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  • Important Message from the UK

    Important Message from the UK

    As a big Babylon 5, and after I betrayed star trek to come over to Babylon 5 so many years ago. I feel the UK has been forgotten by WB and JMS.

    Merchandise. When I started watching Babylon 5 I was about 16 and was starting at collage (I was a Star trek fan for years before I joined B5, since then I havenÆt picked up a star trek ep in years) But when I was 16, I started collage and didnÆt have much money, so couldnÆt buy much B5 merchandise, since leaving collage vie got a good job and are some good money, when I come to buy B5 merchandise to my horror there is none. I have searched the internet to find no UK sites that sell B5 Merchandise, I have been to many cities in the UK and have travelled to many Sc-Fi shops to find anything of B5 and guess what? There was NONE, (well apart from a 30inch thin silver metal model that was going for ú100, which is about. $150.

    Books- Where do I buy books from at all? Have you seen the Amazon list? Yes lots of books there but nearly 90% are ôlimited liabilityö which means none left, a few I can get but as im not a big fan on the fiction books they donÆt appeal to me, I have tried many bookshops, even waterstones in the second capital of Great Britain and its empire didnÆt have any books? Could you tell me the reason JMS? Also I would like to buy the B5 security Manual but a ú50 for a second hand copy ($80) it was a bit much.

    Figers,models, badges etc û I gave up trying to find this type of merchandise a long time ago.

    DVD û 29th March season 4 released? On the 10th of November season 3 was released, why is going to take 6 months to bring out a new box set JMS? You do know we wont get season 5 till like October, I donÆt feel this is very fair as I would like to buy it now, and as how other sc-fi box sets come out monthly (Star trek, Stargate etc et).

    Babylon 5 is a huge program and would have a huge fan base if you had more publicity and more marketing in the UK, Babylon 5 is one of the best shows that has ever been aired (other than ôstar trek Original series, come on Kirk is classic, lol) but B5 has got some of the best actors, best scripts and put together in such a way that is unique and wonderful, I command you on a fine show. But I need merchandise to fill my addiction, lol. Does anyone else feel the same as me?
    Important Message from the UK
    Fortunie favors the Bold

  • #2
    Just to correct a few misconceptions:

    - JMS doesn't post here.
    - He also doesn't have any say in when the DVDs are released, nor in any advertising for them.
    - Most of the books have been out of print for years. JMS has no say in whether they get reprinted or not. In fact, a couple of the 'old' single books have been reprinted. You should be able to find the three trilogies if you look, too.
    - you can find some figures, cards, badges etc. on Ebay. Some is overpriced, some isn't.
    - and I have to say it...college isn't spelled 'collage'.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you mean "commend" and "limited availability".

      JMS has always attempted to avoid having Babylon 5 become a franchise where anything under the sun is slapped with a B5 logo and sold at a high price ala Trek.

      However, since WB owns the rights to B5, the WB execs *could* decide at some point to re-release B5 merchandise. I remember that those first B5 novels weren't very good because they were written before the characters' personalities were finalized. And some early writers were not familiar with the show and had the main characters doing stuff that just didn't jive with their television persona.

      I didn't realize that fans had to "betray" one show for another- basically we all watch as many shows as possible.

      As to B5 merchandise, there *was* more merchandise back in the late 1990's but for lack of anyone buying the stuff it went out of print. Plus, the UK had those Babylon 5 magazines with the short stories more readily available than the US did. And I was always a bit jealous because it seemed that during production of B5 the UK was getting information and conventions before the US did.

      If you do a search of earlier rock music or movies you will discover that a lot of it is *also* out of print. So it isn't just B5.

      Locally in the mall stores, I rarely saw much B5 merchandise. I would see one or two copies of the novels and other stuff while the shelves were stocked with dozens of Trek books. It seemed like anyone could and did write a Trek book. I got almost all of the graphic novels but didn't realize the B5 stuff was going out of print until it was too late.

      I understand your complaint but the place to protest is to Warner Bros. and the various book publishers.

