Friday, 30 April 2010

Wiz-bang and the FF are gone...

Hi guys, welcome back to the Friday update.

This week I can announce one more characters in to the extension: The Wizard.

I know you guys are keen on modern characters and especially it would seem the Young Avengers, so I'm very tempted to confirm that a Young Avenger will make it in this extension. But before I do I'd like to know which one you guys prefer? Have a sound off in the comments section and if you're totally against their inclusion let me know why and maybe there place will go to someone else...

(You're not restricted to the members in image)

Next up is a figurine update, check out the paint stage of Typhoid Mary. The sculptor has done an amazing job on this figure and I'm truly impressed that he managed to get the fishnets looking so good. The pose is based on a classic Marvel handbook image and I think sums up the character perfectly.

Right, Dan thought it might be good to show you guys some of the ads we've been placing in Diamond's Preview Catalogue. For those of you that don't know what this is, it's a large catalogue that goes to all comic shops and allows retailers as well as costumers to see what's coming out and place an order. If you're a comic shop costumer the idea is you can get the shop to order you the product through the catalogue. This is the ideal way to order for American collectors.

The first image is our Fin Fang Foom ad that featured on the second page of Previews. The second is our calendar page from the Diamond retailers'calendar.

That's it from this update, have a good Bank Holiday Weekend.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Better late than never...

Ok first sorry for lack of update yesterday, as Dan said I was a little busy and then we were lucky enough to see Iron Man 2 – which by the way is really good, if you liked the first one I recommend the sequel.

Anyway, there's a lot going down in the comments section and I thought I'd start with some answers.

This Year's Special order:

Fin Fang Foom – out
Cloak and Dagger – out on 20th May
Ronan the Accuser – 29th July
Sasquatch and Puck – Sept
Blob – Nov

Subscriber Specials

Definitely an interesting idea but at this stage it's nothing more. I do agree that it's good to reward the subscribers for their loyalty but I also understand that it would be slightly unfair to collectors who can not subscribe directly from us (some foreign markets) and collectors who've been with us from day one but gone through their newsagent. At the moment I believe that subscribers get a little bit of money off each special but it would be nice to reward them in other ways that don't mean non-collectors miss out and ebay sellers rub there hands. Perhaps additional gifts of plinths or binders could be done but this is something we'll have to discuss in detail here at Eaglemoss.

Frequency of Specials

I've noticed that a number of people have asked that we increase the frequency of specials. At the moment we're going to be keeping to 5-6 a year.

The reason for this can best be summed up by a phone call I received yesterday. I spoke to a collector who was considering/in the process of canceling his subscription because it was costing him too much each month. He collected Marvel and DC and basically pointed out that every month his package arrives with 4 normal figures and at least one special. With everyone tightening their belts, he simply couldn't afford this anymore. Now I know that he could cut down on specials or drop just one collection but (and I think the response to green Quicksilver backs this up) many collectors want all figures and are not happy to miss out.

The collector in question even suggested that if we kept to just 3 specials a year he'd probably keep collecting. Now I'm not suggesting we're going to drop the number of specials, but we certainly don't want to increase their numbers so that they are no longer 'special'. There's definitely arguments on both sides for specials so it's important we balance this well.


As I've said before we're still uncertain about double and multi packs. It's not entirely correct to say that Prof X. & Lilandra or Ka-Zar & Zabu were failures and that's the reason we're not doing more. One of the main problems is the increase in the cost of manufacturing since the project began. The DC collection costs £6.99 per issue compared to Marvel's £5.99, so when looking at double packs, it's not just as simple as doubling the standard price, it may need to be double the DC price. Would you be happy to pay £13.99?

The other thing is the type of double pack. A lot of great ideas have been posted in the comments section for double packs. Some people have suggested that Prof. X and Ka-Zar did poorly because of the character choice. The problem is that one of the most requested double packs is Pyro and Avalanche and personally I wouldn't consider these anymore appealing to the casual buyer. I'm not saying they are a bad choice but as one commenter was suggesting that double packs (and specials in general) need to wow people walking into Forbidden Planet, then are Pyro and Avalanche or Northstar and Aurora going to do that? Not saying they won't but maybe a Young Avengers or modern double pack would do a better job. If I announced that the next double pack was Iron Lad and Patriot I think there would be a huge uproar amongst a lot of collectors – I'd love to see the comments ;)

We need to keep a good balance to the entire collection to try and get casual buyers involved but also give the long term collectors what they want.

Over the course of this collection we've tried a number of different types of special. We've had the classic Hulk/Kingpin/Juggernaut type special, the mega specials, a movie special and the Abomination special. Each special seems to appeal to a different part of the community more and we really need to keep a good balance.

If we have a look at the DC collection we can see they've tried a few other specials such as the Batman on Bike and Superman Statue. These two specials have split the collectors right down the middle.

