Thursday, August 14, 2008

HIT Says "No" to Fraggle Rock Season Four DVD

Back in January it was announced that HIT! Entertainment was planning to release "Fraggle Rock: Complete Fourth Season" on DVD in fall 2008. The box set would be the final installment for Fraggle collectors, including the final 26-episodes of the beloved show plus another helping of exclusive bonus features.

Back in April, HIT Entertainment representatives began sharing an exact release date for the highly-anticipated box set. The exact message sent out by HIT’s Consumer Services (as late as July 2008) said that "Fraggle Rock Season 4 will be releases on October 28, 2008. We are not sure of what bonus features this set will include. You may want to try and email us again in August. Thank you for your interest in Fraggle Rock." And even as late as a July 27th presentation at Comic-Con Internation, Henson Company representatives (including Red Fraggle herself) stated that the fourth season was planned for release later this year.

Now it was also announced at Comic-Con that HIT Entertainment is planning to release "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection" this fall as well. This 20-disc DVD set, with all 96 episodes, would feature the content of the first three season box sets plus the remaining fourth season episodes and a handfull of new bonus features. The item has a suggested retail price of $139.98 and is planned for release on November 4, 2008. The indication at the time of the announcement was that this big box set would arrive in stores as a complement to the separate release of Season Four on DVD. However now the studio is telling the fans something completly different.

With the formal announcement of the Complete Series Collection, eager fans and collectors began to send inquiries directly to HIT! Entertainment to find out the exact details of the supposed fourth (and final) box set. However the fans received a new and startling report from the customer service staff:

"Thank you for contacting us. As of right now, we are not releasing Season 4 as a stand alone item. It is only available as part of the complete series collection. There are no plans at this time to release it alone."
According to company spokesmen, the current plan is to only release the complete series, with no current listing on the schedule for the fourth Season as a separate DVD. Needless to say, fans and collectors are outraged by this news.

People who faithfully purchased he individual season sets for the first three seasons, are now forced to re-buy seasons those seasons just the get the final 24 episodes and the last batch of bonus features. With a suggested retail price of $49.99 per season, faithful fans have already invested approximately $150 in their collections. But now they’ll have to shell out another $140 just to get the content of the last five discs of the 20-disc series set. Many fans simply can't afford this, especially with the current economic climate.

As HIT has touted in many of their press releases, the season box sets of Fraggle Rock came as "a direct result of a fan-driven campaign calling for the series' DVD debut". Legions of fans proved that they were down with Fraggle Rock, as they created an online petition that was signed by more than 35,000 fans urging for the DVD release of Fraggle Rock. HIT Entertainment responded and released "Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season" in 2005. Fan loyally and enthusiastically purchased the season set, as HIT said the success of the first season would determine if the subsequent seasons would be released. Sales were good, and the second season followed in 2006. Fans again flocked to the stores to show support for the series, hoping their support would sustain the franchise. And in 2007 when season three was released, the fans purchased the set with hopes that their collections would soon be completed. However now it appears that the only way to finish one's collection is for fans to re-buy what they have already purchased. HIT's total disrespect for the loyal fans who have faithfully supported the series is disheartening.

We urge HIT Entertainment to rethink their strategy and release the fourth (and final) season box set separate from the complete series package. While "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series" is great for newcomers to Fraggle Rock on DVD, HIT shouldn’t penalize the collectors who have already purchased the first three seasons independently. Fans should not have to re-buy seasons one, two and three in order to get the final installment of the series.

Now here's where you come it; petitioning and fan support helped get Fraggle Rock onto DVD, so together hopefully we can get urge HIT to give us a respectful (and economical) close to our DVD collections. Please, take a few minute to contact HIT Entertainment and request an independent DVD release for Fraggle Rock Season Four.

The HIT customer service number is:

You can write them a letter at:
HIT Entertainment
Attn: Consumer Relations (Fraggle Rock)
PO Box 9000, Allen TX, 75013

And you can e-mail them at:
With your help, the joy of Fraggle Rock can be shared with all fans and viewers in a fair and economical way.


Anonymous said...

Looking on the Internet, it seems that Jocelyn Stevenson is no longer with HIT. That figures, since it's very hard to believe that she would condone this decision.

