Video Collection International

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

(Redirected from The Video Collection)


Video Collection International (VCI) was a UK-based video company formed in 1984 and established in 1985 as The Video Collection. 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. After becoming a standalone company the following year, The Video Collection would go on to become the largest home video distributor in the United Kingdom. They also operated two European divisions - Vídeo Colección, S.A. in Spain, Vidéo Collection France in France, as well as Strand VCI Entertainment/Strand Home Video in North America (sold in 1994 to The Handleman Company).

The Video Collection was commonly allied with ITV and Channel 4, and distributed many of their titles from their franchises; they also operated the Cinema Club budget label.

The company was renamed to Video Collection International in 1994 due to financial difficulties (the name change was applied on-screen the following year), and in 1999 the company was sold to the Kingfisher group. Kingfisher demerged the company into the Woolworths Group in July 2001.

In July 2004, The Woolworths Group announced to form a joint-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide (BBC Video) known as 2 Entertain, in-which both their home video units would merge into. The deal was completed in September 2004 and Video Collection International was renamed as such; however, the VCI logo continued to be used on the packaging of DVDs and VHS until June 2005, and on-screen in September 2005.

The Video Collection

1st Logo (April 1985-1989)

Visuals: 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" descends and pastes itself at the top at a 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: CGI.

Audio: A 13-note synth theme, accompanied by four deeper synths and three synthesized chords when "Video" appears.

Audio Trivia: The fanfare 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. If one listens really closely, the very beginning of the jingle is slightly warped in comparison to its original source.

Availability: Seen on releases from the company from the time period, even after the second logo's introduction in 1986 until this logo was retired in 1989.

  • Seen on releases of cartoons (mostly Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears) in the UK from the time period.
  • It is also seen on the 1986 UK VHS releases of M.A.S.K.: Volume 1: The Threat of Venom, M.A.S.K.: Volume 2: The Power of Venom, Care Bears To The Rescue, Moschops, GoBots, SilverHawks, and Jane Fonda's New Workout, respectively.
  • This logo does not appear on the 1986 UK VHS release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends for unknown reasons.

2nd Logo (October 6, 1986-September 4, 1995)

Visuals: 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 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.


  • A variant where the logo fades in from black instead of cutting in also exists, which is seen at the end of both the 1992 UK VHS release of The Shape Challenge and the 1995 UK VHS release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Thomas' Train and 17 Other Stories, respectively.
  • On Gladiators: Countdown, the logo is still and has a 3D-glass like effect added to it. The logo is also on the right side of the screen with the Silver Vision logo on the left and with the word "PRESENT" below. This variant takes place on a blue background with light blue-colored light rays.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A quiet beeping sound, followed by a synthesised swoosh and some metallic clunks when parts forming the television, then a little synthesised organ-like tune. It ends with a sparkling chime and two timpani drum beats.

Audio Variant: On both the "New Catalogue" and "A Galaxy of Entertainment" promos from 1986 and 1987, respectively, an announcer can be heard.

Availability: Seen on releases by the company from the time-period until September 1995.

  • It can also be spotted on many UK VHS releases of ITV programmes, mostly ones under the Central Video label.
  • It is also seen on earlier Thames Video Collection releases, such as the rare 1986 UK VHS re-release of Rainbow, but does not appear on later releases.
  • Its most famous appearances are on the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends releases in the UK from 1986 to 1995, 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. This is most likely due to the fact that Screen Legends (and later Pickwick Video) were distributing the second season of the show on VHS separately at the time until the early 1990s.
  • It is also seen on several UK VHS releases of Ragdoll shows such as Playbox, Rosie & Jim, Brum, and Tots TV, respectively.
  • It is also seen on the Sesame Street UK VHS releases, such as Sesame Street: Sing Yourself Silly!/Monster Hits and Sesame Street: Ernie's Big Mess and Other Stories, among others.
  • This logo debuted in 1986, on She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949).
  • This logo is also seen on the original 1994 UK VHS release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Rock 'n' Roll and Other Stories.
  • This logo is also seen on the 1991 UK VHS release of Learn with Sooty: Have Fun with Numbers 2 Multiplication before and after the 1991 Thames Video logo.
  • This logo is also seen on mid-to-late 1980s UK VHS releases of Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears cartoons (also plastering the previous logo on the 1986 reissues).
  • This logo is also seen on UK VHS releases of The Dreamstone.
  • This logo, along with the 1991 Central Video logo is also intact 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.
  • This logo is also seen at the start of the 1988 UK VHS release of Original Sylvanian Families, but not at the end of it for unknown reasons.
    • The same case also happens on the 1994 UK VHS release of Children's Preschool Compilation which has the logo at the start, but not at the end of it for unknown reasons as well.
  • The last VHS release to feature this logo was released on September 4, 1995.
  • Some reissues of VHS releases during the VCI-era will either keep this intact, or (in the case of the 1995 UK VHS re-release of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Rock 'n' Roll and Other Stories, the 1998 UK VHS re-releases of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: Percy and the Signal and Other Stories and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends: The Runaway and Other Stories, and the 2002 Marks and Spencer UK re-release of Thomas & Friends: Thomas Goes Fishing and Other Stories) use modified masters using the 1995 VCI logo instead.