In short, I think it's important to try new things with the specials but not go too far away from how the collection started. Double packs are certainly a prospect for this collection and we're looking at putting more in.

New vs Old Characters

The debate on including the popular characters again in different poses or costumes is an interesting one. Of course, releasing a new Spider-Man figure and mag would ensure more sales in comic shops but from previous comments I think a lot of current subscribers would feel cheated. At the moment it's a very mixed message on this subject. It seems to me that a lot of current collectors are more interested in adding new characters than redoing old (but more popular) ones. Maybe I'm wrong (and that's what the comment section and forum is for) but it seems the majority are against repeating characters with the exception of some figures that people want redone – original Beast.

From our point of view it's important to keep a good mix of modern and old characters to ensure we get the best out of the Marvel Universe and don't alienate any collector. Just remember that the guys on the forum get to choose at least 3 characters for each extension. Last time the top four were: Spiral, Moondragon, Toad and Tigershark, so no really modern characters.

Anyway, I think that's enough ranting from my point of view, let me know what you think on the subjects, a friendly debate is always healthy.

Before I do go I'd like to leave you with the work in progress shots of Siryn (the comp winner's pick). I'll let the images do the talking.

P.S. Games workshop paints are best for the figures.

Friday, 23 April 2010

It is official

The Blob has made the collection.

And here's a better image of Sasquath and Puck, not yet final I'm thinking of two bases, we'll see what people prefer.

Bigger, better update due by Monday lunchtime.

Have a good one.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Mock me at your peril...

Hello again…

First up this week I have the duty to announce the next figure in the extension – Mockingbird.

An interesting character, Bobbi first appeared in Ka-Zar’s comics (in 1971) before joining SHIELD and later becoming the hero Mockingbird. To say she’s had an interesting history would be an understatement. After supposedly sacrificing her life to save Hawkeye and being sent to Mephisto’s realm, Bobbi resurfaced in the events of Secret Invasion. She’s a classic Avenger and helps build up the West Coast Avengers team.

Our sneak peek for this update is a look at a Sasquatch figure. The image is from an early stage model of the character, focusing on the upper body. We’re working on Puck but have yet to decide if he’ll be included as a double pack (on a separate base or on the same base), or as a separate figurine.

The pose for Sasquatch was chosen after looking through virtually all Alpha Flight Vol.1 comics. We wanted to keep John Byrne’s original feel for the character and capture him in action. The character needs to show his animal side but not look too savage (after all Walter Langkowsk is a scientist). Obviously you can’t see the whole thing but I’ll aim to update again next week.

I noticed a few mentions of Jameson and civilians in the comments section as well as the discussion on characters having enough history to fill a mag. First I’d like to say that Jonah Jameson has not been ruled out of the collection and is actually one of the characters that I think would be good for this extension. He’s not confirmed however, as there are just so many characters that deserve to be in this collection. As a huge Marvel Comics fan I want every character to get a spot. Of course, there are a few characters that I like more than others but when choosing who makes the extension I look to your comments as much or more than the team’s personal choices.

As far as filling the magazine goes, yes some of you are right that a mag can fit around a character and that the figurines are clearly the focal point of this collection. However, we do need to make sure a magazine is viable and that we don’t drastically change the format every issue. As a Marvel licensee, it is our duty to maintain the magazine and not stray too far from our original series concept. Of course this doesn’t mean we can’t adapt, we just need to make sure we don’t go too far off message.

Anyway, what this all means is that no character is truly impossible, but we need to make sure you and Marvel (they can veto a character) are happy with our choices. The general rule has been that a character needs about 30 decent comic appearances to definitely make the collection but as the collection has continued to grow we’ve made this about 20 comics. It really comes down to whether the character will make a good figure and is popular. Just bare with us, there are 1000s of Marvel characters to go through and every collector has slightly different tastes.

Keeping on this theme and playing a purely hypothetical game, which would you prefer in the collection at this point, a Runaways Character or a Guardians of the Galaxy character?

I’m not guaranteeing either but just how popular are the two groups?

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 9 April 2010

It's Magik you know, never believe it's not so...

I'm back again this week with another update. The combination of Easter bank holidays and a short break to Berlin means that although we missed an update last week, this one is going to be a little brief.

First up we have one new character for the extension – Magik.

She's a great character who has found herself at the center of some great moments in the history of the X-Men. I was so close to including her in the last extension but decided against her at the last moment. I'm sure there's going to be huge debate on the costume choice but for me it should be similar to the one shown in the image below (but without the battle damage).

On to a sneak peek and we have Klaw.

He's only really had one costume worth talking about so that was a no-brainer and the pose seems to be a classic one of his used in many handbooks.

Have a good weekend, longer update promised for next week.