Rumors have been spreading, hints have been leaked, and now finally the word is out: there are new, licensed Serenity props coming from a brand new replica company, QMx.
The company was started by Stephen Dymszo, a man who has been in the prop business for 14 years. 4 1/2 of them were spent at the company he founded, Master Replicas, and if you’ve ever gone shopping for the best lightsaber replicas or just walked through a good convention dealer room, you’ve seeing their acclaimed work. In fact, if you saw Yoda’s lightsaber in the prequel movies you saw Steve’s work – a prop he reworked as a joke for a friend was seen by a designer working for LucasArts, and ultimately made it into the movies. But last year he left the company he founded to take a new direction.
“There were a number of licenses I wanted to do while I was there and we just never got around to it,” he told me, “and I kept saying, you know, the opportunities are available and nothing came of it. So I resigned last December, my last day was the 31st, and in February I went to Universal with a proposal and we were off.”
Serenity was not the primary target, at least not at first. While Steve is a science fiction fan and prop collector, he told The Signal that he didn’t become a Firefly fan until some of his coworkers more or less forced him to watch the DVD set. He was quickly impressed with the quality of the show, the lasting appeal, and the fervor of the fans.
The first offering from the new company will be a Serenity money pack, a pack of replica cash of all denominations made from graphic designer Geoffrey Mandel’s original artwork. It will be available in two versions. The regular money pack will be a limited edition with a wider availability. The Fan Club Edition will be a really limited edition that will come out first, only available through the QMx website, and it will include a map of the ‘Verse, also taken from Mandel’s artwork.
To make the Fan Club edition even sweeter, five of them will include a golden ticket. You won’t win a chocolate factory, but you will win some original Serenity materials. Production artwork, more designs from Mandel and Earls, uncut money sheets, etc. These will not be replicas, they’ll be from the movie. You’ll be able to order them soon, and they’ll begin shipping October 15. The price will be around $20.
After that, the next item coming out will be Mal’s gun, made from the original prop molds.
“We’re doing the Mal pistol. It’ll be resin, plated in brass, copper, with a walnut grip, die cast and machined details, with a nice presentation stand and package and a full-color plaque with the logo and edition number.”
Mal pistols will be available in a limited edition of 1500 pieces around November, December and will retail for $249.00.
“We’re also hoping to come out with a large scale, 16 to 18” model of the ship, light-emitting, spinning engine, very detailed. That’ll be an expensive project, that’ll be next year.”
There are also plans for Zoe’s Mare’s Leg gun, Wash’s oddly shaped pistol, and more. And while I tend to be pretty Serenity-centric, I recognize that other people have other interests – freaks – but QM will be there for them as well.
“We have (licensing for) Stargate SG1 and Atlantis, some classic scifi shows from the 60’s and 70’s, some film properties, War of the Worlds, Conquest of Space. And Battlestar Galactica, we got that license and there’ll be pin sets, dog tags, patches, artwork.”
QMx products will be available through specialty shops – reportedly they’ve been talking with Hot Topics, Spencer Gifts, Diamond Select, and over 200 other retailers – and through the website, where they’ll have periodic web-only sales and special deals, plus the Fan Club.
Over the next few months the site will also feature articles from the props masters and graphic designers, as well as some of the video that the QMx team shot when they interviewed everyone involved. Check out The Signal’s interview with Steve and Andy Gore for more on that, as well as a lot of behind the scenes tidbits on the licensing process.
Something that comes out very strong in that interview and in my experiences with them is that all the people working at the company are self-proclaimed fanboys who are doing this for the best reason in the world: because no one else is, and they want the stuff. Also to make money, but they could easily have gone with Stargate or Battlestar Galactica as their debut pieces.
“Couple people looked at me funny when I said Serenity,” Steve said. “But I like Serenity.”
The website, http://www.quantummechanix.com/, is due to open next Friday. Be sure to check back here for updates and more info as soon as its available.