Invader Zim merchandise
Like other Nickelodeon properties, characters and content from the animated television series Invader Zim have been licensed out to be used for toys, clothing and various other merchandise. Collectible figure manufacturer Palisades Toys produced figures based on the characters. Media Blasters produced and released DVDs of the episodes.
The creation of Invader Zim toys and collectible figures were licensed by Nickelodeon to Palisades Toys, a company that is now defunct. However, many of its assets- including the Invader Zim license- have been sold to other companies and the original toys are still available. Palisades Toys made two series of Invader Zim figures in 2005. They vary in height from 4-8 inches (10–20 cm). Each figure comes with a set of appropriate accessories and a display base. Hot Topic has made a variation of each set with different figures and even more accessories. The Invader Zim toys from Palisades Toys have been praised for their attention to detail and uncanny likeness to the show's design concepts.
The first series of Invader Zim figures was released in the fall of 2004, Series one contains alien Zim, undisguised GIR (with the Voot Carrier in its pig disguise from Attack of the Saucer Morons), Dib, Ms. Bitters, and Almighty Tallest Purple. Hot Topic variations of series one included Duty Mode Gir, screaming Zim, sneering Almighty Tallest Purple, frustrated Dib, and snarling Ms. Bitters. The Zim figure fits in the cockpit of the Voot Carrier, and the GIR figure can attach to some pegs behind the cockpit, so one could recreate the "Ride the Pig" scene from Attack of the Saucer Morons. Due to the success of the first series of Invader Zim toys, Palisades Toys released the Invader Zim Miniature Figurine Set… of DOOM!, a separate set of smaller non-articulated figurines featuring Zim in the human disguise first seen in "The Girl Who Cried Gnome, GIR as a dog riding a pig, Gaz in her beaver disguise, and Dib turning into bologna from the episode Bolognius Maximus. Since Palisades' termination, retailers such as Hot Topic have re-used this set as key chains. Other toys include a large 12" "Mega GIR" with a removable Dog Costume, a Voot Cruiser with Zim and GIR figures and three convention exclusive two-packs:
- Undisguised Zim (featuring an equally undisguised expression of rage) with GIR wearing his "goofy" expression (his tongue hanging out and one eye half-closed) This set was presumably based on the episode Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars.
- Germ-Fighting Zim and Germy GIR. (from "Germs").
- Zim in his Old Man disguise with Doggy Suit GIR (from Walk of Doom).
On October 19, 2005 Palisades Toys released the second series of Invader Zim figures. Series two contains human Zim, disguised GIR, Gaz, Almighty Tallest Red, and Zim's Roboparents. In the second series the Gaz, Gir and Zim figures come with a separate piece of Zim's house, and when put together, the base is roughly to scale with the figures, and even has Zim's lawn gnomes. Tallest Red's base connects to Tallest Purple's, and the Roboparents come with the couch and some of the living room from Zim's house. The Invader Zim Special Edition set of Doom! was produced by Palisades Toys, but released after the company had shut down, the Invader Zim Special Edition set of Doom toys based on Series One was released. It has the same characters but in different poses and styles. These are Screaming Human Zim, Doggie Suit Duty Mode GIR, Neutral Faced Almighty Tallest Red, Hypnotized Dib, and “Shadow” Miss Bitters.
Hot Topic exclusives
Before the first series of action figures was released, Hot Topic released the characters from the first series with new head sculpts. These figures included a screaming version of Zim, Duty Mode GIR, Sneering Tallest Purple, Angry Dib, and a snarling Ms. Bitters.
There was also a series two variant released by Hot Topic in early 2006 produced by Palisades Toys. These include Zim with Pustulio, Roboparents with a glitch, screaming costumed GIR (with the hood down), angered Gaz and screaming (burping?) Almighty Tallest Red. Hot Topic also made an exclusive which includes Zim with his germ fighting equipment and a germ-covered Doggy suit GIR.
There is a set of three plush toys available. These have the likenesses of Zim, GIR and GIR in the dog disguise. These toys are between 9 and 12" in height each, however they are exceptionally hard to find.
In 2003, Wal-Mart began selling a DVD compilation of Nickelodeon cartoons. As well as three other cartoons, the episode of Invader Zim The Nightmare Begins was included. Anime Works approached Nickelodeon with interest in Invader Zim DVDs and in June 2003, they put out a press release announcing that its anime division Pioneer will be producing three double DVD sets starting in Spring 2004 and a limited edition box set. As more information about the DVDs came out, it was revealed that Nickelodeon were approached by Anime Works with details of how there was a market for an Invader Zim DVD release, to which Nickelodeon responded by giving the go ahead. As of 2007 only region 1 DVDs have been released. Volume 1 can also be purchased on iTunes. The Hollywood Video site lists 3 volumes, Invader ZIM: Vol 1 - Doom Doom Doom, Invader ZIM: Vol 2 - Progressive Stupidity And Invader ZIM: Vol 3 - Horrible Holiday Cheer, but these are sold in very few stores.
