A New Diamond Select Toys Minimates Q&A

by Jay Cochran
March 16, 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 Minimate questions. Check out the entire Q&A below:

Scott Smith
I keep seeing these awesome minimates posters and wondered if we were ever going to see these for sale?

DSTChuck: Scott I am sorry but we are not able to sell the posters. We do not have a poster license. A few times in the past we’ve had some printed up and given them away with at a show or maybe if your lucky and we’re tearing down and don’t need it again, we give them away.

JP Corr
Good Evening! Hey, Guys! I am a BIG MiniMates fan and was so excited to hear about all that is to come from the recent Toy Fair review! It is exciting to see you developing your own unique and exciting lines, where the complete origin shows even more facets of your creativity! I know there will only be more good things to come. Please forgive me if it is one that has been asked a-plenty, but my question for you is if it was possible to request one of the 2010 NYC Toy Fair MiniMates Exclusive Battle Beasts (the Silver Gator!), OR if you know somewhere online where I may purchase it for a fair price? I apologize if this question seems annoying, but the truth is that I ‘m disabled (hate that word) in ways that greatly hinder some goals and aspirations in my life, causing me to be unable to travel (spending most of my time in bed in agony), and with little income, I can’t afford to purchase the expensive Exclusive BB MM being sold through sites like Ebay for criminal prices. I would be honored to add one to my collection and thought that I might as well ask, since 1) they were a giveaway to begin with, and 2) you guys are the cat’s pajama-jams. Peace n’ Carrots, JP PS: Thank you for at least reading over my message and I wish you all a successful 2010 : )

DSTChuck: JP we’re working with a couple web sites to give a few of the Battle Beasts away to fans so keep your eyes open. Another good bet is find me at a trade show and “ask”. I go to as many shows as possible and we try and make sure DST covers as many parts of the country as possible (for those that can travel).

William North
What marvel minimates box sets are planned for 2010 other than the spiderman friend or foes one?

DSTChuck: There will be more box sets this year - that I can promise you! Keep an eye on the holiday season and trade show season for more announcements.

Steven Courtney
Hello art asylum. I have an Awesome Idea for some Minimates products. Could you make some minimates of the new movie of the Wolfman? it’s a new movie remake of universal’s original Lon Chaney jr. Wolfman. I’m asking kindly if you guys could make some Minimate figures of The Wolfman. Please? it would be nice if you did. this is a question for you guys and I hope you guys will reads it well. Minimates of The Wolfman.

DSTChuck: Steven, that’s a pretty good idea but I think we’re going to be pretty busy with the classic Universal Monsters for the next few years.

Matt Strawbridge
I love minimates and love monsters, so I was bowled over when I saw that you guys had gotten the license to do Universal Monsters minimates. I have a couple of questions, though: Will the Creature from the Black Lagoon Minimates have a completely sculpted head like it shows on the promo poster from Toy Fair? If not, will there be any retooling done to make the “hair piece” smaller or less bulky? Also, any chance of increasing the time between these monsters sets to more than just every Halloween? They’re too cool to wait ’til 2012 to get all of ‘em and I fear that sales and interest might slip if there’s such a long wait between characters. Maybe an early-bird release with all the monsters, but just in b&w would keep interest going? Lastly, will there be any other monsters done or is that still a work in progress to see how these sell before making folks like the Mole Men or the Mutant from Metaluna? Thanks for answering anything you can. I’m thrilled about these and wish I could buy them now! Matt

DSTChuck: The Creatures head will be done with a “hair” piece. What was shown at Toy Fair was the hand sculpted prototype so it’s far from final. However I think the basic appearances will be as you saw, with some refinements done. The current plan was laid out to the retail buyers at Toy Fair, and most seemed very receptive to it. The thinking is, by making each year an event, you will be able to maintain interest rather then burn fans/collectors out in a short period of time. These properties have stood the test of times for decades now. Right now we have three years product planned but if demand is there we’ll keep going.

