Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marvel's 70th Birthday

From the Diamond Daily retailer newsletter, 6/16/09

Marvel Comics is planning a 70th Anniversary Party on Tuesday August 11 at 9:00 pm, celebrating 70 marvel-ous years at the House of Ideas with the early release of The Marvels Project #1 (JUN090440D, $3.99) & Marvel Comics #1: 70th Anniversary Edition (JUN090454D, $4.99) and their respective variants, exclusive offerings, and more.

Participating retailers may:
• Place The Marvels Project #1, Marvel Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special, and their variants on sale in their stores at the special party date and time of Tuesday, August 11 at 9:00 pm.

• Order as many copies of The Marvels Project #1 70th Anniversary Party Variant (JUN090442D, $3.99), The Marvels Project #1 Blank Cover Variant (APR098193D, $3.99) and Marvel
Comics #1 70th Anniversary Edition Party Variant (JUN090455D, $4.99) as desired by their FOC date of July 14. (Non-participants will be permitted to order up to five copies of these variants per store.)
• Participate in a Marvel 70th Anniversary Collection Sale...

• Order the Marvel 70th Anniversary Poster (NOV082320D) for $1 each from July 17 to July 24.

• Receive promotional materials including postcards, downloadable designs for cake toppers, a customizable press release, shelf talkers, and more.

• Have their store’s name and address listed as a participant in the 70th Anniversary Party in a story.

There are, of course, abundant variants to be purchased for both stores participating in the birthday party and store that are not. I think this would be a great event without the variants and wish Marvel didn't always run to them as a promotional tool. There are so many other good things going on for this event that I don't think it's necessary. But Marvel is known for variants, so I'm not remotely surprised they've incorporated several into this promotion. And people do buy those variants, so as long as there are buyers I'm sure Marvel will continue to make them.

In addition there are some discount offers for stores that meet minimum order requirements. I always like these. While Marvel does not offer returnability on comics (DC occasionally does) it's nice that they do offer discounts on orders if retailers meet order requirements. It's a good incentive to order a few more copies.

To participate Marvel has set some order minimums on the Anniversary comics. To my surprise and excitement the buy-in to participate is quite reasonable for even a small retail store. Occasionally the requirements for these types of things is high - making it only make sense for the largest of comic book retailers. But here Marvel (and/or Diamond) has done a good job of making this something that most retailers can afford to participate in if they'd like to do so. I have heard that years ago the big publishers used to do things like this--enable retailers to market their brand with fun items and such. While this is not quite to the scale of what retailers have told me they had in the past, it's great to see Marvel working with it's retail partners, providing them with tools that will make it fun and easy to host an event in their stores that can bring in crowds, foster good will, and just be something fun and different.

This event should be a great time, and at Neptune we're always looking for reasons to have parties in the store, so we will definitely be participating in this. Mark your calendar for August 11th and plan to attend. I'm sure there will be cake, prizes, and other cool stuff! Details to come as the date gets closer.

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