Video Collection International
Video Collection International (formerly The Video Collection) was a UK-based video company formed in 1984 and established in 1985. Originally part of the Prestwich Group, based in New Southgate, London, it was subject to a management buyout headed by Steve Ayres as CEO and Paddy Toomey (ex-Woolworths) as MD. The vision of "Sell Through Video" was born with the strong Woolworths association driving the retail sales. The Video Collection was allied with ITV and Channel 4, and distributed many of their titles from their franchises; they also operated the Cinema Club budget label, as well as an American division, Strand Home Video. The company was renamed to VCI in 1995 due to financial difficulties, and in 1999 the company was sold to the Kingfisher group. In 2004, the company merged with BBC Video to form 2 Entertain.
The Video Collection
1st Logo (1985-1989)
Logo: On a grey background, several white lines wipe in from the right. A black rectangle with "COLLECTION" in a tall white font at the bottom flips up from the bottom of the screen and "the" awkwardly flies and pastes itself at the top at a rather sharp diagonal angle. Then "Video" in a red rectangle, written with "V" in a black serif font and "ideo" in a skinnier, white italicized serif font, swoops from behind the "COLLECTION" box and plasters itself on it, positioned into the same angle as "the". Shadows also appear behind the logo when the pieces get into position.
Technique: The swooping and flipping. All 2D animation possibly done by a computer.
Music/Sounds: A 13-note synth theme, accompanied by 4 deeper synths and 3 synthesized chords when "Video" appears. This is actually from the Bruton Music library titled "Video Fanfare" composed by Brian Bennett. It was also used as a weather jingle by TVS at the time, as well as the 2nd Scand Video logo.
- Can be seen on releases of cartoons (mostly Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears) in the UK from the period.
- Even though the next logo was introduced in 1986 a year after this one, this logo was used in tandem with it until 3 years later.
- This logo does not appear on the 1986 UK VHS release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends for unknown reasons.
- It also appears on the 1986 UK VHS releases of M.A.S.K.: Volume 1: The Threat of Venom and M.A.S.K.: Volume 2: The Power of Venom, respectively.
2nd Logo (1986-1995)
Logo: Cutting in from black, a grey floor with light and dark grey "marble" scratches and a light grey grid is seen slowly shifting towards the upper right, as a red triangle zooms out from the top left edge and moves towards bottom centre with a shadow effect. An angled grey rectangle with a black front face then "opens" up and several more pieces appear around it, forming up a strange TV-like monitor with a satellite dish on top. The device rotates around a full 360 degrees as several pieces fly off it, then reattach, and then zooms in while tilting violently until the black screen takes up the whole area for a brief moment. It then cuts back to the floor, although its now stationary, and a red rectangle takes up the middle via a "blinds" effect before retracting on the sides. The rectangle then flips around once and rotates up, as a black "V" spins in as well and the background fades to black. It then plasters itself onto the red rectangle as the rest of the white text "the ideo" fade in and white lines drop down from the rectangle. A grey background fades in, with a tall black rectangle remaining with a shadow effect, and the white lines contort into the tall white text "COLLECTION". The end result resembles the 1st logo.
Variant: On PAL tapes in Spain, the logo reads "Video COLECCION". Its unknown if there are other language variations.
Technique: Entirely done in early CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: A quiet beeping sound, followed by the synthesized swoosh and some metallic clunks when parts forming the television, then a little synthesized organ-like tune. It ends with three timpani beats.
- On some Spanish PAL tapes, an announcer can be heard. Translated from Spanish, he says: "Don't hesitate to join the millions in the world who "video-collect", and thanks to us learn, play, laugh, cry and know now what to do with their free time. Video Collection: a new concept on video is born to you. Thank you for your confidence."
- On some promos from 1986 and 1987, an announcer can be heard.
Availability: Very common.
- It can be spotted on many UK VHS releases of ITV programmes, mostly ones under the Central Video label.
- It appeared on earlier Thames Video Collection releases, but does not appear on later releases.
- Its most famous appearance are on the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends releases in the UK, although this logo does not appear on the 1986 UK VHS releases of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Troublesome Trucks and Other Stories and Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends: Coal and Other Stories, respectively for unknown reasons.
