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Re: Animator – Diamond Select Toys Halloween Treat


Diamond Select Toys just unleashed a sweet treat for your Halloween bag in the form of an animated video featuring their line of Universal Monsters figures. Created by Alex Kropinak, the man behind the madness of the Marvel “What The …..?” series, the short follows a trio of Halloween candy hunters to some surprising doorways. In just over a minute we get a slew of cute vignettes of which I especially love the Metaluna Mutant conjuring up a giant candy corn on the old interocitor.
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Scripted by Kropinak and DST Marketing Supervisor Zach Oat, the film nicely displays the expanded articulation of DST’s newest additions to the line, Son of Frankenstein and a beautifully revamped Creature from the Black Lagoon. It also affords a cameo appearance to their first original concept Van Helsing character.
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SkeletonPete Says…
Thanks to the Diamond Select gang for this excellent surprise. Having spent a healthy chunk of my early teen years creating backyard “jungle” adventures using a collection of 12 inch G.I. Joes, I’m always appreciative of a nice piece of stop motion animation like this one. The miniature sets are an inspiration for us toy photographers and Kropinak utilizes a touch of CGI for the atmospheric effects. This truly makes me pine for a proper animated version of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree.

Word is Diamond Select will continue it’s Universal Monster line next year. A super articulated Wolfman would be awesome, but I’d be just as happy to see them do something left-of-center like a Henry Hull Werewolf of London. I’m also really curious to see what their next original creation will be.

DST will launch it's "Nightmare Before Christmas" Mini-Mate Series with Jack Skellington.

DST will launch it’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” Mini-Mate Series with Jack Skellington.


Additionally Diamond Select will kick off their The Nightmare Before Christmas Mini-Mates series via shops participating in Halloween ComicFest, with a great Jack Skellington figure that was on display at New York Comic Con a week ago.

High Stakes: Van Helsing Joins Diamond Select Monster Series

Diamond Select Toys' Van Helsing action figure prototype as seen at Toy Fair 2014.

Diamond Select Toys’ Van Helsing action figure prototype as seen at Toy Fair 2014.

Van the Man…
Diamond Select Toys is taking the opportunity to expand the monster line with a unique design of their own. DST’s Van Helsing, is an armed-to-the-teeth vision of the vampire hunter with a wizened and battle scarred countenance. With his axe, rifle, pistol and bandolero of wooden spikes he’s clearly a determined and formidable foe for the feral creatures of the night.

With many of us still cringing from the loopy Hugh Jackman misstep of 2004 Van Helsing was a risky choice. Fortunately DST presents him as an effective cross between the grandfatherly character portrayed by Edward Van Sloan in 1931 and Anthony Hopkins’ frenzied doctor of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992.)

The Van Helsing “Select” version is the most ornate of the three new Wave 5 boxed packages. The base provides a cemetery scene with dual tombstones and vicious vampire bride Mina Harker pouching from her grave.

More Monsters…
I’ve been stalking Diamond Select Toy’s fifth wave of Universal Monsters figures since they first appeared as early prototypes in DST’s Toy Fair Booth back in 2013.

These two newest 7 inch scale action figures present Boris Karloff as The Monster from Son of Frankenstein, and a new version of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. The Jean St. Jean sculpts are created with “super articulation,” giving the models many more poseable points of movement than their previous incarnations.

DST has announced these items in blister-carded Toys “R” Us Exclusive configurations (already on the shelves) as well as “Select” boxes, available shortly in comic book shops, or for pre-order. The “Select” versions add extraordinarily detailed bases and props.

Inspector Krogh "lends a hand (and arm) to Karloff's "Son of Frankenstein" TRU Exclusive. Image Courtesy of Diamond Select Toys.

Inspector Krogh “lends a hand (and arm) to Karloff’s “Son of Frankenstein” TRU Exclusive. Image Courtesy of Diamond Select Toys.


The Monster is portrayed with a slightly more gaunt look than Karloff lensed in the original 1939 film. He is clothed in his signature “Son of” wooly vest, a look that will forever remind me of Sonny Bono’s preferred garb in the 1960’s. In addition to more articulation The Creature update trumps its Wave 1 predecessor with, to my eye, a sculpt more accurate to its film appearance and a glossier aquatic paint finish.

