Sometimes a company comes up with a big idea that they want to be the next best thing. Even if they don't intend it to be better than others or start a new trend, they do their best to sure make it seem that way. But not everything in life is created equal and some products end up coming out worse for wear. Many products end up flopping so badly that it puts that company out of business or ruins their reputation even if only temporarily. With so many years behind us, there have been a bunch of commercial failures to choose from. We found the best ones and compiled a list for you to check out some of the worst flops to date. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading and find out what you might have missed.
Amazon Fire Phone
While it had a whole bunch of promising features, such as Firefly, which would automatically recognize text, images, and sounds, among other things, and provided you access to buy the item through the Amazon store.
It also had a feature called "Dynamic Perspective" which allowed users to make use of the four cameras on the front of the phone to make the display feel 3-dimensional as it shifted persepectives. All-in-all, this didn't change much, and its high price and underdeveloped UI caused it to flop.
DH 106 Comet
Air travel has not always been as safe as it is today. These days, you're more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash and, no, that is not because you drive more than you fly. Think about how often a plane crashes versus a car and compare that with how many planes fly and cars drive.
Even still, accident do happen, and that's essentially what grounded (pun not intended) this plane. Due to a few unexplained fatal incidents involving this would be commercial jet innovation, this plane lost its reputation and went on to be a part of the history books.
Boeing 737 MAX Airplanes
That wasn't the only airplane to have had some terrifying problems. You've almost definitely heard of the infamous Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts and their two fatal crashes. After that, there was almost no recovery for the plane and they were all grounded.
The crashes were caused by a malfunction in a new system that was installed in the vehicles called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System which was supposed to help fix the angle of attack when needed, but ultimately caused the planes to nose-dive. Boeing is trying to reinstate the airplanes, but it's hard to believe that anyone will get on one again.
Along with Tamiflu, Relenza was meant to be a preventative medication and treatment for Influenza, which was rearing its head and causing a panic back in 1999. Unlike Tamiflu, however, Relenza didn't do very well.
This was due to the fact that many people found the powder inhalant to cause respiratory problems in patients. Not only that, but the drug didn't actually help prevent the Influenza virus which was another huge problem. Where Relenza failed, Tamiflu succeeded.
When you think of Harley-Davidson, do you think of nice smells? Probably not, as this company's main product is its motorcycles and other motor vehicles. That was exactly the problem with them trying to create this eau de toilette.
Because no one actually attributes Harley-Davidson with anything other than motorbikes, they weren't very aware of this attempt to reach out of their main brand. Along with this, they also failed to sell a cooler and an aftershave.
Vegemite iSnack 2.0
If you don't like Vegemite (which you probably don't or have never tried) you're likely to assume that the reason this product failed is because of what it is. It's a cheese-based spreadable Vegemite snack promising a "deliciously different Vegemite experience".
Well, the real reason it failed is due to its name. They received around 48,000 different name suggestions for their new snack and decided to go with iSnack 2.0, which is decidedly the worst one. What was supposed to sound like the future literally spelled doom.
Do you remember the days where Netflix movies used to come in these amazing snail-mail envelopes that opened one way and sealed another for redelivery? We do, and they were some of Netflix's best years (albeit all the rumors that they were going under).
Well, they had decided to split their company into two parts--Netflix, for their streaming services, as the name would imply, and Qwikster, for their mailed DVDs. However, to use both, you had to pay extra, which wasn't sitting well with people. Qwikster, needless to say, didn't last long.
We all know Blu-ray, but there was something that actually came before that. You might have missed it, but in 2006 Toshiba made what was basically the same product--HD DVD--promising better audio-visual quality and more storage.
But when Warner Bros. announced that they would only be supporting Sony's Blu-ray format in 2008, people pretty muched ditched the system altogether. That wasn't before people spent money on the all the DVD players though, an they were stuck with 'em.
This has got to be one of the best products ever... if you're lazy. The concept here is that you would put a packet of juice into the machine and it would squeeze it out into your cup for you. So why not just buy juice at the store? Because of money. And convenience. And, we'll admit, it looks cool.
