Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land is a new coffee table book by Nicholas Buckland. Clocking in at 390 pages, it is the officially licensed story of the KISS merchandising craze of the late 1970s and early 1980s. While the Ultra Deluxe Edition, which was autographed by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and the Deluxe Edition are sold out, the Standard Edition is still available for $99.

You might be wondering, “What do I get for $99?” After all, this isn’t a cheap book by any stretch of the imagination. You get 390 pages of lush full-color photos focused solely on KISS merchandise because that’s what this book is about – KISS merchandise. If that doesn’t appeal to you, move along. If it does, you’ll be in your glory with this hefty tome. KISS lunch boxes, clothing, comics, trash cans, belt buckles, tour books, mirrors, and much more is covered in chronological order. In addition to items from the author’s collection, other mega-KISS fans opened up their collector’s vaults so their rare items could be photographed and documented in this book. You’ll also find minutiae about Aucoin Management/Boutwell Enterprises archival documents, such as deals, correspondence, and money made between licensees and KISS.Who Is Nicholas Buckland?

Before spending $99 on a book about KISS merchandise you might want to know the answer to the following question: who is Nicholas Buckland? Well, he’s been running the EVERYTHING KISS website since 2007, which is such an exhaustive reference guide of KISSTORY that you could spend hours on it looking at all of the amazing items associated with the band over the years.

“I wanted a more thorough analysis of the classic era, but also, being a fan of beautiful coffee table art books, I wanted to create something really special with this topic and show the pieces like never before,” Buckland said in an interview with The Courier Mail.

“About 60 percent is from my own personal collection, but we had contributors shoot stuff from their private collections as far as USA, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Norway, Canada and Japan,” he added.

This book started off as an unlicensed labor of love but was quickly endorsed by KISS. “I posted an early photo of the book cover on Twitter; (KISS co-founder) Gene (Simmons) follows us and saw it and asked his legal team to contact us to make it an official KISS book,” Buckland said.Is It Worth Buying?

Yes, this book is absolutely worth buying, especially if you’re a KISS fan like me. It takes a deep dive into the era of the band where the visionary Bill Aucoin managed them. This was the moment that KISS’ career took off like a rocket and they met the fans’ thirst for KISS with a deluge of products of all shapes and sizes. It was unlike anything any other band had done at the time or since, and it’s all captured beautifully in KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land

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