The 13th Floor

5 More Memorable VHS Marketing Gimmicks!

If you got a kick out of the previous installment of VHS box gimmicks here on, here’s another helping of home video ballyhoo that’s sure to impress your analog inclinations! Here are five more pieces of outstanding VHShowmanship that encouraged you to rent, buy and simply marvel at the incredible ingenuity those VHS mongers had to offer! Bring on the magnetic magic marketing, man!

HOUSE Oversized Clamshell: Issued exclusively to video rental retailers, this oversized and custom-shaped clamshell measures approximately 16×18 inches and features the titular dwelling from this cult horror flick from 1986! It came with a screener copy of the film and by the power of some embedded battery operated lights, actually lit up! Just imagine the wow factor on this one as it silently perched upon the checkout counter. Over the years, it’s since established itself as a holy grail for VHS collectors.

3D Lenticular Covers: JACK FROST, UNCLE SAM, SHADOWBUILDER, and my personal favorite Tony Zarindast’s WEREWOLF all sported these eye-catching 3D lenticular covers that commanded you to pick up the box and sway it back and forth to experience the limited but usually articulate action on the cover. For the avid renter and casual video store cruiser alike, these lenticular covers were simply irresistible. For many current collectors, they still are.

KING KONG Colorized Version Roar Box: The absolutely awesome and Tapehead favorite FRANKENHOOKER talking box was featured in the last installment, but there was another sound-driven VHS release that was sure to impress a potential patron: a copy of KING KONG that would ROAR!! at the touch of a button! I guess they had to sell that colorized version one or another, right?! Like most press-button VHS boxes, this one is hard to find in working order, but if you do, this’ll be one of the most beastly slabs in your collection.

THE WILLIES Double Cover: The vast majority of VHS releases only came with one version of cover art, but perhaps to entice two different kinds of renters, Prism Entertainment opted to include TWO different versions of box art for their release of THE WILLIES! The outer slipcase fit snugly on top of the other giving the retailer a choice of which cover they wanted to display! Not all Prism editions of THE WILLIES had this feature, which makes the double-box that much VHSweeter. Prism also applied this gimmick to another one of their horror titles called THE BONEYARD!

MONSTER IN MY POCKET with Exclusive Glow-in-the-Dark Figure:
The pilot episode of this obscure cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbara was based on the mega-hit Monster in My Pocket toy line and released in a standard slipcase (on a blue tape!). But in what just might be the coolest VHS / toy crossover gimmick of all-time, it was also released in a double-wide small carton (meaning the box closed on both sides) with a die-cut exposure offering the purchaser an exclusive glow-in-the-dark MIMP figure to go along with the movie! VHS gimmicks really just don’t get any more monstrously cool than this, man.