Godzilla Action Figures and Godzilla DVD Sets As Marketing Tools

Nancy B. Alston

What is your dearest Godzilla DVD? Do you remember what made you buy it? Godzilla, our beloved Japanese monster is also a marketing tool.

It is not the first time Hollywood uses retail items like Godzilla action figures and DVD sets as marketing tools to promote and make a blockbuster out of any movie. A specially well known case is the 1998 Godzilla movie remake. No matter how unhappy the long time Godzilla fans were about this 1998 Hollywood version, the Taco Bell commercials are still in many people’s minds. The 1998 character had no resemblance whatsoever to the original 1954 Japanese character, not in physical aspect nor in attitude either. In comparison to the original Godzilla, the 1998 Hollywood version was a wimp giant lizard, and quite soon the knowledgeable Godzilla fans started calling him names like GINO (Godzilla in name only), American Godzilla, Zilla and so on.

However, no matter how loud the complains were, nothing stopped the selling of 1998 Godzilla merchandise, where Godzilla DVD sets and Godzilla action figures were among the most desired items. So despite it was not a good movie, its box-office was worth millions of dollars worldwide. This case showed that Hollywood can get away with making money machine movies fueled by the unaware, willing-to-buy-anything masses. Or can it be otherwise?

Lately, Hollywood announced there will another Godzilla remake in 2012. This remake will be by Legendary films (the company acquired the franchise rights from the Japanese Toho company) in partnership with Warner Bros. One of the first statements made by Legendary films is that this new film will not follow the 1998 path but instead will develop its story along the original Godzilla character.

This is a clear message that these producers are aware of the very important worldwide fan base that want a true Godzilla in the movies. Furthermore, it they learn to treat this monster with respect, it could mean even more profit for the movie creators for this and potential new movies. It is an obvious reason. Happy fans will promote the movie for free and will buy all the Godzilla action figures and Godzilla DVD gift boxes there are. Collectors will be more than happy to get new toys and children and youngsters will continue the Godzilla cult all over the world.

This is an interesting possibility for Godzilla and fans alike. Godzilla does not have to die if fans and movies move together.

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