SpongeBob gear rises from the depths

Viacom is as ever-optimistic as SpongeBob himself. The company is releasing a new line of higher-end electronics branded with ubiquitous Nickelodeon characters.

Nickelodeon parent Viacom is as ever-optimistic as SpongeBob himself. The company is releasing a new line of higher-end consumer electronics branded with ubiquitous characters such as Dora and SpongeBob.

SpongeBob LCD TV goes for $299. Viacom

This isn't Nick's first foray into electronics, but apparently it's the first time the company isn't slapping the images onto schlock, according to an article in The New York Times.

One of the least expensive items in the new lineup is $29 SpongeBob alarm clock. I must say, it could be awfully satisfying to thump SpongeBob on the head in order to catch a few more minutes of sleep.

But a $299 flat-screen TV? It screams garage sale fodder. Televisions are meant to last a long while. It will take quite the naive parent to believe his or her kiddo is going to be interested in a SpongeBob TV for more than a couple of years.

Of course, considering how kids treat their toys, maybe the TV will end up on the bedroom floor, with a cracked LCD, within a few months anyway.

Moreover, using cartoon characters to sell anything cheap is always a sure-hit. But kid-oriented companies, such as Mattel and Walt Disney, have had very mixed results when they've tried to slap characters onto higher-end products, such as PCs.

And it's sad to admit, but SpongeBob himself could hardly afford his own TV, considering his paltry paycheck as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab.

To view more of the new gear, check out "Photos: SpongeBob's electronic evolution" on News.com.

Update and correction at 6 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday: The $10 SpongeBob calculator appears on the same Nickelodeon store page as the other electronics gear, but it is not part of the new lineup.

Regardless, the calculator apparently helped SpongeBob tremendously in back in math class, and he still uses it to balance his skimpy checkbook.

 

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