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Buffy! Angel and Spike too!


JeffBohn
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If the seller is buying directly from DST, that doesn't make it secondary. That makes the eBay seller just another specialty market retailer, especially if they're ordering that quantity.

Even so, DST is far more interested in selling cases by the hundreds, not the score.

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DST's most likely not selling directly to that guy, but rather he or she has a Diamond account and order through that.

I don't think it's as easy as "just" reinventing the Minimate brand; they've certainly tried to make vehicles at least with limited success. In some ways I think that Minimates are now a victim of their own modest success. It's a known enough brand that it's hard to get retailers to take a chance on it. And again I'd argue that it's a leftover commodity from a previous time, when block figures were of more interest among the collecting community.

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I agree to a certain extent but resting on their laurels isn't helping. Just because something didn't work previously doesn't mean it isn't worth trying again, maybe even differently with the benefit of hindsight. (And in the case of Buffy, learning from the experience of other manufacturers.)

For example, there's a way to make statues of Sentinels that are compatible with Marvel Minimates, a way that is more affordable for collectors than the last attempt and one that could encourage multiple purchases. But I don't see DST even bothering to solicit such a SKU with concept art because there seems to be an unwillingness to take even small risks.

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All DST Products are sold through Diamond Comic Distributors and Diamond UK. They have requirements for an account, and online retailers are eligible. There are minimums, and I don't think they are daunting as long as you can prove you are a reseller. I doubt any seller has 40 cases on hand (that may simply be what they can get) but if someone placed that order, that would be fantastic.

i don't know if Palz soured the Buffy market, but I don't think they broke sales records, and was there a series 2? Following it up with another block figure line would have been an odd choice, and further cannibalized our action figure sales.

i don't know if not repeating mistakes is the same as resting on laurels. Not trying something new, sure, but we try new things all the time, just not Minimates. You can Ask DST about Buffy  Mm, but I know we are looking at new licenses.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/1/2020 at 6:29 PM, buttheadsmate said:

I'm not entirely sure how or why (Buffy) PALz 'soured' the market for other block figures ?   I'd accept that the Buffy PALz were a little naive in many ways but the next licence up...The X-Files....were IMHO superb.   The recent 'token' X-Files Minimates releases would be a perfect example of how not to introduce a new Minimate licence & I am not ready for a second example. 

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ2Z5pmtimgD0PFQPmf1J3

Do you have this?

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  • 2 months later...

Palz? There were 37 of them? News to me. I'm sure we covered them at ToyFare, and we had an exclusive, but I don't remember 37.

And I"m not sure never said the line wasn't successful, I said it soured the market. That can also apply to a successful line with 37 releases. What, were we going to follow it up with another block figure line of the same characters? I should have said "saturated."

We're testing the waters now with VInimates, so maybe something will happen. I'd personally love to see Buffy Minimates. But I'd also love to see John Wick and Bruce Lee. I don't get what I want, apparently. 

 

Edited by DSTZach
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1 hour ago, DSTZach said:

Palz? There were 37 of them? News to me. I'm sure we covered them at ToyFare, and we had an exclusive, but I don't remember 37.

And I"m not sure never said the line wasn't successful, I said it soured the market. That can also apply to a successful line with 37 releases. What, were we going to follow it up with another block figure line of the same characters? I should have said "saturated."

We're testing the waters now with VInimates, so maybe something will happen. I'd personally love to see Buffy Minimates. But I'd also love to see John Wick and Bruce Lee. I don't get what I want, apparently. 

 

Ah, so what we really should be asking is what Zach doesn't want; maybe we'll get that

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On 4/25/2020 at 11:11 PM, DSTZach said:

Palz? There were 37 of them? News to me. I'm sure we covered them at ToyFare, and we had an exclusive, but I don't remember 37.

And I"m not sure never said the line wasn't successful, I said it soured the market. That can also apply to a successful line with 37 releases. What, were we going to follow it up with another block figure line of the same characters? I should have said "saturated."

We're testing the waters now with VInimates, so maybe something will happen. I'd personally love to see Buffy Minimates. But I'd also love to see John Wick and Bruce Lee. I don't get what I want, apparently. 

 

no, nothing will happen because the vinimates are going to collect dust if they ever reach shelves and then you will say there was no demand for the product or license when the fact is that there is demand for Buffy merchandise the same way that there was for Aliens, Halo, Star Trek (next generation on stop with the og nonsense), TMNT, DC, Arrow and more but you all refuse to listen to what your core consumer and you core audience has been telling you FOR YEARS. You keep picking products that aren’t selling, doing it the wrong time, and without distribution. 

