An Open Letter to Diamond Select Toys

Dear Diamond Select Toys,

Ever since you first debuted Minimates back in 2003 there has been an interest in the Minimate community for blank Minimates that are readily available for purchase. Through this blog and through Luke’s Toy Store, I have received weekly requests and questions about this very topic (including one that arrived as I was writing this letter). A simple search of the Minimate Multiverse reveals numerous posts on this topic, and if the archives of the old Art Asylum message board were available, I’m sure even more posts could be found.  These posts and emails come from all corners of the toy universe, from veteran collectors to customizers to new collectors who have never even purchased a Minimate before. The interest is definitely out there.

The main reason that your customers are clamoring for this type of release is for customizing. I know that your company has recognized and supported the customizing community in the past. I am certain you can understand the appeal of having blank Minimates in popular colors such as white, black, and flesh-colored. It not only speeds up the customizing process, but it also makes customs look closer to official Minimates.

Aside from collectors who are looking to customize, I have also had requests from parents who would like to be able to create Minimates with their children. As a parent of two boys, I can completely relate to this request, and I would love to be able to give my older son a blank white Minimate and some colored permanent markers and see what he comes up with. Presenting Minimates as not only a toy item, but also as a craft item could open the floodgates up to a whole new market of customers.

During the initial high sales period of Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs line, their blank Muggs were very popular. I know many people who started collecting Mighty Muggs solely because of the blanks. Other toy lines have had similar successes with blank figure offerings.

Customizing is not the only reason for the interest in blank Minimates. A common feeling in the collecting community, which again I am sure you can relate to, is that the basic shape and style of Minimates is visually appealling within itself. A blank Mimimate displays these attributes even better than a character-based Minimate. Consider for example this recent blank Minimate set created by a Minimate Multiverse member named Cappy:

holo blanks crowd

Click to view larger image

As you can see,  blank Minimates have visual appeal outside of customizing and crafts. I can’t even imagine all of the creative uses that your current and new customers could devise for these.

I have contacted your company several times in the past about the possibility of purchasing blank Minimates in large quantities for Luke’s Toy Store. We definitely have the capacity and the customer base to be able to effectively distribute such a product. Each time I was told that you were reserving blank Mimimates for internal use such as giveaways at conventions.  While I do appreciate and collect the promotional logo  Minimates that you create, I think that these could exist separately from a blank Minimate release in a plain solid color. The Minimates by Cappy in the image above are similar to your SDCC Minimate giveaways, but those were either difficult to obtain or much too expensive on the secondary market for the non-hardcore collector.

I am urging you to reconsider your position on blank Minimates. I believe a blank Minimate release, whether as a general release or exclusive to a certain retailer, would be greatly beneficial to your brand, the customizing community, and Minimate collectors everywhere.

Sincerely,

Luke Porter
Minimate Factory / Luke’s Toy Store

26 Comments

  1. UK Collector
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    We want blank minimates in all sizes and colours!!!!

    Good on you Luke, hopefully they’ll get back to you about this and your store will be stocking them soon.

  2. Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I would be all for blank minimates if they became available at an affordable price.
    I would probably customize more often too! :D
    Black, White,Skin Tone,and Translucent, are just some of the kind I could use right off the bat.

    Thanks for bringing this subject up, Luke.

  3. groundhog7s
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Considering I’ve just purchased several blanks in the last few weeks, I agree completely. There is a large enough community of customizers and collectors that I believe it’s safe to say blanks would hve a good return on investment. There might not be a huge volume of people buying them, but those that would be buying them would purchase many.

  4. blacksun1520
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Bring on the blank mates!!! The blanks in my collection are some of my favorites, and being able to get more, easily would be awesome. My kids would enjoy them as well, but the rarity of the current blanks doesn’t allow me to hand them over to my girls. This is a great idea.

  5. Dorian Jordan (bobafett)
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    a very well written letter Luke, good work. I’d like to add my support to the cause… if blank minimates were available I’d buy in bulk

  6. Posted April 16, 2010 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Seconded (erm, fifth’d) on the demand for more accessible blank Minimates :)

    In addition to the customizing possibilities, I also think that blanks on their own can make for an enticing “gateway toy” for introducing non-collectors to Minimates in general.

    Our good buddy Luke has already made his case for the visual appeal of the basic Minimate form, so I just want to throw in another voice heartily in favor of them.

  7. TM2 Dinobot
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I can’t even BEGIN to describe how badly I want these. White, Black and Nude have always been on my most wanted list, but the clear blanks always get me hot and bothered. Sorry yall.

  8. Turtle
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’m not a customizer now, but if I could get easy access to blanks, I would take advantage of that. I think that blank customizable Minimates would be a great counterpiece to the more generic forthcoming MAX line. While the various licenses are great, there are quite a few of us who love Minimates simply for what they are, and I think we would all love the opportunity to take a more creative role in our collecting habits.

