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Everything posted by DSTZach

  1. It's an existing license we have, but we have not announced MInimates for it yet.
  2. You heard it here first! And yes, it is a license for Minimates. That's why I brought it up. Unfortunately, the reveal just got pushed to NYCC, but that's only a week or so later.
  3. Thanks, Onyx, I don't control the socials anymore, so I can only post my pics on my own channel, but I try to send the best fan MM images to the social managers. I don't know if Minimates can go online-only. Luckily, there are still brick-and-mortar buyers. Someday we'll hit on the right license to get them into Walmart -- it almost happened very recently, we'll show off the new license at NYTF. Oh, and we have been trying to improve our Minimates solicitation images. The last batch of images for SDCC TF Minimates and Marvel 84 were pretty solid, I think, but sorry if past images were not up to snuff.
  4. I wasn't saying ALL Minimates were for adults, they're definitely great for kids, I just didn't think kids got GI Joe nowadays. I assume you have SOME attachment to the IP -- you don't make that clear, exactly -- because I can't see someone who has NO attachment to the IP buying $22 figures of the characters when there are so many other lines to choose from. But either way, I'm glad you like the Hasbro stuff! I have a lot of them, and I grew up on the cartoon and original toy line, and I think they're great. And Hasbro has certainly been upgrading all of their licenses to 6 inches to match Marvel Legends (Joe, D&D, Power Rangers, Indy), which leads every independent toy maker out there to try and ride that bandwagon with a 6-inch line, because they're the industry leader. (There are still some 4-inch holdouts, of course, but I always assume that's because of the investment level, and not a scale preference.) But all of OUR action figures, and most of McFarlane's and NECA's and Super 7's Ultimates, are 7-inch scale. So hopefully no one decides to nuke the 7-inch scale entirely, because that would suck. But yeah, I do think the Joe Box Set price is a problem, if it's stopping a Minimate collector from buying a Minimate property they actually like. I wish we'd aimed for $30 per 4-pack (assuming we could match the FCBD set's price) and walked away from the individual blister cards for that reason, and all the reasons I named above. But it's too late now. Hopefully we can salvage something. (FYI, Toys R Us used to sell a LOT of adult stuff, including a lot of pretty gruesome McFarlane Toys and -- for a hot minute -- Breaking Bad figures. Those got pulled after a bunch of moms started a petition.)
  5. I don't think anyone ever said these particular Minimates were for kids, the price and characters are not in their wheelhouse. Kids do not know who Snake Eyes is, let alone Duke. Nobody watched the Snake Eyes movie, the two Joe movies were virtually unrecognizable, and none were seemingly made with kids in mind. I'm not entirely sure how well the last Joe cartoon did, but IIRC, it was also not made for kids. That said, Minimates ARE fun, so if we'd made the sets more affordable at $30 a pop, MAYBE dads would have bought them FOR their kids. I didn't come up with the packaging style, and it's very cool, but I had an opportunity at one point to veto it, and I regret not doing it. Even if we lost the few people who bought two sets to keep one in package, I think they would have sold better. Maybe not THAT much better, but we'll never know. Print advertising is not something we do lightly, it's expensive and you never know who sees it, even if you give a coupon code. (We advertise in Archie via an ad swap, and use a code there.) Online advertising is handled by our social team, but I don't know how high a priority the Joe Mates are at the moment. Maybe when we solicit the Adventure Team, we can do something.
  6. I think we'll have SDCC Transformers, Young Avengers, GI Joe Series 2, TMNT Blimp, AEW Series 1 and the Young Bucks 2-pack. (Our restock of TMNT blimp just arrived.) Plus the Britt Baker Vinimate.
  7. Great! The main Diamond warehouse still doesn't have them, but Ent Earth and BBTS get their shipments direct from China, I think, or at least the port of Los Angeles. I see that BBTS has them, but EE still says pre-order. Hopefully Luke and the other retailers get theirs soon.
  8. It would probably depend on Mattel's WWE license. If they are a MASTER TOY LICENSEE, then they may have total control over what competing products are made. I know they own ROH, but I would not be able to tell you who is currently with ROH that is not on the AEW roster. There are so many ex-ROH in the upper echelons of AEW that we should probably get to first. And I doubt a ROH-branded line would do nearly as well as the AEW line. WHAT? Man, that stinks. I don't know if Jazwares has to deal directly with the talent to license their old, unowned looks, or if AEW handles all of that through their overarching agreements with each wrestler. But Jazwares puts out a lot more product than we do, and they need to have new versions of the biggest stars on the pegs at mass retail on a regular basis, otherwise they'd just have a bunch of Nyla Roses and Lance Archers hanging out. With our pre-ordering system, and no mass presence, we'd probably want to focus on new characters in their most up-to-date looks, especially when looks get updated on a regular basis. Sure, maybe there are some popular wrestlers we could revisit once or twice, but much has been made here and elsewhere about the depth of the roster, so I imagine a new character would sell better than any repeat. Although when we make Luchasaurus we will need to make green AND red flavors.
