You know the saying: a popstar is only as good as their tackiest piece of merch. And so, here are the ten best popstars of 2014, ranked based on the crap in their merch collection.
10. Britney Spears
(image: Britney Spears store)
Item: Christmas decoration
Price: $20 (£12.85)
Not content with dominating the budget haircare and sensible lingerie markets, Britney has her own Christmas decoration. The one side shows Britney in a PG Toxic outfit, the reverse shows her channeling ‘Lotus’. Would have been better if it referenced ‘My Only Wish (This Year)’ and was actually Christmassy.
9. Lady Gaga
(image: Lady Gaga store)
Item: LED seashell bra
Price: $35 (£22.49)
Lady Gaga is cleverly tapping into the ‘people who as children weren’t allowed light up things’ market with this bra. It does look like a slightly more expensive candy bra though, and at least with that there’s something nice to eat. I also worry about the support (the elastic looks like the one they use on paper masks ie not suitable for wearing).
8. Olly Murs
(image: Olly Murs store)
Item: ‘Never Been Merrier’ t-shirt
Proof that ‘any old shit’ will sell if you make it Christmassy (see also: cinnamon-flavoured Pringles). The thing about this shirt is that Olly Murs looks anything but merry. He looks like he’s just left G-A-Y on a December night and has realised he needs the loo. The hat looks slightly too big too. I sort of love it.
(image: Sia’s store)
Item: ‘Wet Dog’ perfume
Price: $30 (£19.28)
Here’s the thing: ‘Wet Dog’ doesn’t actually smell like ‘Wet Dog’. In fact, according to this YouTube review, it smells ‘calming’ and ‘like lavender’. Am I wrong to be disappointed? I mean, no one wants to smell like wet dog, but if you’re silly enough to pay $30 for a perfume called ‘Wet Dog’, you deserve to know how silly you are.
6. Miley Cyrus
(image: Miley Cyrus’ store)
Item: inflatable banana
The Miley Cyrus merch store gives three options as to what this can be used for. The first is ‘a pillow’ which is all well and good until you move and it makes that noise. The second is a pool toy, which works but you’re not going to pay £8.50 for a pool toy. And third is a concert banger. I swear if someone hits me with one next year, I’m suing.
5. One Direction
(image: One Direction store)
Item: trainer lamp
According to the description, “no bedroom is complete without this super-cool hi-top sneaker shaped light.” I’m inclined to agree because it lights up my world like nobody else. However, from a marketing perspective, they probably shouldn’t say that as you can buy enough crap on their shop to deck out a whole room.
4. Taylor Swift
(image: Taylor Swift store)
Item: 1989 blanket
“I got a blanket baby, signed with my name.” The marketing potential for a line of Taylor Swift blankets is endless. I particularly like the tassels around the edge, which makes the blanket look very much like it’s from 1989. Also on the store: a seagull sweatshirt like the one she’s wearing on the cover. I want one, naturally.
Item: a sheet of plastic
So that fans could recreate the cover of ‘Kiss Me Once’, Kylie threw a sheet of plastic into her ‘Kiss Me Once’ box set. Because a shower door just wouldn’t suffice (it does – yes I’ve tried), the sheet is covered in raindrops and has the title in the corner. That’s quite a good ‘box set’ though, right?
2. Sam Bailey
(image: Sam Bailey Merch)
Item: ‘Wife, Mother, Grafter’ tote bag
A popstar who doesn’t acknowledge that they are a popstar should not be allowed to release albums. But this tote bag is other-worldly. I don’t know how well-known it is, but Sam is a normal woman. This bag is part of a range which also includes a ‘Jam Tart Wednesday’-branded tea towel and a ‘Mummy’s Little Grafter’ baby-grow. Incredible.
1. Katy Perry
Tat: ‘Kitty Purry’ dancing tiger
Price: $65 (£41.79)
During the ‘Prismatic World Tour’ earlier this year, Katy Perry sold this solid-gold of pop tat. ‘Kitty Purry’ dances to ‘Roar’, and there are some that are signed. As a child, I had a dancing Baha Man, who bopped along to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’. It brought me so joy. That was a ten piece of pop merch and so is this tiger.