View Full Version : In Bed with Attakus.

07-26-2006, 06:04 PM
As promised, the first part of the interview.

Please apologyze for the english, and if ther is something you don't understand please let me know.

Interview with Olivier ( Attakus Crew ) by Cyberluke, member of the french forum MIB ( mintinbox.net ) on June 26th.

Question ( Q ) : Are you Star Wars Fans ?

Answer ( A ) : Of course ! I was 13 when Star Wars played out and we never seen something like that before. I think if we aren’t be Fans we could never do what we’re doing on the statues we produce.

Q : What is your favourite movie ? What is your favourite character ?

A : As a lot of fan, it’s TESB. There is a great control filming it something that is missing in others episodes.
I have no favorite character yet I appreciate bad guys more.
I like Han Solo for his sense of humor and his dialogues.

Q : What is your favourite statue you produced ?

A : Vader I for the character and his presence. We weren’t all OK for the pose but, at the end, it’s real success far more than the Vader II and his beautiful backhand…

Q : and the best pieces of your rivals ?

A : I don’t like to mix soft clothes and cold cast material unless necessary as Sideshow do, however I love their Grievous pose.

As for Gentle Giant, Boba Fett Mini Bust is the most beautiful piece but when looking at it from its back, the neck seems too long but it an amazing piece.

But keep in mond that it is difficult to compare GG, sideshow and us. We do not use same techniques. 3 D scans and sculpt give 2 differents results.
I do not judge, I’m not fan of every Star Wars statues we produced.

Q: What is your favourite Star Wars product other than statues / busts ?

A : I love Mr Potatoes and I’m not joking. Super deformed too.

Q : Are you a collector too ? Only Star Wars ?

A : I do not collect a particular univers but “ au coup de Coeur “ ( when you see something and you want it, I’m unable to translate it correctly sorry ) that why I could resell a piece 3 weeks after I bought it because I’m tired of it or because pictures showed it as not as good as it is really.
Years ago, I collected Astro Boy. It was difficult to find and I liked to hunt for it.
But recently it is more easy to find because it is popular and now I’m looking for older things.
I love the ‘ Death Dealer ‘ from Frazetta made by Bowen and some of Bowen’s Marvel Statues.
As para-BD, I bought ‘ coup de Coeur ‘ too yet few things surprised me recently and the BD must be something I read.

Q : The Star Wars licence introduced Attakus to the general public, do you still need it to be financially independent and to promote others licences ?

A : Yes and no. The Star Wars licence allowed us to be reconized as a great company at an international level.
Now, Attakus earn money 50 % with Para-BD and 50 % with Movies licences.
Now, in our daily business, Star Wars is taking less time.

Star Wars is a very important licence, it has given us credibility ab alooed us to gain new licences.

However, we execute more than we create but we’re still proud and happy to work with Lucasfilm and it’s not pejorative.
When we work with other BD authors, like Vatine or Loisel, the creative process is very different.

Q : How long do you have the SW Licence ?

A : As long as both Lucasfilm and us wish to work together. When LF give a licence, they asked for a business Plan very detailed.
They give you the Licence if they think they will earn money and if the quality will be there.
We have projects for 15 years.

Q : How many pieces could you produce with a licence given for 2 years ?

A : No rules, all depend of the business plan.
We must respect the business plan. Shorter are the delays if we produce more statues.
It takes 12 month to produce a statue available on the market. A delicate balance must be find between a turn to profit statue for LF and our ability to produce such a piece.

Q : How many people do you work with at LF ?

A :Not too much. There is two parts, creative process and business part.
During the creative process, we work closely with Chris Spitale, responsible of the “ creative center “.
We bring a list of statues we wish to produce, when they are OK, with the name, we suggest pose but very often the impose the final pose.
We asked them why they changed our suggested poses or why they refuse we produce a particular character.
They said that it is to avoid doubloon between the licencied companies.
Everything need the approval of LF and we do not obtain what we ask every time. But as long as we can stay true to the movies it’s all that matter for us.
Sometimes, however, this is not the case and LF wants us to modify a statue who was a true copy of a character in the movie. We’re not always agree with that but they have always the final word.

Q : Does LF impose quotas to the USA or any other country ?

A : Yes. We’re allowed to produce only 1500 pieces and each country receive a small number of them.
Everything is made by contract.
We’re pleased to produce only 1500 exemplaires of each statues. We know it will be more easy for us to make 5000 Vader and 500 Leia but it will be either a non sense for the collectors or our way of thinking collections.

Q : French-Belgium authors are revistaing the Marvel Universe. Do you think it is possible that some day, your collaboration with LF and authors you’re working with give birth to news lithographies of Star Wars characters previously released as statues ?

A : It is possible, as long as we paid and get a contract.
However, problems will arise like how to use the licence and if it will be possible to LF to hold back authors’s creativity.
If we had certainty of a total freedom in this matter it will be possible but for now, no.
We have a contract very precise on this matter and we cannot nor want to move out of it.
But things may change as people at LF are very open.

Q : Is the Star Wars licence a burden ?

