From a 1977 Marvel comic that presented the band as superheroes to a new line of make-up festooned Hello Kitty items, Kiss has perfected a merchandising aesthetic across successive generations.
And anyone who questions founder Gene Simmons, who spearheads those efforts, won’t receive any apologies.
“Kiss outperforms, we outsell the Beatles and Elvis put together,” Simmons tells World Screen in this clip. “We have 4,800 licenses, everything from Kiss condoms to Kiss caskets. All together now: We’ll get you coming, and we’ll get you going.”
Action figures and a pinball machine followed the comic, in 1978. There have also been trading cards, board games, lighters, toy guitars and a Visa card, among countless other items. The Kiss Kasket began production in 2001. Kiss Kondoms followed introduced in 2002.
BrandWeek magazine’s Sandra O’Loughlin has estimated that Kiss is now a nearly $1 billion brand.