Henson Video line debuts Jan. 29 with eight titles

Buena Vista Home Video will release the first of a line of Jim Henson Video titles on Jan. 29, supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign. BVHV originally announced its plans to create a discrete Henson label when it pacted with Jim Henson Prods. for video and international TV rights last year (Daily Variety, Dec. 19, 1991).

Initially, BVHV will release eight titles: “The Muppet Movie,””The Great Muppet Caper,” two compilations of “The Muppet Show,” three compilations of “Muppet Babies” and “The Tale of the Bunny Picnic.”

The two features are priced at $ 22.99 suggested retail, and the other six titles are $ 12.99 each. The features had earlier been released by CBS/Fox Video , and “The Great Muppet Caper” had been available for $ 19.98. A BVHV spokeswoman justified BV’s price increase, saying “Caper” had been released when the vid market was still immature, and had received little promotional support at that time. What’s more, she stressed, BV is including a Muppets wristwatch with “Caper” and “The Muppet Movie” providing added value. (The watch is shrinkwrapped to the vidcassette box.)

Marketing support for the launch of the Jim Henson Video line will exceed $ 5 million in expenditures. That includes consumer and trade advertising, trade incentives, co-op advertising, merchandising materials and a publicity blitz. Network and cable TV advertising is planned, and print vehicles include Family Circle, Family Fun and Sesame Street Magazine. BVHV estimates the ad campaign will generate 1.7 billion consumer impressions.

As outlined last December, the Henson product will have its own in-store displays. Retailers may select a 36-piece display with the movies only, a 42 -unit display with $ 22.99 and $ 12.99 product mixed, or a 48-piece display with only the $ 12.99 titles.

Concurrent with the video releases, Bertelsmann Music Group will promote soundtrack recordings of “The Muppet Movie” and “The Great Muppet Caper.”

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