  9. We actually talk to Robert (or his team) all the time, we are currently making Invincible AND Walking Dead action figures for them. And a high-selling comic book is great -- unfortunately, the company that distributes the comic is the same one that distributes our toys. So if they can't get the stores that are ordering the comics to also order the toys, then I don't know how else to take advantage of that. I guess advertise in it?
  10. To be honest, I wouldn't have thought of Jay Lethal before this past weekend, when I watched an old ROH DVD where he and Strong teamed up to take on the Briscoes and ReDragon. (Not sure I want Satnam Singh, Jeff Jarrett or Sonjay Dutt, though.) Lethal is only a medium-level player in AEW, but I would like to include more diversity in the line, so I was thinking either him or Keith Lee, who I like a lot, although Swerve and Hobbs are probably better choices. If I'm getting too far down the roster, I suppose I would go back up the ladder to Samoa Joe. He's a pretty big player, and I like what I've heard about him backstage. Maybe we could do a Heels set, with MJF, Samoa Joe, Saraya and either Jade Cargill or Ruby Soho!
  11. Jamie Hayter is an oversight. She's great. My preference: SERIES 3: MJF, Danhausen, Saraya/Toni Storm (whoever's champion at time of greenlight), Jade Cargill SERIES 4: Hikaru Shida, Ruby Soho, Jay Lethal, Bryan Danielson (although I hear he's retiring?) Two-packs: The Acclaimed, FTR
  12. To clarify, I doubt we ourselves would sell Joe MM direct to consumer, unless we're talking non-exclusive inventory that was also offered to retailers, like Sets 1 and 2. If we had confidence in an exclusive Joe set just for OUR website, we would have done it already; the new-ish DST store is still building its customer base. No, this would only work if we had a retail partner with a dedicated, invested customer base, be it Pulse or Luke or someone else. And I doubt Pulse would sell clear bagged Minimates, I don't even know if WE would. In fact, the more I think about it, the more problematic bags get. An inexpensive blister card might be the best way to go.
  13. I wasn't even thinking blind bags, especially if this was an online retailer. I just figured if a store was selling the figures to people who were going to open them and make 'em fight, packaging was secondary, so why not put each of them in a clear poly bag. Just a thought. Might encourage purchasing multiples if they're cheaper, or DIScourage them because there are no packaging variations to keep MIB. Again, a 50-50 situation might be a good idea, half blistered, half bagged, if such a thing were possible.
  14. I honestly do believe that Joe Mates would have done better before ReAction came around, even better before Ultimates came around, and they would have conquered the market before Classified came around. Even our Dioramas and those other terrible statues that Gamestop sells probably eat into the fan base. Devil's advocate, but if the Minimates were NOT individually carded, and were done on a blister and sold at $30 per set, that's $90,000. Licensing fees are not passed along to the retailer, they are included in the price. The regular Diamond wholesale discount is around 40%. So an investment of $54,000 plus shipping would get you a profit of $36,000 upon sellout. Break-even would be at 1,800 units sold. Not sure about my math, but that seems correct. I suppose if a retailer charged more than SRP, the profit would be greater, and the time to break-even would be faster. Just thinking out loud. Less likely, but if some kind of packaging split of blisters and boxes was done, that might encourage even more multiple purchases. Not sure if an even simpler packaging option is popular, but if you're just getting them for army-building, then maybe bags would be an option.