This is a hard, bracing slap in the face to the loyal fans they've depended on. I call for a total boycott of the complete season set, until season 4 is released alone with ALL the extra special features from the complete set.

Anonymous said...

I would have been willing to purchase Season 4 without any bonues, extra features . . . anything but just the season itself. I would have been disappointed, but at least I would have had the final season which is all I really care about.

This is absolutely outrageous. I have never heard of any company doing this when releasing TV series on DVD.

I've certainly sent a letter and told them that although it breaks my heart, they will get no more money out of me.

Vaughn Michael said...

This is crazy! I can't aford that entire box set, I've got all the other season sets already also! So what reason would I want to buy them all again for.
Another moronic business move.

frogboy4 said...

I still can't believe HiT would do such a thing. I'm sorry for minimizing the concerns of others on the forums. This is truly un-Fraggle-like behavior!

We were with HiT when they teased us with single "themed" DVDs and purchased them to show our interest. That should have been enough of a test for them.

A- Faithful fans that made this set possible should not be financially penalized for their support.

B- Some people like having smaller uniform collector sets instead of a box.

C- This is a show of bad faith from their company. Who can even trust that this will be their final "repackaging" of the Fraggle series?

I enjoyed the thought and care put into all three releases. Apparently "the suits" are responsible for this decision. If the animated series is ever released I hope it is not from HiT. They need to change their mind on this and save face for the long term. Scorned fans do not forget!


Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is a question of power, and where power ultimately lies. HIT thinks they have the power, since they hold the key to releasing Fraggle Rock to the show's many fans. They think there's nothing wrong with essentially charging their most loyal customers $140 to obtain the final season release of Fraggle Rock, simply because they have the power to do so.

But they're wrong. The power ultimately lies in our hands. You SHOULD NOT BUY the complete set, especially if you already have the first three seasons, but even so, just to send them a message.

WE have the power. Without the purchasing power of their customer base, they would be BANKRUPT. They are proving themselves to ultimately be nothing more than a company worried ONLY about their bottom line. If that's the sad, shortsighted game they want to play, let's hit them where they'll feel it.

Anonymous said...

Here's another, unbiased, perspective.

HiT isn't saying they're not releasing a stand-alone season 4, just that it's not on their release schedule at this time.

frogboy4 said...

It is costly to press box sets of this sort and it likely is a limited run. I'm fairly certain their strategy is to sell-through these sets before releasing a single version later. Many more casual fans that have collected the first three seasons wouldn't go for this box and HiT knows that. It's a waiting game.

The less cynical part of me wants to believe that they tried to do something nice for fans in creating this complete series set and are just covering their butts. I still don't like it! I would support sending a message by delaying purchase of the item and/or letter writing.

Matthew said...

What kind of sadistic so and so would sanction this kind of thing. They should at least offer a trade-in solution for us who bought the friggin' things over the last few YEARS - Years, HiT! Friggin' YEARS! What is wrong with you!?

I should be able to afford the complete set by getting rid of the previous sets through a buyback process at one of my local video stores but even so I am thoroughly disgusted with you, HiT!

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this "Gee, they didn't say they'll NEVER release season 4 alone..." reasoning for a second. If they don't release it now, it's naive to think they ever will.

What happens if the complete set sells well? They'll figure most of their loyal fans buckled and went ahead and bought the full thing only to get season 4. Therefore, there's no reason to release season 4 alone.

What happens if the complete set doesn't sell well? They'll take it as a sign there's not much interest in Fraggle Rock any more. Therefore, there's no reason to release season 4 alone.

It's a lose/lose situation for the loyal fans.

frogboy4 said...

Anonymous>>I don't buy this "Gee, they didn't say they'll NEVER release season 4 alone..." reasoning for a second. If they don't release it now, it's naive to think they ever will.<<

I completely disagree. There are enough casual fans that will wait and the recent press release indicates the probability of the single set release later on. They just don’t want to tip anyone off to that fact officially.

We do know from past communication that HiT reads their mail and responds to it. Letters coinciding with poor reception of a box set would indicate a poor decision that they would want to correct. The way you state your case it almost sounds like you work for HiT (even though that is unlikely). Either way I don’t think they intended to upset fans this much.

