While at New York Comic Con, Zach Oat of Diamond Select Toys took us through their upcoming line of collectibles through this year and next. We also learned the semi final word on their Universal Monsters license.
After a busy four days at New York Comic Con, we spent our last day at Diamond Select Toys. It was one of the highlights of this year’s New York Comic Con experience as we’ve all been personal fans of the team at DST for quite some time. Be it at Toy Fair, C2E2, or NYCC, Diamond Select Toys has always been a premiere destination for us. Thanks to our friend, Zach Oat, we had the opportunity to walk through this year’s showing of upcoming collectibles (some of which are hitting stores soon, others some time next year). Diamond Select Toys have an amazing line up that should easily appeal to all pop-culture enthusiasts, especially for those of you like us that enjoy a little dose of horror, monsters, and sci-fi icons!
“This section has a lot of our vini-mates, which is our new line of vinyl figures. They’re four inches tall, sculpted in mini-mates block figure style. They’re posed dynamically, they have articulation in the neck so you could make them look in different directions, which could change up the pose a lot actually. We announced a new license at the show [NYCC], we announced Beetlejuice at San Diego [Comic Con], but we’re showing Beetlejuice and Lydia for the first time.” -Z.O.
“For Beetlejuice that was something a little harder to come up with. We did the ad that he runs so it’s like Beetlejuice’s promotional glass for his business of bio-exorcisms. So it’s got his ad that they find and it says “Beetlegeuse, Beetlegeuse, Beetlegeuse.”
We might do some mini-mates mini-figures, and I’m not actually sure what else we have in the works. Vinyl banks are part of our deal – the bird masks, Beetlejuice, the Head Shrinker – that’d make for a lot of great stuff.” – Z.O.
We announced Forbidden Planet;
“The Predator vini-mates should be hitting very, very soon. The Aliens are already out. The alien and Ripley are already out in the stores now. I think we’re about a month away from seeing them in stores because once they get manufactured, we get sent a packaged sample, and then the rest of the shipment gets on a boat, and comes across the Pacific to us. Once it’s in our warehouse, we ship it right out.” – Z.O.
“It’s something different every day, really, and we try to find multiple categories that will fit every license that we do. iZombie we did the figure, then we did the mini-mates two-pack, and we’re working on another figure. The Max Rager glass was just a cool idea we had. We’ve been doing these “real-ware,” that’s what we call it, things you might see withing the world of the movie or in the world of the tv show. Here it’s the Max Rager officially branded pint glass.
The X-Files bank is just something really creepy. We have a great sculptor, Eli Livingston, who does great monster banks. He did our Alien and our Predator banks and now he’s doing Fluke Man for X-Files. That’s following up our X-Files action figures and mini-mates. We want to do more X-Files stuff as well.” – Z.O.
“We’ve shown a lot of [Nightmare Before Christmas] before. This is Select Series 3 and this will be coming out in 2017. We’re doing about one series a year. At one point we thought we might do two, but we’re going to do one just to get it right. Series Two hit stores not too long ago with Santa Jack, The Mayor, and Dr. Finkelstein. Santa Jack and Dr. Finkelstein both come with a Town Square diorama. You could build Town Square if you collect the two of them, and then also two or three of the figures from Series 3. I don’t think they finalized how many pieces there are going to be and which ones they’re going to come with. Pumpkin King, Santa, and Lock, Shock, and Barrel are going to be in Series 3 for Halloween next year.” – Z.O.
“As for mini-mates, we just put out are third series at comic shops, some exclusive figures at Toys R’ Us, another couple of exclusive figures at Hot Topic, with blind bags there, as well. We were going to do a fourth series this year, but that’s been rescheduled until next year. We’re going to do that for Halloween. The timing just didn’t work out exactly so for Halloween we’ll have the fourth series. I think everyone right here is still going to be a comic book shop/specialty mini figure. I don’t think there are any Toys R’ Use exclusives, but Toys R’ Us this year is going to get a witch two-pack so keep an eye out for that, and Hot Topic has some cool ones like Mummy Boy, Behemoth (whom we’ve had designed for a while with an axe in his head. He’s great), and an elf. Those are all exclusively at Hot Topic as blind bags so you’ll have to track those down because they’re pretty cool.” – Z.O.
“These are reproductions of the early 2000 ones that were imported from Japan. We’ve released Pumpkin King and Jack, and Pajama Jack, and Sally, and also some different head variations at Hot Topic. They’re are also some variations between our limited and unlimited versions. We did a limited version of about 1,993 and then we did more that were unlimited.
We’re going to do a limited two-pack of Jack and Sally in a coffin together. Then we’re going to do singles of them which are going to be unlimited so you could order them, but those two-packs are going to be limited to 1,993. Lock, Shock, and Barrel aren’t on the schedule yet. Dr. Finkelstein and The Mayor I think are hitting very soon, but Lock, Shock, and Barrel are probably 2017.” – Z.O.
Nightmare Before Christmas vini-mates are very close to coming out. The first should be hitting before the holiday season.
Throughout this past year we’ve been covering some of the great Universal Monsters collectibles that Diamond Select Toys have released over the years, many of which have been sculpted by another friend of ours, Jean St. Jean. The Universal Monsters have been absent from DST’s and with The Mummy releasing next year, we had to ask about the current status of that license. Here’s what Zach Oat of DST had to say:
The silicone tray and the gelatin molds we will not be going forward with. They’re not going to be able to come out under the terms of our old license. We had a pretty good run with the action figures, mini-mates, and banks so we’re pretty happy with what we did and with the retro figures we did. We had a good run and I hope the people liked what we put out. And never say never, maybe we’ll revisit it again some day. Right now they’re [Universal] working out some of their licensing so if the opportunity ever rises again, it’s something we’d look at again. We had a lot of fun doing it.
While it was disappointing to learn that Diamond Select Toys will no longer be producing collectibles based off of the classic Universal Monsters, we are glad that they had a good run with them. They’re definitely a fan favorite and it’s our hope that, if the gods allow, we could see mini-mates based off of The Mummy 2017. We’d love to see Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella in mini-mate form, along with many other collectibles based off of the new Universal Monsters films.
*Steven Biscotti and Universal Monsters Universe would like to thank Zach Oat of Diamond Select Toys for taking the time to speak with us ahead of the DST panel on Sunday, October 9th at NYCC.
For more pictures of Diamond Select Toys upcoming collectibles on display at NYCC, please visit our Facebook page.
For more on Diamond Select Toys, please visit them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To find a comic/collectible shop near you, please visit Comic Shop Locator.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)