  15. I had no idea Abadon was still on the roster. I want a zombie girl wrestler Minimate.
  16. I thought BHM and I were having a serious, open, public, honest discussion -- I'm not ignoring him, but sorry if I seem dismissive. Of course, now BHM is telling me he's not actually serious. Unless you mean you're just not serious about the UK? In which case you WOULD probably need to work with a US retailer. I know one who's done exclusives in the past, and may welcome a co-investor -- I can share contact info, but I'm sure you have it. As far as production runs go, I honestly can't speak to how many assortments/individual two-packs of each series we made for TRU and Walgreens. With all of the shared item codes and rolling inventory, I doubt I would have been able to figure it out from the inventory reports I received. (BHM probably knows better from all the cases he's seen.) Were some less than 3000? Maybe, and that's certainly not ideal, but if a series was part of a larger, more in-depth partnership, I'm sure that was taken into consideration. But as far as I know, TRU and Walgreens did not pick their characters. Aside from saying "we want Animated" or "we want this movie," we gave them the characters we thought would do best for them -- for better or for worse. (They MAY have expressed concern if the individual buyer saw a character or theme on the line plan they had no confidence in, but at this price point I doubt it -- these aren't $25 Marvel Legends.) If an independent retailer wants a one- off set, it would still have to fit into our line plan -- characters we think will sell in that market, fit in with what has come before, and are what Marvel or Hasbro will allow. The tooling investment for new characters is too great to have it dictated by others, not to mention the man-hours it takes to design, sculpt, tool, hours taken away from other projects. And buying the whole run doesn't change anything -- not to say we know best, but we don't want any retailer that supports Minimates to make a calamitous error in judgment. Not sure what to say about the rest of those guys, they were different situations, different markets, hell, different decades. Target helped launch the line, but I doubt they cared who was in the wave besides Spider-Man and X-Men. Chef Duff was a marketing opportunity. Goth Girl was a promo done for a friend. AFX had the Thundercats license, so they called the shots -- if you mean their Marvel exclusives, I'm sure we presented options, but most of their SDCC exclusive sets were pre- planned companions to ours. Surprised you didn't mention the Disney Store -- they outright ASKED us to make the Peter Pan 'Mates, and I'm pretty sure they wanted some Avengers comic sets, but we probably pitched them on the Future Foundation. And Vinimates... again, I'm not sure how many of each character we made for Walgreens (some were shared with specialty) or what our minimum (feasible) order quantity is (probably less than Minimates), but most of our 250-piece runs for cons have been repaints or at least tooling re-use. (The tooling we can re-use is very narrow, it's not like mixing and matching Minimates.) If any retailer or quaint Briton wants an exclusive Vinimate repaint that's NOT Marvel, I will happily start that convo. I'd love to do Vinimate blanks, since the custom possibilities are endless, but very few of our Vinimates are without added sculptural details.
  17. I am not the designer, but I would vote chest cover for Keith Lee and Samoa Joe and probably NO chest cover for Cage. Just how I see it. The next Vinimate has been designed, not sure about approved. Won't be ready for NYCC, but could lead to a cool signing at SDCC.
  18. I think they are now in the web store warehouse and should ship soon to those customers. Not seeing them in our main warehouse yet.
  19. Echo WILL be released, just need to figure out where. Not gonna tell people to stop customizing her, it may be a little while. Next two sets are NOT New Avengers, at this time.
  20. That's the tricky part, I want to make everybody. Picking and choosing is tough. BUT I want to include more female wrestlers, like Toni Storm, Black wrestlers, like Keith Lee, or both, like Jade Cargill. The line is overwhelmingly white and male so far. Sting and Darby are prototyped. Waiting to see when and where we offer them. We're talking to AEW.
  21. Not sure why we are limiting purchases online at all, especially for Minimates. I'll ask them to stop. As far as I know, we are not worried about scalpers at all, it may just be a holdover from some exclusive products on the Gentle Giant LTD site, which was a template for the new DST site. We are not worried about people buying product from us at retail prices and reselling it for more money, unless it's something highly limited that could be perceived as unfairly hoarded by others. But I don't think we ever "put all the Minimates in the TRU basket," at least not on purpose. We always offered an exclusive character or variant or even two-pack in the specialty wave, as far as I recall, at least as far as Marvel went. We wanted specialty stores to order product, and have product that was their own. TRU wanted exclusives, sure, but they never asked for exclusivity. Ditto Walgreens -- even though we gave them Animated Mates exclusively, I recall multiple specialty-exclusive movie Minimates, and it was Walgreens support for the line that kept those alive for a while longer, alongside some comic sets. (In addition to TRU AND Walgreens assortments, Ragnarok had the specialty box set with two exclusive figures, for instance.) The final Walgreens movie sets ended up largely overseas because that was who bought it when Walgreens gave it up. I don't know that overseas retailers were targeted, they just happened to be two popular movie sets with global appeal, as opposed to US-based animation or comics. Nothing to read into it, except that movie sets were not doing well with US retailers at the time, so that may have been part of it. And yeah, we'd probably only make an exclusive for a licensed reseller. I don't think they'd need to have a history with our distributor (Diamond Comics), but they would need to have a sales outlet. To be honest, I'm not sure we still have the rights to sell Minimates in the UK anyway, so it may be moot. I am actively trying to get more retailers to carry GI Joe Minimates, be they Adventure Team or Real American Hero or even Action Man. Fingers crossed.
  22. Well, we're down to the two shows a year (plus SW Celebration and NY Toy Fair) so that sounds about right. We've already started talking about Minimates options for SDCC. Outside of Comic-Con, hopefully we'll be offering the new Joe sets soon, after the AEW ring on Sept 22 and Marvel Series 85 on or around October 20.
  23. We are not doing an exclusive for NYCC, not sure where that was mentioned. We are not even doing a Vinimate. We may show Marvel 85 in person at Toy Fair, but I doubt we will reveal 86 at NYCC.
  24. Excalibur and the ring go up for pre-order on 9/22. We're talking about who will be in Series 3.
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