With Series 31 coming out this May, and being around for nearly 2 decades, your friendly neighborhood jman, asked creator and product manager of the Living Dead Dolls, Damien Glonek, how he felt about the line, what it takes to keep it fresh after all this time and what else is in store for the Living Dead Dolls
jman: You’ve been making Living Dead Dolls for a long time now. The first set coming out in the late 90’s, with Mezco producing them a few years later. Toy lines come and go. How does it feel making these dolls almost 20 years later?
DG: It never ceases to amaze me that the simple idea Ed and I had almost 20 years ago is still going strong. I am not sure what I can attribute it to, except that when you do something you love and you put your heart and soul into it, it shines through and people can see it is done out of passion and for all the right reasons instead of something that is just churned out as a flavor of the month. Almost 20 years of making dolls I have to say we haven’t grown tired of it one bit.
jman: With Series 31 coming out in May, is it hard finding inspiration? Or do the ideas keep coming? How do you keep the line fresh after all these years?
DG: After doing this for almost 20 years lately it has been a bit challenging trying not to repeat ourselves, but we still have a lot of ideas we want to do and every year it seems like we keep adding to that list, so there is not end in sight yet. The idea well certainly has not dried up one bit. I think the line stays fresh by broadening our imagination and pushing ourselves to stay original.
jman: Has the design process for the Living Dead Dolls changed much since you started? From first concept to final product approval, how long does the process take for each doll now?
DG: The design process hasn’t changed at all. I think that is one of the reasons for the brand’s success. If it is not broken, why fix it. The process all depends on how things come together, some dolls come together quicker then others and some go through more of a revision process.
jman: How about the fan base…has the community changed/evolved since you started the dolls?
DG: The fan base/community is another aspect I think to the longevity of the dolls. I can honestly say we have the best fans ever. Over the last 18 years we have met a lot of amazing and passionate people, and we have seen a lot of those people leave the community, but then there is a whole new regime right behind them that are equally as hungry to take up the reigns. The LDD fans are the best and a lot of them have become friends. They are definitely a rabid loyal bunch of people.
jman: Do you have any particular favorites? Any particular ones stand out? Are there any dolls that you would do differently now?
DG: It is hard to pick particular favorites, usually whatever we are currently working on are some of my favorites cause like the fans themselves, I am always excited to see new stuff. A few dolls I would have liked to done differently, but that is what our Resurrection line of dolls is all about, it gives us the opportunity to revisit and revitalize some of our older characters.
jman: Series 31 is being called “Don’t Turn Out the Lights.” The wave includes: Umbral, Kreek, the Dark, Bea Neath and Thump. Where did you get the inspiration for the line? Where do the names for each doll come from?
DG: Mez mostly tackled this line himself. The inspiration comes from the title of the series itself. Don’t turn out the lights, because these are the creatures that wait for you in the dark, under your bed, in your closet and their names are direct reflections of that. The creak of a floor board, the thump in the night, what is beneath your bed, what lurks in the dark or in the shadows.
jman: At Mezco’s pre-Toy Fair press event there were a couple licensed Living Dead Dolls: Pinhead from Hellraiser and Trick R Treat. How did those come together? Do you have plans for expanding into more licenses?
DG: Our Living Dead Dolls presents line is our take on mixing Living Dead Dolls with other branded characters. We have been doing it for quite awhile now, starting with Nosferatu I believe. Every year we do about 2-3 presents dolls. Generally we look for licenses that we like or we think would fit the Living Dead Dolls mold well. There are definitely plans for much more licensed dolls in the future.
jman: What does the future hold for you and the Living Dead Dolls? Anything coming up that you can share?
DG: This is a busy year for Living Dead Dolls, we have a lot of stuff planned which was revealed at Toy Fair and some more on the way. Ultimately we will hopefully build up to celebrating twenty years of Living Dead Dolls in two years. There is no end in sight and no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Many thanks to Damien for taking the time out of his schedule to answer my questions!
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