap, but the reasons cited in the articles are so incredibly insulting and backwards.

    I mean, I can list a million reasons not to support this, but “it might make you want to get tied up during sex and THAT’S SO HORRIBLE AND SINFUL AND EVIL” isn’t among them.

    January 20, 2015
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  3. I’m surprised there hasn’t been an actual line of ties announced or Playtex getting in on the action with their tampons. Fifty Shades of Flow?

    January 20, 2015
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    • Artemis
      Artemis

      Sportsheets (a fairly big-name sex toy manufacturer) actually released a gray tie as part of their “Sex & Mischief” line when the books first blew up. It was kind of nice, as it was textured enough to not tighten ridiculously when used for bondage (silk ties and scarves are kind of a bondage no-no, as they can slip/tighten and be super hard to untie), but surprisingly no one ever bought one.

      January 21, 2015
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  4. Lieke
    Lieke

    I’m torn between Hardware Store Murder Kit, This Guy. This Fucking Guy and I Bought You A Car, So You Basically Have To. Not the nailpolish ‘colours’ because those suck, but the names are absolutely hilarious.
    Who knew something 50 Shades related would cheer me up? Thanks, Jenny!

    January 20, 2015
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    • Anna
      Anna

      Why is that teddy bear so freaking expensive? Build-a-Bear isn’t even that overpriced!

      January 20, 2015
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      • Stephanie Briggs
        Stephanie Briggs

        Because only Christian Grey could afford it, and if your man isn’t treating you like Christian Grey, he fucking well ought to be (so sayeth many women in the Daily Mail)!

        January 28, 2015
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    • Ilex
      Ilex

      I can’t believe anyone is sullying teddy bears this way!

      I see the expression in that bear’s eyes. It’s begging, “Please, think of me as someone else! Anyone else!”

      January 20, 2015
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    • Squeaky
      Squeaky

      *spits tea* Dafuq?! They’re surely having a laugh.

      January 20, 2015
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    • withenoughcourage
      withenoughcourage

      A Facebook “friend” of mine posted this today and tagged her husband in it so he would buy it for her.

      This is also a person who freely admits she hasn’t read anything but 50 Shades since high school though, so I can’t expect much from her.

      January 20, 2015
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    • Avery
      Avery

      “Not suitable for children”

      …You don’t say?

      January 23, 2015
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  5. Daisy
    Daisy

    I saw some of the 50 Shades merchandise at Target about a week ago. First of all, just take a look at the crap that they are selling for $15 at Target (there was also massage oil below the cock rings but I couldn’t fit it all into the picture).

    But what really annoyed me was the hypocrisy. Do you know where I found this stuff? On the endcap between the makeup and the cleaning supplies at Target. I am all for being sex positive but if Target is going to sell sex toys then sell them and have a separate aisle with good quality stuff. But you know that they won’t actually have a whole section labeled as “SEX TOYS” so instead they are shoving these crappy products that have a 50 Shades logo slapped on the packaging into the part of the store where few men venture. Gotta hide the blindfolds and cock rings in the lady section of the store!

    January 20, 2015
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    • xebi
      xebi

      Well, if they miss out on a vibrating cock ring then it’s their fault for not buying their share of cleaning products 😉

      January 20, 2015
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    • Suzy
      Suzy

      It all depends on the store as to where it is located. It’s next to men’s shaving in my Target.

      January 21, 2015
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  6. Daisy
    Daisy

    The look on Jamie Dornan’s face in that promo picture is hilarious. The thought bubble I would put over his head says, “Did I really just make this horrible movie?”

    January 20, 2015
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    • It looks ‘shopped, like her head is weirdly out of proportion to his body. Or maybe she has a really big head, I dunno.

      January 20, 2015
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    • Carolina West
      Carolina West

      Rofl. That fits perfectly!

      January 20, 2015
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    • Rhiannon
      Rhiannon

      I also don’t get why he seems so keen to get typecast as a psycho! First a serial killer, now this..

      January 20, 2015
      |Reply
  7. Lindsay
    Lindsay

    Interestingly, on that one petition you posted with the guy who wants to ban the book from target, a lot of the commentators seem to want it out of target for the right reasons. A number mention that they don’t like the idea of a young woman picking up the book and reading this abusive relationship as being normal and healthy.

    January 20, 2015
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  8. I am dying laughing at those nail polish names, omg. I lost it at “This Guy. This Fucking Guy.” (I’m the tweep with the iphone that autocompletes “this” with “fucking guy.”)

    I was going to push China Glaze as the superior polish brand but lbr they are kind of the same with the collections. Their Hunger Games collection had some really nice colors, though.

    January 20, 2015
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  9. Elly
    Elly

    You should consider your own range of merchandise. I’d buy an anthropomorphic tie or a “This guy. This fucking guy.” coffee mug.

    As for the Christian Grey bear, I was disappointed not to see something a bit more like this: http://www.badtastebears.co.uk/jamesbondage

    January 20, 2015
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  10. Artemis
    Artemis

    Uggghhh…gray is one of my favorite colors for things like nail polish, and I hate that I really like some of those colors. The “corrected” names are perfection, though.

