Hey guys, Jon here!
S.H. Monsterarts is all the rage within some of the fandom as of late. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay! One thing is for sure – they have certainly broadened the appeal and marketability of our fandom collecting. On the flip side, they’ve put a damper in the sales of pretty much every other figure that isn’t a highly articulated attempt at a particular Kaiju. Times are a’changin’, eh? The series has produced some pretty impressive figures so far, and is still set to raise the bar even higher with their gorgeous Heisei King Ghidorah at the end of the summer. I’m still in love with my Gigabrain Ghidorah, but ‘To each their own!’
ToyArk has posted an excellent and in-depth article with BlueFin, Tamashii’s U.S. Distributor, and you can read it all HERE! Read on for some highlights from the article, including just how much influence fan commentary has on their product line, and what role the US plays in Tamashii/Bandai’s market! Great stuff, ToyArk – thank you!
Secretcode: How did the Bluefin/Tamashii Nations USA thing come about?
BlueFin: Bluefin is a distributor for many Japanese import items. Its main product lines were originally hobby items including plastic models of cars, military vehicles, and of course Gundam models. We started rapidly expanding our line in 2010 when we became the exclusive distributor for Tamashii Nations in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, Tamashii Nations had been working with the manufacturer Toynami. Our main goal is to grow the Tamashii Nations brand in N. America.
Our actual Facebook page was started as a pet project of mine in late 2010/early 2011 to help get English info out for the Tamashii lines. It is now a a common page for Tamashii Nations staff to browse on their lunch break for fan input and reaction especially with the polls we run.
Secretcode: Any chance of bigger characters like Biolantte or Destoroyah, or moving onward to the Millennium series-era of Godzilla (such as Millennium Series Godzilla, Kiryu, Orga and even Zilla)?
BlueFin: Other Godzilla monsters for the line right now are top secret and I’m unable to comment on them.
Secretcode: Will the toyline ever hit franchises outside of Godzilla? Specifically, characters like Gamera or King Kong.
BlueFin: The MonsterArts line was created for all monsters, it’s not just a Godzilla line. With this in mind Tamashii Nations has a number of properties it’s attempting to pursue to make available for the line, including Western properties. The polls we held recently on our Facebook were meant to provide insight into what other types of monsters consumers would be interested in seeing. A number of them already had prototypes and initial work done, so those polls were a good compass to direct their priorities.
Secretcode: Has anything about the U.S. Market so far stood out to Bluefin and Bandai of Japan?
BlueFin: Dragon Ball, Mega Man, Kamen Rider, TIger & Bunny… Well and Gundam Wing, but that’s obvious. Occasionally there are also items that Japan doesn’t think has a following and are pleasantly surprised that there are western fans.
Its very interesting to me which of their items sell best here in the States, and in Western culture. I love me some DBZ, so thatr is no surprise! There’s quite a bit more to the article, so be sure to check it out in it’s entirety!
Jon @ UnCanny