“Armed” and Dangerous…
The “Select” Son of Frankenstein comes with an awesome Kenneth Strickfaden inspired piece of electrical laboratory gear that will remind old school collector’s like myself of the similar rig that was part of Aurora’s classic Bride of Frankenstein tableau. No Son of Frankenstein collectible would be complete without the wooden arm of Lionel Atwill’s Inspector Krogh for the monster to swing around. For me it’s a must have, and I’m glad to report it comes in both packaging configurations, so you won’t be torn (hee, hee.)

SkeletonPete Says…
While I’m happy to learn that Diamond Select will continue to offer Universal Monster figures in another wave next year, I also applaud the initiative to bring some of their own creative juice to the monster mix.

The Aurora Plastic Model Company did this quite effectively in late 1960’s. Their Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare, The Witch, and The Guillotine models were equally cherished by collectors. In fact they are the only intact original Aurora models I still have. The others succumbed to an ill advised tangle with a barrage of firecrackers one fateful Independence day.

Black, White, and Red All Over: DST’s “Sin City” and Garden Warfare Collectibles

The Yellow Bastard Box Will Be The First 2 Inch Mini-Mate Sin City Set from Diamond Select Toys.

The Yellow Bastard Box Will Be The First 2 Inch Mini-Mate Sin City Set from Diamond Select Toys.

Hot Town, Summer in Sin City…
August 22 seemed forever away when I first spied it as the release date for Sin City 2 in Diamond Select Toys’ 2014 New York Toy Fair booth last February. Now it’s yesterday and the follow-up to Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ most graphic and novel of graphic novel inspired films is in general release.

Of the tie-in’s previewed by DST last winter, the three Sin City Select Action Figures representing Nancy (Jessica Alba), Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and Marv (Mickey Rourke) have already hit the shelves. Production versions I’ve seen look really good, with the 2005 film’s range of whites, grays and blacks rendered with subtlety over the Jean St. Jean sculpts. These display boxed “Select” models are each supplied with appropriate stands

Sin City's Nancy, as Portrayed by Jessica Alba,  "Select" Figure is Already Available.

Sin City’s Nancy, as Portrayed by Jessica Alba, “Select” Figure is Already Available.

The action figures will be followed shortly by two Mini-Mates box sets. The first – due momentarily – is the Yellow Bastard Box featuring Nancy, Hartigan, Senator Roark and YB himself. Box set two will arrive in the fall and feature Marv, Wendy, Kevin and Cardinal Roark. This set is based on Miller’s story “The Hard Goodbye.” Both sets include interchangeable parts, accessories, and what looks like a slew of weapons.


Victory Garden…
If you prefer more color in your collector life, DST will accommodate with a selection of zombie whacking flora and their undead foes based on the insanely popular Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare game from Popcap and EA. The aptly named “bloom and doom” roll out will begin in September and there are a number of standard, specialty store, and Toys “R” Us permutations.

A Wonderful Selection of Plants Vs. Zombies Characters is Coming From DST in September 2014.

A Wonderful Selection of Plants Vs. Zombies Characters is Coming From DST in September 2014.

Here’s the breakdown directly from Diamond Select:
Each set of two 5″ scale action figures will include one plant and one zombie[…] The assortment includes:
– Gatling Pea with Scientist Zombie
– Camo Cactus with Foot Soldier Zombie
– Chomper with Engineer Zombie
– Shadow Flower with All-Star Zombie


Additionally, two box sets of Minimates mini-figures will be available in early September, one at Toys “R” Us stores and one at comic shops and specialty stores. Those two sets include:

Toys “R” Us set:
– Foot Soldier Zombie, Scientist Zombie, Chomper, Sunflower, and two Pea Shooters

Comic shop/specialty stores set:
– Engineer Zombie, All-Star Zombie, Cactus, Sunflower, and two Pea Shooters.

DST’s Best Bust Yet: Going “Meta-loony” for the Mutant

DST's Metaluna Mutant Bust Bank is due Halloween 2014

DST’s Metaluna Mutant Bust Bank is due Halloween 2014

I love Diamond Select Toys‘ range of Bust Banks and back in February at the New York Toy Fair I got a sneak peek at the prototype for this one but could not reveal the details. It’s my favorite so far, for its great sculpt and killer color palette. So I’m thrilled to share DST’s notice for what I think is the best bust bank yet, the quirkiest of Universal Monsters from This Island Earth, the Metaluna Mutant.

