Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Furoku - 付録 Part 5: Modern Furoku

In past articles, I've written about the history of furoku, furoku in girls' magazines, a close-up look at furoku manga, and a super close-up on a Henshin Ninja Arashi manga given away with a magazine. Now I'd like to take a look at modern furoku.
Freebies continue to be widely given away with all sorts of magazines, and the bundled gifts have become diverse and extravagant over the years. I've even read that women's magazines are using the tactic of giveaways as a way to boost plummeting sales.
Clearly the strategy has traction, as you're seeing everything from anime to sports card to fashion mags wrapped in shrink wrap with one or more alluring prizes.
Some bookstores even have display areas filled with samples of what you can get in new publications.

More after the jump:
Now let's take a look at some of the goodies given away with today's kids magazines.
Here's a typical display stand at a bookstore.
Walk down a bookstore's magazine aisle or the children's book section, and you'll see a ton of mags and mooks surrounded by shrinkwrap or criss-crossed by strings of plastic. Whereas the furoku of 40-50 years ago were very paper-based (manga, posters, stickers, etc.) these days you're more likely to see things like DVDs, plastic toys, and electronic items tucked inside the package. One strong holdover is playing cards, which have been bundled with magazines for decades.
This Nintendo-centric mag has two giveaways: a DVD with Mario, Donkey Kong, and other content plus a set of playing cards.

This Kamen Rider mook also comes with cards.

This magazine is geared towards younger kids and comes with some sort of Doraemon noise maker, I think.

Get yourself a cool Doraemon toy here.
 Finally, let's take a look at a very recent furoku:
Issue #199 of Figure King had a pretty awesome gift: an exclusive carded Back to the Future ReAction figure. The line was created by Super7 and is distributed by Funko. Considering you're not paying anything extra for the magazine (which has long been one of Japan's premier toy mags), it's a great deal.

The figure is inside this box.
All in all, really cool stuff, and definitely a solid way to get more kids to want to read a magazine or mook. Come to think of it, anything that will kid a get to read something is probably a good thing.

Well, that wraps our look at furoku, unless I uncover another interesting aspect of this cornerstone of kid (and now adult) culture that has been around for nearly a century.


Tim said...

I remember a Transformers Micron figure (a green car) was packaged with TV Boy Magazine a long time ago. I was hitting Kinokuniya every other day in NYC to get it.
Similarly, years ago I'd get College Music Journal all the time for their CDs. I kept learning about new bands. This was a great way to sample music before itunes.

andy b said...

I hear you. That reminds me, I remember when giveaways were such a big part of PC and gaming magazines. It was so cool to get a few sample games. They may only give you one or two levels, but back then it was still like "Wow! A free CD-ROM!"

It's funny how broadband has impacted so many things in just a few years.

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