Anonymous said...

No, I certainly don't work for HIT.

I think at the very least you have to grant that they're trying to make the loyal fans (those who have already bought the first 3 seasons) THINK they're not going to release season 4, and scare us into buying the complete set. That's basically shaking us down for money, and that's odious. And it's what's happening right now.

I don't think they'd view poor sales of the complete set as indication of "a poor decision that they would want to correct". I think the bean counters who are clearly running the place will look at the figures, say "Fraggles don't make money!", and that'll be the end of it.

Can you, or anyone else, offer one example in history of a company abandoning a season-by-season DVD release of a show, releasing the entire series in a boxed set, and then resuming the season-by-season releases where they left off? Maybe it really has happened, I don't know. But I doubt it.

frogboy4 said...

I can't offer an example of a company employing *this* sort of tactic, so I think the idea of searching for an example beyond it is moot.

I believe there are enough non fanatical fans that have collected 1-3 and are more willing to wait for the single set rather than abandon their current investment.

As a DVD collector myself I have waited through deceptive releases before to get to the good stuff (and it usually comes). Companies always push their current product and won’t make statements to jeopardize that.

Hugh said...

I bet that the real reason for this is that HIT is more than likely facing financial difficulties and wants to make one big score. While I don't think a lot of people will end up buying the series set at first, eventually the hardcore fans will get it because it has the first "new" fraggle stuff in twenty years on it. The sales of single season dvd sets has really hit the skids, so this makes sense to me. It sucks, but it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Well again, they would have nothing without us. They would be bankrupt. To anger their loyal fan base ultimately makes no economic sense whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. I can understand HIT wanting to capitalize on the 25th anniversary and the recent announcement of the movie (which no doubt dramatically increases awareness). But where's the respect for their current customers?

1.3 million of them, according to the Complete Series press release.

HIT must know they'll be alienating a LOT of people (95% of whom are casual fans, and will likely pass on the big box they already own three-quarters of).

I hope we hear of a change soon.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the DVDs aren't selling well enough to warrant a new release. Deal with it, nerds.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. At the end of the day, HIT! is an entertainment company. To be an entertainment company, you need to have an audience (customers). Really successful companies identify a target audience and market products directly to them. Let's talk about HIT Entertainment and their target audience.

HIT's target audience doesn't read this blog.

They also don't post on Muppet Central.

Companies make desicions based on how they percieve their target audience will respond. What other properties does HIT handle? Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, etc. These shows do not have 20-and-30somethings populating internet fan communities dedicated to them. This is a company that handles children's entertainment, and their target customers are parents of families with young children.

Parents with kids typically do not buy chidren's shows in "season" releases. They buy all those individual DVD specials and single-disc type of releases. Think of the first person you know who has young children. How many Barney DVDs do they own??

HIT is a sophisticated player. They know how to market to their audience, and by and large the Fraggle phenomenon, while helpful to them, kind of falls outside of their typical genre, wouldn't you say? HIT is handling this property in a way they percieve will make them money, and they have obviously been successful if they've made it three out of the four seasons.

Here's what I'm betting is HIT's expectation. There are still millions of families (i.e., parents with wallets) who haven't spent $1 on Fraggle Rock yet, but might see the complete series at Target and say "Hey, Fraggle Rock! Cool, the whole thing!?" And buy it. After all, they grew up watching it, and the kids will love it! Parents see a value and their kids get hours and hours of entertainment. Parents don't have time to spend $30 this year and then wait for next year's season, and their kids don't have that long an attention span.

HIT is a business, and businesses are in business to make money. More to the point, they're in business to make a profit. They own the distribution rights to Fraggle Rock (note: you do not), and they get to make the decisions surrounding how they make it available to the public. Revenue minus expenses equals profit. What is more expensive to do: release season 4 now, AND release a complete collection down the road (and probably have to develop new "bonus content" exclusive to that complete set to entice sales)? OR just release a complete season right now? What's the cost difference? What's the risk of low sales of the individual season versus the complete collection? That's for their marketing department to figure out, and apparently they came to a decision that you didn't like.

