The launch this December of a new action/adventure home video, Dragon Flyz: The Legend Begins, marks a major directional change for Columbia TriStar Home Video.
‘It signals that Columbia TriStar is in the non-theatrical acquisitions business,’ says Paul Newman, director of non-theatrical acquisitions for Columbia TriStar Home Video.
‘It also means that we are becoming a major player in the sell-through market,’ adds Newman, pointing out that sell-through is the fastest-growing segment of the video industry.
Dragon Flyz: The Legend Begins is based on the half-hour animated series that premiered this year in syndication in 75 percent of U.S. TV households. The video was produced for Columbia by the French production company Gaumont Multimedia in association with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment.
The holiday special, which hits major retail outlets December 3 with a suggested price of US$19.95, will be supported by custom point-of-purchase displays and a dramatic clamshell package featuring a holographic image that gives the appearance of Dragon Flyz action figures in full flight. The holograms can also be used as collectible three-dimensional playing cards for kids.
Master toy licensee Lewis Galoob Toys is supporting the program with a line of action figures based on the show.
The home video is derived from three premiere episodes, with new animation incorporated to create a full-length film.
Newman says the Dragon Flyz project is the culmination of about a year of development at Columbia TriStar Home Video.
‘We have a mandate to build a solid core line of family products,’ says Newman, adding that this will be achieved through acquisitions and original home video production, as well as the theatrical and non-theatrical product created by Columbia TriStar’s own film and television studio.
Columbia TriStar has a string of recent home video hits from its own features such as Jumanji, which set a studio sell-through record, Indian in the Cupboard, The Babysitters Club and the re-release of the animated feature Heavy Metal.
‘We have several new projects on the go, including a holiday line that we have planned for next Christmas,’ says Newman.