A : No, not really. We’re very excited when we’re producing new statue. I really like color tests when the statue began to be brought to life.
It is always a pleasure to produce a new Star Wars statue even if we’re not totally free in our creative process.
If one day we think as a job solely, we will stop but I can assure you it is not the case right now.

Q : A lot of collectors had the ‘Collector’s blues’ due to the ever growing offer of Star Wars products.
What will be your advise about it ?

A : too much is too much and Star Wars is a great exemple on this matter. But companies offer and customers decide.

Q : Do you think Star Wars licences are killing Star Wars ?

A : I don’t think so. There is a true market for Star Wars products and if Europeans fly away ther will always the Americans to sustain it.
From my point of view, it began to be hot.

Q : There will be probably ( ? who’s know ?) ROTS Clone Trooper for the next serie, are you thinking about Commander Bly ( due to his numerous armor details and equipement ) ?

A : you’re better know than me ( lol )
Nothing have been decide now regarding future released. We have projects but right now we’re talking about with LF and together at Attakus.

Q : Will there be new unusual character is the the serie V, like Probe Droid or an enourmous statue like Jabba ?

A : Possible but it is a secret. Probe Droid was a special wish of me. But I was alone to support it at the beginning. Our work is collegial and I had to wait for more support before, like Gaëtan it gets enough votes. Lol Etienne didn’t say no too. lol


Q : Why haven’t you produce more Prequels characters ? Is it a marketing choice or is it prohibited by LF ?

A : We wish to produce a “ Hall of Fame “ of the more iconic characters of the Original trilogy. We focused on it first.
We decide which character we want to produce, only Padmé from AOTC was LF choice. We wished to produce her in her Red Coruscant outfit from TPM.
Sometimes, LF strongly suggests a choice but, for now, we decide.

Q : Is Jar Jar Binks a possible choice ? It’s an important character with such a great part in the story. You will be the the first company to offer a high end collectible of him.

A: Sure he’s planned, Serie 24 or 25 can’t remember ( NB : right now, they are on Série 4…. ).
It’s not in the foreseeable future for sure.

Q : Which character do you want to produce the more / the less ?

A : With the Probe Droid, I wanted to make a FX-7, I told of the Padmé in her Coruscant Outfit too from TPM.
But we wish to make new sculp of existing characters. We had a Darth Maul in action giving a High Kick strike which please us most and a new Boba Fett unfortunately there is few chances to see them in the futur.
We also wish to produce a Biker Scout. We ask LF from 5 years but there is a lot of characters to be made !

Q : Will we see Expanded Universe Characters soon ?

A : Why not ! We had a project wit hFred Blanchard and Olivier Vatine ( Thrawn Trilogy BD ) to produce a Mara Jade. Right now, it is in stand by but not lost.
We’re ready to work on the Expanded Universe in order to meet with great authors and for fun.
If we wera allowed we will do that in order to have more humans and more directs relationships.
There is a very big project actually with LF but I cannot say more.

Q : Are you sollicitated by private collectors to produce 1:1 Star Wrs pieces ? Have you ever receive exceptionnls impossible to make orders ?

A : Yes frequently but we refuse each time. We don’t have the right to do that.

Q : The Attakus bust 1 :1 gallery is awesome, Sideshow produce such a line for Star Wars why you don’t do that too ?

A : Sideshow makes great products with their 1:1 Star Wars bust line. We will all make the same products. We work on other licences for that kind of line.

Q : What about re-issue and / or variants of characters ? What do you think about it ?

A :It doesn’t bother me. We produced a Bronze Yoda because we wanted to do that. We thought to produce a Bronze Leia too.
But when doing that, we must add something if it is just a blaster change or the color at the very end of an helmet it is just not enough.
We’re thinking more about position change rather than another paint job on an already produced statue.

Q : Another huge piece, like the Jabba previously released, is it possible ? Do you wish to make such a piece ?

A : We sought about the Rancor ( lol ) but it would have be too huge ! Often we thought about it but we still need to sell it.

Q : Why boba Fett doen’t have a varnish armor and helmet like Jango ?

A : Well… I don’t know. No one put this point at the time we made him. We cannot see everything besides we work hard to avoid such kind of “ errors “.
Sometimes we go fishing for informations on forums or officials materials, which with have permanent acces, but it seems it is not enough.
At the time, the creative service of LF didn’t asked us to modify him and they’re quite very strict with us.

Q : Why Genreal Grievious’s base is different ?

A: It’s Top Secret but, for MIB, I will let you know the truth.
After the first production run, we saw the statue was leaning over , like if he was looking to the ground.
Wonderful piece…. When standing 3 meters high.
We thought about re-sculpting him but it would have take 5 to 10 weeks to have what we wanted due to his complexity.
One day, I putted a cigarettes pack under his base and he had the correct stance.
LF agreed. The name on the base came from LF but we weren’t pleased with their firsts suggestions. We found font and wood cutting.
We also wished to improve the base and we thought about claw marks, tribute to Freddy Krueger, it is the BFLV’ touch (NB : BFLV is MIB ID of an Attakus crew member ).
A lot of things bring us to the final result but we planned to make him in four month and it took 11.
The base is the result of the more easiest solution for us but we kept it as funny as possible.

