An ICv2 Release. ICv2, with the support of sponsors Tokyopop, Diamond Comic Distributors, Tokyo Mint, and Bandai Entertainment, is bringing you our 'Love Hina's a Hit' promotion, with drawings for cool prizes and information on marketing this surprisingly successful property. Our first indication that Love Hina was headed for big things was when we published our first major article on the property a year ago (see 'Love Hina Embraces America'). It immediately became one of the most popular articles we'd published up to that time, with attention not only from our core retailer audience, but also links from a wide variety of sites devoted to anime fandom.
As the initial Love Hina products -- posters, DVDs, and manga trade paperbacks--rolled out in the U.S. over the first quarter of this year, it became apparent that it was reaching a much broader audience than most had expected from a romantic comedy. For example, Tokyopop's VP of Sales and Marketing told us at the San Diego Comicon this summer that he was '...blown away by how strong it is' (see 'Tokyopop Manga in 4000-6000 Stores'). Bandai also reported strong sales of the DVD series. Now, as the manga trade paperback and DVD series continue, a second wave of products, including the action figures imported exclusively by Diamond Comic Distributors and the statue line by Tokyo Mint, is increasing the profit potential further. That makes this an ideal time for retailers to check their stock on the products already released and make plans for the hot new products in the pipe.
Four sponsors, representing most of the Love Hina products available in the U.S., are supporting this promotion, with three of them running drawings for some of the exciting Love Hina products.
Tokyopop has released five of an eventual fourteen 200-page trade paperback volumes of the Ken Akamatsu manga series that originated this property. Two more are scheduled before the end of the year, and the rest will be released in 2003. Each book is in Tokyopop's 'authentic' right to left format. As part of the 'Love Hina Is a Hit' promotion, Tokyopop is conducting a random drawing from retailers that register for three copies of each of the five books released to date, a $150 prize. Click here to register from the drawing for $150 worth of free trade paperbacks. And click here for more information on Tokyopop's series of Love Hina manga trade paperbacks.
Diamond Comic Distributors
In addition to distributing all of the Love Hina products involved in this promotion (and more), Diamond is also importing a series of Love Hina action figures. At the great retail price of $12.99, each figure includes numerous accessories, including removable clothing. The figures have already been solicited, and are expected to arrive in January; Diamond is taking advance reorders now. In conjuction with the 'Love Hina Is a Hit' promotion, Diamond is conducting a retailer drawing for a 12-piece assortment of these imported Love Hina action figures. For more information on the Love Hina products Diamond carries and to enter its drawing, click here.
Tokyo Mint LLC is a new company formed to import and produce fine anime collectibles. Its first releases are a series of imported Japanese statues featuring the Love Hina characters (see 'Tokyo Mint Announces Love Hina Import Statue Line'). The first product in the series, the Naru Narusagawa Bikini Statue (at $129 MSRP) is due for release in December as a limited North American edition of 600. For the 'Love Hina Is a Hit' promotion, Tokyo Mint is conducting a retailer drawing for one free Naru statue. Click here to enter the drawing, and click here for more information on Tokyo Mint and the Love Hina statue line.
Bandai Entertainment is releasing the DVDs of the Love Hina anime in the United States. These have also been unexpectedly good sellers since the first volume was released in the first quarter of this year. Four DVDs have been released to date, each containing four episodes at a $29.98 MSRP. The fifth is due in October, the sixth in November, and a special Christmas DVD in December. The Christmas DVD contains the Love Hina Christmas movie and the 25th episode. For more information on Bandai's Love Hina DVDs, click here.