As soon as Mario jumped on his first Goomba, other companies began falling over themselves to create a mascot that could rival the ethnically-ambiguous plumber.
It made sense — all the biggest companies in the ‘90s had a recognizable mascot they could weaponize to trick consumers into thinking they actually had a personality and didn’t just want to suck all our wallets dry.
Animal mascots were a dime a dozen for gaming mascots in the 1990s, with Sonic leading the charge. While we all still remember the likes of the blue hedgehog and the mustached plumber, most gaming mascots from the ‘90s were so bad they were abandoned — or had such bad games they tanked their developers.
Here are 10 of the worst attempts at making a gaming mascot from the ‘90s.
Remember when ‘90s marketing for boys was essentially just: “Look at how gross this thing is. Isn’t that awesome!”
Well, that might’ve been the idea behind Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure, but this “hero” was not gross in the cool way.
He just looks like a bum in a cape who uses burps, farts, and boogers as ammo. It’s a bad joke that got old before it finished telling it.
Somehow, there was an attempted revival of Boogerman via Kickstarter in 2013. However, two decades or so apparently didn’t improve Boogerman’s appeal, since it only raised about $40,000 out of their $375,000 goal.
I struggle to think of a mascot lazier than sticking arms and legs on a pencil. The game is just a basic platformer about gathering up six heads of a magic totem pole that grant Woody a wish.
Naturally, he asks for a paintbrush girlfriend.
Wild Woody was so bad that the team making it, Sega Multimedia Studio, was dissolved before it was even released. I guess that’s for the best since there wouldn’t be anyone to blame for this atrocity by the time people got to play it.
Yeah, sure, why can’t a glove be a mascot? At this point basically everything else has been tried, right?
Well, Glover’s big problem wasn’t so much that you were a glove, but the fact that the entire game was about escorting a ball through levels instead of just, you know, being fun.
In one of the weirdest turn of events, an indie company announced that it would be making a sequel in 2018. As it turns out, they thought that they owned the rights to Glover because they applied for the trademark—but not the copyright, meaning they couldn’t do squat.
When you get down to it, a mascot is just a fancy logo, right? In that case, why not just use a logo as your gaming mascot? Brilliant, right? Well, maybe, if you weren’t 7 Up, whose logo is … **checks notes** … a red dot.
Cool Spot is a game where you play as, and I still can’t believe this is real, the dot from the 7 Up logo. They throw some sunglasses on it to make it “cool” but come on, this is the laziest “mascot” ever thought up.
Wow, the Noid was a spectacular marketing failure on all fronts. Just look at this gross little creature. Why would you want your pizza brand associated with this thing? Worse yet, why would you want to play a game starring it?
The Noid actually has a wild ending to the story. A man whose last name happened to be Noid thought the ads were targeting him specifically. He held up a Dominos, demanding $100,000 in a white limo, negotiated to release one hostage for a copy of The Widow’s Son (which he reneged on once he got the book), and then got hungry.
After the hostages made him a pizza, they were able to escape while he ate.
It’s tail time!
I hope you’re ready to hear 5 versions of that line repeated every 3 minutes over the course of any of these games, because Gex just doesn’t shut up.
He’s supposed to be funny, and is even voiced by Dana Gould, but what kid is going to understand jokes like: “Note to self: Don’t drink tap water at Jerry Garcia’s” or “This is like a luau at Mel Blanc’s house!”?
Unlike 7 Up, Pepsi at least tried a little harder than making their blue and red spot into a mascot, but to way creepier results.
What we got was a strange, silver man with a Pepsi logo on his chest running through the streets on a set track collecting cans of Pepsi.
Thinking back, this game would’ve actually been a massive hit if it came out in the early 2010s on mobile phones, since it’s really an endless runner-type game.
We just weren’t ready for that kind of thing in the ‘90s, I guess.
This cat didn’t quite have nine lives, but it sure clawed its way into more sequels than it deserved.
Each game had a worse pun in the title than the last, such as Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, and Bubsy in 3D in “Furbitten Planet”.
Bubsy became so infamous for being terrible that, mistaking that internet fame for actual interest, they made a new game in 2017 called Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back and Bubsy: Paws of Fire! in 2019.
Both sucked just as much as the ones from the ‘90s.
Blasto is just a more boring version of Earthworm Jim in almost every way.
He’s a big muscle dude with a blaster gun trying to save the Space Babes from an alien named Bosc in the 5th dimension. It’s not wacky enough to be memorable, and is just so generic it’s no surprise no one remembers him.
Blasto had one thing going for him, though, which was the voice of Phil Hartman, who you may remember as the voice of Troy McClure, Duffman, several other Simpson characters, and his many SNL sketches and movies.
I have no proof of this, but I just know Awesome Possum was given the green light based on the name alone. When it came to making an actually good mascot, well, a possum isn’t actually all that awesome when you think about it.
Awesome Possum is actually an environmental game about stopping a scientist from polluting too much. That’s cool and all, but no kid wants to be interrupted while playing a game with nature quizzes for bonus points.