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All Hail DVD&#39;s New <I>King</I>

9 Oct, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

Disney's long-awaited DVD debut of the topselling home video of all time, The Lion King, hit shelves last week and retailers welcomed the family favorite with a bevy of promotional material, tie-in products and first-week sale prices that could entice even the most frugal shoppers.

A Costa Mesa, Calif., Best Buy's gigantic merchandiser also offered shoppers Lion King character-themed flashlights courtesy of Duracell. In addition, the two-disc set was stocked on a smaller merchandiser near the store's new-release table along with Lion King, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty storybooks. Merchandised nearby were add-on Disney purchases like Sleeping Beauty Special Edition, Atlantis, Lilo & Stitch, as well as Lion King soundtrack CDs and the film's Game Boy Advance game.

Plenty of shoppers at a nearby Target were picking up the title on street date.

One mom went through the checkout line with a copy of the new Lion King set along with a DVD of another of last week's new releases, The Italian Job.

“One for me, one for the kids,” she joked.

At a Wal-Mart location a few miles away, Lion King signage at the store's entrance announced “It's Here!” Shelftalkers in the DVD section announced the store's price-match policy, and touted the fact that Wal-Mart's low $14 price was beating competitors.

All three stores kept copies of the special Lion King Platinum Edition Gift Set handy, priced under $30. The set includes the special edition DVD, a special edition book and animation drawings.

Retailers also promoted Disney's $5 savings for folks who upgrade to the DVD from the VHS version.

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