The foremost concern they wanted to address was that of the "For Display Only" signs seen around some of the sets, such as Sigma and Vile's Robot Ride Armor. These were there, Lim tells us, to note that the prototypes were not for sale at the convention, not that they were merely "props" for the other toys, as some believed. "The text 'Under Consideration' or something similar probably would have been better," he noted upon reflection.
So does that mean we're going to see Sigma and the Ride Armor?
"Way back when we were running the D-Arts Mega Man polls, a very large amount of feedback was generated from the polling results as well as the comments posted on the Tamashii Nations [Facebook] and other places that were holding discussions and speculation," he tells us. "All of this was taken into account along with the buzz generated from previous D-Arts Mega Man releases to look into product planning."
"The prototypes on display were made specifically to be unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con," Lim continues. "This is significant since it marks the first time Tamashii Nations products were shown in the U.S. before Asia and Japan, their primary markets.
"To have Sigma on time for SDCC was a decision made recently, just a few months shy of San Diego Comic-Con. Originally, we thought there would only be a really obvious silhouette for the show, but having a prototype there was all the more merrier and it allowed people to see the kind of sculpt and attention to detail Tamashii Nations wishes to pursue if Sigma joins the articulated D-Arts line."
"Typically at Tamashii Nations events," he explained, "they reveal prototypes of figures that are scheduled as coming out as products within a short time frame, others that may be scheduled for the future, and then prototypes of material that they want to get feedback on first before pursuing further. Any buzz or chatter relevant to what was seen at SDCC is what will provide them encouragement that yes, they're on the right track and they should continue with the necessary arrangements needed to release as a real product.
"Mega Man and Dragon Ball in particular are VERY hot properties in the U.S.," Lim added, "and Bluefin has been working very closely with Tamashii Nations to ensure their product releases are taking into account what the [North] American market wants. Our [Facebook] and Twitter have open ears and are constantly being monitored by Bluefin and Tamashii Nations for feedback."
So, what can we expect in the near future, if those are still under consideration?
"At this point, out of the three X prototypes on display, one is possibly scheduled for early next year," Lim told us, adding "and no, I cannot say which one (Our money is on Black Zero --ed.) There are also other Mega Man related D-Arts figures that were not visible at San Diego, but may be revealed at future Tamashii events...
"A re-issue of the D-Arts original release of Mega Man X has now moved from 'Under Consideration' to 'Now Planning,' which should be good news for people who missed the first run of X. Unfortunately I have no date at this time."
Finally, if we want Sigma or Vile's hot new ride, what can we do?
"[S]pamming our [Facebook] is the best way... for Bandai Tamashii Nations to get feedback. ;) "
We thank Xavier and Bluefin for taking the time to speak with us, and hope we'll hear more from them soon!
Image Source: Capcom Unity