Straight Shootin’ with The Brain: Cannon Films Merchandise
As I was perusing Facebook last night I came across an interesting find, a comic book adaptation of the Jean-Claude Van Damme film, Cyborg. The comic was used to promote the home video release of the film. And in true Cannon Films fashion they dubbed JCVD’s character, Gibson Rickenbacker, the first hero of the 21st century.
I’m a huge Van Damme fan, yet I had NO CLUE there was ever a Cyborg comic book. And it got me to thinking, could Cannon Films have survived if they put more effort into the merchandising andlicensing of their film properties?
Cannon’s biggest foray into merchandising one of their films was the Sylvester Stallone film, Over The Top. There were figures with “Real Arm Wrestling Action” of Lincoln Hawk, Bull Hurley and more. They even made an arm wrestling table for kids.
There were also some American Ninja related items including a stamp set, a suction cup throwing star and plastic dagger and for some strange reason, the mysterious black ninja that Michael Dudikoff is featured with on the classic American Ninja poster, but no actual Michael Dudikoff figure… maybe they feared they couldn’t do his hair justice in action figure form.
So do I believe Cannon Films could still be making movies today if they would have increased their merchandising and licensing revenue stream?
The answer is YES! And I have some quality examples to back up that belief…
Who wouldn’t have purchased a Bloodsport video game for their original Nintendo?
Who wouldn’t have collected Missing in Action trading cards from Topps?
Who wouldn’t have gone to Burger King every week for a month so they could collect all four Death Wish 3 collectible glasses?
Who wouldn’t have had a Lucinda Dickey Calendar hanging up in their garage?
Who wouldn’t have played the Avenging Force board game with their friends on a rainy Saturday?
A sense of sadness comes over me as I think of all the missed money making opportunities…
Do you have any other Cannon Films merchandising ideas? Leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook with your thoughts.