The "River Triumphant" statue from Diamond Select Toys is on the shelves today, and I'm psyched. The more official stuff the better, as that continues to point out that hey, there's still an audience out there. Also, I like stuff.
The "River Triumphant" statue is 7" high, on scale with the Serenity action figures from DST. It features a hand-numbered base with matching box and a certificate of authenticity, with a limited edition 1,000 pieces.
I talked to Michael Leavey, DST Marketing and Sales Supervisor, about the new statues:
How did the “River Triumphant” statue come about?
"We always wanted to do more action figures but the movie box office and DVD sales were not where the buyers wanted to see them, so we had to come up with another way for fans to fill out their action figure collections if they wanted to. The one most obviously missing was River!"
Was it sculpted solely from screen shots? Who did the sculpt?
"We used a digital scan that was done for the movie's visual effects and lots of screen shots to get the outfit details as accurate as possible. Michael Norman did the sculpt."
How long does it take to create these statues, from inception to final product?
"It can take as long as 9 months from idea to store shelves."
How much involvement (if any) does Joss Whedon have on these projects? What about Summer Glau?
"Officially Joss has no involvement BUT we keep in touch with him and show him what we are working on. At SDCC last year we asked what he thought about the idea and he loved it – in fact when we debuted the piece he said, 'My life is complete, except for that other stuff I need to do.'"
Why did you decide to scale them to the action figures? Is this common practice for DST or is this something new?
"Normally our resin (pieces) are a much larger scale for a whole different type of collector, but as I said the reason for this line was for the action figure collectors so that made the decision for us."
“River Triumphant” stayed on your top ten preorders list almost since it was announced. Have orders been what you expected?
"They have been solid. Not as high as we expected, but we think when people see the piece in person that will sell it!"
There's a second statue coming along, “Inara Strikes.” Does this mean we’ll eventually see the whole crew?
"No, it does not mean that at all. We'll keep doing the popular characters that we could not do action figures of as long as sales support them."
Why did you choose Inara for the second Serenity statue (not that I’d complain about seeing any of ‘em…)?
"She was just another great female chacter that we did not do as an action figure. She was a key part of Firefly but did not have the biggest role in the movie, so this just gives her fans a chance to add her to their collection if they want."
The choice of River’s iconic shot was obvious, but Inara didn’t have nearly as much screen time. How did you select Inara’s pose? Were others considered?
"As I said she did not have a big role in the movie, but we all thought this was her best kick-butt scene – and it went will with the River."
Was there discussion over which weapon to give her, the bow that was filmed or the bow-rifle that made it to the screen?
"We like the bow more then the bow-rifle from the movie but since that's how it appeared on screen we had little choice but to use it."
Do you foresee more Serenity items coming down the line?
"We're HUGE fans of Joss and the universes he's created so as long as sales are there we'll be making product!"
"River Triumphant" statues are available from Diamond Select Toys, and you can check your local comic or collectible shop to see if they have some that aren't spoken for (I told you to preorder!). TFAW.com has a few in stock right now for 10% off the retail price.
And you can preorder the “Inara Strikes” statue from TFAW.com and get 20% off the $99 retail price. Ship date is (so far) October 31, 2007.