Museum of Failure

Last week, as I was driving by a local mall, I noticed that something new had popped up. It's called the Museum of Failure, and it's a temporary exhibit showcasing failed products over the past 50 or so years. I was intrigued by this. It sounded fun, and it seemed like a place where I could take some interesting photos.

I came back armed with my camera and my wallet. The admission fee was $20, and I was advised to download the app that goes hand in hand with the museum. I did download it – only because it did not collect any personal information – but I did not use it much. More about that later.

The exhibit filled about and hour and a half of my time, and it was fairly entertaining. However, the setting was not very well lit, and most failed products were behind glass, which did not yield the best photographs. Still, I'm glad I checked it out!

I have to say, I was already familiar with some of the failed products displayed, which made me feel a little old. For example, I owned things like a Microsoft Zune and a Sony Minidisc player myself, in the early 2000s. Hell, I still have the Minidisc player, though it's been sitting in a box of old memories for many years.

Something that surprised me was the plastic bike! I'm not surprised someone came up with this idea; I'm more surprised they did not manage to make it work! In this day and age, cheap replicas seem to have a pretty good customer base. I guess they drew the line when safety was involved.

On the eerie side of things, I saw a set of lobotomy tools. What a barbaric “medical” procedure that was! I get the chills just thinking about it.

Speaking of creepy, there was also this facial beauty treatment mask. It looked like something straight out of a horror movie! Here it is for your enjoyment.

The list goes on an on, and many of these are listed on the museum's site. I think the idea is fun, but I wish the presentation was a bit better. Remember the app? I'm a little old school. If I go to a museum, I prefer to be present and enjoy what I see there, in person. I prefer not to stare at my phone. So, I felt like I did not get the full experience because I didn't use the app. This seems to be a trend nowadays, where technology is combined with reality to create these mixed experiences. To be honest, I find the approach cheap and lazy. I feel like a little more effort into the physical space could have made this museum really shine. Maybe in other locations it's better. In this poorly lit concrete hall at the mall, the Museum of Failure failed to truly impress me, but it did entertain me sufficiently for the $20 entry fee.

©️ Razvan Ungureanu