A New Diamond Select Toys Minimates Q&A

by Jay Cochran
October 25, 2010
DSTChuck has released a new Diamond Select Toys Q&A over on their Art Asylum website for your viewing pleasure.

In this weeks edition focuses on Minimates questions. Check out the entire Q&A below:

Hi, when are you gonna remake Nightcrawler? You know so many thing you could do with him, like a “teleporting” nightcrawler were he’s transparent purple, or one were he has his swords. and please don’t give him a powerhouse piece. he not really that strong. and why haven’t you covered much stuff from other contrys, Dragon ball z is being begged for, I could even settle for yu gi oh at this point. I love your product but…there’s all ways room for more…

DSTChuck: We are including Nightcrawler in the upcoming Excalibur box set. As for other licenses, we do consider many for Minimates but we can’t do everything and from what we can see the strongest following for Minimates is in the states then followed by the EU so we concentrate on those properties.

Philippe Remilly
I bought sets of the lord of the rings minimates figures, and i’d like to know if thera are another sets, because i found nothing on artasylum site - Thank you - regards

DSTChuck: Those were done several years ago and yes several two packs were done. At this point you would have to find them on the secondary market.

Minifiend UK
Hi there. I know you are fans of all things Spiderman when it comes to minimates which can be a double edged sword when it comes to being a collector so here comes the question. I hope you are not in anyway considering doing minimates based on the Broadway musical? The moviemates have been ok in parts with Iron Man being the standouts, but what has been shown of the musical costumes just hurts the eyes to look at. Please tell us that this hasn’t been considered and we can have something nicer like a Cats or Starlight Express boxset? Yours with smiles and chuckles. Minifiend UK

DSTChuck: We are not considering anything from the Spider-Man musical. But now that you mention it ….hmm…

Lauren Smith
Hello, I just picked up the great new Universal Monsters minimates but am really concerned that the yearly wait for the next releases will reduce sales. Is there any chance you guys will be considering moving the time-table up on these? Also, what about characters such as the Mutant (from This Island Earth), the Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Werewolf of London, etc.

DSTChuck: We have no plans to change the marketing plan for the UM line. So far we have developed two complete lines, we’ll start working on the potential third series very soon.

Cadan Ogden
I have an observation and a question(s). I have a sheet on my desk that keeps up with future minimate releases. A year ago, we knew at least 4 waves ahead of time who was coming. It seems like lately we know 1 wave ahead at best. I know there are boxsets coming out, but a year ago, we knew 4 waves ahead and box sets as well. Even with the Toys R Us Waves, we’re only finding out the line ups with the packaged pictures less than a month before they are out. Do y’all plan on catching up and start revealing more waves or can we expect the new norm to just know the next 1-2 waves ahead. Is there any way to start dropping more hints or announcing more future figures?

DSTChuck: Cadan, we’ve gone through some turn over on our marketing team over the last 18 months and we should be getting back up to full staff very soon, now that trade show season is over. I can tell you four waves seems a bit too much (I guess unless SDCC or such comes at a certain time), for marketing. The plan we have for marketing sequential series is: there is one series on shelves, the next series you will see sculpted pictures of the figures and the series after that you will know the line up (but no art), so three at a time. We’ll try and do better next year.

Cadan Ogden
I really think that Minimates is missing out by not having Star Wars and Harry Potter licenses. These two are extremely popular and would make FANTASTIC minimates. Each license provides an endless supply of characters and could last for so many waves. Both licenses have current product on the big screen and TV, so whether they would be big sellers is not even a question. I know you can’t really answer questions directly about acquisitions of licenses, but can you say whether or not the fact that Lego has the licenses for both of these have anything to do with the fact that Diamond can’t use those licenses? Is there any hope at all in the future or are they completely off the table?

DSTChuck: For sure we’d love to do Star Wars, but for now that is not possible. I don’t think we’ve looked too deeply into Harry Potter so I can’t really say if Lego would be a conflict. At times we’ve happily coexisted with them.

Michell Irigoyen
The Heroic Age set is an excelent new, but I was expected the other set, with the new versions of the heroes, besides that, I was wondering if there are plans to make a new version of Wolverine (I know that we got a lot of wolverines in the stores) but still missing the suit of the current wolverine (the new avengers wolverine it’s old & could be a perfect oportunnity to improve it) Could the Heroic Age be an opportunity to see the current wolverine of the comic books?

DSTChuck: The Heroic Age box sets were done with a specific idea in mind. The classic one will be offered in Disney stores and we wanted very classic characters in very classic looks to help bring new customers to the line and take advantage of all the new customers that would see that set in such a unique location. The second set is for TRU and when they have wanted box sets they have been really interested in tying into new editorial content so they wanted the new Marvel story line. I think Wolverine is always considered when we do new sets or series of two packs.

