KISS: the Most Merchtastic Band of All Time

Creative Allies itself was launched as a platform for a community of designers to celebrate the world of music and festivals, and the merchandise that commemorates the soundtracks to our lives. It’s only fitting that Creative Allies has partnered with the most merchtastic band that ever lived, KISS.

While KISS earned a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with its trove of smash studio albums, live recordings, and multiple top 40 anthems like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the band became a 70s sensation through its extravagant costumes, flamboyant makeup, and gonzo stage props. KISS transcended the term rock star and became a cultural phenomenon through their ongoing commitment to innovation in merchandise.

 

While it all started with great Ts and posters, the band added legions of followers with comic book series published in three different decades, starting with Marvel in the 70s. And with any good set of comics, of course you need action figures, and KISS were happy to oblige.

Generation X kids will not only remember the comics and action figures, but also the games, games, and more games. Many an 80s arcade was graced with the band’s iconic faces on pinball machines, which became one of the band’s singular contributions to the world of merch.

Current limited edition machines from Stern’s KISS pinball lineup fetch nearly $12,000 on the band’s official merchandise site.

Board games and video games followed through the years, but one of the more fun gaming elements of the KISS brand came in analog media—trading cards.  Card collecting peaked as a hobby during the coming of age of Gen X, with baseball-style trading sets of the band issued by leading cardmaker of the era, Donruss.

Some of the band’s merch offerings became highly-coveted collectors’ items, including the legendary tin lunchboxes featuring KISS in action in the mid-70s. As recently as 2013, 70s-era lunchboxes bearing the band’s likeness valued at more than $250.

When you transcend rockstar status and become cultural icons, your fans invite you into their lives (and deaths) in many ways. KISS lifestyle merchandise runs the gamut from condoms and air fresheners to its own branded credit card and as of 2010, a line of memorial products, including caskets (or KISS Kaskets, as they are known) and urns.  

Since fans are able to celebrate their love for KISS in both life and death, the band becomes part of the fabric of their existence. After more than 40 years, the legacy is now legendary. Because of the iconic nature of the makeup, the props, the costumes, and even the instruments the members play, there’s now a lasting set of design templates that are timeless and classic enough to promote a growing roster of more than 3,000 product families and counting.

In that spirit, Creative Allies is proud to partner with the band’s representation, Epic Rights, on another breakthrough project, KISSify Animals. To learn more about the Creative Allies community’s contribution to the KISS legend, head over to the contest page at kiss.creativeallies.com.

KISSify Animals promises to be our wildest contest to date, fueled by one of the greatest bands—and fan bases—of all time.

 

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