Video Collection International

Logo (September 11, 1995-September 12, 2005)

Visuals: In front of a black background with a grey wire frame globe, a bright light emitting godrays in the top left of the screen and some grey mist below, a metal object flips in, along with a red sphere. This is later revealed to be the "C" in "VCI" in the Futura Medium 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.


  • A widescreen variant exists, where the logo footage first appears in stretched 4:3, and then as the logo finishes animating, the background stretches out into a 16:9 ratio. This variant appeared on the 2002 UK VHS of Manchester United 2001-2002: Series Review.
  • Two DVD variants were introduced in 1999 and 2000, respectively:
    • For the first variant, the VCI logo plays as normal, but after the animation, the logo fades out, the light glows and the DVD logo fades in. This variant is in a 4:3 ratio and was used on fullscreen DVD releases.
      • On some football DVD releases from 2003-2004 such as Liverpool F.C.: Five Hundred and One Goals and Manchester United: Top Ten Strikers, the DVD logo fades in much faster.
    • For the second variant, it is the same as the widescreen variant, but as the background stretches out, a metallic DVD logo also forms in the top right of the screen. This variant was used on widescreen DVD releases.
      • On Sindy the Fairy Princess, the logo plays as normal, but after it 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 still variant is also seen before the Rosie and Jim episode "Locks" on the 2016 UK DVD release of Rosie and Jim: Bumper Pack.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: 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 Strand VCI Entertainment logo. The key starts in E♭ minor, but changes to C# major when the "C" is revealed.

Availability: Seen on VCI releases in the UK from the time-period until September 2005.

  • This does not often appear on VHS releases from Thames Video, due to them mainly using their logo on its own, but appears on some of them (mostly through the 1996 and 1997 VCI Children's trailers).
  • BBC Video releases also do not use this logo, with the exception of some programmes that were distributed by BBC Worldwide such as Coupling and Have I Got News For You.
  • Seen on the start and end of many VCI VHS releases from this time, including Phoenix Nights, Father Ted and later Thomas The Tank Engine releases, among others.
  • On DVD, the standard version is only seen at the end of Roo Reveals All (as part of the 2002 Cinema Club DVD release of The Last Polar Bears), the DVD release of Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of the Baskervilles, and at the end of Rosie and Jim: Flashing Fire Engine and Other Urgent Adventures. This was because these DVD releases used upscaled VHS masters.
  • The last few seconds of it also make an appearance on the 2016 UK DVD release of Rosie and Jim: Bumper Pack, likely due to the master for the episode "Locks" being taken from the Rosie and Jim: Classic Collection master.
  • Despite appearing on the tape labels (and sometimes the covers) of direct reissues/later prints of The Video Collection-era VHS releases, it does not appear on them as they use The Video Collection's 1986-1995 logo instead.
DVD versions:
  • The 4:3 version is seen on almost every Thomas and Friends DVD release until the 2 Entertain merger. It is also mostly seen on fullscreen releases such as Lion of Oz (2000), The Wheels on the Bus, various Manchester United DVD releases, The Royle Family, Father Ted, and the 2000 UK DVD release of the 1996 adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels, among others.
    • It is also seen as a closing logo on the Manchester United DVD releases.
    • Some widescreen releases use this logo but the logo itself remains in fullscreen however.
  • The 16:9 version is seen on a majority of widescreen VCI DVD releases such as on all of the Brum and Engie Benjy DVD releases (the latter's DVD and VHS releases were later distributed by Granada Ventures as a result of Granada ending their partnership with VCI), the 2002 UK DVD release of Popstars: The Rivals, the 2003 UK DVD release of Clarkson: Shootout, and the 2004 UK DVD release of Lawrence Dallaglio, Balls and Mauls, among others.
    • It is also seen on these Thomas & Friends DVD releases: "The Fogman and Other Stories", "Pulling Together!", "It's Great to Be an Engine!", and "Bumper Party Collection!".
    • It also follows the 2 Entertain logo on the 2005 UK promotional DVD release of Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), despite only the 2 Entertain logo appearing on the packaging.
  • On later releases between June and September 2005, such as Fifi and the Flowertots: Fifi's Talent Show, the 2 Entertain logo appears on the packaging, but the VCI logo is used on the actual release.
  • It is also seen on DVD releases from Hat Trick Productions, Channel 4 Video, Gullane Entertainment, Granada Video and Ragdoll, respectively.
  • The last release to use this logo was the 2005 UK DVD release of My Family: Series 3 (which actually has the 2 Entertain logo on the cover, but the VCI logo is used on the disc).

Legacy: This logo was seen as ominous in past years (thanks to the bold atmosphere, the music, the gigantic text and the logo ending with a long period of silence). Recent years have seen it become a favourite among VHS collectors, however.

See Also

Video Collection International
2 Entertain
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