You’ve seen the Battle Beasts that are coming to comic shops and specialty stores — featuring characters and paint schemes inspired by the hit IDW comic book, they will be a must-own for anyone who’s read the action-packed story. But there are more Beasts on the way! In addition to the specialty assortment, there will be an exclusive assortment of Beasts that are only at Toys “R” Us and toysrus.com this December! Continue Reading →
After years of planning, Diamond Select Toys has opened up pre-orders for their first series of Battle Beasts Minimates! Appearing in the September issue of Previews, the first series of specialty figures includes characters and color schemes that will only be found at comic shops and specialty stores.
Vorin the Ram vs. the Scorpion
The leader of the the heroic band of rebels faces off with the leader of a nasty band of desert Beasts!
Merk the Falcon vs. The Tarantula
Vorin’s deadly comrade takes on one of the creepiest Beasts he’s ever encountered!
Gruntos the Walrus and Tate Reynolds (specialty exclusive character!)
The trio’s good-natured powerhouse teams up with his newfound human compatriot!
Bliss Reynolds (specialty exclusive character!) vs. The Snake
The human heroine is hunted by a slithering Beast for her knowledge of the Dread Weapons!
Coming this December! Pre-order the assortment today from your local comic shop or your favorite online retailer, and stay tuned to see the Toys “R” Us color schemes and the exclusive Beast two-pack!
At Comic-Con International 2012 in San Diego, Diamond Select Toys launched their latest original property, Battle Beasts, with new products in the realms of toys, comics, animation and even music! In collaboration with IDW, Peavey and Coffin Case, each release of the weekend showcased a different aspect of the Battle Beasts brand that will make it a property to watch out for in the coming months.
The first Battle Beasts toys, utilizing Diamond Select’s popular Minimates mini-figure body, went on sale at Comic-Con, in the form of a two-pack featuring protagonist Vorin and a show-exclusive character, Zik. Additionally, 200 clear blue figures of Vorin were given out to attendees each day of the show, continuing DST’s long tradition of giving out promotional Minimates at every Comic-Con. The first full series of Battle Beasts, due out in December, was also on display at the DST booth. (New pics coming soon!)
Wednesday’s Preview Night also saw the debut of the first issue of IDW’s Battle Beasts mini-series, based on concepts and designs by Diamond Select. A variant cover depicting the San Diego Convention Center was exclusively available at the show, and writer Bobby Curnow and cover artist Ulises Farinas participated in a signing at the DST booth, where they gave out free posters and ashcan comics.
A drawing was also held at the DST booth for a custom Battle Beasts HP Special CG guitar by Peavey, as well as a matching airbrushed guitar case by Coffin Case. Both the guitar and the case featured artwork from Dan Brereton’s cover to Battle Beasts #1, and both were on display at the booth for the duration of the show.
The Battle Beasts launch got underway Thursday night at the Versus World event at San Diego’s famous Haunted Hotel. Co-hosted by Diamond Select Toys, Heavy Metal magazine, Coffin Case and Dig Deep Entertainment, the event also featured the debut of the first Battle Beasts motion comic, using the artwork of series artist Valerio Schiti and animated by Santino Ramos. Check it out!
Recently, Diamond Select Toys opened up about their Battle Beasts toy line to Toy Chest News. Read on to find out what Minimates are, what the full line will be like, and what you can expect to see at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego!
It was first announced in 2009 at the San Diego Comic Con that Diamond Select Toys had secured the trademark on the name “Battle Beasts.” Why has it taken so long to bring the toys to market?
DST: We didn’t want to rush toys onto store shelves without figuring out exactly how we wanted the line to play out. We knew the kind of toys we wanted to make, but we didn’t know who the Battle Beasts were, where they were going, and what the line would look like in a year. So while we focused on a few other proprietary lines, we used that time to flesh out some ideas we had about the Battle Beasts, and to find a partner that would help us turn those ideas into stories. Once IDW came on board, with Bobby Curnow delivering a great script and Valerio Schiti turning in some amazing artwork, we knew it was time to get the ship underway, as it were. So we put our Minimates design team on the job, and we hope to show off Series 1 on the third anniversary of the announcement, at the same time as the first issue of the comic book comes out.
Why use Minimates to bring this brand to collectors?
DST: We’ve been making Minimates for ten years now, and we’ve found that they’re a pretty adaptable toy. When Art Asylum designed them back in the day, they were fairly basic block figures along the lines of Kubricks. But as they’ve been adapted to brand after brand over the years — Marvel Comics, The Real Ghostbusters, Marvel vs. Capcom — we’ve found that they can be anything we want them to be, with the addition of a few sculpted parts. And while we explored some fully-sculpted Battle Beasts designs at one point, we were always going to make Minimates first. They’re two inches tall, they’re really poseable, they cost less than $10 for a 2-pack… it just made a lot of sense for the brand.
How will Battle Beasts Minimates be different from other Minimates lines?
DST: All of our Minimates lines use additional sculpted parts to varying degrees, but Battle Beasts will be one of our most detailed and visually diverse lines yet. It will still take advantage of the Minimate body’s poseability, but with sculpted heads, legs and torso parts that will give them more Beast-like anatomy. We’ve been making four-legged Minimates for years now — dogs, wolves, Daggits, etc. — based on the human proportions of Minimates, but now we’re ready to take them even further away from those proportions. And this time around, we really want to play up the interchangability of Minimates. Collectors already trade parts back and forth between their figures, to create different versions of characters, but we’re making it so that, in spite of all of these sculpted parts, you can still combine these different animal attributes to create hybrid animals. Goats with scorpion claws, a moose with spider legs… the possibilities will be endless.
