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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

See the movie, buy the glasses

Movie and product tie-ins are going the unusual route, with merchandise such as nail polish and soda
The Straits Times - May 12, 2012
By: Toh Wen Li
| More
See the movie, buy the glasses RealD 3D glasses themed after Avengers characters (from far left) Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America are hot items. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Loved the show - now don the 3-D glasses, wear the nail polish and sip its soda?

Not content with run-of- the-mill merchandise such as toy figurines and posters, companies are pushing out niche collectibles and product tie-ins to appeal to movie and TV fans.

Make like Sookie Stackhouse's vampire friends and chug down some synthetic blood from speciality food shop Cut The Mustard in Greendale Avenue.

Okay, so it is only rich-red bottles of blood-orange soda, but the official Tru Blood sodas (spelt without an 'e' on the bottle) are exact replicas of those on the HBO hit series.

Co-owner Lim Hui Chern, 34, began bringing in the soda from a supplier in the United States last month.

While not a fan of the True Blood show, she felt the popularity of the series, which revolves around a telepathic waitress and her vampire boyfriend, meant there would be a market here for the beverage. It is priced at $17.90 for a 14-oz bottle.

Sales have been 'very encouraging' so far, says Ms Lim.

The 'slightly tart, lightly sweet' drink is usually bought by those in their late 20s to early 40s, who follow the series.

Meanwhile, with The Avengers smashing box-office records here, one of its promotional products has been flying off the shelves.

Avengers-themed RealD 3D glasses - in four different designs corresponding to the movie's superheroes The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Captain America - are being sold at Shaw Theatres Lido, the Cathay Cineplex and Cathay Cineleisure Orchard.

The $15 limited-edition glasses, licensed by Marvel and sold here since late last month, can be worn during screenings at any cinema using RealD 3D technology.

In the past, the Cathay Cineplex and Cathay Cineleisure Orchard sold Cars, Transformers and The Avengers-themed 3-D glasses, and the response was 'favourable', says a cinema spokesman.

One can also proclaim one's allegiance to a show by using its official beauty products. Avid nail-polish collector Joesphine Chow was thrilled to add three bottles of The Hunger Games nail polish to her collection of more than 60 bottles last week.

Says the 24-year-old marketing executive, who had watched the box-office hit: 'The nail polish makes me feel like I'm a part of the film when I have it on, even though it's just a bottle of liquid.'

Produced as part of a collaboration between US nail lacquer company China Glaze and Hunger Games studio Lionsgate, The Hunger Games Nail Lacquer Collection has 12 shades.

Each is named after the economic mainstay of each district in the film's post-apocalyptic world. Glittery-green Agro, for instance, represents District 11 which specialises in agriculture.

According to beauty buyer Shereen Holland for online fashion retailer Zalora, where the nail polish retails at $19 a bottle, response was so good that the collection sold out in three days and had to be restocked.

The collection is also available at cosmetics emporium Sephora here and has been part of lucky-draw hampers given out by Cathay Cineplex and Golden Village.

Earlier this month, limited-edition nail lacquers inspired by Sony Pictures' upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man were launched at OPI outlets islandwide.

A green 'shimmer Shatter coat' riffing on the film villain the Lizard's 'reptilian look', and six new colours ranging from white (My Boyfriend Scales Walls) to yellow-green (Just Spotted The Lizard) make up the collection. Each bottle is priced at $23.55.

Previously, the brand had also launched movie-inspired hues, such as last September's The Muppets Collection.

Once these nail shades hit Singapore, says Mr Alex Lim, managing director of OPI sole agent Alexis Links here, they are often sold out within a month.

Still, for every moviegoer won over by these unusual tie-in items, there is a sceptic.

Undergraduate Henry Foong, 22, does not view the idea of paying for Avengers-branded 3-D glasses favourably.

'I wouldn't go out of my way to buy all that stuff,' he says with a shrug.

And, for now, some movie memorabilia stores here are adopting a wait- and-see attitude about these recent additions to the movie-prolonging experience.

Mr Denny Liew, 33, managing director of Popcornpop in Esplanade Mall which stocks film posters and collectibles, says: 'There may be a very niche market for these products, but it probably wouldn't make commercial sense to bring them over in bulk.'

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