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Article by Jarrett Kruse

 

Midtown Comics & AFJ were lucky enough this month to meet up with two of the busiest Junkies in the toy business. Zach & Chuck (see credentials below) are two of the most important cogs in the Diamond Select Toys operation which is a “spin-off” of their very well known parent company, Diamond Comic Distributors which as we all know is the only game in town. Now the sights are set on complete pop culture world domination as DST continues to wow toy Junkies everywhere with their wide and varied lines of not just action figures but all sorts of licensed products ranging from statues, vinyl banks, Minimates and full-size vehicles from your favorite TV & Movie properties.

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As we head into the Spring, DST has something for every Junkie no matter your budget and the availability is greater than ever. That is one of the great things about DST that is kind of an insider thing, just take your Previews to your local comic shop, preferably Midtown Comics (wink, wink), and just make sure to order your favorite DST item in advance so as not to worry about going on the hunt from store to store. Yes, Junkies love the hunt but personally I would much rather save the gas money and just tell the friendly & knowledgeable staff at Midtown what I want ahead of time and they will be happy to order the item for you. Its tough to match the amazing job that these two guys have done in securing and spreading the word about, respectively, the wide & varied brands the company has acquired. Their showing at Toy Fair ’16 had me wide-eyed like a kid in a candy store timing in my head what I could get away with if I made a run for the exit! And the stuff we couldn’t photograph for “pending license approval” is worth the wait, trust me on this gang. You will not be disappointed with the slate of toys that Diamond Select will be releasing in the duration of 2016. So sit back, relax and read about two expert Junkies that not only love what they do but really do care what savvy shoppers like us think about what they are doing.

Chuck Terceira is the President of Diamond Select Toys, and oversees all aspects of the business in some capacity. He negotiates licenses with studios, deciding which ones to pursue for merchandise, and acts as the product manager for several of DST’s product lines, choosing character line-ups as well as approving prototypes and factory samples. He is a life-long comic book fan, and a former comic-shop owner.

Zach Oat is the Marketing Supervisor for Diamond Select Toys, and oversees all communications for the company, including press, social media and packaging. He also does his own toy photography, for work and for fun. He is a life-long toy fan, and the former editor of ToyFare Magazine.

 

Diamond Select

Zach Oat & Chuck Terceira

 

Midtown Comics & Action Figure Junkies know that Diamond Comics is the go to distributor for their weekly comic book fix. How exactly did they get involved in toys?

Chuck: Diamond Comic Distributors, our parent company, offers a lot of different kinds of products to comic book shops and specialty stores, including mass-market toys from the big manufacturers as well as more collector-oriented toys by smaller specialty manufacturers. But back in 1999 they saw a need for more products that spoke directly to comic book and specialty shop customers. So Diamond Select Toys was created as a separate entity to license and create products based on some smaller licenses that weren’t being represented in toy form, which would then be offered to shops around the world.

Who came up with the name Diamond Select Toys and when did this all happen?

Chuck: Funny story. When the idea to start to produce products first started, the project was called “newco” – for “New Company.” As plans moved forward, the designers at Diamond Comic Distributors were asked to come up with a logo “like” the Previews Exclusive logo that had started to be used pretty often around the time. So they messed with that logo and ideas for what to name that logo – thus Diamond Select was created, which is also why the logo had the same color scheme as the Previews logo. After a short time, we created a new company logo you see a version of now, but the name was the name at that point.

What was the very first toy that DST produced for in-store purchase?

Chuck: The very first DST items were the Chaos Comics: Dark Alliance figures, with some of Chaos’ popular characters at the time, including Lady Death and Purgatori. Followed shortly by Battle of the Planets, then Vampire: The Masquerade.

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Which figure or toy line can you guys point to as the first real success from the DST branch of the company?

Chuck: Honestly, our first action figures, the Dark Alliance toys, really were a success. The sales were very solid, and for the time they were really a pretty solid product, as well. But we really turned the corner from a small novelty manufacture to a supplier for the specialty market in February 2002, when we shipped the Marvel Comics Ultimate Storm bust.

The MARVEL SELECT line has become wildly popular among members of Midtown Comics & AFJ customers. Since MARVEL was acquired by Disney and the SELECT figures are now available in the Disney Store chain, their has been a pretty wide expansion of these figures but it seems like you have to “get lucky” sometimes with some of the more popular figures not being as readily available as other characters. For example I had to get Agent Venom from a friend of mine in Dallas and saw the price skyrocket to over $120 on the secondary market. Does DST limit quantities on certain areas of the country?

 

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Zach: Disney Store exclusive distribution is handled by the Disney Store, we don’t have any say in it, so you would have to ask them, but there is no regional bias with our regular comic-shop releases. In both cases, you would have to ask your local store (you can find a comic shop at comicshoplocator.com) if they will be getting in each figure as it is announced. As for the quantity Disney Stores receive, the production runs for their figures are at least as high as those sold throughout the direct market.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: http://actionfigurejunkies.com/misc-toys/afjmidtown-comics-april-toy-blog-two-of-diamonds/

 

The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer, and not Midtown Comics. Additionally, Midtown Comics makes no representations as to the accuracy of any of the information expressed herein.

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