The packets of juice were at least unique in their combinations of products, but you could theoretically find them elsewhere. It all came to a head, though, when people realized they didn't need to spend over $100 on the machine as the juice could be squeezed by hand. In 2007, they stopped sales and announced they'd buy back the machines from customers.
Persil, the well-known detergent and soap brand, has made quite a few amazing products perfect for your everyday cleaning needs. When it comes to keeping your clothes safe, Persil Power was not one of them.
Granted, at low temperatures the detergent would work wonders on stains, but for higher temperatures (which is sometimes necessary) people found that the extra stain remover formula dubbed "Accelerator" would damage their clothes. They eventually replaced it with Persil New Generation which dumped the Accelerator formula.
In 2006, Coca-Cola Blak was the company's attempt at combining the sweet taste of Coke with the delicious flavor of a coffee. Unfortunately, people began to complain about the poor taste and the excess caffeine.
However, that didn't seem to keep them down as more than a decade later Coca-Cola introduced a new iteration of the drink simply named Coca-Cola Coffee. We've tried it, and it's actually not half bad.
Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage
This is something we could only imagine being craved by pregnant women or those who have munchies. Well, maybe fresh they could also be a good product for anyone craving sweet and savory, but this was a bit too much.
You might be a fan of something like this, but having a sausage link wrapped in a pancake being frozen and reheated was not something many people were willing to continue buying. Especially not with such flavors as blueberry or chocolate chip pancake...sausages.
In concept, this was an incredibly cool and promising design. However, the need for it was very limited as it couldn't do enough to change the lives of the consumers and it wasn't very practical, let alone cheap.
There were also a bunch of issues like privacy concerns, bans from public spaces, and low battery life which pretty much killed its sales. The inability to live up to the hype forced Google to withdraw it from the market in 2015.
Windows never really seems to get a break. Windows 8, Windows 10, it doesn't really matter. People want to go back to the original Windows that they know and love (be it Windows XP or Windows 7 it doesn't really matter. Besides, Windows Vista came out after XP so no one really had a chance to complain about the others).
Basically, Windows Vista came with many problems for those hoping it would be the next best thing for their computers, such as slowing down the computer or crashes. Dell eventually went back to offering XP on its new devices not long afterward and in 2018 Windows announced it would no longer support Vista basically killing it for good.
If you're a social media junky this might have appealed to you at one point. The concept behind this product was to convert a mobile phone's home screen into a Facebook newsfeed and provide access to other features.
Unfortunately, the janky design of it wasn't very appealing to those who tried it along with the inability to easily switch back and forth between this and the original home screen. Besides, social media is best left to its own devices, not set to take up all the phone's real estate.
Heinz's EZ Squirt Ketchup
We've had this before when we were kids and we definitely thought it was cool. But you know who didn't think so? Our parents. Luckily for them it wasnt very hard for this product to go under.
It was a novel concept: colored ketchup that you could use to paint anything onto your food. People lost interest within a short amount of time, though, most likely due to the amount of food coloring and the fact that you had to buy more than just one for the full effect.
If this car looks to you like something out of "The Jetsons" or other futuristic concepts, you'd be right. This car was trying to be ahead of its time, both in style and in features. But it failed to live up to the hype that the company got for it.
It was deamed overpriced, not futuristic, and ugly (although we actually like the futuristic look as far as other older car models go). After only two years, they ended up having to stop production and lost an estimated $350 million.
Kellogg's Breakfast Mates
Things like this are still around everywhere, but not quite to this level. The product was a small package of cereal that also included a small carton of milk and a plastic spoon. That's a pretty convenient little thing if you ask us.
It was supposed to be a time-saver, but people figured out pretty quickly that it didn't take much more time to prepare cereal the traditional way and thereby saved room in their fridge for other products. Not to mention their $30 million ad campaign didn't actually address the added benefit of these things, depicting families eating together not exactly pressed for time.
Wow! Line Of Frito-Lay Chips
The Frito-Lay company had once begun to supply a separate version of their chip products using the fat substitute Olestra. This would allow people to eat their favorite snacks while also not consuming a large amount of fat. However, they stopped eating it thanks to its reported side effects.
