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  1. This past week, the company Premium DNA started showing off images for their new line of 6” Battletoads figures which actually were first announced back in July 2020. As I report this, Premium DNA has shown three of the six figures coming in the first wave which includes Zitz, Rat Bones and Porka Pig (see images below). Besides Battletoads, we have seen Premium DNA has been taking pre-orders for Madballs and Barnyard Commando’s. Beyond that, they’ve announced they have the licenses to do figures for other properties such as Earthworm Jim and Clay Fighter. So who exactly is Premium DNA? Well, they are a fairly new company started a year or so ago by the guys behind Megalopolis Toys, Ben and Matt Westover. When Premium DNA was first launched around June 2020, it seemed to be an extension of Megalopolis Toys. All the press releases for Premium DNA products were sent out from Megalopolis Toys. You can even see in their first press release that it was titled MEGALOPOLIS TOYS TO INTRODUCE MADBALLS™ AND BARNYARD COMMANDOS™ RETRO ACTION FIGURE LINE. As I understand it, Ben and Matt had been selling toys through their retail business Megalopolis but wanted to get into the manufacturing side of things, so they started Premium DNA to do this. You can hear Ben Westover talk about this in an interview he did with Pixel-Dan last July. Here is a second press release they put out in July, and note Ben Westover is listed as the Creative Director/Co-Founder of Megalopolis. Now, it’s not much of a secret that 2020 was not a good year for Megalopolis Toys. All it takes is looking at the 208 complaints filed against them on the Better Business Bureau website or looking at the Community Section of their own Facebook page to get an idea of what’s been happening. There have even been indications and rumblings that Entertainment Earth, in their capacity as a distributor, is suing Megalopolis. I have no idea what the current status of that is. You can see the docket filing here. If you are wondering, Toy Overlord, Inc. is another name used by Megalopolis. Ben and Matt have made some attempts to publicly address some of the problems with fulfilling orders. They did an interview back in late September, again with Pixel-Dan about it. In November, they announced new policy changes being made to their site via their Facebook page. How effective any of this has been, well I will let you make your own determination about that. Getting back to Premium DNA. In recent days, there seem to be attempts to distance Premium DNA from Megalopolis Toys, a move I suppose you can understand from their perspective. On their various social media pages, they have been telling people simply the two are separate companies. I suppose on paper that likely is true. But Ben Westover still lists himself on LinkedIn as being the Lead Creative at Premium DNA Toys. Matt Westover lists himself on LinkedIn as President/CEO at Megalopolis: City of Collectibles. The Premium DNA website appears to still be run on the same site as Megalopolis Toys. So while technically the two companies might be listed as separate entities on paper, they still seem very much intertwined with one another to me, and I’ve seen no kind of formal or even informal announcement that any significant changes with the management structure for Premium DNA has happened. Does that mean you shouldn’t get any of these new action figures said to be coming from Premium DNA? That is a question only you can answer for yourselves. However, there are other options to secure these figures other than ordering directly from Premium DNA or Megalopolis if you decide you want to purchase them. Places like BigBadToyStore have been offering pre-orders for the Premium DNA products, and from what I understand they will be offering the Battletoads for pre-order sometime in May. Of course, if for whatever reason Premium DNA isn’t able to deliver on the final product for any of these figures, pre-orders would be canceled. If you go with a second-party vendor like BBTS however, your chances of easily getting a refund become much greater. I won’t personally 100% vouch for anyone outside my personal control, but I’ve never known BBTS to not refund someone their money when an order with them gets canceled. Note for the sake of transparency: Megalopolis Toys has previously been a sponsor on TNI which simply means they purchased ad space to promote their business. They ceased being a sponsor in early September 2020. BBTS is a current sponsor on TNI.
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