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The Future of the Diamond Select Star Trek line


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Poll: Expanding DST's Star Trek licence (32 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you want to see DST get a licence to cover both the JJ Abrams movies and the new 2017 TV series?

  1. Yes absolutely I'd love to see DST produce product for both as well as the older shows and films! (13 votes [39.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.39%

  2. No, some other toy company needs to take on Trek. (11 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. Yes but just product based on the JJ Abrams movies as well as their already established TOS - ENT era product (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Yes but just product based on the new TV series as well as their already established TOS - ENT line (2 votes [6.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.06%

  5. No but continue with the TOS - ENT era of the Star Trek franchise. (7 votes [21.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.21%

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#61 DSTZach

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 10:36 AM

Anyone who want to read my convo -- I'm sorry "WAR OF WORDS" -- with 1701 D/David Ellis, it's on Twitter. (In between, David keeps asking @jvancitters to give us the license for more Trek, so I apologize if I misunderstood the level of vitriol behind his words.) My responses were only meant to be explanatory and matter-of-fact, nothing else. I do not see myself as driving a wedge between DST and Trek fans, only trying to maintain a bridge in between releases, where the ill will tends to peak all on its own. If a question is accusatory and I answer it, I will always appear to be defensive. ;)

 

I gave a bunch of reasons why we weren't at STLV, but none of them were adequate for David. We have a pretty small marketing budget -- at one point before my hire, there was no marketing staffer due to budget cuts, and the entire staff did Internet promotion and copywriting, just like we all still do booth setup and staffing at cons. We can't afford to attend every convention, either through money or the time taken away from other tasks like product managing, approvals and factory communications.

 

In a PERFECT WORLD, we'd attend every convention, especially a 50th anniversary convention for a line we make, but we have to weigh the cost vs. benefits. "Looking good" to the fans is not really calculable; you can't even do the math based on new items on display, as we put out a small number per year. We could show non-Trek items, but why? We just did a show in the US Southwest with 130,000+ attendees, and I'm assuming at LEAST 10K of them were Trek fans, which is how many attended STLV just one state over in Nevada, only five hours away. I bet there was a decent amount of overlap. Our next show is in NYC, where I'm fairly sure MOST attendees have not been to the Southwest recently.

 

As with SDCC, selling products could cover our costs, maybe even turn us a profit, but we need to pay to ship it all in, plus a larger booth, and we need to analyze what sales would be like, and how many of those attending already have our products. At a con like STLV, where I personally feel you have to be a pretty big Trek fan to attend, since that's all there is to see, I'm assuming a high percentage are DST product owners -- anything we bring, they'd either own, have pre-ordered, or are aware of the option of ordering from somewhere, for home shipment and perhaps below SRP. Plus, you have competing retailers there on the floor, I assume.

 

I could go just to do a panel, but I am not so sure how that would go, to be honest.

 

I think the key to any toy line is making it look like it could be played with... not sure dst has that same aim.

 

I understand the argument about articulation -- I prefer articulation myself, and we are trying to incorporate it in future figures -- but it's ironic that this rule only applies to figures for some people. Others would like to see fun things like dialogue removed from ships, and I just saw a request to make the C with no lights at all, just to get one. (Manufacturing minimums are the same, not sure cost or price would vary all that much.)



#62 1701D

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 12:58 PM

Zach, you missunderstand my frustration. I don't want DST to loose this license. I would LOVE for Mr Citters to finally do what needs to be done, what has needed to be done since 2009, and give Diamond Select a license to produce product for the Star Trek movies and now Star Trek: Discovery.

My vitriol and anger was out of frustration with DST seemingly running out of steam with Star Trek and really not being all that interested in it. If you are saying that is untrue then great but don't expect a fan, especially a Star Trek fan, to take what you say as gospel.

The other thing I'd just like to mention is that you're a representative of Diamond Select, whether you come to this forum as a DST employee or just as a fellow fan, you still work for Diamond Select and should expect to have to field and take criticism! You can't be defending DST to customers I'm afraid! You've literally either got to just lay out the truth as black and white as you have just done so here (lack of money, resources etc...) or not pass comment at all and just take it on the chin.

The customer isn't always right but for god sake man! You have to make him or her believe they are right and not antagonise or criticise or confront that customer in a way that would inflame the situation.

