DST Head honcho Chuck Terceira came out to indulge all of our Minimate questions. It was, as always, a small crowd but there was a good flow of questions and while there were the usuals ("where did you get the idea for Minimates," "why don't you make ____") there were more that allowed for some good, fresh insight and it was overall more enjoyably than some of the previous panels at SDCC.
Once again, I took notes throughout, and offer them to you now - Behold:
MAX vehicles will be combineable amongst each other.
Four series of Halo are planned, including a possible 10th anniversary wave.
Paramount approached them to do TINTIN, but they passed because there wasn't enough time to get product together by the release date.
They can't afford a license for just Minimates only, because of the low price point the return-on-investment is just too low. That's why most licenses cover things like statues, banks and neon signs.
Interested in doing Doctor Who to break into EU, but no interest from retailers when Underground Toys shopped the idea around.
They'll probably do a 2" Galactus.
What is shown is all they are officially planning for Real Ghostbusters, though they may probably do an Anti-GB boxset (the Peoplebusters), if it's a huge success they'll do sets, of course
They have talked about doing a Zombie line, with extra limbs, etc (Marvel will not allow any more Marvel Zombies product)
Turned licenses down because they wanted Minimates in different scales
New MAX product in Spring - TRU claims they have a lot of inventory, but nobody can find them. PO in hand so there will be definitely be another wave.
Blanket deals like the MGM one is tricky. Still trying to pull off the Paramount figures (Godfather & Beverley Hills Cop). CBS has talked to them about classic TV shows but no shows really grabbed Chuck.
Marvel vs Capcom is like a blanket license - it covers all Capcom characters that appeared in any of the games, even hidden and downloadable characters.
Don't really consider creating new pieces in ways they can be used for other parts.
Tampo paint is really expensive in both cost and time - sometimes its cheaper to do a sculpted piece than tampo print (Spider-Man is one of the most expensive) which is one reason we're seeing more sculpted pieces
They are working on two new Halo vehicles because the warthog has done very (with all the variants). One more definitely come out but probably both will.
Chuck is well aware Kang is wanted but nothing is planned.
Sports are really hard to license - they need the League and the Players Association. Chuck is interested but the logistics are really daunting. They could do just the League license but it would probably really piss off the Players Assoc. to release with out the names, etc.
He was kind of surprised they even got a chance to do the new BTTF set, there aren't anymore planned but always open to doing more if sales are there.
"Agent Coulson is the R2D2 & C3PO of these movies"
The Sony license is heavily specific so that line is pretty tricky and as a result there probably wont be more than just the 4 two-packs.
To cement their claim to the rights/trademark to Battle Beasts they had to market it over state lines. Now that they have, they're trying to figure out what exactly to do. They've created a story/world. Want there to be a game element. No chance of heat stickers at all. Lots of work/effort and don't have the resources to fully dedicate to that right now so no plans to announce.
Since comics don't really show characters' backs, they designed Ultimate Iron Man's back for the mini-bust, with Bryan Hitch's input/feedback, and the bust then became his maquette for drawing.
Marvel vs. Capcom should be out July/August - Chuck has planned 3 waves, which include all the characters from the game, except for unrevealed characters or 2 or 3 that simply cant be done as minimates. He's even looking at doing MODOK.
Never thought of a new hand at 45 degree angle which could allow figures to hold guns with two hands, but will pitch it to the group next week.
Nintendo is not interested in licensing much and not interested in DST at all
They've talked about bags of flight stands but no plans yet. Maybe a kick base for capcom, etc.
Exclusives: One four pack for SDCC, a TRU 4-pack for SDCC, and the Disney Store wants a 4-pack but if it doesn't make Disney's date, that may move over to SDCC.
He has looked into Godzilla, really wants to do it, but no dice from TOHO
Minimate MODOK? Yes please!
Interesting about the sculpted parts vs. tampos. Never would have guessed that to be the case.
It's lovely that Marvel won't allow any more zombie product, but I think I'd be happier if they'd stop allowing new zombie books. Does anyone even read those any more?
Yeah, Chuck was saying that when the zombie thing happened they really jumped on it and hit it hard, which was fortunate since that'll probably be the only stuff that ever comes out. My guess is its something to do with Disney, and that print is viewed differently than merchandise.
Similarly he said Howard the Duck is now pretty much off limits due to Donald Duck similarities...
The Tampo-vs-Sculpting thing is a bit surprising but the point he was driving home was that each color is a separate Tampo and each Tampo is done by hand. So, and this is me talking, imagine the labor cost with one paint wash on sculpted Thing, versus having to line up the the Tampo rock paint on each body piece by hand for each figure.
Yeah, knowing that makes it a bit easier to accept add-on pieces.
You know, it's funny - you'd think it would now be EASIER to put out Howard the Duck merch...
The Zombie embargo actually isn't news and dates back to before Disney's acquisition of Marvel; Chuck's mentioned at least once before that Marvel doesn't want to license the Marvel Zombies anymore. I'm sure Disney doesn't help, though....