Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Toy Fair 2019: Rumors Say Diamond Bought Gentle Giant * CONFIRMED

I'll admit I've been out of touch with Gentle Giant for some time. Since being merged with 3D Systems, I'd heard a lot of awesome sounding plans that put GG's long history of scanning everyone in Hollywood into play toward future collectibles and personalized items that would make hardcore fans extremely happy. For years before that, Gentle Giant greeted us at San Diego Comic Con with a solid hour worth of work to photograph, including sculpts large and small, from Star Wars, Marvel Comics, hot new horror properties and flashy in-house properties. We stumbled upon our GG friends at Toy Fair last year with a modest display of Wolverine statues and some very appealing small scale items in blind boxes, all with high levels of detail we've come to expect. After doing their time in the very front of the Toy Fair show floor, we assumed Gentle Giant would move to a larger home...and they did...which is all the more reason this new rumor is so surprising!

Gentle Giant are set to appear in booth #5219 where they will surely be grilled with all sorts of questions, the first of which being DID DIAMOND BUY YOU??!! If it's true, the merger poses even more questions as to what parts of Gentle Giant will be retained while others are divested. Diamond Select are known for employing several freelance sculpting all stars while also having put Gentle Giant to work just as often. How the work loads will get spread around now is anyone's guess, and how it will echo throughout the toy production community who also retained GG's services remains to be seen. We hope for the best for all our friends.

UPDATE: Here's the official press release-

Both Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd. have long been known for delivering high-quality busts, statues and action figures to collectors worldwide. Now, fans can get the best of both worlds, as DST finalizes the purchase of select assets of Gentle Giant, taking over manufacturing and distribution of many of the company’s key lines.

Beginning February 1, Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles, LLC, will assume operations for all of Gentle Giant’s existing licenses, and release previously developed and newly created busts, statues and scaled-up vintage action figures. Any in-progress and future products will be offered to retailers through the Previews catalog, published by DST’s sister company Diamond Comic Distributors.

Gentle Giant’s collector club, the Premier Guild, will continue to operate, with exclusive items for members and reserved access to certain products. DST has pledged to fulfill any outstanding exclusives and rewards to current members, and to expand on the club’s scope going forward.

“This is a great moment for DST,” said Diamond Comic Distributors owner Steve Geppi. “The unification of many of Gentle Giant’s licenses and built-in fan base with DST’s sales and distribution channels is a recipe for success. Two wonderful companies uniting talents to produce the best of the best.  I am confident the final product will be well received by both companies’ wonderful supporters and customers.”

"It is a great honor for Gentle Giant to continue our strong creative relationship with Diamond,” said Karl Meyer, VP of Entertainment at 3D Systems. “With great pleasure, I am personally thrilled to have DST uphold the Gentle Giant Ltd brand and work with our artists in bringing entertainment magic from the screen to the collectors’ hands."

“I have been a longtime fan of Gentle Giant’s products, and I am excited to continue their legacy,” said DST president Chuck Terceira. “Once we’re up and running, we plan to deliver seamless service of existing product lines, so expect to see the same level of quality, with the added bonus of DST’s broad distribution.”

What will change when DST takes over Giant Gentle?
Very little. Most products already developed will move forward, and new products will be developed to follow them. Many of the existing designers, sculptors, painters and factories will continue to be involved. You can expect to see some new artists that DST has worked with in the past start to work on traditional Gentle Giant Ltd. products. Convention attendance will remain largely the same, and the Premier Guild will continue to operate as it did.

Will Gentle Giant be changing its name?
Gentle Giant Studios are not involved in this acquisition and will continue to operate, performing sculpting services for a variety of clients, including DST. The Gentle Giant Ltd. brand will be joining the DST family.

Will DST take over Gentle Giant’s licenses? Including Star Wars?
Yes, DST will take over the majority of the Gentle Giant Ltd licenses and will continue the existing lines that Gentle Giant has started, releasing already-developed items and developing new items. Each license will be reviewed and discussed, and we will update you as soon as possible on their status.

What should fans of Gentle Giant look forward to?
A continuation of everything that they know and love about the company, with the addition of some new product categories, an injection of new artistic talent, and more ways to get the products they care about.

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