But it's still their company, and if you are reading this you are not their target audience.

I don't like it, but I am going to buy it. If you don't want to buy it, then don't buy it. They are not going to miss you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those last two anonymouses are giving us anonymouses a bad name.

The first posting is too dumb to deal with. But the one right above this one makes some interesting points. I will now refute them.

I am a parent of a young child.

I read this blog.

I own zero Barney DVDs.

What you're not factoring in is through 2006, Jocelyn Stevenson was Chief Creative Officer of HIT. And now she is no longer with the company. I'm sure she had a LOT to do with risking the release of the first season. Having been one of the creators of Fraggle Rock, she is a person who makes decisions based not only on financial factors, but on other factors as well. And it's simply very bad form to deny their most faithful fans a solo season 4 release. She wouldn't have allowed it were she still there.

Do you really think parents who aren't "into" Fraggle Rock are more likely to fork over $100 for the complete set as opposed to $30 for a chunk of it? That seems to underlie your complete evaluation of the situation, and I think that's a ridiculous idea.

And at what point did anyone lead you to believe we weren't aware HIT owned the distribution rights to Fraggle Rock? That would seem to be the source of all the frustration around here, wouldn't it? Seems pretty obvious we all know that, but thanks for the free sarcasm.

Bottom line, you seem to feel "it's all about money" (your ridiculous ideas about spending $100 vs. $30 aside). I agree that HIT suddenly seems to feel that way. But that is a very shortsighted way of looking at it. Any successful business person will tell you that you must keep your customers happy. I am already very unhappy, and if they don't release season 4 solo, I will never buy another HIT product for my child.

They may not miss me, but they will miss my money.

dwmckim said...

I've thought long and hard about this before posting...

I feel like HIT is essentially taking the money it has earned from the fans of Fraggle Rock, and is taking and running off with it in a limo that is splashing mud on all the Fraggle fans that helped them get where they are left standing out in the rain on the curb.

Fans bought these sets in good faith that if season 1 sold well, there would be a season 2, etc. Now we have to re-buy everything to get the last season...i might condone this if they gave us alternate versions of the first three seasons so we still might be getting special out of that part and not just a big duplicate of what we already bought (such as the UK versions of the episodes or ability to play them with audio commentary), but as it stands, this comes down to forcing fans who want season 4 to repurchase their seasons 1-3 dvds.

It was fan action (petition drive) that brought Fraggle Rock to dvd and now i call upon fans to be proactive in letting HIT know that this is reprehensible.

As many of you know, i am among the tapetrading (a term that has come to incorporate tapes and dvds) community - a group of fans that collect Muppet/Henson items on video and exchange them with others. The only thing is up til now i (along with many others in this community) have always gone by a self-imposed rule that out of respect for Henson and the companies that release official material on video, that if someone wants me to make a copy of something that is currently in print and available to buy commercially, that i would instead refer them to the official release. I am hereby making an exception for Fraggle Rock season 4 as i encourage fans who wish to boycott this product to do so and instead get these episodes from the tape trading community. HIT needs to know that it can't blatently abuse its fans/customer base and expect us to bend over and say "please do it again sir" If anyone wants me to make a copy of season 4 for them when it the boxset comes out, feel free to email me at (or from any other tape traders of your choice willing to make copies)

Anonymous said...

"HIT is handling this property in a way they percieve will make them money, and they have obviously been successful if they've made it three out of the four seasons."

Then there's no reason to think they can't make it four out of the four seasons. They've sold 1.3 MILLION DVDs, an obviously great mark if it gets mention in the press release.

I personally think HIT is catering to the folks who haven't yet bought any Fraggle DVDs, like you say, but I think they will release a Season 4 later on. They've spent the time, effort and money to create over two hours of new bonus material (much of which is obviously Fourth Season-related), plus the new, recently-filmed Red Fraggle short. Why would they forever keep that to the Complete Series set? Why wouldn't they want to tack that onto a Season 4 box later on, and maximize their profits?

They know we (the fan/customer base) are out there waiting. And they'll let us wait until they're done targeting new customers.

