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January 26 2009

Press Kits Unwrapped: Dollhouse. TV Squad gives us an inside look at Fox's press kit for Dollhouse.

Brad from TV Squad didn't seem too impressed by the kit, but does say that Dollhouse is a "jewel of a show".

Got mine a week or so ago...thankfully, no hole in box. Just a simple kit, but yea, nothing like the recent 24 kit.
press kit wanted... hehe mostly i'm just ready for my premier party, our new 52 inch tv is ready for the high def premier. we are throwing a superbowl party but mostly to practice making food for our dollhouse party.
I am so jealous.

Hey Stargyn can I come over? Heh heh heh.
only if you are in reno hehe. I'm all up for sharing, it should be fun.
From those photos it doesn't look half-bad. It looks compact and cute. :D

lol. But then I'm not a 24 fan, at all and the stuff from that one doesn't interest me one bit. But the boxed featureless doll thingy is pretty damn cool if ya think bout it. Plus, the pretty box. lol.

And obviously the DVD. And the paper/cardbordy thing to me looks like it's got more style thn just your average run of the mill plastic holder stuff.

(yes, yes. My English is not the best right now. I blame the Icelandic in the background)

[ edited by druzilla on 2009-01-26 21:23 ]
Press kit reviews. Truly, the internet opens the doors to a miraculous new age.
As I said elsewhere on the internet, my radio station got a press kit for Dollhouse a little more than three weeks ago. The staff wanted the doll but I got to keep the DVD. The doll looked a little frail, but I'd like to get a more sturdy one to use when I do recaps of the show.
On the other hand, I hope I can find another Dollhouse doll at WonderCon next month.
Call me old-fashioned, but am I the only one who finds it a little unseemly that a professional TV critic is focusing on the swag that comes along with the TV show, rather than the show itself?

Underneath the letter was the DVD. It contains the first four episodes of the new season. But that box was still way too big for just a letter and a DVD. So what was underneath the DVD?

A Jack Bauer action figure! This press-kit is officially not filled with junk. Not just any action figure, though, but one of those crazy expensive McFarlane Toys action figures. The ones that are so super-detailed right down to the fingernails and hairs that they're more "collectible" than "toy." ...

After I opened the box, I actually did feel a brief tinge of guilt - not because I didn't want to play with it, but because I realized that it might actually be worth more than I thought when a coupon for the 24 Season 5 DVD set tumbled out.

Pay for play, anyone?
Maybe a little, yeah. I agree.
I'm still surprised they aren't using paper dolls or those little magnetic "Michaelanglo" things to promote the show, seems like an inexpensive & obvious match. Or am I the only nerdy girl that preferred paper dolls to the real thing? Making my own outfits and all.
I keep meaning to make Eliza dolls as invitations to my premier party. Should probably get on that, huh? 17 days?
Before we take the critic to task for covering the swag, perhaps take a look at the site and notice said critic already reviewed the show itself less than a week ago.

ETA that math is hard. 26 minus 12 is 14, not "less than 7".

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-01-26 23:56 ]
I should clarify. Whether or not this particular critic has actually reviewed Dollhouse, the whole practice of production companies giving presents to journalists is a little stinky to me.

Finally, some junkets have swag. Big movies may have big swag - I got toys, books and other junk at the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers junket that I estimated to be worth over 200 bucks. Today I got a pick-axe shaped keychain bottle opener from My Bloody Valentine 3D. You get a lot of hats and shirts and tie in books and soundtracks. A whole bunch of junk, in other words. Back in the day they gave serious shit away at junkets: watches and fancy attire. Probably the most legendary junket swag in my lifetime (and I didn't do this junket) was a free roundtrip ticket on Ted Airlines. I think that was for Beyond the Sea.

There are some ethical considerations about swag, but I tend to think that if my opinion on a movie can be swayed by a t-shirt I'm a shitty critic in the first place. Now, my opinion on a movie may be swayed by a very good food spread...

I work in the corporate world and have been expected to decline offers from vendors for things like iPod nanos in order to avoid the question of whether or not that little gift impacted my decision of whether to sign a supply contract. In the case of film and television production, it strikes me as a little unseemly for a company seeking positive reviews and promotion of their entertainment product to also send critics the sort of fan collectibles that can later easily be sold on eBay.

Not saying that there is some kind of major ethical scandal at play here; just that going by the smell test, these kind of promotional items are a little "off" to me. And in this case, this particular writer devoting a column to the ways in which the Dollhouse swag fell short compared to the 24 swag only highlighted that "off" smell to me. After all, if such little trinkets don't impact a critic's views of the underlying subject matter at all, why even bother to comment on them?

[ edited by BrewBunny on 2009-01-27 00:52 ]
Are we supposed to be surprised that a show that hasn't even premiered yet has a less impressive press kit than the widely popular 24?
The Echo figurines from the press kits have been popping up on eBay for a few weeks now... The first one I saw, I thought it might be a fake - since I wasn't aware of the kits having gone out.

@BrewBunny, personally I'm much more disturbed by the long-running and ubiquitous gift-giving by pharmaceutical companies to doctors... I ~really~ don't want a doc (even subliminally) writing my prescriptions based on warm fuzzies generated by schwag.


