Welcome to a FREE preview of our weekly exclusive! Each week our team goes ‘Beyond the News’ and handcrafts a special edition that includes our thoughts on the biggest stories, why it matters, and how it could impact the future.
You can receive this newsletter along with all of our other members-exclusive newsletters, become a premium member for just $3/month. Your support goes a long way for us behind the scenes! Thank you.
If you’re not ‘in the know’ on Twitter (as I was not before sitting down to discuss this topic), a Tesla Cybertruck fan has begun capitalizing on the unique design of Elon Musk’s answer to the pickup in the form of 3D printed merchandise. Specifically, this guy is taking preorders for digitized testicles to hang off of Cybertruck’s tow hitch. The effort includes a website with high resolution images of the CAD file design, a Kickstarter campaign, and he’s even caught a full article’s worth of attention of a some online auto publications with the idea including Motor1 and Drivetribe.
The site Tesletter, on the other hand, simply featured the yet-to-be-produced product as a Black Friday gift idea for Tesla owners. Unlike the Cybertruck Nuts item itself, which made me simply gawk and chuckle, the gift list got me thinking. Will the Cybertruck be the design that inspires Tesla’s merchandise to go mainstream?
I mean, most Tesla products that are available are actual items to use on or with your vehicle, not so much deck out the rest of your living space. Everyone has mugs and t-shirts (seriously, everyone with a brand), but you’d hardly consider that level of merchandising in the same realm as something like…say…Harley Davidson. Tesla has done a bit of expansion here with their kid-sized car and die cast models, plus the Starman-Tesla crossover inspired some cool fan-created designs. Yet, still… Something about Harley Davidson has inspired even the most non-biker types to buy items with the branding even though the brand wasn’t “them” at all.
As I write this, I’m suddenly remembering that my friend’s preschooler was at our house yesterday sporting a Harley logo shirt despite her parents being the types to drive an SUV and minivan, work in corporate settings, and wouldn’t dream of ever owning a motorcycle, much less visit biker bars for fun. I’ve personally outfitted my oldest in a Harley-logoed leather jacket as a kid because it was cute, and as a tween, she had a pair of Harley boots that were her prized possession. Other than liking the bikes for 5 minutes as a middle schooler, neither of us have ever even considered owning V-twin-engined transportation, yet we still liked the merchandise.
I wonder if the Cybertruck could have that same sort of effect. I’ve said before that it’s not a truck I’d buy personally because it doesn’t fit my day-to-day lifestyle. However, there are a lot of branded things I buy because they’re cool to me or fit something else in my life (music, other form of entertainment, etc.). I buy my kids stuff featuring the Ninja Turtles frequently, and I even own things with Jem and the Holograms and the Power Rangers on them. I wouldn’t buy a car that was outfitted like April O’Neil’s news van or a truck styled like Megazord, but I would obviously purchase some spinoff merchandise.
The comparison is fair, I think, given the Hollywood inspiration for Cybertruck. Stylish merchandise is only the beginning, too. The tech behind Musk’s brainchild could also go into other products that I and others like me (etc., etc.) might buy. And it’s all in support of Tesla’s brand and mission, still bringing in income to the company to further it, and beyond.
What are your spinoff merch ideas? And…if you’re going to buy a Cybertruck…will you buy Cybertruck Nuts some day?