Keep in mind, however, that these DVDs are clearly aimed at fans and collectors. Don't confuse them with parents. Parents don't spend even $35 for season sets on their kids; what parent would spend $140 for the complete series?

You're correct that HIT handles mostly single-disc DVD titles, but they know (after four years) how to handle this franchise.

Let's hope they do this right...

Anonymous said...

"They've spent the time, effort and money to create over two hours of new bonus material (MUCH of which is obviously Fourth Season-related), plus the new, recently-filmed Red Fraggle short."

I should have said "some," not "much."

Anonymous said...

"What you're not factoring in is through 2006, Jocelyn Stevenson was Chief Creative Officer of HIT. And now she is no longer with the company. I'm sure she had a LOT to do with risking the release of the first season."

Are you sure Ms. Stevenson isn't with HIT any longer? She said in an online interview in January that she participated in Season 4 interviews, so she is still involved to some degree.

She and Larry Mirkin have been the two big producers of the sets; even if she weren't a HIT employee anymore, she could probably still produce them.

Anonymous said...

Here's the source for my info on Stevenson:

I think it's pretty clear from that she's no longer with HIT and is a freelancer.

It makes sense that she would still be in the interviews along with the many other folks who created the show (but aren't HIT employees). I suppose it is possible she is still a producer on the Fraggle project for HIT, I don't know. But that doesn't mean she would have input or control on what got greenlit by the company.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I call HIT customer service and the person I talked to didn't seem to know much about the Fraggle situation. I was hoping of course that she would be well aware since she had been handling dozens of similar phone calls each day, but that didn't seem to be the case.
So get on those phones, Fraggle fans!

FozzywigNE said...

Thank you for posting this disappointing, aggravating news, and especially for giving fans the contact information to send our "feedback" to. I will be contacting HIT ASAP.

Anonymous said...

"I think it's pretty clear from that she's no longer with HIT and is a freelancer."

Quite clear. Thanks for the link.

But, if she is still a producer on the Fraggle sets (which she very well may be) then she WOULD have some say in how they are released.

Ab said...

I wrote an email to HIT voicing my concerns. I didn't expect to get any answer back. It would have been better if I hadn't.

I received an email yesterday from HIT. What it contained was an advertisement for the box set, describing how much time as put into the set and all of the wonderful features it contains. They did not address my concerns, and to me it seems to confirm that there will be no season 4 by only touting what's so special about the box set.

I'm trying to have faith in fair play, but I have to say that I am discouraged. I guess all we can do is keep making ourselves heard.

Anonymous said...

I got that same email. And no response to my reply to it, pointing out that they totally ignored the purpose of my contracting them to begin with.

Call them too. It's painless, free, and there's an actual person you can make sure understands the purpose of your call.

frogboy4 said...

Has anyone mentioned the photograph of the box set contents up on It's under the Fraggle Disc Set link to the left. The discs look a little different with numbers rather than Fraggle faces and there does appear to be some sort of poster to the side. It's all housed in one binding so it's not just the same card boxes we already have, but there's no image or mention of the extra goodies the other sets contained. The binding is attractive and seems compact.

The least they could have done was include the animated series' 13 episodes along with the live action treatment. That would have given more of a reason to get this rather than their withholding of the final season. Hit used to appear more thoughtful. Something happened.

Anonymous said...

Jocelyn Stevenson left.

Anonymous said...

Based on HIT's correspondence posted on the internet, the company's well-worded messages seem to say this is a special independent item for the 25 year anniversary. The separate season 4 or, possibly, animated series box sets appear to be a different matter.

Hopefully HIT will resume with the season sets next year.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully it will rain shiny pennies.

Aaron said...


Anonymous said...

I e-mailed HIT recently, gave them my negative opinion about this decision and provided them with a link to the similarly-worded customer reviews on Amazon. Here is their response:

"Thank you for contacting us. It is important for us to receive feedback from viewers like yourself and your comments have been shared with several departments within our company.

Thank you,

HIT Entertainment Consumer Services"

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a much better email than they were sending out, which basically ignored the reason for emailing them in the first place.

The fact that they've at least CHANGED their canned response means we must have made a tiny dint in their consciousness, as far as our unhappiness about this situation.

