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Riding on the Back of ‘Iron Man’

1 Oct, 2008 By: John Latchem

The retailers were out in full force this week with enough Iron Man exclusives to drive a collector mad. At least eight chains were offering some sort of exclusive with the film, which Paramount already was offering in three versions anyway: a single-DVD edition, a two-DVD special edition and the Blu-ray Disc version.

Costco offered the two-DVD special edition with three bobble heads. Trans World-operated FYE and Suncoast stores had the special edition in steelbook packaging. Borders offered a sketchbook of “Iron Man” comic book covers. Circuit City offered access to six digital comics with purchase of the special edition or Blu-ray Disc of the movie. Kmart and Sears offered a $5 discount with a $25 Craftsman purchase.








Circuit City's digital comics

If sorting through those weren’t enough, the big three of Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy checked in with more than enough packaging variants of their own.

Best Buy offered a lithograph with purchase of Iron Man, and also had a DVD gift set that included an Iron Man bust and a $50 Sideshow Collectibles gift card. Sideshow, which created the Iron Man bust, specializes in statues and high-quality action figures based on pop-culture franchises. The upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Best Buy exclusive will offer a similar arrangement.

















Best Buy's Iron Man bust

Best Buy also was exclusively selling a DVD (from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) of the 1998 TV movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., starring David Hasselhoff as Fury. The Fury character cameos in the Iron Man film, with Samuel L. Jackson playing the role (Jackson inspired a re-design of the character in 2002 for Marvel’s “Ultimates” comic books, hence the racial change).

Wal-Mart certainly didn’t do collector’s any favors, either, offering collectors a choice of the single-disc version with a bonus disc containing an episode of the upcoming “Iron Man” animated series, or the two-DVD set with an exclusive mini-comic.



















Wal-Mart's exclusive mini-comic

Target offered the two-DVD and Blu-ray versions in special packaging molded like Iron Man’s mask. The mask opens to reveal the discs. Curiously, Target isn’t offering the regular versions of either as an alternative, just the collectible version.

Target’s approach here isn’t too different from what it did with its exclusive Transformers DVD packaging. Last year, Target offered a transforming Optimus Prime case with the two-DVD special edition of Transformers, and this year, to coincide with the Blu-ray release of the film, also offered an Optimus Prime mask package and a Megatron package (equal time, I guess).

Pictures of all the Iron Man exclusives can be found here (www.movieweb.com/news/NE6KDa79FWfl9a).

And if you don’t think this is out of hand, wait until The Dark Knight hits Dec. 9.

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