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ADV and Their Amazing Changing Boxes
By Marc | August 12th, 2008

I’ve gotten a few questions from friends about this, saw Nebs wonder about it, and seen at least two people claim they had to for ‘legal reasons’, so I felt it was about time I explain what is up with ADV re-releasing all kinds of old thinpak boxes they’ve done with new covers, and why new covers equals more sales.

First, let’s see some of the old and busted, and some of the new hotness (thank you Will Smith).  For this article, I will ONLY be using Full Metal Panic as a reference point.  When I say something about ‘Full Metal Panic’ I’m not SPECIFICALLY talking about Full Metal Panic, I’m talking about ‘Show A’.  Just wanna make that clear.

Now, on the left (or on the top if your resolution is lower) we have the old box.  On the right (or bottom), we have the new box.  So why does this new red monstrosity apparently GUARANTEE sales above and beyond the classic FMP box that has been out for years and sits on many of our shelves (mine included).

First thing, each of these has different UPC codes.  From an itemized standpoint, despite EVERYTHING being the same other than artwork, these are two fully different sets.

Second thing, Full Metal Panic was a relatively popular show for ADV, sold well, people liked it, and the box sold well.  But how long is a 90 dollar MSRP boxset of an anime gonna sell for?

Well, surprisingly, we have to go back to the fall of Suncoast to explain this.  Stores like your Best Buys of the world carry and sell alot of anime.  But they don’t reorder stuff for to long, because anime is a very niche product.  They don’t give it alot of shelf space, because it doesn’t sell as good as the science fiction sitting next to it.  So that pretty FMP box is long gone, even though you could still walk into any store last year and buy it IF they had it.  See, new anime sells better than old anime, so new anime gets the shelf space, so old anime waves bye bye as it gets flung out the door.  So what does that have to do with Suncoast?  Suncoast was a VERY large video retailer, and they stocked CATALOG titles.  By catalog titles, I mean titles that aren’t necessarily relatively new.  Basically, if the anime DVD was still made, you could be relatively sure you could walk into a Suncoast and find at least one on the shelf (or on order), which as we established, Best Buy just doesn’t do.  So who still DOES carry anime like that?  Your small niche stores and your online retailers, which means the vast majority of a companies catalog is seen but not heard (if you walked into a store, a cover might catch your eye, or you might just notice something, online it’s alot harder for that to happen at a retailer).

So how does a company like ADV get a show like FMP to sell again?  You find a way to sell it as a NEW product.  Make sense?

But then why didn’t ADV do this before they had problems and needed their catalog titles to perform, cause if the sets will sell now as ‘new’ products, wouldn’t that work at any time?  Simple really.  They had new stuff to sell.  A new title that sells very little, will still sell more copies than a catalog title in most cases, so why spend the money to redo a set that isn’t gonna change in sales.  By making their old catalog titles into ‘new’ products, it will get them some decent ‘initial’ (cause it’s sorta half and half, it’s a new product, so it is the INITIAL release, but it’s just a re-release with a new cover) sales, to help them keep some cash flow going until they can get new titles out.

I hope this helps explain why ADV is flinging all these re-releases out.  (And also explains why there were all those Gainax tins last year, why Funimation was re-releasing singles with that Viridian logo on it, etc.)

PS- If you wish to be amused, go to online stores such as Amazon (PPS- Buy through out affiliate link!) and search for an ADV show such as FMP, since they are different products, you will see stores selling them BOTH, as completely different items.

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