Rebelscum conducted an interview with the president of Diamond Select Toys, Chuck Terceira, last week which flew under the radar somewhat. But that interview has a few statements regarding Star Wars collectible sales that should be of interest to all Star Wars collectors. So click through for highlights from the interview!
Rebelscum asked Chuck Terceira if DST would make more product for The Last Jedi. And this is what the president of DST had to say about that idea:
As you know, whatever was done before last year, DST had no control over. GG LTD made those decisions, but as I said, Dev is still here guiding the brand and we are aware of the past history. I will say from what we have seen, the sales on the products from 7 & 8 were not too strong. I know those movies, as well as 9, have their fans and those fans might say GG just never did the right products or characters or formats, and they might be correct. However, we can only go by what we know. For sure the door is not closed to the ST products and we ARE working on a couple pieces for The Rise of Skywalker right now. We were not allowed all access to all of the movie before it came out so some work could not begin until after the movie came out. We’re keeping a very close eye on it and listening to fan feedback, so if there is demand, we’re happy to satisfy it.
As you may remember, Diamond Select acquired various assets from Gentle Giant and with them the Star Wars license back in 2019. Thus, DST had no hand in product development for TFA and TLJ toys. And it’s certainly once more enlightening to read that Disney keeps things secret from their own licensees. Hasbro are not the only ones that learn about Crait Luke when they first see the movie in a theater.
Even though GG and now DST make collectibles that are much more niche than a Hasbro action figure, the question needs to be asked if the lack of demand for sequel trilogy merchandise also applies to other collectibles and toys. Sure, there are those who say they want Rose Tico T-Shirts or a Holdo action figure, but at the end of the day the question is how many of these people actually buy anything, if there are enough of them to make up for all the fans that have zero interest in merchandise based on various sequel characters.
And Chuck Terceira addresses this issue when Rebelscum insists that there are certainly many highly requested characters from The Rise of Skywalker that collectors would love to have as a bust on their shelf (DST has made only 3 TROS busts so far). Chuck Terceira is not so optimistic about that in his reply.
As I mentioned before, we are working on some, but I have to ask..are you SURE there is lots of demand for these “very” requested characters? The overall demand for busts and SW products is not what it was 10 or even 5 years ago. It’s not just a GG issue either. The brand is VERY strong with The Mandalorian & The Clone Wars and more new content to come, but you all know what the production runs on collector products were in the past compared to now. We would very much love to make more products from the new movie. It’s not like we’re sitting behind our desk wringing our hands thinking how can we stick it to fans and not make busts they want that will make us money…right?? We just, as of yet, have not seen enough fans that would want to buy a bust have that personal affection for some of those new characters that makes sense to justify going to production, but for sure we’re watching it and perhaps as more time passes, fans affection for those characters will grow.
The president of DST confirms what we all know, demand for Star Wars merchandise has decreased, and it’s not just a Gentle Giant or Diamond Select issue. We all know Hasbro’s statements about declining partner brand sales. 2019 saw somewhat of a turnaround again, fortunately, but one thing is peculiar: even Hasbro offers very few The Rise of Skywalker action figures. There is no Poe, Finn, Lando, unmasked Kylo/Ben, Palpatine, Hux, General Pryde, Rose, Leia, Luke and hardly any Knights of Ren or other side characters really. But it’s certainly great to hear that The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars are very strong.
So it may not be a surprise that Hasbro has revealed zero new sequel based figures so far in addition to the ones we already got.
Furthermore, the fact that production runs for collector products are lower now than in the past may be an indicator that the collector fanbase has shrunk. Or that the product that has been offered was not as well receivedm keeping fans from buying it.
All of this may support the theory that sequel trilogy toys are retail poison. Of course fans of the sequel trilogy may want to refute that, but the president of DST has to think about revenue first, and he sees a lack of sales in his numbers. And there is enough evidence, especially from Hasbro, to support that idea. Merchandise sales (not just toys) plummeted with the release of TLJ and reached extremely low depths with Solo. There is little arguing here.
However, it seems in 2020 things are different, The Empire Strikes Back, The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars have the focus. Which is good news for people who mant more merchandise based on that. But it also means that fans who would love to have a TVC or TBS The Rise of Skywalker Poe, Finn, Rose, Lando, Palpatine, Leia, Luke and a complete set of Knights of Ren may have to wait a very, very long time.
So what do you think? Does the president of Diamond Select Toys merely confirm what you have thought all along? Or do you take issue with the things he says in the interview?
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