Top 10 product hits - and misses

The hype surrounding the iPhone is hardly unique. Splashy product launches are a time-honored tradition in the American marketplace -- and so are the stunning flops that sometimes follow. Here's a look at some of the more noteworthy hits and misses.

Toyota Crown, aka The Toyopet
Toyota Crown, aka The Toyopet
Toyota is now the world's largest car maker, and a top-seller in the U.S. but it's first foray into the American market fell very flat. After 20 years of success in Japan, in 1957 Toyota brought its first model to the U.S., the Crown, nicknamed the "Toyopet." The diminutive car was selling well in Japan, so executives figured it would cross over to American audiences.

"We took our chances and began exporting to the U.S. in order to stake our claim," said former Toyota Chairman Eiji Toyoda. "But the reception was horrible. To begin with, the car didn't have enough power to travel on high-speed roads." A mere 50 years later, Toyota recently surpassed Ford as the numbr two U.S. automaker.

Nintendo Wii

Tickle Me Elmo

MINI Cooper

iRobot Roomba

Ford Mustang

Apple Newton

Toyota Crown

New Coke


Microsoft Zune
How to buy an iPhone "Don't go to an Apple store," Steve Jobs famously advised Arianna Huffington last month. "It will be a madhouse there." (more)
The iPhone's accessories If the iPod is any indication, accessories for the new Apple cell phone are about to become a huge business. (more)
10 picks for the iPhone-phobic Tired of all the hoopla over the new Apple cell phone? Just looking for something different? These are worthy alternatives. (more)