2008 NYCC: DST Talks Minimates
Friday evening at the New York Comic Con, the creators of Minimates is holding a panel to show previews of upcoming figures.
Panelists include Chuck Terceira, director of Diamond Select Toys, who is in charge of selection, Uriel Canton who has done and continues to do the majority of their design, Matt Culley, who has also designed some of the figures, including DC and Dr. Who, and Robert Yee, product manager
Minimates are the number one selling block figure in the world!
A lot of time and effort are taken into putting together each line. There is often a conflict when designing the figure between capturing the nature of the characters and still keeping them upbeat and kid friendly.
Coming up are Jack Kirby Hulk, classic Avengers Wasp, Ant-Man and Giant-Man and Gold Iron Man with hammer arm accessory.
Star Wars and Indiana Jones have been persued as licenses, but it's unlikely George Lucas will grant it due to his prior relationship with Lego, which has a similar style of figure.
Diamond has approached Microsoft about making Halo Minimates, but Microsoft already has a contract with Kubriks in Japan and were concerned about the similarities in the product, so they declined.
There are some more movie properties Diamond is looking at for new releases, but their core is Marvel characters.
While Diamond recognizes there is a large following for Minimates, children, adult collectors and customizers, when selling products to a retailer like TRU, they push the line as being aimed for 7 year old boys.
Minimates is the longest running specialty toy line with 23 waves so far.
Target is now selling Superhero Squad and feels their small PVC toy needs are met, though Diamond in actively pursing getting Minimates back in there.
TRU will most likely be carrying the line next year.
There will be some box set exclusives for the SDCC, though what they will be won't be revealed today.
Any short packed figures will not be re-issued. Those are intended to be collector's items, so Diamond does not want to devalue them for their collector market.
Diamond refuses to deny the possiblity that Stilt-Man may be coming up.
Though the same designers do both the Marvel and DC mini figures, legally Diamond is not allowed to mix the tooling, which means they can't just slap Hawkman's wings on a figure and call it Angel.
Diamond doesn't have rights to do Marvel vehicles, so there won't be a Fantasti-Car, Quinjet or even a Goblin glider.
Playsets are too expensive to warrant production unless there's a chance for a large volume of sales.
Gold Spider-Man is the most valuable collectable so far. It usually goes for a couple of hundred on E-bay. There were only 50 made. 15 went to Marvel.
A line of Heroes is more likely than not. Though there isn't an official announcement, it looks like Heroes Minimates are coming.
Marvel has put a moritorium on any further Marvel Zombie merchandise of any kind. Marvel was concerned about the negative image seeing their major characters would have on the public so they pulled the plug on any further Zombie products.
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From Diamond Select Toys.