Considering nobody’s buying music anymore, bands have to tour more than ever, and they can definitely thank Kiss for the way the band revolutionized merchandising.
If done right, merchandising can generate a huge income stream that helps keep a lot of bands from going broke. Back in the 70’s, there were Kiss toys, pinball games, two comic books they did with Marvel, and more.
Anything they could put their name and faces on, they practically did, and the band’s former manager, the late Bill Aucoin, once told me that during the band’s biggest period, they made $119 million dollars in ’77-78 money, and $52 million of it came from merchandising.
The Kiss merchandising still continues to this day to the point of ridiculousness, especially with the Kiss Koffin, which the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was buried in, and Kiss Kondoms, and now comes the news that Figures Toy Company is putting out retro Kiss toys, just like the old Kiss action figures you could buy back in the ’70’s.
According to Blabbermouth, the original toys were put out by Mego, and like the Mego toys, these new Kiss dolls will have rooted hair, cloth costumes, and you can choose between 8 and 12 inch models.
Anthony Balasco, the CFO of Figures Toys, said, “Our first release will have the retro look from the 1970s, but future releases will cover all time periods in Kiss’s almost-40 year musical career from 1973 to 2012.”
If you think new generation Van Halen fans are rabid, Kiss fans remind me a lot like Trekkies in the sense that they know everything about the band, perhaps to the point of insanity, but good, bad or indifferent, many of them are virtual databases, and many of them also have huge Kiss merchadise collections.
I even saw an entire collection going up on Ebay where I think the asking price was six figures. Going on EBay right now, there’s thousands of items you can piss away your hard earned money on, including trading cards, Pez Dispensers (Buy It Now for $200?!), Bobbleheads and even the pinball games, which actually weren’t that expensive. ($400, Item Location “Detroit Rock City,” and $160m both “Buy It Now” prices, and both from “Top-rated sellers).