But the boycott should REALLY do the trick! Right, guys?

Joanne said...

Wow... this is a huge disappointment.

Is this how the consumer is treated now?

I'm with all the fans -- HIT won't get another dollar from me until they release seasons 4 and 5 alone. This it outrageous. Who do they think they're kidding!?

Hey HIT: all you're doing is encouraging people to jump ship. I'd buy a bootleg of season 4 way before buying this box set. Either way, you're not going to make any money off this scam. If your company had any sense you'd make this up to us. It really is a slap in the face.

The Dur said...

I just called them, all you can do is voice your anger and hopefully they'll change their mind. In the meantime, boycott the box set.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, that frankly I could care less what your reasons are for doing such a thing.

I want to point out, that I have a "special needs" daughter that marks things of interest (like this) on her calendar, and was anxiously awaiting it's release. As many others, we have already purchased the first three seasons. I refuse to give you anymore of our $...but seeing her in tears over this would break your heart, just as it does ours.

BTW- I think I can say with great confidence that Jim Henson, would be outraged by this..... kind of defeats his whole purpose, wouldn't you agree?

Sincerely, upset!

Anonymous said...

This is despicable. Jim Henson is certainly spinning in his grave. I'm outraged about this. I was quite eager to buy Season 4, thinking it was coming out in September like the last ones. But now, instead of getting my 50 bucks, I might be ripping these from Netflix.

Anonymous said...

i just bought season 3 today, and was inquiring about season 4 when i read the news on this page. i simply can not believe that someone bearing the name of Jim Henson, a man who actively stood for everything good in this world, would stoop to such a shady level. i'm a 36 year old fraggle fan, and have been since the show first came on the air with HBO. now my 2 year old daughter is a HUGE fraggle rock fan. it is totally disheartening to know that such crooks are now holding the fate of the fraggle in their hands. booo...booo shame on whoever is ultimately responsible for this most immoral descision. i encourage all of you to write a letter.

Muffin said...

It's been almost a year and there hasn't been any word of a separate season 4 set in North America. They released it in Australia though! Of course, Australian discs won't play in North American DVD players. Argh!

Since they have already designed the packaging and special features for Australia, I can't imagine that it would cost *that* much to replicate it for the North American market. I refuse to buy anything else from HIT until they do so.

Neko~Kaolla said...

HIT! Entertainment has done this before. They released two DVDs of Mother Goose Stories, combined contained half of this series (which, alongside Fraggle Rock, I watched religiously as a child). They announced another two disks that would complete the series (complete with showing cover art), and never released them.

I contacted HIT! Entertainment on the matter of Fraggle Rock: Season 4 and mentioned Mother Goose, and there reply was as follows:

"The Fraggle Rock Complete Series commemorative boxed set that was released last November was created to honor the 25th Anniversary of Jim Henson's iconic series. We appreciate your dedication to the series, however we cannot comment on any plans for a stand-alone Season 4 set, as The Jim Henson Company manages all rights to Fraggle Rock."

They told me to refer all complaints and inquiries to the Jim Henson company itself ( The email I found was and I am writing an email to that now.

I hope this gets resolved someday and we get our Fraggles!

elBryan said...

It looks like they made the announcement of the complete series at the comicon last year. That's coming up this month, so maybe they'll announce the release of season 4 within the next few weeks. There's enough demand that they would be stupid not cash in on it.

Sandee said...

yeah they just got a not so nice e-mail..mainly saying how would you feel if a company did this to you with one of your favorite make the fans happy and we'll make the company happy. Hopefully someone there will listen.

Sandee said...

So here is what Hit responded to my letter...

Hello Sandee,

Thank you for your email. The Fraggle Rock Complete Series commemorative boxed set that was released last November was created to honor the 25th Anniversary of Jim Henson's iconic series. We appreciate your dedication to the series, however we cannot comment on any plans for a stand-alone Season 4 set, as The Jim Henson Company manages all rights to Fraggle Rock. Please contact The Jim Henson Company directly for further information:

HIT Entertainment Consumer Services.

Josh said...

Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season (in a stand-alone version) is scheduled for release 11/3/2009 according to and Best Buy websites.