JP Chism
Hello. I have two comments, and I want to state these are made because I love your products when I can buy them. 1. You should pursue the license for GLEE, FOX’s new hit series about singing high-school students. If you haven’t seen it, you should, because these characters are colorful, vibrant and are about to surge in popularity with the show returns after American Idol in April. Minimates of these characters would fly off the pegs if sold in stores like Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic. Everyone would want a Jane Lynch along with their favorite Gleek, and after releasing two series of characters you would have been able to release the entire main cast of TWELVE characters, all with distinct styles and costumes. They would all be human characters, but they are all extremely distinctive. Deluxe boxsets and costume variants would be simple and welcome additions to the collection (”Don’t Stop Believin’” pilot boxset, the outfits from “Sectionals,” the midseason finale, cheerleading outfits and football uniforms for the appropriate characters). The characters could even come with a face decal on both sides, one smiling, one singing so we could recreate either kind of scene. I wholeheartedly ask you to pursue this license for your Minimates line because I think you would be procuring a license that will sell better than the Ghostbusters Minimates (which are great, BTW). I would absolutely buy all the Glee Minimates! 2. An internet blogger posted a write-up about his current feelings toward your company and the way you tease us with products you find yourself unable to release. Please read this link: I want to buy your products and support my favorite lines, but you, DST, do nothing but make that impossible, and the above link explains my feelings quite clearly and I really think you guys need to read it. And, please release Roslin and Adama as a BSG two-pack! Thanks for your time and your consideration! JP Chism

DSTChuck: 1) We have not considered Glee up until now but maybe we’ll take a look you certainly seem passionate about it! 2) Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion and when you make product for properties people are so passionate about, its hard to make everyone happy. I will say there is no intent to tease fans unless you think we’re inclined 6 months and tens of thousands of dollars on an elaborate internet hoax? I think at this point I’ve commented and been as honest as I can about the un-release product. In fact pretty everyone in the marketing dept at this point would rather I not be as down to the bone honest as I have been. Bottom line is, if you or another fan thinks if we’d done Garry Seven instead of Kirk in TRU, the line would still be going strong, then that’s what you believe. We’ll just keep doing the best we can.

Clay Arceneaux
Long time listener, first time caller. ;). Big fan of Marvel Minimates and I have a couple of questions. 1) How many stilts segments are included with Stilt Man? (Wonderful choice BTW) 2) Classic Mandarin seems to be missing his rings. Just a prototype thing or too expensive paint tiny rings on the standard hand? 3) While we’re on the subject of bad guys, have you considered doing an all villains LCS wave? 4) The Black Knight please. 5) Lastly a couple of quotes: Nov. 23 2009 AskDST #63 DSTChuck: “Please stop asking for Kang, we heard you…” Jan. 18 2010 AskDST #71 DSTChuck: “Right now we do not have a Kang figure in any of our line plans.” So my question is: If you heard us, why isn’t Kang in any of your line plans? Thanks for your time, and the minimates.

DSTChuck: 1) Each leg will have two stilt segments and the figure on stilts should be about 3 1/2 ” high.

2) There were some errors when the designers shot the figures for the ad. We’ll try and get some new photos out a little but down the road like we did with Crimson Dynamo.

3) We did do a bring on the bad guys box set for specialty and ideas like that get floated all the time. With TRU and the exclusive box sets more closely linked now I don’t think a designate wave is something we could do efficiently.

4) Maybe

5) As I said in #3 the releases are more closely linked then they have been in the past and when possible we’re trying to have a co-ordinated release. Kang is on the list so we’ll see when we can work him in.

No Name
hey I was wondering when the jubilee Minimates comes out will you give her fireworks(I know you will make one you just haven’t started planning yet but you will maybe in a year or two)…and CAN you get the license to x-men evolution I know you have no plans (but you should) an new night crawler would be great and don’t give him powerhouse torso he’s not stronger then the hulk lol and he needs a sword (hint,hint) and now that your making halo (good choice a lot of people are going to buy it) maybe you should try getting the right for the super smash brother series…(course then you wonder what a pikachu Minimates would look like …or kirby…now that just weird) second thought go for final fantasy that way we get large Minimates swords …that would be a good license to get might want to wait a year

DSTChuck: 1) If we do a Jubilee figure we’ll have something to designate her power just not sure what..

2) We have no current plans to add that to our Marvel license and I don’t see that changing in the near future - sorry.

3) None of those licenses have been conceded but we DID at one point ask about Ben 10.

