Simple Questions: Any and all responses are welcome

Hello All!

For those of you who generally purchase show merchandise: why do you?

What entices you? Is there anything in particular that draws your eye? What do you generally purchase (any one particular item you have a collection you add to, ie. pins, keychains)? What was the best/most unique Broadway souvenir you ever purchased?

For those that do not: why not?

Is there something that you wish was offered that is not? How could a merchandiser entice you to purchase something? Is it the prices?

Any other information or responses regarding merchandise I am well open to.

I am doing research for a confidential party who is looking into branching out by doing merchandise; I get to create the business plan. There is a particular show we would like to start with next season and then perhaps branch out.

Thank you for you responses; it will be very helpful!
dramamama611 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I seldom do. (Although I did when I was younger.) Why? I don't need a physical item to give me a memory. I nearly always look, but seldom buy. I don't mind saying prices likely play into that. When I bring my kids to a show, I will often allow them to pick something out....but 9/10 my son doesn't want anything. My daughter? Always.

I also don't need to "show off" by wearing a show shirt/sweatshirt, etc.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Updated On: 6/17/14 at 02:05 PM
thespian geek Profile Photo
thespian geek
Broadway Legend
I do if it's a show I ended up liking enough to want to buy merch from (more often than not, I do). My usual purchases usually end up being a souvenir programs and/or a mug, if they have them. But definitely the souvenir programs for sure over the mug.
VotePeron Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I generally don't buy anything mainly because of the prices.
I see shows mainly through rush/lotto, so if I've only already paid $30-40 to get in, I don't want to spend another $25 on the poster.

I usually make a list of some posters that I want and get those for my Birthday and hang them in my room.
Jane2 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I base it on visuals. If there's a fabulous looking t shirt, I might buy it and never wear it.. But in general, I think it's tacky to wear a shirt or jacket from a show if you didn't work on.
<-----totes craves juicy pizza
Updated On: 6/17/14 at 02:19 PM
madbrian Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
We buy a magnet from every show we see. During fundraising times, we may spend the $40 or so for a signed window card. Other than that, we don't buy much.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I guess I'm tacky.

I always buy a t-shirt and a souvenir program. The program can be used for research later on.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
Jane2 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Diva darling, it's just an opinion, and doesn't count for much. Love you!
<-----totes craves juicy pizza
Alix Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I have to really like a show to want to buy anything, just because of how expensive merch tends to be. If I do get something, it's usually a poster or program, sometimes magnets (more so when I was in high school because I could decorate my locker with them).

I'd also add that I more often buy merch either elsewhere in the theater district or online, just because I am an indecisive shopper and find it somewhat stressful to buy things at the theater, where it is crowded, loud, and there are time constraints. :)
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
It's extremely important to me that products I buy are made in the United States. The Playbill's store poster frames are all made here, and a lot of their merchandise. For me, it depends on that.
Broadway Legend
I don't usually buy merch, however if I really like a show I consider. I remember buying a mug at Catch Me if You Can, because it was unique and cool looking, and I still use it all the time. I wanted to buy something at If/Then but I hate the artwork, and the artwork is on all the merch, so I didn't buy anything.
"they are going to start making money soon. Im not even talking about specific numbers like you... You're gonna see I'm right." -PhillyPinto
SNAFU Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I think the only three pieces I have bought over the years, was the original Man of La Manchca souvenir booklet (was my first Broadway Show ever), a HAIR tee shirt from the recent revival and a window card from Grey Gardens because I thought it was stunning.

I have had no desire to buy anything from the other, hundreds of shows I have been to.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
Marianne2 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I agree that price generally is a factor for me. Also if I will use or care about the item later on. I don't really buy shirts ever. And usually I wait until the flea market to get a lot of stuff like posters, programs, and other coo stuff.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
Broadway Star
(UK based so this may not apply for your research)

I used to buy souvenir brochures for the production shots, but the price has gone up so much that now I don't bother. Otherwise the only merchandise I buy would be cast recordings from musicals - and I'll generally buy those online or digital only because they're so much cheaper.