I do have one more question for you though Zach; in your opinion, why is it that CBS haven't given Diamond Select a license to produce product from the JJ-Abrams/Justin Lin films and haven't yet given you a license to produce Star Trek: Discovery toys?

#63 DSTZach

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 02:01 PM

David, you tried to have a conversation about this stuff on TWITTER. 140 characters per. If you want something that is fully explanatory, come here, where the COMPANY SPOKESMAN continues to come against all rational explanation -- don't pitch 140-character criticisms at us and then be mad that my responses aren't sufficiently in-depth.

 

And yes, I field and take criticism. All the time. I'll explain what happened in certain cases, say we're working on it in others, but I will not roll over and tell everyone who thinks they know how to run a Star Trek toy line that they're right -- I'll tell them why we do what we do, so they UNDERSTAND why their idea might not work. Sometimes they are legitimately misinformed. Otherwise, they'll just keep saying their idea is the better way, and we're doing it wrong.

 

For instance: "Make a new Star Trek ship, but make it a limited edition or retailer exclusive so you don't have to sell as many." Does not work like that. I try to respond to those.

 

And no, you are NOT alone -- there are others who think I am quick to defend DST, but the people who WANT to like us, or know there are things they DO NOT know, are happy to get honest info. My problem is I need to ignore those whose minds are made up. But I like to shake them up a bit, I'll admit it.

 

We're very interested in Trek, but only insofar as everyone else is, and while I know there are certain people whose love never flags, the public's interest comes and goes, and that has hurt past products, as well as current products. Even David has pointed out on twitter the sharp decline of the new Trek movie after a strong start. But as I told David, we've put out four different Trek products this year, plus one in late 2015 specifically for the 50th, and have two more planned, and we have three more things on deck for 2017 already. It's not exactly a famine.

 

If anyone thinks we are running out of steam with one role-play, two ships and two figures in development, you can't compare it to the heyday of the full AF line.



#64 1701D

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 03:34 PM

David, you tried to have a conversation about this stuff on TWITTER. 140 characters per. If you want something that is fully explanatory, come here, where the COMPANY SPOKESMAN continues to come against all rational explanation -- don't pitch 140-character criticisms at us and then be mad that my responses aren't sufficiently in-depth.

I think combined we've tweeted 13 separate 140-character tweets. In all of my tweets I don't recall ever tweeting anything other than my criticism for you not attending Star Trek Las Vegas.

I made a point of saying that I didn't expect DST to appear every year but that the 50th Anniversary was pretty important and that DST's plan for celebrating the 50th was essentially shambollic... Which it is. For DST it's business as usual which means:

Delayed product
Lack of information of development of products
Poorly displayed product at SDCC and other conventions you do attend
Lack of advertisement

What I got back was simply that you're all burned out from SDCC, you can't attend every convention and that you've had the licence for 15 years...

For all the tweets you directed at me you could have been actually tweeting out infomation on new Star Trek product you have lined up, getting the fans you do sell to excited and pumped up!

But nope you decided, as you always do, to focus in on the one fan who had something bad to say about DST.

Had you ignored me or responded to me with a new picture of the prototype for the Reliant, you'd have been a god among fans... But you didn't and yet again you're having to defend DST to the fans. A familiar theme that runs not just here but on Facebook and Twitter.

Maybe you should actually listen to the fans rather than just defend and make us understand why DST is the way it is.
 

And yes, I field and take criticism. All the time. I'll explain what happened in certain cases, say we're working on it in others, but I will not roll over and tell everyone who thinks they know how to run a Star Trek toy line that they're right -- I'll tell them why we do what we do, so they UNDERSTAND why their idea might not work. Sometimes they are legitimately misinformed. Otherwise, they'll just keep saying their idea is the better way, and we're doing it wrong.

Why is it you have to make us understand? We're fans, you keep us engaged with your product, that's all!
 

For instance: "Make a new Star Trek ship, but make it a limited edition or retailer exclusive so you don't have to sell as many." Does not work like that. I try to respond to those.

Yeah and that's all great but maybe you should listen more, excite us more with the product you do have coming out using photography and other teasing imagery rather than hitting us over the head with why this or that won't work.
 

And no, you are NOT alone -- there are others who think I am quick to defend DST, but the people who WANT to like us, or know there are things they DO NOT know, are happy to get honest info. My problem is I need to ignore those whose minds are made up. But I like to shake them up a bit, I'll admit it.

