LAS VEGAS – Although most of the approximately 100 exhibitors at the first Storerotica tradeshow are novelty-oriented – bong, anyone? – there remains a strong video company presence.
But not to sell product.
"We strongly support our distributors," advised Adella O'Neal of Digital Playground, "and would never attempt to undercut them, but we know they don't always give out the point-of-purchase materials we give them, so we're here mainly to let retailers know that if their distributor isn't supplying them with the materials, they can come to us for them."
Evidence of that is all over the D.P. booth in the form of compilation DVD giveaways, though most impressive are a poster-size reproduction of the Jesse In Pink boxcover featuring Jesse Jane, as well as a composite poster featuring the five D.P. contract gals, with Shay Jordan there to sign them.
Perhaps the largest single adult video booth at the show is the combination Vivid/ClubJenna/TeraVision booth – that is, outside of Hustler Hollywood's 50 foot "mobile retail unit" hitched to the back of a half-ton pickup – and autograph signers at the very long display table include Tera Patrick herself, "veteran" ClubJenna contract star Roxy Jezel and ClubJenna newbies Kendall Brooks and Lela Star.
Why all the high-gloss firepower?
"We think retailers and distributors are tired of hawking five-dollar discs," commented Howard Levine, sales manager for Pulse Distribution, which handles all three lines. "We think they're ready to trade up to the higher-end stuff, and we're here to show them what that looks like."
Also on hand at the tripartite booth is Luther King, director of the new series from ClubJenna, RPM XXXtreme. According to King, the discs will feature plenty of gals on and around hot cars and motorcycles, with scenes of the vehicles racing, drifting and in stunt action – and one scene features a couple having sex on the hood of a Nissan 350Z.
At the other "extreme" is Rockman Entertainment, whose somewhat smaller booth is, to owner Brett Rockman's mind, "symbolically representing a segment of our industry that's now almost gone: The little companies, the companies that don't put out a movie a week, the companies that really have to struggle to maintain quality." Among Rockman's latest releases is Teen #2 – Cum Targets, which Rockman stresses doesn't use women who look underage.
Right at the front of the hall are two related booths, IVD and East Coast News, while further back is a single booth featuring two of the most popular imprints IVD distributes: Pleasure Productions and Evolution Distribution, with the lovely Tera Wray, who's appeared in numerous features for both companies, holding down the autograph fort.
"Part of the reason I'm here is that Matt Zane's Radium comes out today," she tells us. "And the other thing is, I really want people to know who I am."
Shane's World has also made a presence with its two contract gals, "veteran" Casey Parker, and their latest addition, Delilah "Ms. College Invasion" Strong, each signing posters with their images on them.
Red Light District's booth may be tiny, but their display isn't. Saleswoman Michelle uses every inch of table space, resulting in an impressive display of over 50 DVD boxes from the company's various lines.
Also on one of the main aisles is the Zero Tolerance/Third Degree/Black Ice booth, whose presence, according to a ZT spokesman, is to "rep our lines to the retailers who may not be familiar with them," and also to show the array of countertop displays and shelf talkers that are available to them.
"We're here to help stores make more money," the ZT rep says.
Particularly impressive are Elegant Angel's seven-level rotating stand-alone DVD racks, done in gleaming white plastic so they really stand out.
"We're here to remind retailers that we have really good product," says super saleslady Tianna Lynn, "and to stay in their faces so they'll always remember us."
Jerry Estrada and Danny Gorman are holding down the Exquisite Multimedia/Juicy Video booth, and everyone who walks by seems to pause for a moment to watch the chaser lights on top of each Exquisite DVD package.
"You could light up a whole store with a couple of racks of these," Estrada laughs ... then bemoans the fact that he still hasn't been able to find that perfect contract girl he's been looking for since June.
Hellhouse Media has a corner-aisle presence, with bumperstickers, t-shirts and sampler DVDs to give out to passersby. Their latest production, Slutty Schoolgirls #1, which releases in one week, is prominently featured, as is a poster encouraging people to check out their website, hellhousemedia.com.
Finally, toward the back of the room is newcomer Tommy Kaye Productions. Its owner has been around for a long time, all the way back to 1994 when he was shooting the Rusty Boners amateur line, and he's shot for some major companies since.
"I'm trying to do something different: I'm trying to take picturesque type movies with hard-edge gonzo sex," he says. "They're couples friendly; they're already on cable and satellite, and we're trying to create something different that you can sit down with your wife or your girlfriend and watch it and both of you be happy with what you're seeing."
Locales for the features range from L.A. to Europe, where Kaye is partner in a modeling agency. The company currently has four new releases, all shot in Europe, including The Metrosexuals, Country Fresh and Derriere Digest. More info is available at tommykaye.com.