Here’s another installment of a new feature we’ve been running this month as part of AFi‘s 5 Year Anniversary called "5 for 5." We got some many great replies from our friends all over the industry that we are extending our 5th Anniversary Celebration on into May!
We asked a wide range of friends in the industry 5 questions about the last 5 years and let them answer however they wanted…
Many of you will know Frank Supiot from his time at Kotobukiya. He was ever-present at their booth at Comic Con last year putting up eight hours of fun and programing at the Koto booth. Now Frank has moved on to work with the gangs over at Super7. Super7 are the mad geniuses that are drilling a hole in my wallet by combining two of my favorite things from the 70’s – Star Wars and Shogun Warriors.
Let’s see how Frank faces down ‘the Big 5’
Position: Super7’s Director of Licensing
1. How would you say has the industry changed in the last 5 years?
I can guess many common replies that others may share, so I will try to pick something a little different: It is more difficult to impress consumers today by simply by announcing a license.
Five years ago, all you had to do was say that you had signed license “X”, and fans of “X” would be there ready to collect the entire line. Now, people are much more selective and want to see what you plan to do with the property. Personally, I think that I am now the same way with my collecting habits, so I’m certainly not criticizing anyone. It also results in companies being more creative in order to succeed, and anything that promotes added creativity is fine by me!
2. What about YOUR job has changed in the last 5 years?
The conventions continue to become a more important event, and demand more time and attention. I don’t think it is overstating to say that collector toy companies build their year around San Diego Comic Con the way mass market companies build theirs around Christmas.
3. What is your weirdest Convention experience from the past 5 years?
I have a drunken Kenny Baker story that might not be fit for print. But at this point, I think everyone has a drunken Kenny Baker story.
4. What is one product that you worked on in the past 5 years that never made it to store shelves?
Keeping in spirit of the anniversary theme, shouldn’t you be asking for FIVE toys which never saw the light of day? I’ll thank you for only asking for one! A 1/6th scale statue of a really gorgeous plant-themed character based on illustrations by some guy that did HUSH might have been of interest to fans….but alas….it was not meant to be.
5. What do you anticipate will be different in the industry or your job in the next 5 years?
I think we will see great advancement in reduction preproduction and production time for toys. Most of which will come form digital sculpting, rapid prototyping, and cad development. It really would be fantastic to be able to go from concept to shelf in six months, which today is practically impossible.
Thanks to Frank for his participation. Make sure you keep your eyes here on AFi for all the news and new developments coming from Super7!
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