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I've never seen an episode of Buffy ..although I have had ample opportunity ... yet I have all of those Buffy PALz  ( I too count 37) . 

Buffy Minimates would IMHO be too much of a risk for DST at the moment & I personally feel that the moment has passed.

I have said this before .....I truly love my X-Files PALz collection yet the Buffy PALz .....meh!  That maybe because....in the day..... I loved the X-Files & the X-Files PALz were the first toys I bought as an adult. .... who knows ? My views on X-Files Minimates have been expressed before :rolleyes: & in the context of this thread I can't see a line of Buffy Minimates lasting too long .

I hope I'm wrong, I hope that DST make these for those people who want them & I'll buy them but I am not eager.

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12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

no, nothing will happen because the vinimates are going to collect dust if they ever reach shelves and then you will say there was no demand for the product or license when the fact is that there is demand for Buffy merchandise the same way that there was for Aliens,

We made like 12 waves/sets of Aliens, with TRU and Hastings and others. A couple of missed opportunities is a drop compared to what we got. And then TRU died. 

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

Halo

We made like twelve waves/sets with TRU, and I can't speak to what we didn't make, alien-wise, but then TRU dropped it. 

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

Star Trek (next generation on stop with the og nonsense)

We did several waves with TRU, and I'm pretty sure we mocked up TNG MM, and there was no interest AT THE TIME. I doubt there is more now, but I also doubt we will try again. 

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

TMNT

We solicited a wave, with a second on deck, and there were no orders. Keep in mind TRU was gone at this point.

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

DC

Sigh. We do not have the rights to make DC Comics Minimates. We never have. Maybe if things change with Lego, but unlikely. Nothing has changed here since DC DIrect stopped wanting to make Minimates (is my understanding). 

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

Arrow

This is maybe the second time I have ever heard ANYONE ask for Arrow Mates, I'm not sure I've even seen any customs. I do not know if the MM license was available to us, Gotham was a different show on a different network. We never made Gotham VM, maybe the rights were reversed for Arrow. 

12 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

and more but you all refuse to listen to what your core consumer and you core audience has been telling you FOR YEARS. You keep picking products that aren’t selling, doing it the wrong time, and without distribution. 

People here seemed to want Bruce Lee, and John Wick, and TMNT, but distribution was not there. We can not make it materialize out of nowhere. If stores do not want them, including major chains, then it is either due to a dislike of the license, the designs, the timing or the product. Not sure what we can do about that, as we look for the best fit in each of those things -- licenses we think people want, designs that make sense, timing that we think will help and of course the product is perfect in every way. 

I will say that we're working on some big fan wants for MM, and we have distribution for them at this time. Things may change, but if it all goes to plan, I think everyone will be happy.

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2 hours ago, DSTZach said:

I will say that we're working on some big fan wants for MM, and we have distribution for them at this time. Things may change, but if it all goes to plan, I think everyone will be happy.

Ooh!! Terrific news, Zach! I, along with everyone else I'd expect, anxiously await the announcement!

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7 hours ago, DSTZach said:

We can not make it materialize out of nowhere. If stores do not want them, including major chains, then it is either due to a dislike of the license, the designs, the timing or the product. Not sure what we can do about that...

And yet....

koUJxp1.jpg

Edited by youbastards
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23 minutes ago, youbastards said:

You guys already paid someone to design the Aliens Dropship, Ferro, and Bishop, right?

This would be the perfect way to test those waters, assuming you still have the license.

You know exactly what they are going to say to that....

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8 hours ago, DSTZach said:

We made like 12 waves/sets of Aliens, with TRU and Hastings and others. A couple of missed opportunities is a drop compared to what we got. And then TRU died. 

We made like twelve waves/sets with TRU, and I can't speak to what we didn't make, alien-wise, but then TRU dropped it. 

We did several waves with TRU, and I'm pretty sure we mocked up TNG MM, and there was no interest AT THE TIME. I doubt there is more now, but I also doubt we will try again. 

We solicited a wave, with a second on deck, and there were no orders. Keep in mind TRU was gone at this point.

Sigh. We do not have the rights to make DC Comics Minimates. We never have. Maybe if things change with Lego, but unlikely. Nothing has changed here since DC DIrect stopped wanting to make Minimates (is my understanding). 

This is maybe the second time I have ever heard ANYONE ask for Arrow Mates, I'm not sure I've even seen any customs. I do not know if the MM license was available to us, Gotham was a different show on a different network. We never made Gotham VM, maybe the rights were reversed for Arrow. 

