Zombie Gear Roundup: Harmless Marketing Fun or Dangerous Ploy?
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As evidenced by television, movies, video games, comics, websites and books – America has zombie fever.
The idea of surviving a zombie apocalypse has always been a talking point of survival and firearms forums since those websites existed. The idea is that if you’re prepared for a zombie apocalypse, you’re pretty much prepared for anything. Plus it’s an entertaining ‘what if’ game that real life skills and planning can be applied to.
Given the online sub-culture it was almost inevitable that zombies would find their way into the marketing of weapons and survival gear. This has been evident at the 2011 and 2012 SHOT Shows, where numerous zombie themed firearms, accessories and survival gear has been released.
The following are all real products, from very real, and respected, companies:
- The EOTech XPS2-Z: This zombie edition of the popular holographic weapon sight system features zombie branding and a custom bio-hazard reticle. The sight is a modification of the company’s XPS2 line of sights.
- The Leupold VX-R Zombie Scope: This scope from one of the world’s most respected optics makers features a generous amount of zombie branding. It’s a spin on their popular Patrol line of scopes.
- Hornady Zombie Max Ammo: This specially branded and colored ammo from one of the world’s premiere ammunition companies is a rebrand of their premium VMax and FTX rounds.
- KA-BAR Zombie Killers: KA-BAR, the makers of US Military fighting knives since the 40’s, has even jumped on the zombie band wagon with their specially colored and branded line of knives and machetes.
- Ruger LCR-Z: One of the largest US firearms manufacturers has released a zombified version of their extremely popular LCP .380 pistol. It even comes with a zombie apocalypse survival guide.
- Spikes Tactical: One of the most popular manufacturer’s of AR15 style rifle components sells a zombie edition AR15 lower receiver. The model is very popular and is almost always on back order.
- STS Zombie Slayer: While the Spike’s lowers are popular the king of zombie slaying AR15’s has to be the STS Zombie slayer. With numerous custom engravings, parts and accessories this is a true zombie gun from top to bottom.
- LE Targets: One of the largest gun target makers, LE Targets, has an entire line of zombie targets so people can practice their marksmanship on the living dead.
The above are just a few of the large companies that are using fun zombie branding in their marketing campaigns.
The gear nerd in me wants to squeal like a school girl over how cool the reticle on the XPS2-Z is. However, the Second Amendment activist in me wonders if perhaps manufacturers are going too far in their novelty branding, to a point where people might forget that the items listed above are serious tools that should be handled by a certain set of rules at all times.
What do you think? Are manufacturers going over the top with the zombie marketing? Is it any different than the NRA and other special edition guns that manufacturers have been making for years? A harmless marketing idea that’s fun for all? In less gun friendly states, could there be problems with using these “novelty” branded items in a real self defense situation?