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:
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.
Minimate Factory / Luke’s Toy Store