Death Stranding merchandise is somehow weirder than you’d expect

It’s unsurprising to hear that Kojima Productions has created a lot of Death Stranding merchandise. After all, the first major game released by Hideo Kojima’s new company after his departure from Konami is sure to be attracting a lot of attention. What is surprising, however, is just how weird some of this merchandise is.

Death Stranding Merchandise | The sensible store products

Death Stranding merchandise

It wouldn’t be a video game without some of the usual fare. Of course the Death Stranding merchandise includes stuff like t-shirts, hoodies, and socks. While the inclusion of socks in the mix is a little odd, it’s not entirely unheard of for video games. Heck, just casually browse through a Spencer’s or Hot Topic and you’ll probably find video game socks.

ALSO: Death Stranding multiplayer is like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, says Kojima

Collectible figurines can make a mint for entertainment properties and Kojima-san has that covered, too, with his company’s mascot already available in Nendoroid form. Death Stranding merchandise is going to be covered in the future as well with scale figurines and chibi-style stuff like Nendoroids.

This pretty darn cool mug is one of the more normal items of the list. A mug alone would be pretty okay, but this particular mug changes its appearance when a hot drink is poured into it. It’s neat, but this is where sanity ends and Kojima Productions’ gradual descent into madness begins.

Death Stranding Merchandise | The slightly stranger items

Death Stranding merchandise

Léa Seydoux’s character uses some kind of umbrella thing in Death Stranding, so that is supposedly justification enough for selling a branded umbrella. It’s at least tangentially related, right?

Salable products are one thing, but brand deals are an entirely different beast that can lead down dark roads. For some reason, Hideo Kojima saw fit to pen a deal with Monster energy drink to put it in the game as an actual, usable item. Because when you’re in a post-apocalyptic situation where you’re carrying a baby in a jar and are assaulted by the spirits of the dead, you’re gonna need all the caffeine you get to keep moving.

Product placement is just another way to merchandise things, and Kojima Productions didn’t stop with the Monster deal for Death Stranding merchandise. Like the sweet sunglasses used in-game by some of the characters? Well, they were not only designed by J.F. Rey — you’ll also be able to buy the real thing at some point in the future. As far as brand deals go, the margins on designer shades is probably pretty darn good.

Umbrellas, energy drinks, and sunglasses are a little nutty, but these are still believable brand deals and merchandise. It is here that we cross the rubicon into uncharted territory. Abandon all hope, ye who read onward. And Kojima has had knack for deals like this for quite some time, given the Calorie Mates in Metal Gear Solid 3, the Regain 24 drinks and iPod in Metal Gear Solid 4, the Mountain Dew shirts in Peace Walker, and more.

Death Stranding Merchandise | The downright weird stuff

Death Stranding merchandise

Rubber duckies. Rubber. Duckies. These adorable little devils are a bit strange to the say the least. Apparently, rubber ducky collecting is a thing these days, so this particular piece of Death Stranding merchandise makes sense in this context.

What makes somewhat less sense is a case for the Apple Watch. It makes sense; after all, phone cases are a popular aftermarket product and it’s not all that surprising to find that they’re doing the same thing for smart watches. What is surprising is that Hideo Kojima saw this product and said, “We need one with our company name on it.”

And then there’s the tape.

This is capitalism at its finest or worst, depending on how you look at it. Branded tape doesn’t sound like it would be a thing but any cursory Google search will show that the are companies out there who will cook this stuff up for you. Imagine the meeting at Kojima Productions where this deal was green lit.

“We should sell tape,” the conversation goes in my head. “I wholly believe that people are going to pay nearly $10 for Death Stranding adhesive tape.”

That’s the craziest thing we’ve seen so far. But hey, at least they’re not selling that weird baby in a jar thing, right? Right.

You have to buy the collector’s edition to get that.

[Third inline image credit: @notchsaku on Twitter]