*nods in agreement with crystalsinger*
"@BrewBunny, personally I'm much more disturbed by the long-running and ubiquitous gift-giving by pharmaceutical companies to doctors... I ~really~ don't want a doc (even subliminally) writing my prescriptions based on warm fuzzies generated by schwag."

Yeah, that must be quite frightening to Americans. Not so bad here in Australia

But BrewBunny's point is a good one. I think networks giving gifts to reviewers is much the same as pharmaceutical companies giving gifts to doctors except that the consequences aren't nearly so bad(ie. just some overly positive reviews rather than, you know, people dying)
What I find rather disturbing is the assumption that the amount of stuff in the press kit is some measure of the network's faith in the show. Does anyone remember the amount of awesomeness the Firefly press kit was? And we all saw how that turned out. :/ Maybe the spare press kit is actually a good sign because they don't think the show needs a ton of crap included to make people like it.
I don't, actually. What was in the Firefly press kit?

Now I wannnt. And you haven't even answered yet.
Applying the "smell" test to the entertainment business could easily and rapidly burn out the smelling receptor/processors in your brain. You could say it's journalistic ethics, but internet writers aren't officially journalists, and the "official" ones had hardly developed that code before they started dying en masse. I think a more general sense of ethics, or integrity, is going to have to come to be if there is to be anything like that.
What I find rather disturbing is the assumption that the amount of stuff in the press kit is some measure of the network's faith in the show. Does anyone remember the amount of awesomeness the Firefly press kit was? And we all saw how that turned out. :/ Maybe the spare press kit is actually a good sign because they don't think the show needs a ton of crap included to make people like it.

I like the way ya think. :D On ya know the whole maybe they don't need to cram the press kit with junk. lol. :)

That's kinda what I said to a friend earlier. Heh.

And yeah, the drug company gifts to Doctors thing sounds scary. Not sure that happens here. Hmm.
But the boxes and boxes of free samples to doctors also mean indigent patients get access to meds they can't afford.
Jobo the 'Firefly' Press Kit was legendary.

It looked like an army/utility box, labelled with versey style logos. Inside was a leather folder which held a 'Serenity' boarding pass, Mal's badge, a letter from Mal, Serenity blueprints, a flask, a gold chocolate bar, a VHS copy of the pilot episode and a few blurbs about the show.

The last time I saw one on ebay (which was maybe 4 years ago, but then I don't check often) it went for over $700!
But the boxes and boxes of free samples to doctors also mean indigent patients get access to meds they can't afford.

cabri | January 27, 08:03 CET


True.
i wish i had one
But the boxes and boxes of free samples to doctors also mean indigent patients get access to meds they can't afford.

Here's an idea. Instead of having drug company salespeople determine which meds poor people are allowed to have, how 'bout we get universal healthcare coverage in the USA like they do in other civilized countries?
I really have to say, the wooden art 'doll' thing for Echo is so lame. Come on, make an action figure! Then again, looking at the crap that was the Serenity figures, mabye not. But having a figurine of Eliza in the same quality as the Lost ones (though articulation would be a plus). I'm just hoping that the wooden thing is in place before they make a REAL figure. But that's me.
I think the reason why it's slightly less dodgy for swag to be given for a good review than in exchange for a contract is the "maybe" factor. The reviewers may, or may not, actually give the favourable reviews which are being sought. Audiences may, or may not, even read, hear or see the reviews, and they may, or may not, give any credence to the reviews. When goods and/or money are given in exchange for a contract, it's a much more direct exchange, with a more certain outcome.

As for the doll, we have to consider the fact that 24 is an established and very successful show, in terms of popularity and money-generation. Time and cash have given the marketing people for 24 the ability to create detailed and, undoubtedly, expensive action figures. That action figure could possibly have already been in production for the purpose of sale, and a large number may have been set aside as give-aways for press-kits. For a new show like Dollhouse, I just can't see the amount of time, money and creativity which is involved in creating an action figure, being devoted. The artist's doll is a clever idea, even if it suffers in comparison 24's action figure.

Perhaps, instead of using the box to market Dollhouse, the show, they could have used it more suggestively, to create the packaging for the doll as though the doll were being used to market the service the Dollhouse (the company) provides. The same artist's doll inside, but the outside of the package displays pictures of the "dolls", with some kind of description (now sure how one would "market" a blank-slate-person), with a creepy kind of implication that more dolls were coming to choose from. Or just a write-up of some kind, "Imagine you could have someone step into your life to fulfill a need...", with indications that customers can come in and select the doll whom, er, which (what do you say when you're marketing a person as a product?), they find most appealing for their needs.

Edited 'cause, even though I know it's a good idea to preview again after making changes in the preview, I didn't. sigh

[ edited by Judy on 2009-01-28 02:20 ]
I wonder how I will like this - I'm so into "Leverage" at the moment, its light and breezy just what I need at this point in life. I expect Joss never wants to make something truly light, jokes and the funny are just there to distract you before he really slams with something depressing.

Oh well, we'll see.

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