New Kids on the Block: The story of an armed robbery after the Boy Band concert | LOS40 Classic

There was a time when New children in the building They were the “Kings of Pop Midas”. Everything they touched turned to gold. His director and his musicians knew this and put all their efforts into making the most of it. The Caccus also wanted to take a piece of the cake. That is why, on August 4, 1990, after a boy band concert in Montreal, three thieves with pistols and a grenade (fake) came in and took all the proceeds from the sale of T-shirts, lunch boxes, pillowcases and other trifles. At least $260,000 in cash.

Anything with the NKOTB logo was a sure hit


In 1990, the band New Kids on the Block was one of the most popular bands in the United States. It was the year of their third album, Step by Step, double platinum before hitting the starting gate (over two million copies in pre-sales alone). The company had to increase production hours in its factories to respond to strong demand. Already in stores, his domination of the charts was absolute. Brothers Jonathan, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood convey extravagant personalities.

The ’empire’ arose around it Considered the first modern “boy band”, Bring in huge amounts of money. Anything bearing the NKOTB logo was guaranteed to be a sure hit.

A market flooded with “trade”

During that time, the group’s official “trade” flooded the market: lunch boxes, T-shirts, comics, dolls, brooches, buttons, pillowcases, marbles, and trading cards. Simultaneously with the release of “Step by Step”, in June 1990, a strong promotional campaign was launched and mountains of “souvenirs” were made and disappeared from the shelves. His ardent fans ruined everything. His managers and companies were determined to take advantage of what they saw as a time-limited financial opportunity.

New Kids on the Block members carry popular NKOTB merchandise. / Robin Platzer / Getty Images

If we pay attention to what the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, 80% of NKOTB’s income came from marketing inspired items, 15% from record sales and 5% from concerts. And all of that, the “Cacos” knew him.

It is second only to the Rolling Stones

In 1990, those from Massachusetts took an extended world tour called The Magic Summer Tour. That year alone they gave 200 concerts. In addition to the large scale, it was very profitable. When it ended (in February 1992) they had raised $74 million and 3.2 million people had gone to see them sing and dance live. The New Kids of the Block were the highest-grossing band in the country at the time and their tour was the second highest-grossing in North American history, second only to the Rolling Stones’ 1989 Steel Wheels Tour.

On Saturday August 4, 1990, the magical summer tour of the new kids from the neighborhood stopped at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal (Canada). And as usual, they hung a “Sold Out” sign. 57,000 fans bought their tickets…and more. Many stopped at the “trade” booths and bought a “souvenir” of their idols. And all of that, the “Cacos” knew him.

Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight (New Kids on the Block) at the 1990 American Music Awards. / Ron Galella, Ltd / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Theft with pistols and a grenade … false

On that day, three “friends from abroad” made a plan. And they have done so successfully. They said like this in the Los Angeles Times:

Three thieves evaded $260,000 in cash from selling souvenirs at a new children’s party. According to police spokesman Jack Moreso, thieves armed with pistols and a fake grenade entered a room at the Olympic Stadium, where 12 employees were preparing money on Sunday after a pop band performance ​​The attackers tied up the staff and placed the fake grenade near the door, warning that the device would explode if someone tried to open that door.

And according to the Florida Tampa Bay newspaper, the first reaction to such news was not, “Wow, this was such a huge layoff.” What really stood out were the $260,000 worth of T-shirts, pins, buttons, stickers, and the like that were raised. In one concert. within hours. Unofficial sources estimated that each music visitor spent an average of $20… the same amount he paid for admission.

stuffed dolls

In just 18 months, $400 million was raised from the sale of new baby “goods”, according to the Daily Press in 1991. To this we had to add record sales and ticket sales. The group topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid artists, above Michael Jackson, Madonna or Prince.

New Kids had little control over their own brand. In Five Brothers and a Million Sisters, John Knight recalls: “Things were going so fast that within five minutes we had taken impromptu photos to put our picture on promotional merchandise and material. It was all too fast and so hard I think a lot of the products were of very poor quality. .

Hence the ubiquitous accusation by the press: NKOTB is a factory set, just a bunch of stuffed toys. For the group, it was especially infuriating. As Joe said, “It was frustrating when the press said, ‘Oh, it was made and such and such. “Spend two days with us, and tell us who tells us what to do. Nobody tells us what to do.”

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