When the big-screen version of The Phantom hit theaters in 1996, Amy and I were mildly intrigued. I had grown up in a city whose newspaper didn't run The Phantom and I was only marginally familiar with the character (From my experience feverishly copying his likeness from "Draw 50 Famous Cartoons" and from the short-lived "Defenders of the Earth" toy line King had rushed out around the time of Marvel's "Secret Wars" toys and DC's "SuperPowers Collection"). Still, I had always remembered how cool and mysterious he had looked and thought the movie might be okay.
So, when we went to Blockbuster to rent a movie ("Where Eagles Dare" or "Clash of the Titans" or something...?) and saw a neat stack of gaily-colored cartons covered in cartoons, we got very excited. What came in those "Blockbuster Visa Bonus Box"es ? It was an interesting-looking premium. Perhaps it had some cool Phantom stuff in it. Maybe a pin-back. A mini-comic? A SKULL RING?... Well, what we found out, after renting THREE movies to obtain one, was that it was full of coupons and junk. As I write this, I'm looking at the remaining contents- a Gardetto's snack mix coupon, an ad for Cheer detergent a 3" floppy disk with AOL2.5 on it and a 14-year-old mini box of Rice Chex cereal.
I have to say the box was the best part of the deal. It has a sort of a Hostess Fruit-Pie ad feel to it.
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