I don’t discover anything new if I affirm that cinema is a business. Hollywood was built on the foundation of making money by projecting images onto a wall. It continues to be so to this day. This is not bad, as it allows us to enjoy titles for all tastes, although as a secondary effect there are phenomena such as the excessive exploitation of a specific genre or the proliferation of sequels, prequels, reboots and remakes.
And like any self-respecting business, the key to making more money is to diversify. That is, in addition to making a film, it is convenient sell promotional material like t-shirts, video games or toys. And in recent years, parallel products such as comics, books or TV series have been added to this list. The objective, to make the most of a film to optimize profits.
The promotional toy phenomenon it started big with the premiere of Star Wars back in 1977. The demand for toys from the film was such that the manufacturer Kenner could not meet demand. The full story can be seen in the documentary series The Toys That Made Us by Netflix. And although the golden age of promotional toys were the 80s, 90s and 00s, today they are still being sold and even brands like LEGO they decide to launch collections based on successful franchises.
The ingredients to make a success
From that golden age of promotional toys highlights the story of Independence Day, a movie from exorbitant budget who was aiming to earn an exorbitant amount of money as well. Released in 1996, it had everything to succeed among the general public. Its director was Roland Emmerich, who had already provided us with action titles such as Stargate (1994) or Universal Soldier (1992).
The plot was also attractive: a alien invasion Nothing friendly on a world scale in which the most famous monuments were blown up. Bulk pyrotechnics, giant ships, and tentacle monsters. That and a pinch of USA patriotism that always works within its borders.
And what about the actors. Will Smith, famous for the series The Prince of Bel-Air and who was already making his first steps in the cinema with titles such as Bad Boys (1995) or the comedy Made In America (1993). The cast was also joined by Bill Pullman or Jeff Goldblum, the latter a star thanks to genre titles such as La Mosca (1986) or Jurassic Park (1993).
Hollywood Machinery is an expert in creating successful products by putting together the right ingredients. And Independence Day is a good example of this. A lot of money had to be spent, approximately $ 75 million. But already the first weekend 50 million were recovered in the United States alone. According IMDb, more than 800 million were entered worldwide.
As well. In addition to offering a profitable product, Independence Day stood out for more things. One of them, the promotional toys that, in addition, were accompanied by curious floppy disks.
Toys and floppy disks
The peculiarity of Independence Day merchandising is that combined two elements which had always been sold separately. I mean, with the premiere of a movie, you could buy toys from a large catalog which, if successful, was updated every year. And, in addition, in many cases you could also buy a video game for your console then.
With Independence Day they made a combo. He was responsible for the toy manufacturer Trendmasters, who had made a name for himself in the sector with his Godzilla. Thanks to this, they were in charge of the toys for the film of the same name, released in 1998 and directed by Roland Emmerich himself. But that is another story.
Source: Figure Realm
To accompany the 1996 film they released a collection of nine action figures, six aliens and three humans, as well as three accessory vehicles. And next to each figure, 3.5-inch floppy disks that you could collect. In total, eleven floppy disks that included puzzle games inspired by the film under the name of ID4 Mission Disks. Precisely the floppy disk has relevance in the film, but I will not say more for not gut the end.
For the price of a toy, you got a floppy with a game. A true innovation in Cinélifo merchandising that, for various reasons, never became popular. Partly because sooner or later internet would become a popular channel to spread promotional content.
But let’s go back to the Independence Day floppy disk collection. We start with an obvious limitation: the 3.5-inch floppy disk had a capacity of 1.44 MB. And to get an idea, Windows 95, which was also released in CD-ROM version, floppy version It consisted of 30 floppy disks in its full version.
So Independence Day floppy games have aged very badly. Some of them can be found on YouTube, such as this list with ten of the eleven games. And if you want to play them you can try your luck on type pages ebay where you will find the toys from the movie accompanied by their corresponding floppy disk.
Another option is to download the games directly. On the old games page Old Games you will find all eleven games. In this link you will find them messy but listed with their corresponding game number. In any case, they are independent games, but it is better play them in order.