DC Announces a Shortage on 3D Covers for September's Villains Month
by Brant W. Fowler
When DC announced Villains Month, some were curious, others were frustrated, and others were excited. When they announced that all those books would brandish special 3D lenticular covers, a few were excited and breaking out their wallets, while the majority groaned at the 1990s level publicity stunt and hiked up price point.
Well, if you were in the latter camp, you can rest easy as you likely won't be getting all those 3D covers after all. Due to an underestimation on DC's part as to how many would be ordered, and despite a reportedly high order in the first place, basically DC didn't get enough of them made. So now, comic shops will get a combination of 3D and 2D covers for September. Thankfully, the 2D covers do carry the price of $2.99, so that's a positive for those that were dreading the $3.99 price tag. But for collectors who were looking forward to the 3D covers, unless you're buying from multiple shops or paying higher prices on eBay after the fact, then you're out of luck.
The whole endeavor seems a bit short-sighted on DC's part, or would if you failed to consider a couple of factors. One, they had noted to retailers back in June that the runs would be limited for the 3D covers, so there was a chance of allocation to begin with. And two, they had 2D covers ready to go to make up the difference. So they had to know this was a possibility and prepared for it. They just didn't tell the general buying audience this. So whether it's short-sightedness, ambiguity or simply half-truths, the point remains that getting all the month's 3D covers will prove quite a challenge. Most will end up with a mix-mash of 3D and 2D covers at best. Of course, if you purchase your books digitally, none of this matters to you anyway.
Here's the official press release:
Due to unprecedented demand for the September 3-D motion covers, DC Entertainment announces that orders on the 52 Villains Month issues will be allocated. These issues are now sold out at the publisher level.
Now, each 3-D motion cover issue will have a Standard Edition with a 2-D cover, priced at $2.99 US. The Standard Editions are scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as the 3-D editions, starting with titles on FOC starting August 6 and closing on August 12, which will arrive in stores on September 4.
In addition, the entire run of 3-D motion covers will return in December in the Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set. This item is on FOC on August 12; see below for details.
"Because of the time needed to create the 3-D motion covers, we were forced to set September print runs much further in advance than we normally would," said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. "As we got close to the FOC dates, even though we were very aggressive with our sales forecasts for the 3-D editions, it was clear that orders for these issues were going to be greater than the quantities we had printed. Once we saw from the first 3-D edition FOCs that we were oversold on initial orders, we decided to institute a system across the entire 3-D line that was in accord with previous retailers' ordering patterns to minimize the impact of fringe speculators."
"It's very exciting to see how much interest there is in these 3-D covers, which are latest in a long line of innovations from DCE, like the fold-out poster in Superman Unchained #1 or the die-cut covers from the Death of the Family issues," said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. "Our goal every September has been to create great, new ways to draw attention to our entire DC universe line and the reaction to Villains Month capped by the launch of our first universe event ';Forever Evil' has been just incredible."
The allocations will range from approximately 50% to nearly 100% on different titles. The allocations are based on an average of your orders of each Villains Month titles' base title over the past few months.
Like the 3-D motion cover versions, the Standard Editions will be first printings of each title.
To give retailers as much time as possible to focus on ordering the Standard Editions and the 3-D Motion Complete Sets, retailers will no longer need to place FOC orders for the 3-D editions for the remaining weeks in August—therefore, the 3-D motion cover issues scheduled to arrive in stores on September 11, September 18 and September 25 will not be listed on FOC.
Retailers will receive an email from Diamond detailing their allocations on each 3-D motion cover edition before the Standard Editions' FOC date, and should check their allocation on each 3-D issue carefully.
Retailers should watch their FOC lists in the coming weeks for the Standard Editions of all 52 Villains Month issues.
Please note that the digital versions of these issues do not have 3-D Motion Covers. Like the Standard Editions, the digital editions are priced at $2.99 US and will be available for download the same day the 3-D and 2-D print editions ship to stores.
Retailers who wish to decrease their orders on any of the 3-D motion cover issues should contact their Diamond Customer Service Representative or DC Sales Representative.
DC's red-hot 3-D motion covers are set to return in December in the new Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set! This set will include second printings of all 52 Villains Month titles with the 3-D motion covers plus the Forever Evil #1 3-D Motion Cover Variant Edition. (Standard Edition cover shown.)
The Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set (JUN138292) will be on FOC on August 12, and is scheduled to arrive in stores on December 11 with a price of $199.99 US.
Please note that because of the longer than normal production time needed to print 3-D motion covers, this is the soonest they can arrive in stores. The issues included in this set will be printed to order; they will not be allocated. Covers in this set, including Forever Evil #1, will be labeled "second printing."
And don't forget to order the DC Comics—The New 52 Villains Omnibus HC (AUG130289), which has its own 3-D motion dust jacket and is scheduled to arrive in stores on December 11.
About DC Entertainment:
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) andMAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.
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