Ask DST Q and A #32 and #33

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The latest Q and A installments from Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys are up. Number 32 answers all of the latest questions concerning Star Trek and number 33 is for questions about Minimates.

Ask DST #32 (Star Trek)

Ask DST #33 (Minimates)

I will let you read them before I spoil it for you with some of my opinions.

I am a huge fan of DST’s Star Trek products, (As well as; Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, and Minimates.) so I was disappointed to hear that the Deep Space Nine: Sisko and Dukat two-pack has officially been canceled. It was not too long ago that they announced that the Star Trek III: Krudge and Maltz two-pack had been canceled as well. Both of these two-packs had many of us in anticipation of finally seeing some fresh new sculpts and new unique characters to add to our collections. In Q and A #32, DST Chuck talks about the business model the company uses to determine sales is projected by the amount of pre-orders for their products from retailers. Maybe it’s time for DST to look into other methods of tracking sales and determining demand. This is after all the 21st century. There are bound to be more modern methods and business models to use in this modern age of technology. I do not pre-order my DST products. They, unfortunately, often (and often is being kind.) do not meet their projected release dates, so I cannot plan in advance for when to have the money available and in the bank for pre-orders. I just have my favorite Local Comic Book Shop put the product aside for me the week of release, until I can get there to pick it up.

I had very much hoped that the release of the new Star Trek movie would cause a renewed interest in the Star Trek brand. I really wonder though if DST is fully tapping into all the potential sales by having very little product available for purchase in these next weeks before and after the release of the new movie. Every Toys ‘r Us outlet that I frequent has minimal, or no Star Trek products available from DST and it has been months since the recent deal to have their products sold in Toys ‘r Us stores began. I have yet to see a TOS Enterprise on the shelves at Toys ‘r Us and that was promised long before Christmas of 2008. I would hate too see DST lose interest in the Star Trek license based on some prior lack-luster sales numbers. I would suggest that they need to:

A.) Priority one: Work much harder on making sure that you meet the announced release dates. We were told last year that you were aware of this problem and were working to insure that would change. Well, I am not seeing it still. People today have much shorter attention spans and if you cannot keep new product available at regular intervals, they will lose interest.

B.) Keep the current fan-base happy with new sculpts and original products. Yes, we have heard time and again that Kirk and Spock sells, TOS sells, etc. OK, so do those in two-packs. Do not mix them in with your regular series releases. I have (practically) all of your products and quite frankly, I am about at my Kirk and Spock limit! I will be cherry-picking TOS from Series Five forward. I just cannot think of any more Kirks or Spocks that I need. (Honestly, at this point, what is left to do?) You gave me Kirk and Spock in the costumes from the first Star Trek movie, but you did not finish the rest of the crew. Now, I find myself saying: “Did I really need to spend $33.00 on those, without the rest of the crew?” Much less, where is my Captain Decker and Ilia? Put Kirk and Spock in Toys ‘r Us and give us something to be excited over in your regular series releases. Take some risks with new figures.

C.) Hire someone to do some serious PR for your products. They are, for the most part, very good “collector-oriented” products, but your reach is limited to Previews solicitations, ToyFare Magazine, Wizard Magazine, etc. Try to reach out through the tons of new social media web-sites available today, place some ads on the Sci-Fi Channel or Startrek.com web-sites for the Trek products, interact with some of the many Fan-sites and Forums. Try something new to get the word out about your products.

These are just some thoughts. I love DST and I love their products, but maybe it is time for some changes in the current “business model”. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for DST? Leave some comments, maybe they will listen.

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