What do Crystal Pepsi, the Shake Weight and the DeLorean all have in common? They’re epic failures and they are part of the Museum of Failure visiting Georgetown.
At the traveling exhibit, you’ll learn about fads like the Segway, now used only by Paul Blart and other mall cops, and the Plastic Bike.
Meanwhile the beverage section features failures like Coke Blak and the lawsuit in a can that caused many a blackout in the late 2000s, Four Loco, that combine booze and caffeine.
“No one talks about failure when in fact, failures are much better teacher than successes,” Johanna Guttman with the Museum told WTOP.
“Dr. Samuel West, who is a psychologist and industrial psychologist from Sweden, works with a lot of companies to make them more innovative and more creative. He started to see that the most successful companies are those that have a high degree of experimentation. And then of course, failure,” she said about the inspiration for the museum.
And there was plenty of failure to see, who can’t remember the brief window when Beta Max and HDDVD’s weren’t all the rage.
Some of the failures were supposed to be kid friendly.
“The Cabbage Patch Snacktime kid had a chewing mechanism with its mouth,” said Guttman. “It was eating children’s hair and fingers, had to be pulled off the market right away.”
Some of the toy failures were supposed to be educational but turned out to be downright creepy like the “Growing Up Skipper Barbie” that started out prepubescent “but if you crank her arm she grows an inch and develops breasts.”
Or the Little Miss No Name doll that was dressed in a burlap sack that was supposed to teach kids in the 60s about poverty but instead looked like something out of a horror movie.
Some exhibit items surely should just be prank gifts like the Uroclub, a look alike golf club that you can pee in “discretely” on the course. Another popular gag gift is the infamous Shake Weight, which is housed in the adult section of the museum (if you have seen the South Park episode, you know why).
The Hula Chair, an ab working office chair also provides visitors with an interactive experience.
Tech companies are often the center of failure like Google Glass, an early augmented reality headset, and Nintendo’s Power Glove.
“I think tech companies in general are really good at embracing failure,” said Guttman.
“The Power Glove from Nintendo, people were very excited about it when it came out. But it has all these buttons and really didn’t do anything,” she continued. “However, they did use the same technology for creating the Wii, which was a huge commercial success.”
The exhibit even has some local digs in it, specifically poking fun at the Dan Snyder era of the Washington Commanders.
The Museum of Failure runs in Georgetown till Nov. 5. You can get tickets on their website.