Today we bring you SOTA's offerings shown at the con, plus a lot of information written by Darren "Dare" Chia,with thanks to SOTA Big Kahuna Jerry Macaluso! Take it away, Dare!
SOTA Toys had a modest showing at SDCC this year. Company president Jerry Macaluso says this is but a taste of things to come. The company was caught in technical difficulties recently as they shifted factories and dealt with restructuring to make up for the bankruptcy of the Musicland chain. Macaluso assures that SOTA is now back on the toy track, with a firm new direction towards what he sees as the future for collectibles.
Street Fighter & Darkstalkers:
There are major plans in store for the license that put SOTA on the toy map: Street Fighter.
Starting later this year, SOTA will be shifting retail focus as they begin their campaign to move sales online, to their signature website. Taking a hint from the success of Sideshow Toys, SOTA plans on using Street Fighter and its cousin series Darkstalkers to create a direct sales strategy for the company.
Shown at SDCC were the previously revealed Darkstalkers prototypes of Anakaris (the mummy), Lord Raptor(the zombie) and Morrigan (the sexy one). Also shown for the first time are the prototype sculpts for two headliner characters in Street Fighter Round 5: Zangief and Deejay. One other Darkstalker character and the rest of Round 5 have been sculpted but not shown.
Voting results for Street Fighter Round 6 has also been put on a backburner, as the new retail structure is put in place. A new method of voting is planned for after the SOTA website is revamped.
Macaluso says this strategy will result in greater flexibility on the bottom line, allowing them to venture into smaller licenses and obscure character selections, as retailer confidence no longers plays into the equation.
Tentative plans are to release Street Fighter figures once per month, at around $16 each with free shipping. This sales strategy will only be implemented in the USA. Macaluso is adamant that fans overseas will still be able to get their figures through their regular retail channels.
If such a venture is successful, it would mean great possibilities for other lines on hold such as the re-envisioning of Micronauts, and fan-requested lines like Rival Schools and Ninja Scroll.
SOTA Toys’ revamped website is scheduled to open in October 2006.
SOTA also displayed final production samples from Now Playing series 3 and 4 (sans one item), as well as the long-awaited Lovecraft line. Yes, they are all in production at the new factory and will see retail shortly.
They’ve also revealed the long-hinted at Marvel-base chess set, and a brand new sculpt of Ryu from a as-yet-unnamed resin Street Fighter series. These are but a hint of SOTA’s bold step in the direction of high-end collectibles. Expect to see much more as SOTA expands on their high profile licenses. It was also hinted at during an SDCC panel that SOTA may have a secret Marvel licensed project in the works...