However, in 1996 the FDA required packages containing Olsetra to warn customers of its propensity to cause frequent diarrhea (which was extra fatty in texture) and stomach cramping. Despite finding this to no longer be necessary in 2003 (since it didn't happen as often as thought and only from overconsumption), the damage had already been done.
Let's be honest, do you even remember this social media service? We've noticed it all the time but never fully understood how it worked or the necessity for it. Needless to say, it ended up dying out.
It still has its dedicated users and is mostly used to share photos, but all-in-all no one really uses it. While it may have seen peak uses when it first came out, it wasn't able to differentiate itself from the competition and, by 2015, saw a 98% decline in user engagement.
Smokeless Cigarettes u
In 1988, R.J. Reynolds, America's second-largest tobacco company, began to market a type of cigarette that produced none of the noxious fumes and smoke that cigarettes were known for. Sounds pleasant, right?
Smokers sure didn't think so. It didn't come with any of the throat or mouthfeel that traditional cigarettes provided. To make matters worse, people reported them to have a strangely chemical flavor, as if it were burning plastic.
Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water
In 1990, the Coors beer company introduced this brand of sparkling water. Despite being one of the most popular beer companies in America, they weren't able to quite get the sales they were expecting.
This is likely due to the fact that they typically sell alcohol and it might have been confusing to some would-be consumers that this was a non-alcoholic drink. By 1997, the Coors company let their trademark on the drink expire.
In 2006, Microsoft released the Zune MP3 player in order to compete with Apple's iPods. What would have been an otherwise amazing product paled in comparison to Apple's own MP3 players, however.
Maybe if they had gotten this product out before Apple, they would have stood a chance. However, it was riddled with bugs that could not be overlooked. One of the worst of them was a failure of the coding to account for an extra day due to a leap year, and on December 31, 2008, basically, all 30GB Zune stopped functioning entirely.
Coca-Cola didn't simply have issues with an attempted flavor profile for its drinks. In 1985, while trying to compete with Pepsi, which had taken a large chunk of the market sales, they changed their formula for the first time in 99 years.
People were not happy about the change. They eventually switched back to the original formula, branding it Coke Classic. Meanwhile, by 1992, they renamed New Coke Coke II. This still didn't help, and all sales came to a halt by 2002 (with a limited revival in 2019 as part of a tie-in with Netflix's "Stranger Things").
General Motors EV1
This car was originally a really big hit. As far as cars from the 90s go, this car was actually electric which you couldn't say about many other cars back then, and it was a really big hit with environmentalists and consumers.
However, after only six years since the cars release, General Motors had to recall the car citing liability problems and spare parts problems. People weren't happy about it, but we're sure it was even worse for the people behind it.
In an attempt to profit on the unicorn trend popping up all over the internet back in 2017. It was made with mango syrup and a sour blue drizzle, blended with cream, and dusted with a pink powder. The taste didn't exactly live up, and after getting their shots for Instagram, sales declined.
The concept is still cool, however. From an article on the Starbucks website: "Like its mythical namesake, the Unicorn Frappuccino blended crème comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity. But give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart. The more swirl, the more the beverage’s color, and flavors transform."
In 2003, Nokia came up with an incredible idea. Combine the use of a phone with a handheld gaming console. The idea was a grand one, and today we basically all do this, but it didn't seem to live up.
This "taco phone", as people began to call it, did have some successful games, but it wasn't enough to sell the product. By the end of 2004, Nokia was only able to ship (not even sell) a sixth of their projections at one million units.
Apple was creating all manner of products before it became the powerhouse it is today. After three years and $50 million, they put out on the market in 1983 their Lisa computer, a high-end computer that offered a graphical user interface for business consumers.
However, its price tag proved to be too much for people to handle at $9,995 (which is equivalent to about $25,000 today). It was discontinued in 1985 after selling roughly 100,000 units, much lower than expected.