Frank Kark
Hi, earlier you mentioned that the Minimates Galileo shuttle was cancelled. Is this because no retailer wanted to buy it? This thing had better buzz than any of the figure waves and would’ve been a hot seller, what needs to be done to get it made? Keep up the great work!

DSTChuck: Frank there were two reasons, one was it was a very expensive vehicle to make and the second reason was when we showed the wave to buyers there were more negative comments on including something from Trek than there were positive.

Chris Arretche
Hi Art Asylum, I’ve recently rediscovered my love of minimates with the amazing Marvel updates and Universal Monsters sets! So congratz on the amazing work that you folks have done, keep it up! On to my questions; 1. the release of the Universal Monsters got me thinking - Is there a chance we could see other classic pulp charcters like The Phantom, Flash Gordon, etc. as minimate 2/4-packs? 2. Is there a chance that we could see some large scale Marvel characters like Galactus or the Sentinel again? I would love to see some rotocast large figures for my Marvel-mates to battle! Thanks!

DSTChuck: Chris , welcome back! We have considered some of those characters but we’re not moving forward with that idea any time soon. Sorry. As for plastic figures in larger scale – that is not possible due to our license. We did those characters in resin several years ago because that was all that was available to us at the time.

Robbie Smith
Hello! Long-time collector here (I still have my 3″ Captain Kirk that first got me hooked!) with a question. I know the Rocky minimates were cancelled but I was wondering if there was a chance they would ever be picked back up? I was anxiously awaiting the Rocky III minis but was devastated when I heard they had been cancelled. I know that was several years ago now but I stumbled across a pic of the minis by accident the other day and it got me to jonesing for a Rocky Balboa in his red, white and blue trunks and I figured I would drop a line and ask just for the heck of it. Thanks for all the great work and wonderful toys, Robbie Smith

DSTChuck: We like to say never say never around here but sorry to say, I do not think we’ll ever make that Rocky 3 set at this point.

James Battles
Have you considered making away team sets with various monsters like the salt sucker, Ruc, Dr. Kirby. Mudds women(not that they were monsters), also maybe a few red shirts thrown in to set up a display. Someones got to get killed. Thank You James B.

DSTChuck: James, we have honestly considered a Star Trek Minimates set several times but for now nothing is moving forward.

Poe Ghostal
Howdy, Poe Ghostal here. I have a hunch this question has been asked before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere so I’ll give it a shot again. Is there any chance of getting Hellboy/BPRD Minimates (preferably based off the comic)? Having some Hellboy MMs to stand alongside my Ghostbusters and Universal Monsters would be a dream come true. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised we haven’t really seen any indie comics Minimates… PG www.poeghostal.com

DSTChuck: I don’t think at this time we’re looking at the Hellboy property but we’re fans of the movies and the comics here so you never know.

Matthew Mosher
Dear DST, I just wanted to say that I am really pleased with the Universal Monsters Minimates you guys are putting out. Which brings to my questions about this line, will you do more sets after the first four sets are released? Here’s what I have to say: 1. Will you do another Dracula set? I would love to have Minimates of John Harker, Dr. Seward, Lucy Weston and possibly a Bride of Dracula. Also, will Reinfeld still be part of the first set? 2. Will there be another Frankenstein set? I would like to have Victor Moritz, Dr. Waldman, Fritz and especially Dr. Septimus Pretorius in a second set! Also, will Elizabeth still be in the first set? What set is the angry villager from? 3. Will there still be a Mummy set? If so, will you do a second set? You could include Imhotep as Ardath Bey, Helen Grosvenor, Dr. Muller and Sir Joseph Whemple? 4. Will you still do an Invisible Man set? If yes, then include Griffin, Flora, Kemp and Dr. Cranley for the set. 5. Will there be a second Wolf Man set? If so, then include Sir John Talbot, Dr. Lloyd, Colonel Montford, and Frank Andrews. For an exclusive set you could have Maleva and her son Bela, in both human and wolfed-out forms. 6. Will you do a Phantom of the Opera set, the one with Claude Rains as the Phantom? If you do, then include Erique the Phantom, Christine, Raoul, and Anatole in it. Interchangeable heads for the Phantom (masked head, revealed face head) are a must for this Minimate set! 7. Finally, will there be another Creature from the Black Lagoon set? If so, feature Dr. Maia, Mark Williams, Lucas and Dr. Thompson in it. Please consider these suggestions, guys. I would really love to complete my UM sets. Thanks for reading!

DSTChuck: 1. Right now we have two years planned out, if the product from this year does well then we’ll start working on product for the third year. We do not like to promote too far ahead either.

2. Right now we’re moving on to new properties but as we go along I am confident we’ll go back to some of the monsters that have been done before.