4) I think Square keeps all the licensing for there games in house now.

Rustin Parr
Here come a bunch of questions! 1) I really love how you are running your Ghostbusters line - with exclusive figures to TRU and to the Specialty market with very minimal crossover. It makes the line a lot more fun to collect because I’m getting a lot more characters that way. Any chance of bringing this to future lines, for instance reviving BTTF and the MUCH anticipated/appreciated UMM? 2) I know you are taking your time with Ghostbusters but PLEASE don’t let the line end without doing Venkman in Ghostbuster jumpsuit and orange jacket from GB1!!! Its such a great look and would really standout in the collection! (I’ll second a previous Q&A-er’s request for a GB1 Janine, too) 3) Likewise any chance of Staypuft using the old 3 inch body? (I’d imagine it’d probably need to a SDCC exclusive, etc.) 4) Also likewise, any chance of the four Ghostbusters in just the uniform jumpsuits with removable proton packs (using “shoulder straps” like the ones for Captain America’s Shield)? 5) TRU wave 6 of Marvel seems to be a step in this direction, but is there any chance we could see older/harder to find sets with updated deco mixed in with the current and exclusive sets in the Marvel TRU waves? Things like the original Thor/Loki set and the Archangel/Apocalypse sets seem relevant now considering the new product but are fairly hard to track down for a reasonable price. 6) I am incredibly excited for the upcoming vehicles. I’m pretty interested in MAX but honestly have only pre-ordered the licensed vehicles, for whatever thats worth. How is this line looking business wise so far? I’m really excited for every possible BTTF Time Machine and the TOS shuttlecraft! Like many others I’d kill for a BSG Mark II Viper, is there any chance of folding that into the line down the road? Same for the T2 Hunter-Killer? 7) UMM Minimates is a dream come true! What was at Toy Fair looked awesome! Some of the lineups seemed a bit odd though, for instance is mid-transformation Talbot something that can be built off of human Talbot or a separate figure? I definitely rather see Bela or Maleeva. Likewise, while the sarcophagus is AWESOME, why two Mummys? An Ardeth Bey would be more visually interesting and go with the other two characters more. Finally, why combine “Frankenstein” and “Bride of” into one set? It seems like separate would not only get us two slightly different Monsters but also afford a Fritz and the MUCH MUCH MUCH desired Dr. Pretorius. (for instance I’m thinking Henry/fritz/elizabeth/monster & Henry or Blind Man/Pretorius/Monster/Bride) By the way, please make Pretorius. And all the CotBL stuff is AWESOME. Really the only problem is having to wait 3 years for it all! 8) I’m incredibly excited for the new “multi-costume” approach you’re taking with Minimates - for instance the Thunderbolts and new 4th GB boxsets, as well as the various marvel sets that allow for de-armored Iron Men or alternately proportioned Beast’s and so on. This seems like a great way to up sales (heck yes I’m buying multiples of sets with both/most characters that have two make-able versions) and to highlight the interchangeable/constructive nature of the figures for new and existing fans. Basically - keep it up! More parts = more figures = more happy! Thanks Chuck!

DSTChuck: Ok Rustin MUCH love for all the interest and questions, but we’ve got to keep these a little more limited so everyone gets a chance..I’ll do this one since its not too heavy a week but from now on we’ll cap it at 5 questions - ok?

1. YES the plan is to cut way down or if possible eliminate the doubles fans would be “required” to buy to get a full set. Glad you noticed.
2. We’ve laid out all our plans for GB for 2010 now and we’re going to take a breath and see how sales and demand end up before we decided what if anything we’ll do for 2011.
3. Nope
4. Nothing like that is planned right now, we’ve still go lots of original looks to get out there.
5. We’re very aware that there are older collectors that want their figure to go up in value and that has to be balanced with the new fans TRU is brining in. Some characters just have to be in the mix often.
6. I’ve been pretty honest with fans, the BSG ships have not sold that well. I do think there is interest in vehicles for this line. Not sure yet if its going to be more kids or more collectors but the idea just feels right. I think we came out pretty aggressively at Toy Fair with multiple licenses, looks and designs for the line so hopefully it gains some traction in the marketplace and we take it from there.
7. OK this one is really like ten questions snuck into one so we’re going to need to focus this a little. In general anytime you set up a line plan, you know going in its not going to make everyone happy. What we tried to do here was make it possible for you to collect one of every figure with specialty market and TRU and not get doubles. We also wanted each market to have something special about their line. Also keep in mind that the monsters are the meat of the line and the more of them you can include the better.
8. Yes that’s something Robert and the designers have really brought to the line but to be honest I am on the fence with it. I very much like to keep the line and look as simple as possible. I do see many fans excited about the multiple looks though.