People here seemed to want Bruce Lee, and John Wick, and TMNT, but distribution was not there. We can not make it materialize out of nowhere. If stores do not want them, including major chains, then it is either due to a dislike of the license, the designs, the timing or the product. Not sure what we can do about that, as we look for the best fit in each of those things -- licenses we think people want, designs that make sense, timing that we think will help and of course the product is perfect in every way. 

I will say that we're working on some big fan wants for MM, and we have distribution for them at this time. Things may change, but if it all goes to plan, I think everyone will be happy.

I eye rolled during most of this because I have found it more effective than actually having a dialogue marketer to marketer. You can say what you want to until you are blue in the face and I am going to say what I want to until I am blue in the face. As you have painfully made clear, this board is a niche audience. I would make my decisions based on data and through social listening and google searches since you can't afford a media agency. And as someone that has evaluated some of the licenses in question - the demand is there. Notice I didn't call out Bruce Lee or John Wick because in doing research there is no way I would see them selling. I personally bought them out of pity. But if you do the research you DO see that there is demand and has been a demand for the other properties you mentioned (TNG) and during the last 15 years I PERSONALLY have reviewed proposals and deals for them. You also released the wrong characters for TMNT since the 80's-90's Cartoon versions are the ones that garner the most chatter. As for the Arrowverse and never hearing of it, now I know you are either mistaken or you are not retaining the information you read because you and I went at it over Gotham and why you would EVER pick that show for mates based off of the ratings of it versus the ratings of the Arrowverse.  Maybe, you wouldn't be in this mess if your company hadn't so heavily relied on one store, secured p.o.s for other big boxes, supported your LCS with waves that weren't easier to get and cheaper at another location, built your online capabilities, and invested in the correct media. It can be done, look at Marvel Legends and how they have bounced back. Look at their playbook and borrow what you can while innovating.

For example, your Diamond Select line of figures are stunning but severally eclipsed by Marvel Legends. In fact some of your sales come from accessories of your toys that are then used with Marvel Legends. If I were you I would do something like, get micro-influencers like Christina Conan, Rafaelo Customs, Blainer Things, to do a content series where they each design and sculpt a figure for Diamond Select that is on your product road map (if you have one). Document the whole thing in real time so that people can see the whole experience and understand why it takes you all so long to release a figure. You would have tons of beautiful, snackable content that could be used to drive to your own site (which dramatically needs a redesign).  It could then fuel your instagram which will increase your overall reach. Put that Archie print ad money (seriously that circulation is horrible and secondly you should do that when you actually do Archie related figures) into your paid social and watch your audience grow.

Also, has it ever occurred to you that maybe the buyers didn't buy because the presentation was bad? It's not their job to show demand - it's yours. It's a buyer's job to evaluate your proposal and make a decision. 

Let's just agree to ignore each other on here because honestly I doubt either one of us gets anything from our exchanges.

I hope you are right on the MM and distribution and wish you the best.

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We didn't rely on one retailer so much as feel lucky to have one retailer who was so supportive with the line. We would have gladly taken on a second major chain at any time, and we continued to try to sell to those chains. At one point, we had TRU AND Walgreens at the same time, although that didn't last long. 

And when the major retailer who IS on board with the line says they want the current, animation-based Turtles, who would go on to have five seasons on the air, well, you go that route. Later, when it was just specialty retailers, we offered the classic looks. If you want to blame the first TMNT line for souring the second, I would blame the selective appeal of blind bags before blaming the incarnation we chose. 

But don't dive into Marvel Select. Marvel Select is eclipsed by Marvel Legends by design, and has been for 18 years. We have always been a secondary licensor, with many contractual limitations on what we can do with the line to protect our mass market counterpart. That said, when we release a big character or a cool dio -- or a really good normal-sized figure -- they sell out. Very few of our figures linger in inventory. And I'm not sure that having a customizer design and sculpt a Marvel Select figure would have any benefit. Much of their creative choices would be restricted by the limitations I mentioned, and in that case I don't see why we would use anyone but our talented, on-call designers and sculptors. Our IG account has more followers than all of theirs put together, and we usually do not show works-in-progress for various reasons (requiring approval on each stage of development, unfair criticism of WIP sculpts and paint, etc.).

On 4/28/2020 at 7:29 PM, youbastards said:

And yet....

We have looked at Kickstarter, and we now have a new web store that might make such a thing possible in-house. Not sure we would start with Minimates, TBH. Not my call, though. 

Edited by DSTZach
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, i know this is a vinimate forum but with the Buffy vinimates comin out, i was curious about the palz buffy line. I've never seen them in the wild. How tall are they? Are they pretty close to minimate size? Looks like the packages ive seen on ebay have quite a bit of accessories. 

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