Austin's Power

THE STUFF It's capitalism, baby! This fall, New Line is releasing a clutch of Powers paraphernalia — everything from talking dolls to greeting cards. Ironic, given that retailers initially said no when the studio pitched them Powers product in late 1996. Although the film's success raised some eyebrows, the bandwagon jumpers really changed their tune after the home video debuted in March to super-groovy sales (more than 2 million copies to date). Two years ago, says Imhoff, "their reaction was, 'Very funny script. But let's [wait and] see.' Now their reaction is 'We have to have this property.'" Which explains why a store near you will soon be carrying adult-size Halloween costumes (you too can be a Fembot!), Austin and Dr. Evil plush dolls, and, believe it or not, an official (though nominally neutered) Austin Powers Swedish Made Enlarger, modeled after the film's member-enhancing gizmo. There's even talk of a fast-food tie-in for the sequel. Still, Imhoff promises to avoid any Godzilla-size exploitation. "We are not going to allow people to get sick of Austin Powers," he says, adding that Myers has approval on every tchotchke produced. "He [even] signed off on the Swedish Enlarger." Maybe Austin's new catchphrase can be Do I make you money, baby?

Originally posted Aug 14, 1998 Published in issue #445 Aug 14, 1998 Order article reprints

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