In my humble opinion, continued success is deeply overrated. I’m always happy to find that others agree (notably Sparky the Magic Blue Smoke Monster)! Smithsonian Magazine recently wrote about the Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden.
It seems a shame, but oddly fitting, that the Museum had to close this past September. But some failures are not doomed to fail forever! The Museum will reopen in a new home in Helsingborg’s cultural center this coming April.
For sheer shock value, nothing tops the infamous Rejuvenique beauty mask. When strapped to the face for 15-minute intervals, the contraption allegedly toned skin and reduced wrinkles by transmitting mild electric impulses to all 12 of the wearer’s “facial zones.” Powered by a nine-volt battery and endorsed by “Dynasty” star Linda Evans, Rejuvenique looked like the ice hockey mask worn by the teen-stalking psycho in Friday the 13th.
The novelties showcased in the museum all tanked for different reasons: some due to price or poor design (a replica of the Edsel, a 1958 car model with a grille that “looked like an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon”), some because management feared a product would never take off (Kodak’s digital camera, patented in 1978), some due to hubris (Harley-Davidson’s brand extension Hot Road, an eau de toilette for men who wanted to smell like a chopper) and some because they didn’t live up to the hype (the Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter). “When it appeared in 2001, the Segway was supposed to revolutionize public transport,” West says. “Today it’s used by mall cops and tourists before they go get drunk.”