      I'm sure Joe DeM. can provide better insight on the whole matter.
      Last edited by DDC2004; 01-18-2004, 06:26 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pop into WHSMITH and see if you can order some books. I know they can get a lot of stuff in that store. Also, despite there being a lack of Babylon 5 things to own nowdays, you might try www.ebay.co.uk where an assortment of badges, model kits and other things that have been around over the years. Oh and, buy the Babylon 5 soundtracks. I'd happily have those soundtracks over all the merchandise in the world
        Sectorgame.com

        Comment


        • #5
          DDC2004 and HUNTER i would like to thank you for your helpfully and postive response.

          Jan why are you so aggressive about my post?

          i will try Ebay and WHsmith, thank you, hopefully with a new series/Project it might re-vamp the merchandise, we live in hope.

          As for the betryal thing, since ive been little there as always been a battle in sc-fi groups that you either a Trekie or B5, lol (only menet to be take a small joke througth)

          thank you guys
          Fortunie favors the Bold

          Comment


          • #6
            Jan why are you so aggressive about my post?
            Apart from tweaking you about your spelling, what was "aggressive" about Jan's simple list of information?

            It is certainly true that JMS discouraged excessive merchandising based on B5 when the show was in production, and also true that such merchandising as exists for any show tends to decline when the show goes out of production - even if it continues to be shown in reruns. B5 has been out of production for five years. It is hardly surprising that there isn't a lot of B5-branded stuff to buy. And this isn't a problem limited to the UK. There has probably been more B5 merchandise released over there than there ever was in the U.S. (The entire series was never released on VHS tape in the retail channel here, and it took something like 4 years for Columbia House to finally finish its subscription-based VHS release. Several of the TV movies have never been released on this side of The Pond at all, while all but Rangers have been released over there.)

            The scheduling of the DVD releases is purely a matter of Warner Bros. UK, its production capacity, the list of titles it plans to produce and its marketing decisions. The first season DVD set was released in the UK before the North American edition came out. The first two sets were released over here six months apart. WB was able to slightly accelerate the production schedule after that, but a "once a month" release a la Trek was never in the cards on either side of the Atlantic. WB had serious doubts about the viability of TV shows on DVD (since in the States TV shows had never succeeded on VHS with a tiny handful of exceptions - Trek being one of them.) So their plan was to wait for actual sales numbers on each season first of Friends then of B5 before starting work on the next season.

            Paramount, by contrast, knew that Trek fans would buy a dead cat if it had a Federation symbol on it and had the examples of Trek on VHS and X-Files on DVD to tell them that there was no question that season sets of their Trek series would be profitable. So they were willing to spend 10s of millions of dollars doing all of the prep-work for all 7 seasons of TNG before the first season went on sale. WB could not have taken a chance like that on B5, and therefore could not release a new season in alternate months as Paramount did with the Trek set here, much less every month as you say they did in the UK.

            Regards,

            Joe
            Joseph DeMartino
            Sigh Corps
            Pat Tallman Division

            Comment


            • #7
              Well WrtWorthy, I can't say I've betrayed Star Trek myself, as Star Trek Deep Space Nine, albeit in constant debate over comparison to a B5 was a fine show, and I respect it for what it is. But, it's hard for me to "betray" a show, I have seen every episode of B5, DS9, TNG, Voyager, Stargate, Farscape, Dark Angel, Alias, Charmed... and... so on . After watching that amongst many sci-fi movies, one develops a certain liking for everything
              Sectorgame.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Loved that remark on the dead cat Joe LOL.
                I like Star Trek,i love Star Wars i love sci-fi all together,but B5 was one of those shows that was perfect...perfect story,perfect cast in the perfect place and in the perfect time.
                Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

                Comment


                • #9
                  UK merchandise

                  The biggest problem in the Uk was the fact that B5 was only shown late at night on channel 4. Basically, nobody saw it. When the merchandise started coming out, most shop owners didn't know what it was, or what to do with it. I heard many stories of shops sending merchandise back and not even putting it on display. In fact, several of the manufacturers cancelled their B5 lines due to poor sales. If, like me, you only got into B5 more recently when sci-fi channel started showing it, sadly we're too late. For now, as others have said, ebay is the best place. ( BTW if anybody knows of a decent model of a Shadow battlecrab, you could make me a happy man )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The fact that thestation.com unfortunetly went under hasn't really helped this development of an increasing lack of B5 merchandise. I personally would *kill* for a copy of the B5 Bible, but it was sold exclusively to thestation.com, and I have yet to see it go up on sale at Ebay, though I have been searching for it for some time.