    The thing that’s killing me, is that I work in an education-focused sex shop. Come the end of January, I’ll have been working in education-focused sex shops for five years. I survived the ridiculousness that was work when the books first got big, and I’m really, really not looking forward to the onslaught of awfulness that may follow the release of the movie. (Especially since I’ve changed jobs and work somewhere much more BDSM focused now.) It’s kind of already starting, with college-age girls coming in, giggling over how “weird” our stock is (omg! Dildos!), and saying over and over “This store is going to blow up when 50 Shades comes out!”

    Though the Charlie Tango slimline vibrator will always be my favorite sex toy named after a fictional helicopter.

    January 20, 2015
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    • Elena
      Elena

      Agreed. Grey is one of my favorite colors. Still gonna wear it. I’m surprised they really only have two shades of it…and the rest are glitter or holographic. They couldn’t even get 50 shades of grey for the 50 shades of grey tie in!

      January 20, 2015
      |Reply
  11. OMG this basically means that I can’t wear my favourite silver nail polish (not OPI) for, like, a year? Never would have thought of that. Damn. Can I wear it if I put silver glitter on top?

    January 20, 2015
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  12. Elena
    Elena

    Seriously with that petition? It’s that sexist gamer movement. They’re up in arms about Target in Australia not selling GTA. My details about that story could be off since I don’t actually give a fuck, but I know enough to recognize one of them when they try logic. I guess their thinking was – ‘moms took away our game, so we’ll take away their smut!’ I’m loling because this is all working beautifully for my ebil feminist agenda. I have it in good faith that thousands of the sigs on that petition are because 50 Shades is damaging to women and not male fee-fees.

    January 20, 2015
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  13. Gray
    Gray

    This Guy. This FUcking Guy. Just made my day. LOL

    January 20, 2015
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  14. Delta Juliet
    Delta Juliet

    OMG I love the re-named colors. You are the best Jenny!

    And I too love a nice gray or silver nail polish but now I guess I’ll have to put them away for awhile. I don’t want anyone to think I’m tied into 50 Shades.

    January 20, 2015
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  15. Julianne
    Julianne

    Sephora has a few make up sets from… Make up Forever? Maybe. That are “inspired by” 50 shades of shit. And the sets are quite expensive (like $80 +).

    January 20, 2015
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  16. Carolina West
    Carolina West

    I haven’t seen this trash, besides the books, at my local Target, thankfully. But I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time.

    January 20, 2015
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  17. Benjamin W
    Benjamin W

    This Makeup Line. This Fucking Make Up Line.

    January 20, 2015
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  18. wahmbulance
    wahmbulance

    “This Guy. This Fucking Guy” had me cackling like a deranged maniac for a solid minute. Thank you.

    January 20, 2015
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  19. Andrea
    Andrea

    Jenny, as we get closer to the movie, can you make a post to help out those of us who want to see the movie? Like, I’ve never pirated anything before, but I’m not sure I can bring myself to pay for this. I don’t want to send the message that I support crap like this. Maybe you or your readers would know a good place I’d be likely to find a copy once it comes out?

    Alternatively, I’ve also seen the suggestion that we donate twice as much money as the price of the ticket to a domestic violence hotline. Recs for reliable ones?

    January 20, 2015
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    • I don’t have an answer about the movie, but as far as DV shelters go, they aren’t exactly franchised, so you should probably find out what the shelter is in your area. The local police will know.

      January 20, 2015
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I won’t do the first, because it’s illegal, but I won’t discourage discussion of it in the comments. But the second is definitely going to happen here as the premiere gets closer.

      January 20, 2015
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      • Diana42
        Diana42

        If I found a list of shelters in the Chicago area (best I can do because I live there), how could I get it to you, Jenny?

        January 20, 2015
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    • Petra47
      Petra47

      Shhhh… don’t tell on me, but I fully intend to theater hop to see 50SoG so I don’t have to add to its profits. I will pay to see something else, and when it’s over go see 50SoG… I’ll be sure to buy concessions because that’s really where theaters make their profits for new releases….

      January 21, 2015
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  20. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    “This Fucking Guy” is the best and I would want to buy it and tell people to ask me about my nail polish just so I can tell them what it’s called.

    January 20, 2015
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  21. Bubbles
    Bubbles

    OMG! I got an email from Ulta about this crap earlier today and sent it to my husband saying WTF! Because really. Not only is the source horrible, but these colors are shit. I’m already mentally composing my “this is why I’m not going to see the 50 shades movie with you” to my friends. Ugh. I really, really hope that someday people will be able to see through the shit that this book endorses.

    January 20, 2015
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    • I have a friend who read the first book and hated it. Yet she’s still organizing a Valentine’s Day girls’ night to go see the movie. I just don’t get it. She knew not to bother inviting me. lol

      Last night I said to my fiance, “So, we’re going to see 50 Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day, right?” and he looked at me like I’d completely lost my mind. Ha ha. I would have had to to be serious. This crap is not getting my money or my time.

      January 20, 2015
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  22. Mary
    Mary

    They should have put out a collection of 50 gray nail polishes. That would have been hilarious.

