ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Master Replicas Pop Culture EVP Global Business Development Darren Epstein about the company’s sci-fi collectibles. Epstein discussed making Stargate merchandise and the ongoing appeal of Dune.
Tyler Treese: You’ve done great work with Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek in the past. Was it just a natural fit to work with the Stargate brand as well?
Darren Epstein: Many of the team have worked from Star Wars to Dr. Who, Star Trek to Galactica, and, of course, Stargate. Someone made a funny comment last week to me — “If it flies, you guys always love it.” Probably never a truer word spoken. But I was a big Stargate fan. I loved the James Spader movie and was the distributor for the trading cards back in the day, so it feels full circle.
Stargate has such a great history to work with. Your agreement includes the original film and everything that came after. How do you even begin that process of determining what to make die-cast ships, props, and figures of when there’s that much content?
Well, we have plans to get the fans involved. We 100% will do movie items and we are looking at that now, but equally, we don’t want to bombard the market, as we know there is only so much people can afford, So we’ll plan it well and hopefully people will love what we plan to do.
I love that Master Replicas isn’t releasing all the ships at once as it will allow fans’ wallets to not get obliterated. Can you discuss that strategy and why you think it’s the better way to go?
Well, we know that people don’t just collect one franchise, they collect a few. But, of course, many fans many focus may be a single franchise. We just don’t want to over release and we want fans to be excited every couple of months. We want them to buy, but equally we know they don’t have to, so its a fine line.
What about the Stargate brand excites you the most? Should we expect similar offerings from what we saw with the other brands?
I think I want to see some desktop helmets. They would sit well with the brand, and we’re looking at doing the Stargate itself. Ours wont transport you anywhere!
You recently announced a deal to create Dune vehicles, prop replicas, and figures. When can we expect from to see that line begin to drop?
Because of the strikes, we are only getting into that now, so they may come after the movie’s release, but I firmly believe this will be this generation’s Blade Runner. The movies will endure and fans will want the ships, and frankly, if they come after the release, so be it.
Sci-fi has definitely become a great niche for Master Replicas. Can we expect it to go beyond that genre in the future or do you prefer to operate within that space?
Master Replicas is part of a company that has different strands to it. We sell everything from $0.99 items up to $499. We’re immersed in pop culture collectibles as a total company, so we are always exploring what we can offer fans. It’s, of course, a fine line, but we have decades of experience running through the company. So we’re looking at opportunities for launches constantly.
For those that are interested but haven’t ordered from Master Replicas yet, what would you suggest they check out first?
Orville and Stargate has been very hot, and The Expanse fans just seem to demand more and more releases. Our Star Trek rights run through half of next year, so we have many of the classic Enterprises still available, but they do sell out in short order.