2002 :: Mainland 'Taste the Magic' Episode II Cards
2002 was a big year for New Zealand in that, with the opening of 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones', we saw Kiwi actors playing Star Wars characters on the big screen. Coincidentally, one of the marketing campaigns that preempted the movie's screening can stake a claim as of one of the biggest New Zealand-exclusive collectible releases.
By gathering up tokens from New Zealand made Mainland Products Ltd products (Hutton's meats, Meadow Fresh yoghurts, Tararua milk and Mainland cheese) and sending them in to that company, you would be entered into a promotional competition, receive 12 randomly assorted cards from the set depicting a total of 18 different 'Attack of the Clones' characters, and a sticker sheet with 9 character stickers (the sticker sheet was apparently available elsewhere, and hence doesn't fall into the category of being a NZ-exclusive). The competition prizes included travel and tickets to the the Star Wars 'Magic of Myth' exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. Click on the thumbnails immediately above to view examples of the competition tokens (thanks to Stephen Williams).
It is interesting to note that Mainland Products Ltd is a Fonterra company, who also own Tip Top Ice Cream Ltd...the company we all know well from its previous Star Wars collectibles, decades prior (R2-D2 Space Ice stickers, and The Empire Strikes Back masks).
The cards in the set bore a bold and attractive design. Photographs of the main characters in head-to-toe publicity poses have been laid over painted (or digitally manipulated) headshots. The back of each card gives a detailed character summary that, at the time, revealed key information about the pending movie. The back of the cards have the logos of the represented Mainland Products companies as a footer (undeniably identifying them as being New Zealand unique) and also carry the name of the 'incentive programme management' company that produced the cards: 'Incentive Direct Ltd', of Christchurch.
Mainland's 'Taste the Magic' campaign was was attention grabbing not just for its giveaways. Plenty of point-of-sale advertising material (including some large cardboard displays and mobiles) ultimately became collectible items themselves. Thanks to Michael Moulden for supplying the above images of one of the sets of display shelves. Other items include a large poster with detailed competition instructions, and shelf advertising.
Thanks to Michael Moulden and Steve Williams for image contributions
Last updated: 10 Jun 2015 (NZT)