    January 20, 2015
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    • shel
      shel

      That’s fully what I was expecting, and frankly, I’m disappointed that they didn’t come up with 50 different shades of gray to sell…

      January 20, 2015
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  23. Mets
    Mets

    They could even have colors like “Team Taylor” and “Escape the Office”!

    I weep for the cinema…

    January 20, 2015
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  24. Jennifer
    Jennifer

    First, I peed myself a little when I reached the “This guy. This fucking guy” nail polish color.

    Second: Jamie looks like I felt after the books. I feel for him.

    January 20, 2015
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  25. Kora
    Kora

    Cracked up at “It Takes Two to Charlie Tango.” If it existed, I might buy it just for the laffs.

    January 20, 2015
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  26. Those nail polish colors are killing me. This guy. This fucking guy.

    Jamie Dornan has given a couple of little interview comments that suggest he has a huge case of “oh god what have I done?” already. I wish him well in his contractually-obligated promotional duties.

    January 20, 2015
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  27. Tania
    Tania

    As Jamie Dornan also plays a serial killer who ties women up before he murders them violently in “The Fall,” I cannot get over how hilarious I find that he also stars in this pile of shit, where he ties women up but refrains from murdering them.

    I want someone more creative than I am to make a mash-up of the scenes.

    January 20, 2015
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  28. watergirl
    watergirl

    If that is a promo picture, there isn’t high hopes for this picture. Talk about no chemistry.
    And the girl is too fat. I can’t see her body but I can tell you already that she will be too fat.

    Now the 10 million dollar question. Are we going to be subjected to this 3 times for each book? Please say no.

    Or we may be blessed with a phenomenon like The Last Airbender, and it is so bad and unpopular that they don’t bother with the rest.

    January 20, 2015
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  29. watergirl
    watergirl

    P.S. Nice call on the subdrop. Not a lot of people know what that is.

    January 20, 2015
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  30. Petra Newman
    Petra Newman

    I was discussing (read dissing) the bear on Twitter last night; essentially imagining the brain storming session where someone came up with the idea for a Christian bear holding a blindfold and a pair of handcuffs as the next big seller, and the Vermont Bear Co. hit us up with some truly awful bear puns. Have they no shame? I couldn’t quite believe they were sullying both puns and bears but there they were in my timeline. Clearly they have no shame!

    January 20, 2015
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  31. And Twilight only had dolls and sheets for sale. But not Fifty Shades. At least the Ben Wa Balls are used in the second most important scene in the book, behind the tampon bathroom scene.

    January 21, 2015
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    • Sushi
      Sushi

      Why. Whyyyyyyyy.

      January 30, 2015
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  32. Jon
    Jon

    Cement… That conjures up SO many disturbing thoughts – especially considering that Dornan has played a serial killer before.

    January 21, 2015
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  33. Desolace
    Desolace

    I just read the description of the petition and… no… i can’t believe i have read this crap. URGH! I’m really frustrated that I can’t to anything to fight this BS 🙁

    January 21, 2015
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  34. GreenPapayayaya
    GreenPapayayaya

    I saw this in a store just yesterday and cringed so hard I think I was probably making a public spectacle of myself. I do however enjoy how dull and vanilla these shades really are. Unintentional irony.

    January 21, 2015
    |Reply
  35. Cherry
    Cherry

    Make Up Forever has a makeup collection out, I guess since their products were used on set for the movie. Someone probably mentioned it already. Love the new nail polish names! OPI should hire you. then I wouldn’t gag every time I saw the name of one of their colors.

    January 21, 2015
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  36. Jilliterate
    Jilliterate

    Hahaha YES. When new OPI collections come out, there’s usually one or two that I like enough to grab, once they go on sale. I knew I was going to be boycotting this collection on principal, so boy was I ever relieved when I saw how awful it was. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t say your new names didn’t make them way more appealing. 😛 I already own Sinful Color’s ‘Beau Khaki.’ Having a polish called ‘This Guy. This Fucking Guy.’ would just be the icing on the cake.

    January 22, 2015
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  37. Tracy
    Tracy

    To be fair to OPI, their polish lasts forever. With a touch up, I can go two weeks between pedicures.

    On the subject of the movie, I think both the main actors have killed their careers.

    January 23, 2015
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  38. Sushi
    Sushi

    Happily the only film merchandise I’ve seen is the books with new movie covers.

    January 30, 2015
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  39. Sarah
    Sarah

    This is so god damn true. I’m having a hard time with the whole thing, because I work for a company that does sex toy parties, and the god damn 50 shades shit is everywhere again. Other people who sell this stuff are all into the 50 shades of marketing blah blah, but I absolutely refuse. I’m part of a “team”, sort of a mini support network thing, and they are all going to see the movie. I declined and politely (I hope!) stated why, that I am all for helping customers explore BDSM but I do not feel comfortable using these books/the movie to do so, because of how unhealthy the story is. One other girl agreed with me and said she also wasn’t going, so that was nice! But I have to admit it bums be out how many people are so excited about it, and how many defend it.

    February 13, 2015
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