Brain Change….
DST’s official communique says “The Universal Monsters are not dead yet! This year, Halloween will bring one more vinyl bust bank to join the monstrous line-up, the Metaluna Mutant! Whether you love him from This Island Earth or the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 takedown, he’ll make a big impression on your shelf, with high-quality sculpting and paint details. Plus, his brain alone will hold several dollars in change, thanks to the coin slot on his back! Packaged in a clear polybag. (Item #JUL142037, SRP: $22.99)”

Holy Simoleons: Diamond Select Banks on Batman ’66 and Classic Godzilla Busts

Diamond Select Toys' Godzilla Display @ NY Toy Fair 2014

Diamond Select Toys’ Godzilla Display @ NY Toy Fair 2014

I love Diamond Select Toys’ line of Busts and Bust Banks for their great sculpts, just right size and reasonable pricing for collecting and gifting. Previously focused on the Universal Monsters and Star Wars franchises, 2014 will see DST branch out with the addition of character likenesses from the beloved 1966 Batman television series, as well as the undisputed King of the Kaiju, Godzilla.

Mean Green Saving Machines…
Seen at the recent American International Toy Fair, there are several flavors of the Godzilla to choose from. Beginning the roll-out of TOHO titans in May 2014 is the bust bank version of Classic Godzilla 1989. Like others in the series, the sculpt by Gentle Giant Studios is cut off just below the torso and measures approximately 10” inches tall. A coin slot in the back and access door on the bottom make it useful as well as decorative. A nifty way to save for, what else, more bust banks.

If you prefer your Gojiras full sized, DST has got you covered with two choices in vinyl. Measuring an impressive 18” from snout to tail and 12” tall these beauties also serve as banks. The full length Classic Godzilla is again the Biolante battling 1989 version. There is also the ferocious Burning Godzilla as he appeared in Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, nearing a meltdown of his alien infused nuclear heart.

Spectacular King Ghidorah Bust Bank from DST

Spectacular King Ghidorah Bust Bank from DST

High on the awesome scale is the Diamond Select Ghidrah Bust Bank. IMHO it is the most spectacular of the bust banks to date. The space dragon, also known as Monster X and King Ghidorah, has a regal gold finish and massive wingspan surrounding its three snarling heads. Release date is Winter 2014.

Biggie Smallz…
Not a “bank job” but most exciting for me was the reveal of Godzilla related Mini Mates. Series 1 includes Godzilla himself, Mothra in flight, the hook clawed Gigan, and long necked Titanosaurus. They’re all nicely detailed and articulated representations that I can’t wait to get a macro lens pointed at. They will be sold in a 4 pack and are also scheduled to hit shelves in Winter 2014.


Best of the West…
The Classic 1966 TV Batman is well represented with a full line of resin busts as well as vinyl bust banks in the works. Though The Riddler resin was too early in the design process to photograph, I was permitted to get some shots of the Adam West Batman, Burt Ward Robin and still up for approval Cesar Romero Joker. All are by sculpter Jean St. Jean and scheduled for release in 2014. There’s also a mighty cool exclusive bust of the caped crusader doing the Batusi.

"Batusi" Exclusive Batman 1966 Resin Bust.

“Batusi” Exclusive Batman 1966 Resin Bust.

But Wait There’s More…
In this 30th anniversary year of Ghost Busters collector’s get their choice of massive 24 inch Stay Puft in good and evil modes to guard their change. There’s a smaller, nicely singed, version, that’ll have you hankering for s’mores and a Ghost Buster Mini Mates box set.

"Ghost Busters" 24 inch Stay Puft has Evil on his Mind

“Ghost Busters” 24 inch Stay Puft has Evil on his Mind


SkeletonPete Says…
Off limits to photos at Toy Fair, but quite drool worthy even in prototype, was the This Island Earth Metaluna Mutant bust bank. Its exposed brain, bug eyes and crab-like claws make it the quintessential 1950’s sci-fi monster. I predict it will be the must own of the series.

Diamond Select also prevued loads of figures and Mini Mates for Marvel superheroes Captain America and Spiderman, Kill Bill, Sin City, Pulp Fiction, Plants Vs. Zombies and Jay and Silent Bob characters which I’ll be posting photos of in the coming weeks.