Interview > Diamond Select’s Zach Oat on Battle Beasts

One of the most talked-about toy lines of this year is Diamond Select’s Battle Beasts. There’s been a lot of speculation about this line, how it came to be and where it’s going, but the buzz is growing: a new comic book from IDW based on the property is already in stores.

I got in touch with Zach Oat, Marketing Supervisor at Diamond Select Toys, to find out more about what the future holds for Battle Beasts.

1.) Let’s start with the obvious: what led Diamond Select to pick up the Battle Beasts trademark, and were you concerned about the fact that you would not have the rights to the original toy designs?

We were brainstorming new concepts for toy lines, and we started thinking about similar toy lines that had experienced success in the past. Battle Beasts came up, so we did a little research and saw that the trademark was actually available. It’s such a great name, and it went well with our Minimates mini-figures, so we acquired it. The name was what we thought had the most value; we already had a lot of ideas for what we could do with the fighting animals concept, and the original toy line was known more for its gimmicks than for its characters and storylines, so we weren’t too worried about not having the rights to them. Continue reading “Interview > Diamond Select’s Zach Oat on Battle Beasts”

More SDCC Highlights

As we wait for the Mattycollector panel to start, I thought I’d post a few more thoughts on the various SDCC reveals.

Pic courtesy Pixel-Dan.com

Keldor looks much better with the twin swords. I never realized how integral they are to his character design – they’re what make him distinct from just being “Skeletor with a face.” Continue reading “More SDCC Highlights”

Battle Beasts Cont’d – Takara Beast Fight Revealed [UPDATE: Preorder at BBS]

While Diamond Select moves forward with their new take on Battle Beasts, TakaraTomy is indeed bringing back the original Beastformers as, at least according to one site, “Takara Beast Fight.” Go here to see the pics of the various figures.

It appears to have some sort of dice game element, which makes a lot of sense. So – are you in for Takara Beast Fight, DST’s Battle Beasts, or both?

Thanks to Pixel Dan for the tip!

UPDATE: These are now available for preorder at BBTS.

What Battle Beasts Rights Does Diamond Select Have?

battle beasts
battle beasts by toy find!, on Flickr

Phil Reed over at Battlegrip speculates on the specific rights Diamond Select Toys has to Battle Beasts. I actually discussed this on PGPoA way back in 2009, and even then it was rumored DST only had the trademark on the brand name, not the creature designs (or the rub-sign feature).

It seems obvious TakaraTomy (the Japanese rights holder of Transformers) still has the rights to Beastformers, the Japanese toy line that became Battle Beasts when imported to the U.S. and Europe. As the original name suggests, in Japan the line was tied in to Transformers (specifically the Japanese Headmasters franchise). And now it looks like TakaraTomy may be moving forward with some new product under the name Beast Saga.

(A brief aside to Phil’s main question: I suspect the confusion over whether DST “paid someone” for the trademark is due either to someone at the C2E2 DST panel misspeaking, or someone misunderstanding or misreporting what was said. I do think they simply snapped up the trademark when TakaraTomy let it lapse. Also, I believe you pay the government a fee when you pick up a lapsed trademark, so that may be what the “paid” is referring to.)

Continue reading “What Battle Beasts Rights Does Diamond Select Have?”

Odds ‘n Ends > AICN, Collector Gene, MOTU Fan Films, SHM Rodan

  • PGPoA was mentioned on Ain’t It Cool News’ AICN Toys section yesterday in regard to my recent post about DCUC. Unfortunately, the quote they attribute to me is actually something I quoted from NoisyDvL5’s editorial on ItsAllTrue. I posted a comment to try and set the record straight.
  • It’s been a banner week for Power Pals. PPP Ben Leach, who comes from a whole family of collectors (toy and otherwise), have opened their own website, the Collector Gene. Here’s how he describes it:  “What separates us from a lot of collecting websites is a.) we own everything that we write about (and if we don’t, we clarify that), and b.) all four of us collect and are going to contribute to the website. Obviously, I’m going to write about the kind of stuff that appeals to your readers, but if your readers like shows like Antiques Roadshow or Pawn Stars, then I think they’ll appreciate everything on there. “
  • I’m not sure how many have heard of this, but there’s a group doing MOTU fan films. I haven’t watched them yet, but here’s their website. I suppose I owe it to you all to look into this further, so I will once I can get through some of my existing backlog.
  • At long last, Diamond Select is giving me the Mego-style Creature of the Black Lagoon I’ve been asking for since they created the line. It will be on my desk at work. Oh yes.
  • I’ve started using the PGPoA Facebook page more – primarily for stuff like recent purchases, random toy-related links, and news bits and other stuff on weekends. If you’re not on Facebook or don’t follow the site you won’t miss anything important, but for those of you jonesing for a more frequent PGPoA fix should keep an eye on it.
  • English page for S.H.MonsterArts Rodan. I’m such a mark for this line.
  • So, what sold out in yesterday’s Mattycollector sale? Thunder Punch He-Man, Tri-Klops, & the Voltron Yellow Lion. As of this posting, Draego-Man, Orko, and other figs are still there. I’m tempted to buy another Orko to see if I can get a Prince Adam without incredibly loose ankles, but does such a thing even exist?
  • This humor in this Saturday morning cartoon parody Starbarians is a bit tasteless, but the animation is well done – and the name and concept kick ass. How did every 1980s toy-and-cartoon producer miss “Starbarians”? This is the decade that created Dinosaucers!
  • Diamond Select had a prototype sculpt of a new Battle Beast grey retailer summit version of Vorin on display at C2E2.
  • Here are some new pics of the Play Arts Kai Mass Effect 3 figures. Now you can create your own ambiguous ending to Shepard’s saga!

Diamond Reveals Their Plans for Battle Beasts

The new Battle Beasts website has gone live. Highlights:

  • There will be a new comic from IDW,  written by Bobby Curnow (Godzilla Legends, Night of 1000 Wolves) and penciled by Valerio Schiti (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Dungeons & Dragons: Eberron)
  • At San Diego Comic-Con, DST will unveil the first full wave of Battle Beasts Minimates, which will be in stores in late fall of 2012. The first wave of two-packs will focus heavily on characters who appear in the comic, and will have a gameplay element, as well. DST will also have an exclusive two-pack of Battle Beasts for sale at the show.

So it looks like the figures will indeed be Minimates in the style of the previous con exclusives, and not the fully-sculpted action figures we saw prototypes of a while back. That’s disappointing, but the Minimates style is very popular with collectors and kids alike, and this will allow Diamond to offer the kind of variety and character selection the original Battle Beasts line was known for. It’s probably a shrewd move.