I badly BADLY want to like DST, that's why I find all of this so bloody frustrating!!!!! My mind isn't made up on DST because every time you've set yourself up for a right old fall you've surprised me with some excellent product. Personally it's too few and far between.

Your problem is that you think you know it all. You certainly know more about the toy industry than me but it's not really my place to understand or know about how DST does business. It's my job to keep buying your product so you can keep making it. Zach, you alone have tested my loyalty to continue to buy DST product. I think there are a few other fans here that might feel the same way too which doesn't look good on you, the man charged with marketing DST to ITS FANS! Including us Trekkie's
 

We're very interested in Trek, but only insofar as everyone else is, and while I know there are certain people whose love never flags, the public's interest comes and goes, and that has hurt past products, as well as current products. Even David has pointed out on twitter the sharp decline of the new Trek movie after a strong start. But as I told David, we've put out four different Trek products this year, plus one in late 2015 specifically for the 50th, and have two more planned, and we have three more things on deck for 2017 already. It's not exactly a famine.

drip feeding us isn't classed as a famine but it's hardly a banquet of Star Trek goodness.
 

If anyone thinks we are running out of steam with one role-play, two ships and two figures in development, you can't compare it to the heyday of the full AF line.

I don't think anyone is comparing it to the heyday of Star Trek action figures, but I think we are comparing you to other companies and how you interact with the fans and how you engage with us proactively, getting us excited about Star Trek.

It's not looking good for DST in my opinion when I compare how you interact with the fans to say how Ben over at Eaglemoss interacts with the fans.

I would also appreciate it if you would go back and remove my name from your comments. We have usernames for a reason and not all of us are hot shots who work for toy companies used to their name being used in public. Thanks.

#65 tuvok47

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 04:12 PM

1701D, Twitter is about as public as it gets on the interwebs.  Stand by your words or don't.



#66 Alteran195

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 04:28 PM

I would also appreciate it if you would go back and remove my name from your comments. We have usernames for a reason and not all of us are hot shots who work for toy companies used to their name being used in public. Thanks.

Your name being there doesn't really seem to be that big of a deal. You're willing to share it on twitter, what's the big deal about it being posted here? If I cared about following DST on twitter, I would have probably been able to connect your username here with your twitter handle, just from your posts here. 



#67 Shinzon

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:10 PM

I think we all wish that there was more coming out from DST, but honestly it makes sense that we have what we do.  I may be in the minority, but I am grateful that DST has continued making this line at all.  They repeatedly tinkered with it to find a way to make it work... despite waning interest overall in this market.  I have a couple "gee I wish they would make" items on my list, but I also understand a company has a rationale and that Trek is only one piece of their overall needs... 

 

I also think they are seriously hampered by having to basically only do "legacy" star trek stuff.... Being able to make current series action figures would really help... at the very least from an accounting perspective.  I would imagine the way this line is set up, there is very little room financially for error, and that is probably why they are not very robust or risky with the product offerings.



#68 DSTZach

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:47 PM

Odd that you would tell the whole world your name and share your picture on Twitter, but not here, where you are among like-minded Trek fans? Do you not trust Trekkies?

 

The minute I mentioned the name David Ellis and got a massive letter in response, I think the jig was up.

 

But not only are you utterly and completely missing each and every on point you counter here ("Don't tell me the Reliant isn't ready yet! Just show a picture of the Reliant!") and at times being deliberately contrary ("Why are you answering my questions about the show when you could be posting photos of products?!?"), you're blatantly misrepresenting yourself.

 

I think combined we've tweeted 13 separate 140-character tweets. In all of my tweets I don't recall ever tweeting anything other than my criticism for you not attending Star Trek Las Vegas.

 

David Ellis @DavidEllis1701 Aug 4

@CollectDST I think honestly you could be doing more with your Star Trek line. it's not as if the 50th was a surprise and you've wasted...

 

David Ellis @DavidEllis1701 Aug 4

@CollectDST .... The opportunity to expand upon and reintroduce your Trek line to a load more fans. You're simply not doing enough with Trek

 

 

And THAT was in response to my initial response to your STLV concerns, which upon re-reading, seems downright informative and cheery!

 

Diamond Select Toys @CollectDST Aug 3

@DavidEllis1701 Comic-Con ended 8 days ago, which was a week away from working on actual products. We ALL work the show. Back at the grind!

