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Merchandising: Music DVD Beats Monsters

1 May, 2004 By: Brendan Howard

Pit Wolfman, Frankenstein and Dracula against such bands as The Eagles and the tight-pants-wearing, classical-musician band Bond, and the monsters should win — well, in any arena but retailer DVD merchandising strategy.

Serving as a vanguard to the upcoming theatrical release Van Helsing, which features revamped takes on the classic Universal monsters, Universal's “Monster Legacy Collection” editions of the old films debuted last week with much fanfare in newspaper fliers, but not a lot of attention in stores. The big emphasis was on music DVDs.

A Costa Mesa, Calif., Best Buy's new home-theater section — replete with cushy couches, comfy recliners and a widescreen TV playing an Eagles concert DVD — was host to two young men and a woman who looked at least two decades younger than the apple of their eyes, the Eagles' Don Henley.

The advertised $59.99 six-DVD set with the Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman special editions plus collectible busts of the monsters was nowhere in sight. There were quite a few of the individual titles on their own rack (but no endcap).

A Fountain Valley, Calif., Fry's Electronics had three TVs on endcaps showing concert and music video DVDs. One had the good-looking, violin-playing ladies of Bond. The Universal monster titles weren't available.

The six-DVD set was absent from a Costa Mesa Target, although the individual titles were available for $19.99 with a free tin plate of the Van Helsing re-imagining of the character in question.

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