Hasbro Desktop Computers
That wasn't the only computer on this list to have a major flop. In 1999, Mattel launched its very own Hot Wheels and Barbie-themed home computers in an attempt to combat declining Barbie sales with the use of CD-ROMs and software sale increases.
However, they had many problems with their hardware. The company that had created the computers, the Patriot Computer Corporation, spent too many resources replacing parts and fixing them and was put out of business before firing its employees and filing for bankruptcy.
In 2011, Hewlett-Packard released its solution to the tablet competition. With Apple's success at launching the iPad, they wanted something that would be able to stand up to it and the others who were doing the same.
As you might have guessed, it didn't exactly do so well. Despite having a number of celebrities in their advertising campaign. they were unable to sell enough of the tablets and they started offering discounts to help stores sell their excess. This would end up costing them upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars.
This was Nintendo's attempt to make something truly revolutionary and the first attempt that a videogame company would make at virtual reality. The problem was that it wasn't anything near the virtual reality we have today.
Not only that but every game for the Virtual Boy was tinted with a deep red. This was to reduce battery drain and cut costs. Combine that with the headaches and eye strain and you have one of Nintendo's worst and most infamous products.
Cheetos Lip Balm
This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It's a lip balm made by the same company that makes Cheetos and is flavored as such. That's probably why it didn't do so well.
Unfortunately, they weren't able to sell people on the idea. It doesn't seem like many people are keen on continuously tasting the cheesy goodness that is cheetos. We're curious about it but would probably agree.
Colgate Hot Meals
You probably associate Colgate with toothpaste, and for good reason. That's their main product, so it came as a surprise to see that they were also making premade frozen meals.
They reached out a bit too far from their area of expertise because people were not ready to eat their meals and their sales declined. They eventually stopped producing them and stuck to good old mouthcare products.
BIC is also a bit too excited to reach out into the big, wide-open world of product design. It seems they were tired of making simple office supplies and decided to try their hands at beauty products.
In this case, they made portable perfumes and colognes. People were not very keen on the idea, despite the convenience of carrying around tiny little sprays. You can still find them somewhere, but don't count on it.
Galaxy Note 7
This was going to be Samsung's next best thing... and then it became the most infamous phone of all time. It was the first Note to have an edge-to-edge display which made it perfect for using the S-pen and looked great, too.
We had one and we can definitely attest to how great it felt to have. But then it was recalled because of its ability to spontaneously catch on fire. It was later banned on all flights as well. Needless to say, nobody continued to use them for much longer.
This is probably how Sony learned its lesson and became the frontrunner for Blu-ray DVDs. A year before JVL introduced the VHS format, this was Sony's answer to videos on tape. It was also technically better than VHS technology, boasting better quality overall.
The problem came down to licensing. Sony refused to license its technology to other manufacturers thereby limiting the amount f movies available on the system. This would be what led to its downfall as people preferred more content versus better quality.
With a name like Orbitz, we don't see how this became as popular as it did. Well, it was only for a little bit, anyway. We think it sounds like some sort of gum or medicine and that's part of the reason it flopped.
As interesting as it looks, people reported that it tasted pretty bad, sort of like cough medicine. Apparently, the gel balls weren't doing it justice either, and they ultimately pulled the products from the shelves.
If HD DVD is the successor to DVDs, then LaserDisc is the precursor to it. It was made in the 1970s and offered superior resolution and sound quality than the VHS tapes that were popular at the time.
Unlike VHS tapes, however, they couldn't record what was on the TV. This was important because video on demand and channel recording devices were not available yet and this was something people wanted. Despite a small comeback in the 90s, it still never made it big.
These glasses were launched in 2004 and were the first glasses to feature a built-in audio player. That sounds cool in theory, but (especially now with MP3s and phones) they weren't very practical as you needed to wear the glasses to listen to music. Why not just carry an MP3?
That wasn't the only problem. They were really expensive, starting at $249 and their design wasn't all that appealing. People didn't buy into it and they stopped making them altogether.
We know what you're thinking: Segways are used all the time! That doesn't mean they didn't flop pretty bad. Just think about this: how many people actually own one versus using them during tours or for specific purposes.