  9. Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    YES! please offer blank minimates for sale, I know they would sell well! great for customization or even just to display!

  10. Jatta Pake
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I whole heartedly agree. I would buy blanks by the case.

    Just one comment on color: Requests for Flesh, Nude, etc. should be clarified. We need “Multicultural” tones, not just White/Caucasian flesh tones. Customizers want a diversity of choices for their work.

    Crayola provides a great example: http://www.crayolastore.com/product_detail.asp?T1=CRA+58%2D7801&.

  11. Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    BLANKS!!!! There is a reason why I have full bag of Free Comic Day minimates.

  12. Adrian
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for and is something that I would completely support. I would really enjoy the opportunity to customize my own minimates with the above suggestion and add them alongside my continuously growing collection.

  13. Francisco Alves
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve spent hundreds of dollars purchasing blanks on the secondary market – I would love it if DST/AA released a official blank set through a retailer or direct – I could see myself ordering many sets

  14. Twisted Two-face
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Heck yea!!! Black Minimates in every color, both solid and translucent!!! This would be fantastic; there’s so much we could do, both customizing and displaying.

    But we’d need ones with AND without holes in the heads.

  15. Twisted Two-face
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Heck yea!!! Black Minimates in every color, both solid and translucent!!! This would be fantastic; there’s so much we could do, both customizing and displaying.

    But we’d need ones with AND without holes in the heads.

  16. DL
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Preach brutha, preech.

  17. Adam
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I think this is a very well rounded idea indeed for everyone its a win for parents and kids,for customizers,for collectors and most of all Diamond Select.they would sell,they would be a money maker for them,so in all aspects i support this idea highly not just for my own collecting urges but for everyone,with a blank minimate its just the possibilities are endless.know my own urges push if we can get blanks brought to us from diamond we must have boath solid colores and translucent(you cant have one without the other)
    anyway I had to post my feelings on this matter becouse of how good of a idea blank minimates are,there simply a ideal to every party if diamond chooses to make them!!

    Adam

  18. Feroz Nazir
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the well written letter.

    I hope it leads to the production of affordable blank Minimates.

    With the exception of one hairpiece I’ve been quite reluctant to make any permanent changes to my Minimates.

    Blank Minimates would be like a clean sheet of paper, where I can unleash all creativity.

  19. Posted April 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    This would indeed be a big benefit to customizers. Personally, I seem to always struggle to find red arms and legs. I don’t know how many projects I’ve had to put on hold because I simply don’t have a set of basic red arms sitting around. I’ve taken to buying loose Minimates (or sets on sale) that I don’t want or need just so that I have red arms down the road.

    Also, I think putting together a little “mix and match” starter kit would be a neat idea. Including different heads, hairpieces, body parts, clothes, ect. in one box that kids could buy to make their own creations. The best thing about Minimates has always been their adaptability, which puts them squarely ahead of other block figures and PVCs of this size. I think DST would be smart to really play that up.

  20. darkredshdow
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Blank minimates would be awesome,They would definetly boost the sales,mainly because they are the perfect shape for any customizer to use.

  21. Peter
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    As someone who’s looking at dipping his toe in the world of making customs, being able to get my hands on blanks of any size, shape and colour would be greatly appreciated. Heck, perhaps even couple them with some random accessories like energy blasts. I’ve love even a simple clear-green energy blast I can give to my Green Lantern Minimates.

    Plus the collection in the photo used above just look great standing on their own. I’d happily have a spectrum of semi-transparent minimates standing along side Spider-Man, Peter Venkman and Hal Jordan.

  22. Mini-Myte
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I as a customizer would love to get my hands on some MM blanks. Count me in with the group.

  23. Bob Harris
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Especially skin/flesh tone minimates would help a lot since one of the hardest things to customize is the perfect skin color to go with.

  24. joka545
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I have been dreaming of the day that Diamond Select would release blank minimates and I hope with this letter it sets things into motion on the great letter Luke.

  25. Posted April 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to be able to customize more minimates! I’ve worked on Mighty Muggs, and have had a lot of fun with them, but minimates would be so much easier to collect and store. Bring on the blank ones! Please?

  26. Nessex
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Destroying a perfectly good Minimate for a custom always breaks my heart a little. This combined with how hard it is to come buy convention/exclusive blanks can make customizing a real pain sometimes.
    I’d be all for being able to buy blank Minimates. A range of translucent and opaque ones would be awesome. Heck – i’d buy translucent ones just to display them as is! Even just being able to buy white blanks would help out a lot.
    I think this idea has a lot of potential. As Luke mentioned, it’s been a great source of creativity and profit for Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs.
    One of the best parts of collecting these guys, is seeing the really obscure character, too unheard of for regular retail release, being realized in Minimate form by a skilled customizer.
    It’d also be a great way to support the community that has supported Minimates all these years.
    I hope you give this suggestion some serious thought.

    Sincerely

    Nessex.