Shane K
Hey I really enjoy your Minimates especially the Marvel ones so I had a few questions. 1. I was wondering if you’d ever thought of releasing a Omega Red minimate? I think that would be one many fans would like to see. 2. Why don’t some Marvel Minimates get the bigger 3″ minimate bodys, like the body Bane had? 3. Will we ever see anymore DC Minimates? I’d like to see a Blackest Night series/box set.

DSTChuck: 1) YES Omega Red has been considered and been close to making the cut a couple of times.

2) Minimates are going to stay all one size - that’s the way the line was envisioned from the start. Its strayed a couple times in the past but it won’t anymore as long as I am here.

3) You have to ask DC or DC Direct that question.

4) Me too!

B Malnati
Since you have stated there are currently no plans for everyone’s favorite purple Avenger villain…Kang! What are the chances for a minimate of everyone’s second favorite purple Avenger villain…Baron Zemo? Preferably Helmut Zemo, Heinrich was a doofus.

DSTChuck: I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m not sure Zemo has really been seriously discussed.

Tom Mcgowan
Hey guys. When I last wrote to you, I forgot to ask about when the Star Wars minimates are supposed to come out. Also, I’m stoked to hear about the Halo minimates. Are there any possibilities of a Sgt. Johnson ‘mate?

DSTChuck: Lucas is a great partner for us but they are not interested in Minimates at this time.

Drew DeArmond
I was wondering if you guys had a new date set for when you will release the new Battle Beasts playset. Thanks, Drew

DSTChuck: Nope we’re still messing with ideas and plans. You won’t see anything major from the line in 2010.

Jonathan Ellis
My kid loves the minimates - I know a majority of customers are probably more collectors than kids but my kid loves the toys, loves mixing and matching pieces - giving hulk captain america’s hair and switching torso’s and bodies - I just wanted to say thank you for the toys - I definitely get a kick out of introducing him to new superheroes and different characters - the one thing I’d love to see is some sort of storage or carrying case for the toys [well, that and some classic Alpha Flight minimates] - someplace to store the figures when he’s not playing with them and all of the extra little hands and fists and accessories - it’s something I would definitely buy - actually I’d probably have to buy a few ’cause he’s gotten a lot of the minimates over the years thank you and I look forward to seeing what else is coming

DSTChuck: Jonathan you would be surprised how many kids email us or send notes in. We have looked at doing some sort of carry case. I loved them back in the 70’s. Seems they are just too expensive to make anymore (like the great old playsets) but we’ve got a couple ideas we’re working on and I’d be surprised if we did not get something out for the end of this year or early next.

Sean Szuromi
there are some really cool random minimates from cult movies such as desperately seeking susan, will you be doing any more, if you are allowed to take any suggestions on then it would be really awesome to see some pulp fiction or Rocky horror minimates or even really random cult movies like pink flamingoes or Rita, Sue and Bob Too. xxx

DSTChuck: From time to time we do look at older movies and TV shows, so you never know. Right now the makers of Pulp Fiction are not interested in Minimates, but we’re patient.

Will Bueche
A follow-up question to Sean’s inquiry (in Ask DST #77) about mini-mates. Are mini-mates even considered action figures, as far as licensing is concerned? (In other words, if DST is only making mini-mates, does that tie up the entire action figure license for that property, so that no other company can make “real” action figures?).

DSTChuck: It depends on the contract and the license holder. I will say I’m not aware of Minimates preventing a traditional action figure being made.

