Could you not make a second layout the game doesn't use and put them there so it doesn't load them all at once in the beginning?
Well on startup, the game has many menu sprites and along with that I've got many more sprites that spawn during the game playing all on the same layout. It really wouldn't make a difference to put everything else on another menu, because wouldn't all those unloaded sprites become loaded and add to Image Memory once they were in the layout?
Even so, I did end up separating my game into 3 layouts, instead of 1. This way the menu sprites are irrelevant and so are the selection buttons.