How closely will the Minimates toy line follow the IDW comic book?
DST: The first assortment will follow the comic very closely. We meet a lot of Beasts in the first issue, including our three main characters, Vorin, Merk and Gruntos. They anchor the first series, and it will be filled out with some of the cooler-looking creatures that pop up in that issue, as well as a few designs that may not appear in the book until much later. We’re wrapping up development on the toys now, and the issues are still being drawn, so we’ll see! There will also be a couple of figures based on the book’s human protagonists. The line is still all about the Beasts, but fans of the book who want to get the human characters will be able to.
How has it been collaborating with IDW on the toy designs?
DST: Great! Having seen the art shooting back and forth between Mark Wong, the lead designer, and Valerio Schiti, IDW’s artist on the comic, it appears to be going very well indeed. Valerio is bringing Mark’s designs into the real world, and Mark is skewing Valerio’s designs into a more fantastic realm, and the end result is the best of both worlds — a true hybrid.
Which animal has been the most challenging to adapt to the Minimates system? Which do you think has been the most successful?
DST: Believe it or not, Merk has been challenging — making a Minimate look as deadly as Merk is tricky enough, but factor in the hood and the wings and his weapons, and there are a lot of conversations with the sculptor about how to make him look just right. Some of the most successful figures in the first assortment have been the eight-legged characters. Series 1 has both a scorpion and a tarantula, and both of them utilize a new four-pegged hip piece, which allows them to walk around on four legs. Add in the long foreleg pieces, big claws and chest armor, and they are very, very impressive. I think people are going to like them a lot.
What will be the next Battle Beasts product to reach collectors’ hands?
DST: The first Beast toys we’ll have for sale will be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive two-pack, featuring Vorin with his cloak down and an evil dragonfly character named Zik. Vorin will be in full color for the first time, and he’ll be slightly different from the regular release in the fall, and Zik is a fun character we designed just for this set. Of course, the first issue of the comic comes out in July, as well, with a main cover by Dan Brereton, a limited variant by Ulises Farinas. Luke’s Toy Store will have an exclusive cover, and there will also be another Farinas cover at San Diego Comic-Con. There will also be a retailer incentive Minimate of Vorin in “stealth armor,” available to retailers who buy 25 copies of the comic.
Since 2010, Diamond Select Toys has been searching to find the right partner to introduce their Battle Beasts brand to a broader audience. Now the search is over, and DST and IDW Publishing have teamed up to immortalize a new breed of Beasts! At this year’s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), which runs from April 13-15, the two companies will offer a taste of what’s to come: DST will give out an ashcan preview of IDW’s upcoming BATTLE BEASTS comic-book mini-series, as well as an exclusive promo Minimate of one of the book’s lead characters!
“We are thrilled to have found a partner in IDW, a company that understands toy fans just as well as they understand comic book fans,” said director of Diamond Select Toys Chuck Terceira. “Their experience with licensed comic books — and with the dedicated fan bases they write for on a monthly basis — is proof that the Battle Beasts brand is in the right hands, and we look forward to working with them for this mini-series, and, hopefully, beyond!”
The mini-series is written by Bobby Curnow (Godzilla Legends, Night of 1000 Wolves) and penciled by Valerio Schiti (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Dungeons & Dragons: Eberron). It focuses on a group of renegade Beasts who return to Earth to protect the ultimate weapon (and the human who activated it) from an armada of their violent brethren. The ashcan will reprint the first eight pages of issue #1 in full color, and fans will be able to get a free translucent Minimate of the ram Vorin while supplies last. Both will be given away during C2E2 by DST at booth #311.
“BATTLE BEASTS is a great fit for IDW”, said writer Bobby Curnow. “What’s so important about toys is they enable kids to build worlds in their imaginations, and create stories for those worlds. Since I never really grew up, getting the chance to help create the new Battle Beasts in comic form has been a fantastic and supremely fun experience. The world has been turned upside down with the arrival of the Battle Beasts, and we’re going to have a great time showing just how crazy things get. IDW has a lot of experience finding riveting stories in toy-based licenses, and I hope BATTLE BEASTS is no exception. I know for a fact that Valerio is knocking it out of the park. His art is going to floor a lot of people.”
And the excitement does not stop there — at San Diego Comic-Con (July 11-15), IDW will launch the BATTLE BEASTS mini-series with issue #1, and DST will unveil the first full wave of Battle Beasts Minimates, which will be in stores in late fall of 2012! The first wave of two-packs will focus heavily on characters who appear in the comic, and will have a gameplay element, as well. DST will also have an exclusive two-pack of Battle Beasts for sale at the show.
Minimates are 2-inch minifigures created by Art Asylum in 2002. This year marks the brand’s 10th anniversary, and in that time Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum have released over 1,000 Minimates for nearly 50 separate licenses. Highly detailed and highly poseable, each Minimate features 14 points of articulation and comes with plenty of interchangeable parts and accessories.
BATTLE BEASTS #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in July 2012.