Movie marketing! You can’t live without it. Trailers, tie ins, internet promotions, action figures, lunch boxes. They’re part of what drives the movie business especially when it comes to big budget action films like the new The Incredible Hulk.
First a little Hulk History.
He’s big, he’s green, and he’s been around since Marvel Comics released “The Incredible Hulk” Issue number 1 in May of 1962. The Hulk was the brainchild of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who that same year debuted “Spider Man” and just a year before released “The Fantastic Four”.
A very quick reminder of the Hulk’s story. Bruce Banner is poisoned by radiation when he’s caught in the blast of the gamma bomb he created. Of course he doesn’t die but when he gets angry he turns into a huge green monster guy who is a bit of a bull in a china shop, causing massive destruction in his big green wake.
Here’s some Hulk trivia, the big green guy wasn’t always green. The Hulk started out gray. Yes, the Hulk wasn’t green in the first issue. The gray, however didn’t work out, so colorist Stan Goldberg was told by Stan Lee to go green.
The Incredible Hulk went green in more ways than one. He has been a consistent money maker and is sure to continue to bring in the green with the new The Incredible Hulk film coming from Universal and Marvel.
On to Hulk marketing.
Let’s start with the action packed trailers.The Incredible Hulk trailers shows off an A list cast, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Liv Tyler and as Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton.
It’s got the usual, mild mannered guy with a seriously demented secret. Then the predictable happens and he goes Hulk on us. Then Tom Roth, after getting his ass kicked by the Hulk volunteers for some genetic engineering and comes out as The Abomination. Nothing like two hulking action figures for the price of one.
The trailers are well cut, with the emphasis on action, of course, and I think they’ll convince Hulk and action fans to pay for a ticket to the film. The trailers are running on a variety of Internet movie sites. But if you want to really immerse yourself in Hulk go to IncredibleHulk.Marvel.com and there he is in all his glory, complete with a countdown to the opening on June 13. It’s a cool website, complete with a lot of video and interactive features to get you interested in the film.
In the interest of researching this article I played the website’s Hulk Smash game where as the Hulk you get to smash assorted tanks, armored trucks and helicopters. Simple, though not bad and I was getting a bit addicted. I also discovered that as the Hulk you can smash up and knock down buildings. You can alter the urban landscape.
Moving on there is the download section complete with wallpapers and AIM icons. Enough to wet the appetite of budding Hulkaholics. The video section has three trailers, a behind the scenes look, tv spots and scenes from the film.
The Incredible Hulk has no shortage of merchandising. There is of course an Incredible Hulk video game from SEGA. Players get to smash, bash, throw stuff and in general recreate some Hulk mayhem.
There’s a new Hulk tie in novel published by Del Rey based on the screenplay by Edward Norton and Zak Penn.
As for posters I located at least three different designs. One features a half face close up of the Hulk, a background of tanks and a full figure Hulk silhouette. Another has the Hulk in the center. Both of those are drawn as opposed to being a photo of the movie Hulk. The third has Edward Norton walking away from a back view of the Hulk, Banner emerging from inside his violent alter ego.
For the real Hulkophile, eBay sellers have a 45×59 vinyl Hulk banner that can turn any room into a Hulk shrine.
Action figures are a given in the world of the action movie and The Incredible Hulk is no exception. There’s a Hulk holding a steel beam, presumably useful to bash things with. The 2008 Mega Clap Hulk action figure can, with the push of a button on the Hulk’s back, smash his mighty little Hulk action figure fists together. And of course there’s the Hulk power punch action figure which is self explanatory.
If you want to set up your own grudge match between the Hulk and the Abomination there is a two pack of these fierce adversaries complete with a NYC back drop.
Speaking of fists, you can own those giant green fists known as Hulk Smash fists made by Hasbro. Go to battle with your opponents preferably those who also have a set of giant green Hulk fists. You can find all of the officially licensed figures over on Hasbro’s Website.
Burger King has Hulk toys which means you can have your Hulk and eat your burger too.
Craig Armstrong’s The Incredible Hulk movie score will be released in CD if you want to listen to some musical Hulk.
You can wear the Hulk on a variety of t-shirts tied into to the film. And there is that absolute essential, the Incredible Hulk lunchbox.
There are also a wide variety of Hulk Halloween costumes ranging in price from what appears to be a claustrophobia inducing Hulk latex mask for 24.99 to the deluxe licensed Hulk costume complete with tattered white shirt for $999.99.
I’m sure there will be a lot more merchandise coming out when the film opens. Expect pretty much everything. Personally I’m waiting for that special edition Hulk Green Jeep Wrangler.
It remains to be seen if the opening of the film on June 13 sweeps the country into a fever of Hulkomania. But if you’re already a Hulk fan you’re sure to find enough Hulk Merchandise and online experiences to whet your appetite and make you jump at the chance to see The Incredible Hulk‘s return to the big screen.