I would probably buy a very classy "making of" book - like the Grandage Decade At The Donmar book that came out a year or so ago - for most shows, though. That's probably not the kind of merchandise you're looking into. Occasionally I'll also buy play scripts.

The reasons I don't buy merchandise are that:

i) I prefer to spend my money on better seating;

ii) I don't generally "advertise" my love of theatre - it's a huge part of my life but I don't wear show T-shirts or drink out of show mugs or have posters around my apartment or anything like that. I'll talk about it - but I don't need that kind of memento of going to the theatre, particularly as most of my friends aren't such big fans as I am. I suppose I don't define myself through enjoying theatre and associating myself with that;

iii) A lot of merchandise is quite "tourist-y" - it proves you had a night at a show. I don't need to prove that to "the folks back home" or anything - I can just tell them or my friends that I've been to the theatre and what I saw, really.
quizking101 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I usually buy the poster and get it signed afterward. I like hanging them on my wall because they give me solace in good memories that I have away from everyday life.
tazber Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
If I like the artwork I'll buy a magnet since I wouldn't hang the window cards.

Otherwise the only thing I'd ever buy is the cast recording.
....but the world goes 'round
hanschens Profile Photo
I buy a shirt if it's a show I really like, souvenir brochures if it's a show I haven't seen before/new cast and if they are available I'll get a magnet and a mug to add to my collections.
perfectlymarvelous Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I used to buy merch a lot more frequently when I was younger, but now I rarely do...I would usually buy souvenir programs and occasionally show shirts. Now if I buy anything it's a window card or a magnet if I like the artwork for the show. I tend to buy things more often at the flea market since it's less of an investment and I don't really want to spend $30 on a shirt I'll most likely only sleep or exercise in.

Beyond a magnet or a poster, I tend to like things that are unique and don't just have the show artwork on them. I loved the "living on a latte and a prayer" mugs that Next to Normal used to sell, I still have and use the one I bought.
kade.ivy Profile Photo
Featured Actor
I always buy a souvenir program at any show I attend. It's a tradition dating back much of my life. At any entertainment event, I buy one, be it a Broadway show or a big concert.

I also almost always buy the cast recording but do so digitally (it's much cheaper) and before I go see the show.
Featured Actor
Most of the time, I don't buy anything besides from the cast recording (and those I usually get from online - the only thing is sometimes you have to wait longer). But that is not because I don't want to buy anything, if I had it my way, I would buy merchandise more often, but the fact is - they are kind of expensive, and I don't really use them, so it's kind of impractical. Generally, when I do buy things, I buy keychains and mugs.

I make exceptions though - I like to buy special things that I feel like I can't buy anywhere else. If a vendor tells me something is "limited edition," or "the last of its kind," I'm a goner, haha... But of course, only if it's within my price range. So when I see merchandise that I have never seen before at another show, I tend to buy it (or fight the strong urge to buy it). I just bought jump ropes at Rocky, for example, because I thought that was cute and special. I really wanted to buy the genie lamp ornament and the snow globe at Aladdin, but convinced myself not to because I won't use them for anything and they were kind of expensive. I like to buy T-shirts at the flea market.
Broadway Legend
I have a lot of magnets. And I own a few show sweatshirts or baseball caps...but only for shows that someone I know personally has been a part of.

I also buy cast albums. I might buy some tracks on line but I usually buy the CD - sometimes at the box office, sometimes at Amazon,etc. as I like to have all the liner notes.
Polka Dot2 Profile Photo
Polka Dot2
I never buy merchandise. My person thoughts:

1. Way too expensive. It's hard for me to bring myself to pay more than $45 for a show let alone buy a bunch of stuff while I'm there.

2. I'm an actor in NY, so wearing a show t-shirt or hat feels kind of touristy to me. I would never wear it. Maybe if I was in the show, I'd wear a jacket or something with the logo. I've seen some Hairspray cast members wearing those and always thought that was nice.

3. I collect playbills from all of the shows I've been to, and that's enough for me.

Occasionally I buy a CD, or someone buys me the collector's companion-type book as a gift because I love reading about the making of shows. That's as far as I go, though.

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