On May 11, 2004, Nickelodeon and Anime Works released the first volume of an official Invader Zim DVD collection. Titled Volume 1: Doom Doom Doom, the two disc set includes nine half-hour episodes (most of which are composed of two quarter-hour sub-episodes). The DVD collection also includes numerous "extras" such as the Zim pilot episode and alternate audio tracks with commentary by series creator Vasquez and various cast/crew.
Within weeks of its initial availability, Invader Zim Volume 1 became one of the top 100 currently selling items on popular online retailer Amazon.com, giving fans hope that Volume 2 would be released with minimal delay.
On August 31, 2004 the second volume titled Volume 2: Progressive Stupidity was released, and like Volume 1, contains two discs (labelled discs 3 and 4). This volume was originally supposed to have very different art on the cover. However, Nickelodeon rejected it, but said they could use it if everyone in it was having fun. Jhonen Vasquez said in an interview with IGN that "That's just not my show, and I figured it would be false advertising."
On October 12, 2004 the third and final volume titled Volume 3: Horrible Holiday Cheer was released. The DVD sets have animatics, apparently accurate Irken subtitles, and digitally restored and remastered picture and sound, as well as a Spanish language track. They also include commentary with the actors, writers, and the production staff.
Zim House Box Set
The box set was released on April 12, 2005. A week later the box set edition containing all the volumes was released on April 19, 2005. The box is in the shape of Zim's house from the series. The door opens to reveal the DVDs, while the top opens to reveal a Duty Mode GIR figure which is the same size as the GIR from Palisades figure. An extra disc is included with the box, containing an Interview with Kevin Manthei, Sound Design Featurette, a Sample Soundtrack, the uncut version of The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever, and the vocal recordings from unfinished Zim episodes. The manufacturer has discontinued this item, and it is no longer for sale.
Complete Invasion Box Set
Another box set for Invader Zim was released featuring the three DVD volumes boxed together, with the art of Volume 1 on the cover. The DVD volumes were unchanged except for Volume 3, which featured the uncut version of The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever instead of the regular TV version, which had originally been included by mistake.
The Invader Zim DVDs were met reasonably by critics. Criticisms were drawn by the interlacing of the video causing some quality problems. The DVDs gained praise for the quality of the audio and included commentaries. The quality of the video was also commended. The box set received excellent reviews for its quality and look, specifically the concept of the house design being used for the box.
Nickelodeon/Anime Works DVDs
Both of the original box sets have gone out of print, both the Zim's House set and the Complete Invasion set. However, as of April 2, 2010, new Invader Zim DVDs have become available for online order on Amazon.
Amazon CreateSpace Release (2010)
The series has been separated into two different DVD cases-the first is for season one, and features a close-up of Zim's face, without his disguise on. The background is grey and spotted with skulls similar to the one Gaz wears on her necklace. The second DVD contains season two, features a close-up of Gir's face, who is wearing his dog costume. The background is purple and spotted with bones. Although these DVDs contain episodes from Season One and Two in order, they do not have the special features that were on the previous DVD releases. There are no commentary tracks or interviews on the discs. The episodes are burned onto a DVD-R similar to many shows that Nickelodeon has sold through Amazon such as Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Hey Arnold!, The Angry Beavers, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and Danny Phantom will not play on certain DVD and Blu-ray players.
Operation Doom (2011)
A DVD was released on February 2011 called Invader Zim: Operation Doom. This set contains the highest rated episodes to air on Nicktoons Network throughout 2010. The DVD sales were a success. It is of note that the DVD was produced shortly after a fan driven greeting card mailing inspired by Jhonen Vasquez's blogpost detailing the series' near revival in 2010.
The 1-disc release has no bonus features and contains the following episodes:
- The Nightmare Begins
- Career Day
- The Frycook What Came From All That Space
- Gaz, Taster of Pork
- The Voting of the Doomed
- Hobo 13
- Walk For Your Lives
- Mysterious Mysteries
- Future Dib
- Plague of Babies
- Bloaty's Pizza Hog
Clothing and accessories
Nickelodeon has licensed the name and images of Invader Zim for use on many items of clothing and accessories. These items include T-shirts, hoodies, wristbands, a wide variety of iron-on patches, sticker sheets, slippers, notebooks, messenger bags, iron transfer sheets, keychains, wallets, and hats. These clothing items and accessories are available at Hot Topic and other speciality retailers.
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- "Review of the Invader Zim toys". Archived from the original on 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Series 1 set of Invader Zim toys announced". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Miniature figurines announced in the wake of the success of previous releases". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Miniature figurines announced". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- ""Mega GIR" toy announced by Palisades Toys". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Palisades Toys announces Old Man and Dog GIR exclusives". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Palisades Toys releases special edition set of Invader Zim toys". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Palisades second line of Hot Topic Zim variants available". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
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- Adam Tierney (1 September 2004). "An Interview with Jhonen Vasquez and Rikki Simons". Retrieved 2007-05-08.
- "Media Blasters announces the release of the show on DVD and a box set". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Interview with Media Blasters' Chief Designer Meredith Mulroney". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Nickelodeon rejects the Volume 2 cover art". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Box set to contain uncut version of Invader Zim episode". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
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- "Visual review of the Invader Zim DVDs provides good results". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- "Review of the Invader Zim box set". Retrieved 2007-02-16.