They launched in 2001 and when they were released they cost $5000. That's a pretty steep price for an automatic vehicle when you can just get a scooter or bike (or even use your car). It was innovative enough for other things, though, and you can probably find them if you look for them.
The DeLorean DMC-12
What?! The DeLorean from the movie "Back to the Future" was a big flop?? Yes, that's right. Despite being popular now amongst collectors and fans, they were not always this well-received.
In 1973, John DeLorean created the DeLorean Motor Company after leaving General Motors. But the car was only released in 1981 after years of product delays and was poorly received at the time, only selling less than half of its 7000 vehicles.
The Virtual Boy wasn't the only gaming system to flop (and it won't be the last). This one was actually pretty sad as well, seeing how Sega is one of the most reputable video game companies having created Sonic the Hedgehog and having great success with their Sega Genesis console.
It was definitely ahead of its time--it was the first console to be able to feature online capabilities. However, it didn't really catch on, possibly due to the success of the Playstation 2 which had come out only a year after, and it was discontinued only a little more than 2 years into its run.
Yes, that's right. The magazine Cosmopolitan released a yogurt at one time. With many delicious flavors, what's not to love about this? Well, for one thing, Cosmopolitan isn't exactly known for its food, but, obviously, its magazine.
That's not all, though. As a primarily women's magazine, it robably failed to garner any attention from men. Not that its meant to be marketed towards them, but come on--it's yogurt! Try reaching out to everyone and maybe you'll stand a chance.
We have to say that any soft drink that is able to successfully do away with any artificial food colorings and still keep that delicious flavor gets an A+ in our book. However, when it came to Crystal Pepsi that wasn't exactly the case.
This was introduced by The Pepsi Co. back in 1992 but it failed to intice and within the year it passed away. The person credited with coming up with the concept, David C. Novak, said "It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good". We wish it was because we would have loved to try it.
Touch Of Yogurt Shampoo
In 1979, Clairol decided to incorporate yogurt into their shampoo in order to keep up with the trend of adding natural ingredients into anything and everything. What seems like a brilliant idea to make synthetic hair products more environmentally friendly ended up being a total fail.
You might be able to guess what came next. People actually misunderstood what this product was. Despite literally saying shampoo and coming in a bottle that would be weird for yogurt, people seriously started to eat the product. Only in America.
Burger King Satisfries
These fries were supposed to be the perfect alternative to the extra fatty option offered before it. Promising "big taste" with forty percent less fat and thirty percent less calories, these fries would have really been the perfect option to save some calories. So what went wrong?
Apparently Burger King didn't properly convey the difference to customers. That combined with the higher price meant that people would opt to get the regular fris since they were the same great taste that everyone loved. Maybe the'll try again in the future.
Atari's E.T. Video Game
After the huge success of the movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", Atari sought to build on the foundations and create a game based on the film. What was supposed to be yet another great success was met with good sales at first and subsequent returns (around 669,000 copies) and 2.5-3.5 million copies went unsold.
It was noted to have clunky controls, was too confusing for anyone old enough to actually understand the game, and had a pixel-perfect collision system which meant anyone playing would easily throw themselves into a pit by accident. There were rumors that Atari secretly buried the unsold copies and this was confirmed in 2014.
As we said before, there was a myriad of items that Apple had developed before they found commercial success in their phones. The reason you haven't heard of them was because many, if not all of them, failed to actually become majorly successful.
Take The Newton, as another example. Apple's CEO at the time even coined the term PDA a year before the release of this handy system, but they only managed to sell 50,000 units. Within 5 years, the product line was discontinued.
Miss BIC For Her Pen
As if companies didn't gender things needlessly enough (think women's shavers, deodorant, and even laundry detergent) back in 2012, BIC made a pen that was just "for her". Because women need a different reason to pick up a pen, right?
The pen was simply pink and marketed towards women. Obviously, it got mocked to high heaven and failed to actually gain any traction. Things that don't need to be gendered should just stay that way. Stop trying to make more money by tricking consumers; we're not that gullible.