15 Worst Brand Reboots and Rebrandings

Last month the Gap attempted to change their logo and reboot their look, but it turns out consumers weren’t having it. The company was lambasted from all sides of the design-fence in regards to their choice, inevitably creating what was most likely a very expensive mistake. They certainly aren’t the first to attempt to take their business or name in a new direction though; many have tried and failed in the past. Hell, just last week Myspace changed their look in an effort to reboot and make their brand relevant again. It covers almost every single medium, from films or video games to restaurants and corporations. Sometimes these reboots work, but more often than not they fail miserably. Whether it’s a full-blown reboot or a rebranding, sometimes changing the look just isn’t enough. [via]

15. Superman Returns

Superman Returns wasn’t exactly the worst thing in the world, it was just one of the most boring. Look, we understand you need to keep to the canon when you reboot a series and Superman was certainly no different, but playing it perfectly safe, with Lex Luthor being a creep, some type of real estate scam and a boring old, “I’m here to stay,” end scene was just pathetic. Look, Superman has always been the king of cheese, but if you’re going to update it for a modern audience, at least try a little harder.

14. Golden Axe: Beast Rider

The Golden Axe series is one of the most loved games on the Genesis. When Sega promised a remake, fans got excited. Well, for a minute anyway. It quickly became clear the game wasn’t going to hit the same marks as the original. This is a classic reboot gone wrong, they relied on the name alone to carry it, but it just didn’t hold enough water with even the most die hard fans. We’re assuming the same fate will fall on the Splatterhouse remake due out this year.

13. RadioShack to the Shack

It seems like Radioshack has been on the verge of dying for a very long time, but apparently there is enough clientele interested in random overpriced RCA cables to keep them in business. Even still, they’ve been hard at work rebranding and rebooting their image for a younger generation–which is why they’ve partially changed their name to “The Shack.” There are about a hundred and one different jokes to make here, but let’s just leave it at that.

12. Alien vs. Predator

What happens when you reboot two franchises at once? Disaster, of course! The comics were rather amazing, at least if memory serves right, which considering they were released 20 years ago it may not. Either way, bad writing, directing and everything else combined together to create one of the worst movies of all time. Reboot, remake–whatever you want to call it, it was terrible.

11. SyFy

Remember when the History Channel changed its name to History? That was a little weird, but not nearly as eye-poppingly bizarre as when SciFi changed their name to, ahem, SyFy. Why not Psi-Fie? It was all for trademark purposes, but it was still one of the stupidest things ever. Well, until they released Sharktopus.

10. Pink Panther

Peter Sellers was fantastic as Inspector Clouseau, so the second he left, the franchise should have died and stayed dead. They tried to revive it once in the ’90s with Son of Pink Panther, which could have been the worst film in the franchise had Steve Martin not been tapped to take on the role. Look, innovation might be dead, but if you’re going to reboot an old series at least try a little.

9. Black Eyed Pea becomes the “Pea”

Only folks in Colorado or Texas are going to remember this one, but everyone can appreciate the stupidity of the shitty family restaurant attempting to make itself look like a hip cool bar by dropping the “Black Eyed” part of its name. The only real bummer about this failing is the fact that we’ll never get to see Applebee’s rebranded as the “The Bee,” or the Olive Garden shortened to the O.G. Of course, we did get that whole Pizza Hut changing its name to “The Hut” debacle last year, so maybe it had a little influence.

8. Knight Rider

The Knight Rider TV show was so bad that it got rebooted in the middle of the season that was itself a reboot of the original show. Clearly all those reboots didn’t work, which means that no amount of human beings could have possibly made the idea of Knight Rider cool to a modern audience.

7. Bomberman: Act Zero

Video games have a hard time breaking away from the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” methodology of creation, so it’s kind of hard to fault Bomberman: Act Zero too much, even if the game was one of the worst things ever. The Bomberman series of games is well known for its bright popping colors and awesome gameplay, but Act Zero did this weird thing where it changed the color palette to brown and stripped away all the fun. The biggest tragedy with this reboot was the fact that someone actually thought it was a good idea to make the colorful cartoon hero into the picture on the cover above. Taking the premise of a little dude who drops bombs in miniature mazes for a living seriously is probably the dumbest idea to ever grace video games–which is saying a lot.

6. Planet of the Apes

Reboot or remake, it’s hard to really say what word is best used to describe Tim Burton’s tragedy of a film. There’s nothing exactly wrong with remaking a movie, but remaking a film that’s already a classic just seems stupid, especially with a hack like Burton at the helm. If this film was intended as a reboot to the franchise, it failed miserably.

5. Fantastic Four

You’re probably asking, “which one?” All of them, of course. Fantastic Four is like the bad luck charm of Marvel Comic movies. Whether it’s the Roger Corman version that never even saw the light of day, or the two big budget films that nobody watched, the rebooted series is already seeing a possible reboot in the future. How many times can they do it before it just dies?

4. Bionic Commando

The Bionic Commando reboot wouldn’t have been a big deal had GRIN not released the amazing Bionic Commando: Rearmed the year before it released the terrible 3D reboot to the franchise. Where Rearmed was an ode to the original series, the reboot tasked some jackass with dreadlocks as a hero. Dear video game makers: reboot doesn’t have to mean darker colors and stupid heroes. Nobody, seriously, nobody in their right mind wants to play as some rich yuppie with dreadlocks and a robotic arm.

3. AOL to Aol.

Some companies will just not die. We have no idea why American Online (or Aol.) still exists but the fact they’ve gone through a million and one reboots of their name without ever really coming up with anything new is just unsettling. Maybe they need to pay for the disposal of all those CD-ROM’s from the ’90s.

2. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

The original Street Fighter movie was one of the worst things to ever hit the screen, so why anyone thought rebooting the film series was a good idea must have been drunk during the entire process. If it was just a once off thing it would be forgivable, but as it stands it’s one of the worst ideas to ever be made into reality. It’s also unsettling that, based on the title alone, they may have been planning on making a film for each of the games characters.

1. Terminator Salvation

For a moment Terminator Salvation seemed like it might actually be a good film, unfortunately that moment was destroyed the first time the camera moved. It was as if the film was made without any lights or on a foreign planet because it only included brown, black and gray in its color palette. It was the one billionth darker re-imagining of a franchise, almost as if the success of The Dark Knight made everyone think all you needed to do to reboot a franchise was make it bland and dark. If that wasn’t enough, someone didn’t get the memo that the more you add to a time-travel back story, the worse the story gets.

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