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Arrow Productions at Licensing International Expo – final

New York City- For three days [June 19-21], at least, the porn industry officially rubs elbows with the mainstream. And among the crowded aisles that harbor the wares of Fox, Disney, Brainy Babies, Pokemon, Marvel Comics and World Wrestling Entertainment, you’ll find Arrow Productions- keepers of the Deep Throat, www.xxxdeepthroat.com eternal flame.

It’s the annual Licensing International Expo at the Jacob Javits Center, and the company which continually proves that old school sells better than new, Arrow’s in town to meet retailers and make licensing deals.

“You’ve got to start thinking out of the traditional porn box,” says Arrow’s marketing director Robert Interlandi [pictured with Freddy Krueger], explaining the company’s reasons for taking part in this show. Albeit, sans the Deep Throat Corvette which was left behind.

Porn, if you’ve been reading the trades and newswires has been experiencing a numbers crunch the likes of which has never been seen.

Not that it suffers the same malady- Arrow, for instance, continually sells more pieces of the 35 year-old movie Deep Throat out the door than most companies do new titles – it’s just that Arrow decided long ago that movie sales do not, any more, an adult company make.

That’s why Arrow’s decided to branch out into the arena of Halloween costumes, T-shirts, hats, energy drinks, beer and video games. With more ideas along the way. Who knows, says Interlandi, you could have something like Deep Throat bedsheets marketed the way Wal-Mart does Spiderman.

“There’s so many ideas- you get guys coming to pitch you,” he adds.
“I’d love to get a comic book deal together.”

The New York show, though, puts Arrow smack in the middle of a decided PG and mainstream neighborhood.

“We’re right next to Pokemon and Nintendo,” Interlandi laughs. “And right across the way is Dick Clark Productions and the authentic Jimi Hendrix LLC group as well as the US Postal Service- I still have no idea what they license.”

The feeling was probably mutual last year when Interlandi, without a booth, walked the show floor figuring he could strike up some acquaintances as well as deals.

This year he’s got an idea for trading cards. Last year some licensing agents laughed at him.

“They treated me like scum,” he laughs. “This one woman at a licensing booth said she had no idea how to market our product. I said I’d like to talk to your marketing director, I’m sure they can figure it out. She said, ‘I am the marketing director.'”

“Last year I got no love so I decided to grab the bull by the horns and start doing it- I did.”

Extending his ideas beyond just those of Arrow Productions, Interlandi’s working deals with other adult companies as well, such as Paradise Visuals and Addicted Video [formerly Standard Digital] who owns the original Taboo series.

“I’m now their licensor,” says Interlandi. “Besides Arrow product I have their stuff.” Interlandi also predicts that Arrow’s energy drink is going to be a huge success. www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=22908.

“We have a distributor who wants an exclusive,” Interlandi notes. “We’re doing a test market and I need to get point-of-sale promo material together for the stores.”

As much as anything else at the show, Interlandi was excited to see the WWE there. We talked about the Sensational Sherri passing away. Interlandi also tells me Hulk Hogan’s his idol and included a story involving himself attending a VSDA show in Vegas as a kid.

“I got to go to the convention back when it was mainstream and porn,” he recalls. “I met Traci Lords. I met Nina Hartley- they thought I was so cute. I was 11 years old. But Hulk Hogan was there promoting his movie No Holds Barred. I was there waiting in line for hours because the crowd was huge. Some security guard comes over and says, sorry but there’s no kids allowed at this show. You have to stay in your booth. I told him I’m talent. I’m here promoting a movie I was in. He said, no. You have to stay in your booth. You cannot walk around the show floor.

“I was, Hulk Hogan’s my idol! I love Hulk Hogan. The guard said, no, you got to go. And I’m sobbing, flipping out. I go back to my booth crying up a storm. The guy who was standing in front of me comes to our booth and goes that’s just wrong what they did to you. I talked to Hulk Hogan’s bodyguard- he can’t believe that the only kid in the whole convention couldn’t see him. They said you don’t have to wait in line. You can walk up to the front and you can have your picture taken with him.

“So I walked up to the front like I was a star- Hulk Hogan shook my hand- the biggest guy I had ever seen in my life. He then asked to do a pose off with me. I wound up getting my picture on the front page of The Las Vegas Sun posing off with Hulk Hogan.

“The next day this guy comes over with a stack of papers saying I’ve got a present for you. Boom, you’re on the front page. When I got home I told my friends but no one would believe me. I had to take the paper to school.”

Explaining how he was at the convention as “talent,” Interlandi says he was in a movie his father, Paul, came up with.

“He made this video game guide on how to beat Nintendo games with pass words and secrets,” Interlandi explains. “If you ever saw the movie it was 90% me playing the game.”

Taking note that the owners of an adult store in Virginia copped to an obscenity plea involving a couple of Arrow titles, www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=23161, Interlandi said Arrow would have helped them with their legal bills but was sorry to see that the owners chose to go this route.

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