In an age like this one, we all have to use technology whether we like it or not. Day in, day out, we sit at our desks or huddle in our cubicles staring at spreadsheets and listening to people dumber than us tell us what to do. Well, someone has to brighten up our work space, and that someone is Mimoco.
Mimoco is celebrating their 5th anniversary of producing Mimobot Designer USB Flash Drives, devices that have all the uses and capabilities of your average flash drive but that come in sweet nerdy designs. They’ve got many licenses under their belt, the most popular of which is Star Wars, a huge get for such a young company. It’s as though the folks at Mimoco took the wise advice of one Dr. Emmett Brown when he said, “if you’re going to build a time machine (flash drive), why not do it with some style?”
This past weekend at the New York Comic-Con 2010, I got a chance to talk with Alec Gross of Mimoco about their products, why they’re hot, and why Star Wars is so freaking awesome. You can check out Mimoco’s website here.
CraveOnline: Why don’t you start by explaining who you are, and what your company does?
Alec Gross: Sure! My name is Alec at Mimoco. Mimoco is the maker of Mimobot Designer USB Flash Drives, so it’s kind of a marriage of form and function. You’ve got the tech in the flash drive and the utility of that, but it’s also married to the designer toy culture, so these are all character-based flash drives.
CraveOnline: Who do you think is your core customer here?
Alec Gross: The core customer.. well, really our target demographic is the Type A consumers, the creative professional. Creative young professionals, that’s our target demographic.
CraveOnline: What licenses do you guys currently have?
Alec Gross: Well our biggest is clearly Star Wars. We’re also licensed with Sanrio, which has Hello Kitty and the other characters. It’s Sanrio’s 50th anniversary. We’ve also done a lot of different licenses. Each of our releases are limited, so there’s only a limited run until we sell out. FriendsWithYou is another license we have currently, we did Domo, and we’ve done other things like that. We have a couple other licenses coming out at the end of the year an in 2011. It’ll be the year of the license for us.
CraveOnline: Anything that you can announce?
Alec Gross: Not just yet. About a month from now we’ll be able to announce what that stuff is. It’s really exciting stuff for us.
CraveOnline: Fair enough. Now, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I was looking at your character selection, and I geeked out a bit. You have characters like Lobot and those other obscure ones. Is that kind of a risk for you guys to take, to do those non-mainstream characters?
Alec Gross: Definitely, but I mean we’ve been doing Star Wars for years now, so we just had Series 6 release. We’ve had 6 iterations of different characters, and right now we’re focusing on Empire Strikes Back since it’s the 30th anniversary. So Lobot was really our San Diego Comic-Con/Star Wars Celebration Exclusive. It’s a numbered, limited run of 1000, with 500 available at Comic-Con and 500 available at Celebration. We just have a few left over. So really that’s us being fans, and being geeks and just being excited. Lobot’s cool because the function of Lobot and the function of a flash drive kind of work. [laughs]
CraveOnline: [laughs] That’s a good call actually, I didn’t even consider that.
Alec Gross: And with his headset, it fits one of our shapes really well. But we do that, I mean we are fans, so we’ll go out and take risks that might not sell as well, but we know that it’s a cool thing to do.
CraveOnline: Is Lobot the first exclusive that you’ve done?
Alec Gross: No, we’ve done plenty of exclusives. For example, we did a Luke Vader exclusive about a year ago, or two years ago, where Luke sees himself under Vader’s helmet on Dagobah. So when you unmask Vader and take off his helmet, Luke’s underneath. So yeah, we do a lot of that stuff, it’s really important to what we do.
CraveOnline: You said Wave 6 just came out; do you have any plans for the next series?
Alec Gross: We absolutely do. I can’t let you know exactly what’s going to be included, but we continue to kind of just push the envelope to find these characters that we love and want to make Mimobots for.
CraveOnline: I was supposed to go to Celebration V but couldn’t make it. Did you personally go? How was the reaction there?
Alec Gross: I was there. We have a great time at Celebration. Our Star Wars fans are really loyal. So even at San Diego Comic-Con, we’ll have two booths. One at the Star Wars Pavilion and one on the main floor. Yeah, Star Wars is huge for us. We’re all huge Star Wars fans and typically Star Wars fans also use flash drives [laughs].
CraveOnline: Who knew?
Alec Gross: Yeah, exactly.
CraveOnline: You can tell you guys are fans by your character selection. Wicket, Lobot, and everybody. Those are the characters that Star Wars fans want to see.
Alec Gross: Totally. Obviously, we started with the more well known, and then we got more obscure. I think they’re cooler as you go down.
CraveOnline: Do you guys have Clone Wars characters as well?
Alec Gross: We have a Captain Rex character that we do carry as a Mimobot, but right now he’s the only Clone Wars character. Kids are so into Clone Wars that it seems like we’ll definitely be getting into other designs like that, but nothing set in stone right now.
What we are doing though, not really related to Clone Wars but it’s a new LucasArts thing, is The Force Unleashed. We’ll have an exclusive Starkiller Mimobot that’s only available with the deluxe edition of The Force Unleashed II video game, which is dropping in like two weeks. It’s their biggest selling game ever.
CraveOnline: Is that a pre-order bonus or retailer exclusive anything, or is it actually in the deluxe edition?
Alec Gross: It’s in the deluxe packaging edition, no matter where you buy it, it’ll come with a Starkiller Mimobot. It’s only available through that. That was really exciting to put that together and work with those guys, it looks really cool.
CraveOnline: Awesome, man.
Alec Gross: So the only other thing I would say is that it’s our 5th year anniversary. We started 5 years ago at San Diego Comic-Con, we were there this summer, and we’re here at New York Comic-Con now, and we’re continuing to grow.
CraveOnline: How fast was that growth? Did you start off with the Star Wars license?
Alec Gross: We didn’t start with the Star Wars license but it was one of the first that we went after. It grew out of us being fans but also that Star Wars is a property that people love. It makes sense to make that just make that synthesis work. So you know, it’s been years that we’ve been working with Star Wars and we’re really looking forward to the future and continuing that relationship.
CraveOnline: Well it’s looking really good, I really dig everything that’s your doing here and want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us, and best of luck!
Alec Gross: Thanks man, very much appreciated.