                    I suppose I will just have to continue to watch, wait, and listen ;P

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think that the undivided loyalties to a series/movie are one of the silliest and saddest aspects of sci-fi fandom...
                      Since I've read way too many SF I can't be like that, I love many authors and their varied visions.
                      I love B5 and Farscape, I really liked Star Wars until Lucas unwisely thought he was a good enough writer for the prequels (and I've never cared for the commercial empire/franchise aspect of SW). Most other sci-fi movies and series however seem too uninspired for me.
                      I must confess that I have mostly stayed away from Star Trek, not out of tribalism, but precisely because I've read too much SF, of the hard-SF school, and their technobabble is just too phony for me. I still have great respect for the original series though. (And I also dislike the franchise/commercial-empire aspect of ST, LOL at the dead cat comment)


                      Anyway, I wanted to mention other sources for the books:
                      Barnes & Noble (www.bn.com)
                      I've seen the B5 books in stock in several of their stores, their website lists most of them as "ships within 24 hours" so it's likely they have them in stock.
                      I'm not sure if their international shipping charges are convenient for you, though.

                      I've also seen the books appear on eBay.

                      US fans are still lucky for the novels, I do see most of them in the big chain bookstores.
                      Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                      James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jan why are you so aggressive about my post?
                        Didn't mean to come across as aggressive. There were several misconceptions, though, and I figured you'd mainly be interested in the fact that JMS isn't likely to read your post here even if he *could* do anything about marketing/merchandising.

                        Oh, another poster recommended the soundtracks and I heartily agree. They're still available from the Sonic Images site:

                        http://www.sonicimages.com/action.la....html&-nothing

                        You can get the Crusade soundtrack there, too I believe.

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Important Message from the UK

                          Originally posted by WRTWORTHY
                          Important Message from the UK
                          I feel the UK has been forgotten by WB and JMS.
                          You should consider yourself lucky for being in the UK! For most USA television shows, the USA is the primairy market, but the UK is second! Every other country falls far behind. Almost every B5 merchandise has been available in the UK as well. You guys even had your own B5 magazine.

                          Look at my situation: also a student, but I live in the Netherlands. I had to import every vhs tape, every novel, and everything else from either the USA or the UK. It is a miracle B5 was even broadcasted in my country (Sleeping in Light was first shown here in spring 2001 IIRC).

                          To make things even worse: what about a B5 theatrical movie? If it ever gets made, there is a good chance it would NOT be shown in cinemas in my country.
                          So what am I to do then? I will have to go to London to see Babylon 5 on the big screen.

                          Think about it, of about 150 countries in the world, only 2 of them get the royal treatment: USA and UK. The fact that you waited many years to buy B5 merchandise was your choice, don't blame WB or JMS if they are not forever available.

                          B5 is something special, and therefor a rare commodity. If you don't like it, you could always go back to a marketing based television show like Star Trek.
                          I don't watch TV. ItÆs a cultural wasteland filled with inappropriate metaphors and an unrealistic portrayal of life created by the liberal media-elite.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            for my freind who live in the netherlands, i feel for you i do truely, for i can imgine its the same for msot shows, especialy Non-english speaking countrys, must be arwful.

                            As for the UK i suspose im just upset becuase im haveing to wait soooo long till season 4.

                            I also wish to apolgise, i dident relise JMS dident read on here, i just assumed being His froum, he would, lol how stupid if me to think that?

                            Long live B5
                            Fortunie favors the Bold

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well same here,but S4 is my favorite and i couldnt wait so long so i just ordered from amazon.com
                              Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

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