March 10, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Why I Think the Rumored New MIMP Series Will Suck So Good!

If this is your very first time on this blog, and this blog is somehow your first outlet for keshi minifigure stuff, that's so totally weird, and let me shoot a rundown out of a rocket for you.

Monster In My Pocket, or MIMP because typing is hard, was arguably the most popular keshi-style minifigure toy line in America in the early '90s.  I could make a case that this was mainly because of MUSCLE/Kinnikuman's worldwide popularity yet subject marketing in America.  MUSCLE was pretty damn cool, and I certainly love it now, but I remember thinking, as a child, how damn strange they were.  I connected much more with the classic Universal Monsters and the sickly bright colors of the figures that were being portrayed in MIMP by Matchbox just a little while later.  Many others will have stories of their MUSCLES and MIMPs in their childhood, and that's why it's such an important franchise to collect and enjoy.

MIMP found itself back on store shelves in the early 2000's, but to mixed fanfare.  They were fully painted and hard to come across, so anyone outside the most hardcore of collectors passed over them, and since the failure of that launch they have virtually laid dormant, with only whispers here and there of a comeback.

Evolution, a marketing and development company, is currently working on a new Monster In My Pocket project, with aims for a new cartoon series, video game, and toy line.  Whether Evolution will ever release anything is something up for debate, seeing how they have missed multiple projected times thus far, bringing the project into the years-late category.  Nothing may come out of them, although I wish the otherwise, but let's imagine, right now, in this current toy landscape what would a marketing firm do with Monster In My Pocket in 2015.  I think the answer is already flying off store shelves.  Or rather, game store shelves.

If you had a brand that you had to make a cartoon series, video game, and toy line mix into a successful franchise, you would be hard pressed not to look at the Skylander template.  In fact, I used that term only because I believe that's the first game to have a successful figure like, but since then, Disney Infinity and Nintendo Amiibo have seen monumental sales as well.  And looking at what demographics each franchise is aimed at, MIMP could easily step in and turn a buck if the rest of the components were decent as well.

But the question is, would we, the keshi community, like the new Skylander-inspired series?  I would say no.  No way in hell, and for a couple reasons.  All these new video game toy lines use NFC technology, which requires close proximity of a chip in the figure and the reader in the game console for it to work.  All of these toy lines have done this with giant plastic bases for the figure to stand on.  I mean, sure, the figures look nice, but it's a hollow husk and the real meat of the product is a tiny brain in the plastic base.  Bases like these are an eye sore of the kesi purist, not to mention the paint that will be dripped on every centimeter of these figures.

If I had to guess, if it done like this, it won't take to the keshi collectors very well at all, but it's not all that bad.  Let's be frank, only the craziest, and coolest, toy designers are looking to please the keshi purist, and from a business standpoint, you can't blame them.  There just isn't a lot of us.  Even the greatest Kickstarter projects or anticipated keshi release can only produce a thousand or so of us nerds.  With us alone, the new MIMP wouldn't last, but that's ok.

I don't have crazy expectations for a big budget toy line to fit my crazy criteria.  In fact, you see Trash Pack gets every pass in my book when I know I shouldn't.  Maybe this has something to do with it.  If it's not independently produced by real independent creative minds, I reach out, settle, and give them the pass, because maybe, just maybe, with enough interest and luck, it'll bring more people into the keshi community.

My thought is that if a five-inch painted figure of a Monster In My Pocket sells out of a Gamestop, it wasn't because of the old 1990's version we love.  However, we can hope they take that figure home and enjoy that new product enough to put Monster In My Pocket in a search engine when they are done playing, to see what else there is around.  If the product is well-received enough, you'd have to imagine some of them will find the keshi community and join up.  And in a perfect world, when enough people have joined, big budget toy manufacturers will notice us more and aim more toys at us.  More traditional keshi will be made.

So that's my crazy guess into a future that may not actually come the slightest of showing, but I am willing to watch and see Evolution, for the lack of a better term, sacrifice whats left of MIMP for the betterment of the keshi community.  It's the best we can do in 2015.

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