February 2, 2009

Toy Smurfs bigger hit than football cards

Filed under: Comics,Gadgets,Sports by Branko Collin @ 10:10 am

Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has done it again. A collecting mania is sweeping the country and bringing tens of thousands of customers to “the biggest green grocer,” where every 10 euro spent earns you a package of football cards. However, last year’s action with Smurf figurines was perhaps more succesful, reports Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch). The paper quotes market research agency GFK which says that on average Albert Heijn can count 37% of all households among its customers. With the football cards, that number has risen to 39,7%, while at the height of the Smurf craze, it was 40%.

Joop Holla of GFK thinks there are several possible reasons why the Smurfs would be more popular: the cartoon characters are popular with both boys and girls, whereas the football cards mostly attract boys. Also, a competing chain (Plus Markt) had a similar action with football cards last year.

Regardless of which hype is bigger, the football card promotion is drawing plenty of attention. Last Tuesday, the Albert Heijn on the Daalseweg in Nijmegen had to install crowd control barriers because hordes of young boys begging for football cards were apparently bothering the customers. Telegraaf says (Dutch) that at one point at least 50 children were asking for cards in sub zero weather.

It just goes to prove that kids are crazy. If I were standing in the cold on the Daalseweg, I’d make sure to either get to CafĂ© Jos or ‘t Haantje in a hurry, and the only thing cold near by would be the brewsky in front of me.

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November 2, 2008

Geometric family tree as birth announcement card

Filed under: Comics,Design by Branko Collin @ 5:35 pm

Piet Schreuders, him of the Poezenkrant (which is not about cats), designed this card in 1984 on occasion of the birth of his daughter Anna. It’s a family tree that goes back four generations, pink branches signifying girls, blue ones boys. It’s one of the reasons that the Fool’s Gold editors clamour for a Schreudermania book.

Ah, speaking of Fool’s Gold. People forgot to tell my clients that there’s an economic crisis supposed to be going on, and as a result I haven’t really had the time to review the latest Zone 5300. Issue 83 is all about Outsider Art. Like every other issue of Zone 5300. Which they sort of acknowledge in the foreword, then still power on.

The good thing though is that as part of that whole Outsider Art thing Fool’s Gold got two extra pages in full colour. Comics are mostly by the regular contributors. Lamelos’ Sam Peeters goes solo this time with In de schaduw van mijn lul (In the shade of my penis), which manages to pack armed robbery, monkeys, slipping-over-banana jokes, faeces, swamp things, camp fires, steaming hot sex, and a gruesome beheading all in six small pages, in that order. I thought you ought to know.

Zone 5300 also checks out how Teun Hocks, illustrator to amongst others The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine is doing these days. He’s doing… wait, buy the damn magazine already!

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