3. Yes we are planning a Mummy series.

4. Invisible Man & Phantom would be considered for year three.

Eric Lam
Any chance of God of War minimates or at least a Kratos now that you have the Sony license?

DSTChuck: Neither of those properties are covered in any license that we currently have.

Joshua Hesselgrave
Hi again Chuck. As always, thanks for taking the time to do this. I was wondering if you could shed some light on the plans for the next LCS wave of Minimates (what would be wave 38). Can you say why the gap between releases is becoming larger? It sure seems like there’s more boxsets and less waves being shown recently and I’m wondering if this is the new trend for Minimates. Thanks again and do you also accept gifts of cookies sent to DST’s office?

DSTChuck: We have pulled back from doing two waves at a time for specialty but that was done to help pull all the lines together and have more continuity and enhance each markets offering, plus there are more Marvel movies than ever before and we need to plan for those as well. Once you figure in the box sets I think we’re producing as many Marvel Minimates as we have in the past.

Justin Huffman
Chuck, First off, let me say THANK YOU for the wonderful previews of upcoming Minimates you showed at NYCC. There are a lot of first time releases that fans have been clamoring for, Meggan/Shatterstar/Magik/Warlock/X-Force Cannonball and the MUCH needed updated Juggernaut! It seems like Minimates are more popular than ever, and there are quite a few releases in the pipeline. Ok, now 2 questions: Question #1: Price increases One of the things that was noticed though, is the apparent MSRP increase to $9.00 per 2-pack. This is the price that was listed with the preview of the Toys-R-Us Marvel wave 9. Can you please speak to what this price increase means to collectors? This is a pretty heft increase, from the current $7.50 per 2-pack. This will definitely affect buying decision of many collectors. Are there additional accessories, better Quality Control, that are accompanying this increase? Anything you can tell us may help ease collector concerns. Question #2: Character re-releases There was a new boxset shown, Heroes & Adversaries, that appears to be a re-release of the Wave 24 Spider-man/Venom and the Wave 28 Wolverine/Deadpool. Are these straight re-releases, or are there variations to these ‘mates. Also, what is the new “X-Treme Toys” logo on the package? Is that a retailer, or a new branding for the Minimate line? Thanks as always, we appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. Justin - Ann Arbor, MI

DSTChuck: Justin glad you like what we showed at NYCC, we’ve been doing this for quite some time now and we really think we’re hitting a good stride now. Yes you are correct we are recommending the specialty waves carry a 8.99 retail and TRU might sell their wave for a little less as might some online retailers. If you remember about three years ago before we acquired the assets of Art Asylum MM were a higher SRP. When we came in we were able to get the price down for some time due to the increased volume we added by improving the value in each release as well as our manufacturing experience with our factory. Since then the MM line has seen a couple increases, most of those are simply pass alongs, due to increased cost to manufacture as well as test the toys. The government passed a new testing standard referred to as CPSIA maybe 18 months ago and that makes testing much more expensive. I think if you look at all the other products out there you will see unfortunately the cost has been going up, and it’s not just toys. We’re very sorry about the price increase but we’ve held off as long as we could. Xtreme toys is the retailer that bought that box set, not a new line branding. I think each will have some subtle changes but nothing major.

Adam Adam
Great stuff at NYCC. We seen a lot of fantastic x-men mates this year but just curious about Alpha Flight? If I sent cookies, would this help?

DSTChuck: Alpha Flight has been considered in the past but has just not made the cut yet. I would think at some point we’d get to them though.

Dave W
Hi! This may be a weird question, but I wanted to ask. (I am a comic art collector and a big fan of the Age of Apocalypse.) I know you guys have recently done minimates for release @ NYCC on characters from the AoA story. My question is - who did the concept art for these, and is it possibly available for sale? Many thanks!!

DSTChuck: Dave, we have a team that does the concepts for our Minimates line, as many as three designers might work on a piece. Glad you like it but sorry to say it’s not for sale.

Anthony DiFabio
Man, oh man. I just bought the Damaged Hunter Killer with Resistance Fighter and I’ve got to say, excellent work. To my surprise, not only does the Resistance fighter function as a generic soldier but as a future Kyle Reese also (great likeness, very cool adding his name tag). Nice touch! That brings me to my question. Are we going to see the Liquid Metal T-1000 cop and Dr. Silberman? Those two are the last T2 minimates that you guys presented that have yet to be produced. I’m a huge fan of the line and seeing as those appear to be the last two wouldn’t it make sense to pack them in one last two pack if the line is indeed over? Also with all these companies picking up the T1 license any chance you guys will do the same? Tech Noir Arnold and Sarah Connor would make great additions!

DSTChuck: I am sorry to say at this point I think we are done with T2, the line did OK at TRU but there was not much support for it in specialty and those two figures were causalities when we had to reconfigure the lines.


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