Available mainly by mail order, this was basically a flimsy plastic six-transistor, battery-powered radio with a KISS wraparound sticker design. The artwork featured the band on cubes from the famous Barry Levine shoot on one side, with an almost perfect mini-replica image of the 1977 tourbook on the rear.
Measuring 2 x 4 inches, these also came with an attached carrying strap. The radio sold for $9.98 each (reduced to $9.50 in the Alive II LP merchandise form) and shipped boxed in packs of 12. The official KISS Meets The Phantom magazine even stated the battery was included! Score! In terms of variants, there have been differences in the stickers, mainly around the direction of the typography.
Early versions, including one with white plastic instead of black, were deemed to be faulty. A letter from Boutwell's Vice President, Lee Friedman to Topco President, Martin Tucker in September 1978 states that the company had to reimburse the band to the sum of $20,000 for ‘defective licensed articles’ and proof of ‘destruction of all defective portions’. The letter also stated that “Our responsibility to the consumer as well as to KISS, is our prime concern and as their sole licensing and merchandising representative, we must provide total protection to the name, likeness and image of KISS.”
Photos: 'KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land' coffee table book. Thanks to Darran Crowther for the packaging pic, Thanks to 'Knights In Satan's Service' and John 5 for the poster. Ad: The EverythingKISS Collection.