 

You could have said, "well, that explains it," but you went on to criticize our output, and our planning, and repeatedly tell me who else was at STLV, no matter their business model. Anovos is there, great. Is Eaglemoss there? If so, great. Is Mezco? If so, great. I just don't know why you'd make such a big deal of us making a symbolic appearance at a con a week after another, bigger con, when there is little to show and the trip would slow releases. Releases you are looking forward to!

 

You very much asked for me to defend DST, as you continue to do here.



#69 Gothneo

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:55 PM

Zach, if I haven't said it before, I always thought you were a class act.

 

I used to go to the STLV convention for a number of years... and I don't recall DST ever going... in fact the vendors room were never on the scale of larger cons like SDCC or Dragon Con... but its always very close to SDCC so I always assumed if a vendor has to choose... they will rightly choose the larger venue like SDCC. Still I always found something to delight me... even if it was something like chatting up Suzie Plackston ;-) 

 

For me STLV was always more about the opportunity to see, hear and meet your favorite Trek actors... old and new.. and to meet great people who have a shared interest and passion.

 

1701D... I know your frustration. I got hooked on the AA TOS line... and was frustrated right away with DST when they acquired AA, but they really made a go of it... the market was changing rapidly, and they did an amazing job trying to pivot and keep the line alive.

 

I still want my Nurse Chapel (grrrr) but eventually I had to face the reality, which was the fan support just wasn't there, and while no ones perfect DST did the best they could.

 

Today we have Select, Trek Tek and the Ships... of the three... I'm still in for the Trek Tek, though I like where they are going with Select... selection is key to me as I have soooo much great DST product already. 

 

If DST isn't putting out enough product for you fast enough...there are also other great companies making Trek product.  As you mentioned... Eaglemoss... but also Mezco... Anovos... etc. 



#70 DSTZach

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 10:04 PM

Kind words, Gothneo -- I know I could probably be classier, but I figure public conversations like this and the one on Twitter are read by others, and can be learning experiences for all. If I just dispensed platitudes, nobody would gain anything. 

 

And a point I have not made (recently) is that DST is unlike most companies in that we keep making more of the most popular items. The reason you can still by a TOS Enterprise, Phaser, Tricorder, Commmunicator, Tribbles, Select Kirk, Spock, etc. is because we regularly go back and make more. Not saying that matters to people who already own them and just want new items, just saying that we are doing something to introduce our items to new collectors (by offering them to new retailers), and that leads to more interest in new items. Which is why we don't HAVE to create more NEW products just to get our line out to new people -- we do it because we legitimately want to.



#71 BadBunnyMike

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 11:46 PM

If you want something that is fully explanatory, come here, where the COMPANY SPOKESMAN continues to come against all rational explanation


Ummm does it sound like all the negativity on this board is starting to make Zach not want to come here anymore? I mean I was on here daily and frankly I am getting a bit tired of reading 10 page explinations of negativity with 5 quotes in one responce and then 3 paragraphs on the subject too. This board is getting its negative vibe again...can we stop with all of it please before we lose Zach

#72 1701D

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 02:43 AM

Ummm does it sound like all the negativity on this board is starting to make Zach not want to come here anymore? I mean I was on here daily and frankly I am getting a bit tired of reading 10 page explinations of negativity with 5 quotes in one responce and then 3 paragraphs on the subject too. This board is getting its negative vibe again...can we stop with all of it please before we lose Zach


I think you can be safe in the knowledge that Zach won't leave this board.

Ok so I lost my shit, I lost my cool and clearly this has gotten way off course but I stand by my opinion on zach more than DST. I don't think Zach does a very good job. I think DST could do better. That's it.

As for using my name, fair point to those who questioned me on this one, but whether it's easy to know who I am or not, I don't think Zach should be bandying it about on a public forum in a manner that isn't appropriate for a representative of a toy company.

If any other members want to call me by my real name, im fine with that.

This is my last word on this matter. Perhaps Zach has convinced me not to buy anymore product from them, we'll see. I will however be writing a letter of complaint to Diamond Select regarding Zach Oat as I feel he has acted inappropriately and unprofessionally in this regard and indeed overstepped the line in regards to how you treat, react to and talk to fans and customers.

I apologise once again guys!

#73 Shinzon

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 08:10 AM

1701-D Thank you... Hopefully now we can go back to our regularly scheduled topic ;)



#74 tuvok47

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 11:56 AM

This is my last word on this matter. Perhaps Zach has convinced me not to buy anymore product from them, we'll see. I will however be writing a letter of complaint to Diamond Select regarding Zach Oat as I feel he has acted inappropriately and unprofessionally in this regard and indeed overstepped the line in regards to how you treat, react to and talk to fans and customers.
 