Q : Why the Clone Trooper’s belt isn’t fixed to the body ?

A : What is your nest quest ion ( lol ).
Franckly I don’t know. Once thing is fore sure, we followed the archives and we will not make something wrong in order to simplify the sculpting process. Not our style.

Q : A Darth Vader Statue as high as the Pelisse ( NB : 30.3’’ tall ) is it possible ? do you think about it ?

A : The contract with LF doesn’t allow us to produce such a piece but “ impossible is not French “…

Q : Are you looking for better material for the lightsabers blades ?

A : Yes ! and you could see it by yourself with the upcoming Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight. We move to anor cold cast material and we hope problems would be resolved.

Q : Was there two ways to produce the Royal Guard ( before the Japanase release ) ?
On an American Forum ( RebelScum that is !!) , an owner of this piece asked it because he own two of them and one seems lighter, like if one was hollow and the second not.
How could it be possible ?

A : The cold cast material we’re using is a mix with marble powder and they never have the same weight because of the different mix. Perhaps it can explain the difference between those 2 statues but no statue is hollow.

( NB : I don’t remember the Scummer’s name who asked it on the board. As promised I asked the question and there is the answer from Attakus. I tried to translate this technicals answer the best I could ).

Q : what was the more difficult statue to make before Grievous ? the easiest ?

A : Nothing really complex before Grievous what is really complicated is that most of the parts are cast in several parts.
The Probe Droid is a real challenge and we might be off deadline.
Our best brainstorming was on the ‘ Djinn noir’ from N. Keramidas ( Luuna from Editor Soleil ) [ NB : it’s a BD ]. It was awful ( lol ).
We’re always aware that what could seems a easy to make product could turn to a nightmare.

Q: Are poses of your statues trademarked ? Could Gentle Giant use your Vader I pose even if the scale was slightly different ?

A: No, everything is the property of LF. They do what they want, it is in the contract. But as I said, they don’t allow such things to happen, fortunately !
They do what they want. We recently learn that they allowed a scan of our Vader I and sell it to other licencies to produce a candy dispender.
We’re truly angry but cannot do anything. There is also other pieces made by us that have been scanned but I prefer not to think about it.

07-26-2006, 06:10 PM
Awesome, thanks for posting this.

07-26-2006, 06:19 PM
thanks french sidious http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/cool.gif http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/cool.gif
i love attakus. they're statues are beatifull. i usually get ripped for my love for these pieces. it kills me when people post that GG and even KOTO are better. that is ridiculous. collectors biggest gripe with attakus is thier prices. wich ill even admit is way too much. all of my attakus statues have been aquired via ebay. i usually get them for 1/2 of retail. to me that is a steal. my greatest ebay score was a yoda 1. i won it on ebay 2 months ago for $330. as far as upcoming releases i would love to see bly,shocktrooper,qui-gon,and mace. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/cool.gif the list could go one and on.

thanks again french sid http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/smile.gif

07-26-2006, 06:25 PM
Thanks a lot French_Sidious! It is great to hear about the whole process from the main source.

07-26-2006, 06:30 PM
My pleasure !
I'm agree with you the price is very high even for me.

My best it was the Yoda I, I bought it when it was at its retail price, approximatively $153.

Unfortunately it seems they don't want to lower the price ( surprise are you ? ). They expect to avoid scapling that way, not sure it works though.

07-26-2006, 06:34 PM
Wow thats alot to take in thanks foe sharing frenchsidous http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/smile.gif

07-27-2006, 05:01 AM
I edited my first post to add the second part of the interview.
you can find it right under the " ------------------" in the first post. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif

07-28-2006, 04:32 PM
Q : Was there two ways to produce the Royal Guard ( before the Japanase release ) ?
On an American Forum ( RebelScum that is !!) , an owner of this piece asked it because he own two of them and one seems lighter, like if one was hollow and the second not.
How could it be possible ?

A : The cold cast material we’re using is a mix with marble powder and they never have the same weight because of the different mix. Perhaps it can explain the difference between those 2 statues but no statue is hollow.

( NB : I don’t remember the Scummer’s name who asked it on the board. As promised I asked the question and there is the answer from Attakus. I tried to translate this technicals answer the best I could ).

The Scummer was me :P and I do have a solid and a hollow ... I did buy both from the same shop ( www.toy-palace.com (http://www.toy-palace.com) who are the biggest reseller of Attakus statues in germany .. ). Seems I got something that by definition does not exist officially - from the outside there is NO! difference between the statues...

07-29-2006, 04:07 AM
I'm sorry but it what they said. If you have pictures of that I could send them to Attakus.

Note that they don't check weight on each statue thhey produce.
What is the weight of each of your Royal Guard ?

By the way, I know Toy Palace and they're great.

07-29-2006, 07:54 AM
Pictures wouldn't help here http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/smile.gif they look 100% the same - I have the exact weight but lets say it like this if one of the Royals is 2kg the other feels like 250g - so the difference makes me assume one is filled and one is hollow http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/smile.gif

07-30-2006, 08:27 AM
What a difference !!!

I'm sorry guy I cannot explain such a difference. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/tongue.gif