GTA

16 years later, it’s time to remember GTA IV’s weirdest merch

16 years later, it’s time to remember GTA IV’s weirdest merch
Images via Rockstar Games | GTA Series Videos

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

29th Apr 2024 16:29

Where does the time go? It's hard to believe, but it's been exactly 16 years since we first stepped into Liberty City in Niko Bellic's shoes for GTA IV. The sixth mainline entry in the Grand Theft Auto series was a much darker affair, and with it came some pretty dark merchandise. 

On April 9, 2008, Rockstar Games gifted us GTA IV and watched it soar as the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time (at the time). While GTA V has since taken up most of the conversation, and there are plenty of GTA IV haters out there, there's no denying the game's cultural impact.

The weird and wonderful GTA IV merch

As the internet celebrates this milestone for GTA IV, the YouTube account GTA Series Videos is looking back at this strange period of gaming history. These days, we're used to seeing Elden Ring coming with a giant statue or Fallout games rereleasing in a miniature nuke, but what happened to the weird and wonderful days of GTA's viral marketing?

The video goes through the weird and wonderful merch you could honour GTA IV with back in the day. From smaller releases like Tw@ Internet Cafe mousepads and commemorative Pißwasser Beer, we also saw a Gay Tony-inspired cocaine spoon, hand-painted Statue of Happiness, and Rockstar-branded pizza boxes.

In terms of the big ones, there's the Key to the City, which was awarded to Social Club members who could 100% the game during its first week. There's Australian 360 Magazine's unofficial GTA IV playing cards, and the infamous GTA IV aluminium baseball bats that were given away as part of an Xbox Live sweepstake.

Easily the strangest are the GTA IV grenades. Made from decommissioned Mk 2 grenades, these were included in the 'Hidden Package' sent to fansites before launch and are something of a collector's item. Unfortunately, due to the nature of trying to ship an actual grenade, it's hard to find them nowadays. 

We deserve a GTA IV remake

GTA 4 Gay Tony and Niko
Click to enlarge
Image via Rockstar Games

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Sadly, we're left living in the past when it comes to GTA IV. Although we heard whispers that a new-gen remake was in the works alongside the Red Dead Redemption remake, it's thought the critical and commercial panning of the GTA Trilogy led to it being scrapped.

Even though GTA IV remains divisive, the anniversary celebrations have reminded us that it arguably has the best driving mechanics of the series. The fate of Niko is also a major question hanging over the series, leading to hopes Michael Hollick could return for GTA 6.

The rumour mill regularly goes around that Rockstar is going to deliver a GTA IV remake, but as all effort is being channelled into GTA 6 right now, we don't see one coming anytime soon. Still, with GTA 6 (hopefully) coming out in 2025 and GTA IV celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2028, here's hoping that patience is a virtue.

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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