One of the most exciting booths we were able to check out at Toy Fair 2014 belonged to Kidrobot, producer of designer collectibles and venerable Comic-Con exclusive exhibitor. The company was showing off its 2014 retail offerings, which included a treasure trove of licenses every SDCC attendee would salivate over: Futurama, The Simpsons, CAPCOM, and now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marvel and DC.
But what really got us excited wasn’t just what they were showing, but what they were talking about in terms of their big plans for this year’s SDCC. We spoke with Allen Richardson, Director of Product & Marketing at Kidrobot, about what we can expect at San Diego this July.
Richardson was able to give us the scoop of some of their planned 2014 SDCC exclusives. Expect to see Bebop and Rocksteady color variations from Kidrobot’sTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license. The designs for these have not yet been unveiled, but the company was showing off the box art during Toy Fair. And last year Kidrobot brought some sweet Street Fighter exclusives, and they’ll be back with some CAPCOM-licensed merchandise in 2014 as well. Planned are two Megaman exclusives: a 6″ Red version of Megaman, and a Breakman Protoman variant for Comic-con.
For fans of The Simpsons, Kidrobot is pushing to have an SDCC exclusive in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the show – something “specifically for the fans of Comic-Con,” says Richardson. “We can’t say exactly what and we’re working on it right now, it’s a rush to get that there, but we think people will be very excited about the entire Simpsons line. We are definitely pushing for that. That’s what I definitely want to make happen. We’re going to see if the production Gods are with us”.
Kidrobot is also is planning to have some new Labbits from the Marvel and DC licenses available at the convention. “We are rushing to get as much done…DC was signed much later than marvel. Hopefully we’ll be able to have some actual physical samples there. I don’t know if we’ll have anything for sale, but the idea is that we can have a preview to show, hopefully, so we can at least show people to get excited,” says Richardson. “It would be so cool to see the physical product, however, so hopefully we can give fans a really great sneak preview at Comic-Con and really showcase kind of what we’re doing because obviously with Marvel and DC, Comic-Con is the showcase, I mean, that’s where you’re going to see all the fans and that’s the place to be seen with this type of product.”
With so many awesome exclusives planned, we’re sure fans will be lining up early and long for these. But the limited nature of these products lend themselves to sell out very quickly, and the staggered availability which other companies have done in recent years wouldn’t necessarily work in a world where multi-day badges are not an option. So we asked Richardson what Kidrobot’s plans were in terms of production runs and release schedule. “We typically will run a small sub-segment depending on if it’s a licensed product that will be a slightly higher run,” Richardson says. “We’re not talking thousands of pieces, we’re talking very exclusive and even our artist-based product. If we do an exclusive Dunny will even be lower than that.”
With the option of purchasing multi-day badges gone for 2014, Kidrobot understands it might be hard for some folks to score one of their exclusives with a staggered release schedule. “We’re going to actually do something different this year at Comic-Con,” assures Richardson. “Last year we staged our releases over the course [of the weekend]. We would have one new release each day, and that worked fairly well, but I think a lot of our fans felt it might be a little unfair for those people who weren’t there on the Sunday, or on a Saturday. And we understand that, so what we’re going to do is, day one – Preview Night Wednesday – we’re going to be able to sell almost all of our exclusives. Again, some of them will be limited, of course, and some of them will have a limit of one or two, depending on what that is, but we felt to be fair to our fans who can’t be there the entire time, you know there’s people who love Street Fighter and they could not be there on the day when we had our signing, or fans of Frank Kozik who was signing our Labbit, they could not be there when we released that. So we’re going to open it up and take a cue from some of the other attendees and convention-goers who actually do that.”
A popular trend by exhibitors has been to pre-sell exclusives to attendees, but that’s not something Kidrobot has in the plans for 2014. “We really want to reward the fan who comes in who waits in that line who gets there and who’s like, really excited. And not to say that pre-sales are bad, we may move to that, but for this Comic-Con right now we have no plans to do that.”
Check out the video below for the full booth tour of Kidrobot’s 2014 product offerings.
You can also check out the audio of our interview with Kidrobot’s Allen Richardson, Director of Product & Marketing on Stitcher or by subscribing via our podcast feed or on iTunes.
Which of Kidrobot’s planned SDCC exclusives are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.