- Also appears on several UK VHS releases of Ragdoll shows - Playbox, Rosie & Jim, Brum, and Tots TV.
- The Spanish variant can be seen on a Spanish VHS release of Yogi's First Christmas (1980).
- This logo debuted in 1986, on She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
- This logo also appears on the original 1994 UK VHS release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Rock 'n' Roll and Other Stories as well.
- This logo also appears on the 1991 UK VHS release of Learn with Sooty: Have Fun with Numbers 2 Multiplication before and after the 1990 Thames Video ident as well.
- This logo also appears on the mid-to-late 1980s UK VHS releases of Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears cartoons (including the 1986 reissues) as well.
- This logo also appears on a rare 1986 UK VHS reissue of Rainbow as well.
- This logo also appears on the 1990 UK VHS release of Terrytoons' Cartoon Heroes as well.
- This logo, along with the 1991 Central Video logo also appears on the Carlton UK VHS re-release of Rosie and Jim: Sailing and Other Stories as well, due to it being a direct reissue of the original release.
Video Collection International
Logo: In front of a black background, there is a grey wire frame globe, a bright light emitting godrays in the top left of the screen and some grey mist below, and in front of those, a metal object flips in, along with a red sphere. This is later revealed to be the "C" in "VCI" in the Futura font, which flips around as it zooms out (with the sphere in the centre). The letters "V" and "I" would later spin in and arrange themselves vertically.
- There are two DVD variants:
- The VCI text fades out, the light glows and the DVD logo fades in. This variant appears in a 4:3 ratio and appears mainly on fullscreen DVDs (some widescreen DVDs, though, use this variant despite the logo remaining in fullscreen).
- The DVD logo, which is also metallic, forms in the top right of the screen. This variant appears in a 16:9 ratio and mainly appears on widescreen DVDs. However, the VCI logo itself is cheaply made, as the logo starts in stretched 4:3, and then it stretches out into 16:9 as the logo finishes.
- On Sindy the Fairy Princess, after the logo ends, everything except the VCI text fades to black and the text moves to the left on the screen. The Optical Image logo fades into the right side and the word "Presents" appears.
- A static variant surprisingly appears before the Rosie and Jim episode "Locks" on the 2016 DVD release of Rosie and Jim: Bumper Pack.
Technique: Entirely done in CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: A synth chime theme is heard alongside some whooshing sounds, with mechanical sounds for the VCI text arranging. Near the end, there are two deep synth notes, ending with a clang and a final chime, all of which is in a similar melody to the 1990-1992 Strand VCI Entertainment logo.
- Can be seen on the start and end of many releases from this time, including Phoenix Nights and later Thomas The Tank Engine releases, among others.
- On DVD, the standard version only appears at the end of Roo Reveals All (as part of the DVD release of The Last Polar Bears) and at the end of Rosie and Jim: Flashing Fire Engine and Other Urgent Adventures, likely because it was taken from a VHS master.
- The last few seconds of it also makes a surprise appearance on the 2016 UK DVD release of Rosie and Jim: Bumper Pack, likely due to the master for the episode being taken from the Rosie and Jim: Classic Collection master.
- It also appears on the 1995 UK VHS re-release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Rock 'n' Roll and Other Stories and on a 2002 Marks and Spencer UK VHS re-release of Thomas & Friends: Thomas Goes Fishing and Other Stories, respectively as well.
- The 4:3 version appears on almost every Thomas and Friends DVD release until the 2Entertain merger. As noted above, it mostly appears on fullscreen releases such as Lion of Oz, Father Ted, etc.
- The 16:9 version appears on a majority of VCI DVDs.
- Also appears on these Thomas & Friends DVDs: "The Fogman and Other Stories", "Pulling Together!", "It's Great to Be an Engine!", and "Bumper Party Collection!".
- It also appears on Fifi and the Flowertots - Fifi's Talent Show.
- It appears on DVD releases from Hat Trick Productions, Channel 4 Video, Gullane Entertainment, Granada Media and Ragdoll.