Dan Skipper
Hi DST/AA! I’ve been wondering, What’s happening with the Beverly Hills Cop set, and is there ever a possibility of doing a Lethal Weapon box set/series?? When you do lines like these (BHC or Ghostbusters for example), what’s the creative process like for you guys? How do you go about getting the licensees for the lines? How do you design the minimates and getting the character likeness etc.? Do you ever recycle old minimate faces? Hope you guys continue to kick maximum butt in making minimates the best thing on the planet! Many Thanks!

DSTChuck: There are no plans at this time to go forward with the BHC box sets. I used to say picking a licensing or planning a line involved much beer with Digger on the phone or at a show BUT now that so many kids read this I better update that answer. DST Robert is really my main foil right now for MM line - its his baby so he and I will work back and forth in some sort of functional / dysfunctional flow to nail down a line plan with an assist from DSTSchaff. Its really too much to put into a simple Q&A.

Charlie Phillips
With the realease of God of War 3 at hand I was thinking it would be great if you guys made a God of War minimate line. Thank you

DSTChuck: We’re not really looking at video game properties it’s not our strength. When we were given a chance at Halo we jumped at it, because that’s a game changer, that’s something to break the “rules” for. It’s not that we’ll never do another VG its just not an area of focus.

Jeremy Klemens
Greetings! I enjoy your products, but the following question is definitely asked with my angry goggles on. What is your gain as a company for the supply and demand DISASTER that is the Toys R Us Ghostbusters minimates line? Also, why are the “Best Of” series the only ones I can find in stores and there a millions of them? I mean, I’m not a business person, nor do I want to look like I understand it in the slightest, but come on! I paid fair prices and never had to look far for both boxed sets, but when I want the R exclusives, I have traveled to four TRUs in three cities and over 120 miles. Yes, that was the better alternative to me than giving in to SCALPERS who buy them all up at TRU’s fair price and sell them on eBay for $12.99-$21.99. Is this a business model/practice you plan to use for the future of this line? As of this writing, the Scolari Bros. sets were put up for two days labelled as out of stock and then removed from TRU’s website. Find a company that believes in your product and will buy enough of the right stock for crying out loud.

DSTChuck: Don’t blame TRU, anything we do with them we are in close communication, and make decisions as true partners. I think I’ve said this before, the base line we use for any Minimates in TRU is Marvel. For example is BSG 80% of Marvel. The idea for Ghostbusters was that it was close to Marvel but not stronger. When the line hit the sales were higher then we expected. The question we asked each other was OK was this just collectors running out to buy this and sales would slow down OR have we underestimated demand. As the point of sales reports came in it showed sales did slow but were still decent after the initial pop. We discussed it with TRU and they decided they would risk bringing in more product but we’d focus on the best sellers from the first couple waves and plan a little more product for each future series not in stores yet. We review the sales reports every week and some inventory is still showing for each wave, but that does you no good if its not in the TRU you can get to. We’re still working on how to best set up TRU.com to so hopefully things will get a little easier as we go. Sorry for your troubles.

Robert Beavis
The 1000th Minimate is on the horizon & I was wondering whether you had any special plans to celebrate it ? You’ll of course need my address to send me mine !! Now the gripes…..although I love just about everything about Minimates I am concerned about the Hulk…….it’s his arms….his arms. “Hulk has huge strong arms…puny Banner has puny weak arms”…….except with the Minimate versions which are wanting on this department . We all have our definitive version & the Defenders Hulk is mine…..apart from …..his arms! The duck feet ,crotch extensions etc, just make him look weird in my opinion so please can we have some ‘bulked -up’ arms on the next one. Thanks guys.

DSTChuck: Wow 1,000 already - NICE! From time to time we have discussed some sort of commemorative MM for milestones but then we get to busy keeping up with the lines and it falls to the side. I’m not a big fan of the “duck feet” or the extension I think you will see less duck feet but not sure if I can get rid of the crotch piece.

Joe Byrne
The TRU exclusive Angel/Warpath pack is extremely difficult to find and is selling for over $50 on ebay. Are there any plans to produce more of these packs, release the figures in a future wave, or provide any other methods for customers to obtain these figures? Thank you.

DSTChuck: There must be more demand for it based on the four packs we did because we made as many or more of them as we have of exclusives in the past. This Angel thing has worked itself into a little mess and we’re going to have to give some ideas some thought.


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