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Art and passion: why Asmodee’s Arkham Horror figures are a dream come true for Jaime Rodríguez
Jaime Rodríguez, you’re the co-founder of Dream Figures. Tell us a little about it… What’s it all about?
We’re in love with Anime, Manga, fantasy, movies, books… We personally know that when you like something so much, it can mark you forever. Depending on the generation, you may have grown up with different games, series, platforms… And it’s normal to want that to be part of your life.
And your job is to make those things real? Make them tangible?
Right. And one of the simplest ways is through pictures, posters and so on, but we consider that the figures, specifically of the quality we make, are the next level.
In what way?
When we see a perfect figure of something that’s marked us in the past, or in the present, and we feel the need to have it exposed in our house to enjoy it, it’s always wonderful. That’s what we pursue with Dream Figures.
What does your job involve, specifically?
We design and create very high-quality figures – but collectible figures… We emphasise this last point since we must completely separate them from the concept of toys.
Right; the figures you produce aren’t play figures…
Most definitely not! In this case, we take care of producing works of art. And, when you like what you do so much, it’s wonderful to dedicate all the time necessary to it.
Why did you enter the industry?
As mentioned previously, we adore this world and we’re the first to collect those pieces… Pieces that – no matter how many times you look at them –always catch your attention. Clearly, there have been other brands that work wonders in this way. But not all of them reach the level of quality that we personally pursue – far from it.
You wanted to up the quality?
Right. In addition, the leading brands in this sector focus mainly on well-known licenses. Obviously, we’re interested in those same licenses but we want to focus and push more on those other works of art that are in the background for different reasons and it’s a pity that we cannot enjoy them in the same way.
And to that end, Dream Figures has a brand-new licensing partnership; you’re producing a line of Arkham Horror figures for Asmodee Entertainment. Tell us about them!
All we can say here is a little about what Asmodee have achieved with this marvel of a brand that they’ve created; what at first glance might seem like a simple board game… It is one of the best games in the world! It perfectly combines all the ingredients to immerse you for hours and hours in a world that’s based on the popular Cthulhu mythos. We’re excited to be able to contribute our grain of sand in this great project and we hope to continue collaborating in the future.
How did the deal come about?
When we met the Asmodee Entertainment team, and they proposed the Arkham Horror IP, we immediately got excited about it. We started imagining how it could become reality… The whole process was very comfortable. We initially made some fast sketches, and the team liked them – so the rest of the process was easy. We are really thankful to Asmodee; grateful that they let us work on these projects and for trusting this trusting us in this adventure.
And what is the rest of that process? How hard is it to take such a rich 2D image and make it 3D? Walk us through it!
We have found opinions of all kinds around this point. Many have not even considered how difficult this can be and how many hours of work it entails. It’s important to point out that it’s not only about taking a 2D image to 3D, but that you have to give it life, the proportions and scales must be exact, the shadows are fundamental…
Right. This is exactly the sort of thing I think it’s hard for people to appreciate: you’re capturing characters but you’re doing it in a very realistic, artistic way…
Exactly. And you have to keep in mind that many of these artists become true experts in human anatomy, just to be able to capture the figures perfectly. I personally consider that it’s necessary to be made of a special paste to dedicate yourself to this! We are very lucky to work with some of the best artists in the world and they never stop surprising us with the wonders they’re capable of doing.
I wouldn’t presume to debate you. They’re extraordinary. What would you say, Jaime, is the greatest challenge you face executing figures of this complexity?
Without a doubt, the most complicated thing is to reach our own expectations and level of quality that we seek for our figures. The level of detail makes all the difference in these products. The hair, fabrics, colours, shadows, posture, expressions… Everything has to be perfect, and this is always very complicated.
Your passion for these figures really comes over…
And additionally, we always try to transfer something else with our figures and not limit ourselves to just planting a piece without further ado. This is very challenging as well, but we think it is essential for collectors.
How interesting is the IP to work on?
Oh, hugely! How could it be otherwise? We love the world of board and card games, and it couldn’t be anything less than love with Arkham Horror. It’s one of the best franchises in the world, and the Cthulhu theme is the icing on the cake. We have an incredible opportunity on our hands so that fans of this game, like us, can enjoy a specific collector’s item from the board game that’s given us such good times.
Great answer! A similar question then, I suppose: How important is creativity in what you do?
As in many other sectors, creativity is key. We can’t reduce this entire process to the creation of a simple sculpture. We have to ensure that as soon as they see it, the fans of that particular figure need to have it at home and that they are willing to bear the costs just to have something that, at the end of the day, cannot be ‘used”.Let’s be realistic, this is a luxury hobby on many occasions and that’s why we need to be very creative and transmit a lot in each piece.
And how do you stay creative?
We’re very lucky to be able to work on what we’re really passionate about. We’re always looking for or working on projects that we’d like to have on display in some corner of our house. It must be admitted that we have a problem there…
There isn’t a house big enough to display everything we’d like! As we are always thinking about new designs and evaluating many other possibilities, it allows us to push our creativity to the maximum. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re a great team, with the same passion, but different tastes and different points of view, and this is key to challenging ourselves and obtaining the best results.
Fantastic. Jaime, we’re going to need to wrap this up but it’s a real honour to get some insight into this incredible art. Brilliant work. Penultimate question, then… What’s the one question I could’ve asked you today but didn’t?
Are you looking for other project of this kind?
Lovely! And What’s the answer?
Of course, we’re always looking for new opportunities to ensure that everyone can enjoy these figures at home, in a way that represents something else for them; the same way we might have a poster for our favourite movie. We believe that this sector of board games is largely forgotten in this regard, and we’re going to continue working to carry out more projects.
Fantastic. Thank you so much for your time, Jaime.
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