Venus models don’t wrestle with this offer
We’ve said it before, but you never know where catalog modeling might lead you. According to newsletter Wrestling Observer, John Laurinaitis, the vice president of talent relations for World Wrestling Entertainment (and a former professional wrestler known as Johnny Ace), has signed on two 19-year-old women he spotted in a Venus Swimwear catalog. Laurinaitis called their modeling agency and offered the two women contracts. Although neither “Barbie” nor “Victoria” had any interest in becoming a professional wrestler, they both accepted the offer on the advice of their modeling agency. It’s hard to say if the models-cum-wrestlers are ever going to make it into the ring: Wrestling Observer described Barbie as “a deer in the headlights” at the Ohio Valley Wrestling organization’s headquarters in Louisville, KY, and both girls are said to be “totally lost.”
Private dick has catalog roots
If you follow entertainment news, you’ve surely heard of Anthony Pellicano, the private investigator to the stars who was indicted in connection with an FBI investigation into illegal wiretaps and extortion. The feds in 2002 suspected Pellicano of arranging for a dead fish, a rose, and a note that read “Stop” to be left on the car of a reporter who was digging into the background of actor Steven Seagal. A raid on Pellicano’s office found large sums of cash and weapons, which landed him in jail. The indictment has Hollywood’s rich and famous shaking in their boots, as he worked for years with some of the industry’s biggest entertainment lawyers and no doubt has plenty of dirt on many celebrities. The Chicago Tribune did a little digging into the would-be wiseguy’s own background and revealed that Pellicano — who back then called himself Tony Fortune — used to be a collection man for the Spiegel catalog.
Entertainment Earth turns 10
We received a copy of the Spring 2006 edition of the Entertainment Earth catalog and noted that the North Hollywood, CA-based company is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Launched on April 1, 1996, the collectibles marketer started as a Website and later added a print catalog. To celebrate its birthday, Entertainment Earth has teamed with vendor Gentle Giant to offer an exclusive item: a mini-bust depicting Star Wars‘ Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader. While collectors of all things Star Wars are sure to be intrigued (don’t wait, kids — only 5,000 pieces are available), the exclusive is a bit of a bust if you don’t know your Sith from your C3P0. But the anniversary catalog has a host of other fun items, including a fridge magnet/bottle opener shaped like Stewie of Family Guy, a leopard-print mini bowling bag/purse, and an Albert Einstein action figure. Happy birthday, Entertainment Earth!
Video killed the stereo star
San Francisco-based high-tech gifts and gadgets merchant The Sharper Image will be the first U.S. retailer to promote eyewear for mobile video applications. Sharper Image is selling DV920 Video Eyewear from Rochester, NY-based Icuiti Corp. You wear the DV920 like a regular pair of sunglasses and through the two full-color microdisplays can watch streaming video on mobile phones, movie playback from portable DVD players, video podcasts, and TV shows from a video iPod. Why would you don a pair of video goggles? The manufacturer claims the video eyewear “enables a private, big-screen viewing experience that fits in a pocket or purse, and eliminates the drawback of mobile content viewing on a tiny built-in screen.” Maybe these will be the next big thing, but for now we have just two words: nerd alert!
No cart abandonment here
We were surfing the Web for gardening supplies and landed on the site of Gardener’s Supply Co. The Burlington, VT-based merchant’s home page had a banner that read, “Win a FREE garden cart!” When we clicked the “Enter now” link, a pop-up window asked for our e-mail address to enter for a chance at one of 10 garden carts. At the bottom of the window, it said, “All entries will receive our FREE e-newsletter.” What a quick and easy way to collect e-mail addresses while offering something of value — both the chance to win a cart and the cleverly positioned newsletter.
A Multichannel Merchant staffer had ordered some fragrance items from Caswell-Massey. A regular customer of the Edison, NJ-based toiletries merchant, the staffer knew approximately when to expect the package and was surprised when it didn’t arrive. She continued to look for the parcel for about a week after she had expected it to arrive, but still it didn’t come. Finally the staffer was going out with her husband and when getting into his car she noticed a box with a familiar logo: Caswell-Massey. Apparently her husband had picked up the parcel on his way out of the house and left it in his car for a week. Oops.
Ad is a blemish on Delia’s catalog
We know that teen apparel merchant Delia’s and sister title Alloy accept advertisements in their catalogs. Still, it was a little jarring to be paging through the Summer 2006 edition of Delia’s and see a full-page ad for BenzaClin prescription acne medicine in the middle of the book. The ad itself wasn’t so bad, but the full page of text specifying the topical gel’s warnings, precautions, adverse reactions, and so on was just plain ugly. Sure, we know that the manufacturer is required to include this info, but teens aren’t going to read it, and it cost Delia’s a full page of selling space. We’re no doctor, but perhaps prescription drug ads are not recommended for apparel catalogs.