 

Oh, you're one of those "let me talk to the manager" guys.  C'mon dude.  These are toys.  Hunks of plastic shaped like things from a TV show.  It's not worth a stomach ulcer.



#75 Alteran195

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 01:05 PM

How has Zach acted unprofessionally? His responses seem pretty good on Twitter and here from a professional standpoint.

If it's about sharing your name, you shared it very publicly on twitter, so sharing it on this forum is a pretty moot point. If people sharing/knowing your name was a big deal to you, you probably shouldn't have used it on a much, much larger platform.

#76 Qcjoe

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 01:23 PM

Wow this is why I don't frequent this forum much as I did in the past. That and DST either not willing or not able to deliver more Trek merchandise. This has been said before but Zach doesn't have to come here. While it irritates me that more ships have not come out and that we get close to zero percent info from DST regarding the product I don't feel the need to go after a DST employee for just doing his job. Life is to short.

#77 Whirlygig

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 03:20 PM

Guys, while I agree that 1701D could stand to center himself and meditate for a few moments...

 

Still I must defend him on one thing.  There's a difference between seeing a Twitter profile "John Smith" and knowing it's John Smith, and then going even further and knowing that "the anonymous guy who tends to go by Trump4Prez on forums" happens to also match up with "John Smith".

 

I value the security that nobody will know anything about who I am, when I'm posting on forums, unless *I* want them to.  So I tend to agree, the one bit of unprofessional behavior from Zach was to come here and link those two together as if he was winning some kind of a grade school playground battle by doing so.  It's a violation, in my book, of the guy's privacy.  Which, if it were a debate between two irate dudes then I would call it fair game...but one of the "irate dudes" in this case is here more or less as a representative so I would hope he would extend the courtesy of not doing that, especially when explicitly asked to remove it (even a run-of-the-mill irate dude would possibly cool down and comply with such a request eventually).

 

If I have a Twitter profile using my real name, and I post things with it, you can rest assured I am aware of that and have chosen to post that content in association with my real name.  That doesn't mean I want someone who happens to know who I am to reveal the fact over on the TrekToy forum, explicitly, in information that will live on in Google's cache forever until the sun consumes the planet, that Whirlygig = Kanye West.  *I* will reveal that information when *I* am ready to, in my posthumous album that will achieve gold, platinum, and gold-pressed latinum.  LOLOLOL.   ;)



#78 Shinzon

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 08:13 PM

I have to honorably disagree...

 

In today's day and age it is so easy to learn people's identities, and any post made anywhere on the internet should be viewed as public and not private expression.  Especially when that posting is done in such public ways as twitter, trek toy, etc.  if you are afraid of your words being used against you, or afraid of your identity being shared the answer is simple... don't post.... its that simple...



#79 1701D

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 02:55 AM

Ok...

Guys,

The complaint I raised wasn't to do with Zach revealing my identity like some cheap ass super villain.

It's not about my identity being revealed, it was the manner in which he revealed it and his professional responsibility not to disclose personal details of anyone who is a consumer/customer of DST.

It's a personal choice whether or not you like your personal details/full name spread about the Internet. Personally I don't mind but it was the manner in which Zach did it that bothered me.

But guys, I think its time to move on from this very non Star Trek related discussion.

Trek on!

#80 Whirlygig

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 07:59 AM

I have to honorably disagree...

 

In today's day and age it is so easy to learn people's identities, and any post made anywhere on the internet should be viewed as public and not private expression.  Especially when that posting is done in such public ways as twitter, trek toy, etc.  if you are afraid of your words being used against you, or afraid of your identity being shared the answer is simple... don't post.... its that simple...

 

Easy is different from trivial.  It's easy to break into your house and steal all your things.  But you lock your doors, which at least as they say keeps honest people out.  By going to an unrelated forum and telling people "hey everyone, SirPoopsAlot29 is John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" you are essentially handing honest people the padlock/key, a step you didn't have to take, which has now taken that task from *possibly* easy, to trivial.

 

He was obviously fine posting what he wanted to post on Twitter under his real name.  That doesn't somehow give a respectable person the right to start broadcasting all of his screen names all over the Internet.  Key word is respectable.






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