This October we enter the final stretch with the latest trilogy developed from the Tomb Raider license and with it we will analyze the memorabilia and collectibles in our Treasure Hunters section. If last month you could not stop by to read the analysis of Tomb Raider Underworld (2008) you can do it at the link and so you will join us in this analysis of the reboot of the franchise.
Since June 2007 it was already in the minds of our friends from Crystal Dynamics to reboot the franchise and give a new twist to the formula of the saga, to change it and take a very different course and thus adapt it to the trends of the market that were to come. Jason Botta, creative director of Tomb Raider Anniversary, began to imagine this reboot even before “Underworld” existed and did so under the working title of “Tomb Raider Ascension” which was later renamed simply “Tomb Raider” (2013).
Together with Botta, Tim Longo joined the team to devise this new experience. At the beginning of the 2010s, the main characters who had difficulties and who at the same time faced new challenges began to proliferate, characters with whom the public could feel identified and as a mirror to see themselves reflected in their heroes. With this trend was born the idea of telling the story of the origins of Lara Croft, a 21-year-old girl who was beginning the process of becoming the tomb explorer that she was destined to be. A playable experience to examine the innocence of the protagonist's youth, her sense of guilt and her sacrifice that would lead her to learn from the experience and end up rising.
All these bases and concepts were developed by the writer of the game, Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of the famous novelist Terry Pratchett, and it was she who developed the whole framework that united all the key elements, the relationships with other characters, the outcome of the story and in short, give meaning and interest to the entire reboot for Lara Croft.
With this reboot, Lara's appearance was also renewed, preserving only key elements that made her recognizable but dispensing with other iconic elements such as the long braid or the double pistols. Lara's modeling went from 32,800 Underworld polygons to 35,000 for the reboot, and actress Camilla Luddington was counted on to perform the motion capture and digitize her acting and voice.
In 2010, this renewed idea was presented for the first time under the headline "Forget everything you know about Tomb Raider" (although a year before, some concept arts had already been leaked that anticipated what was to come, perhaps leaks of the company itself to see the first reactions from the public). After a very long promotion of 3 years, finally on March 5th, 2013 the game went on sale grabbing hundreds of covers of the specialized press and managing to sell its first million copies in just 48 hours (14, 5 million copies in total so far) placing this title as the best and fastest selling of the saga. Without a doubt, the new formula was working and Lara Croft was once again climbing to the podium of the most recognized video game characters globally. The Times magazine included her among the 100 most influential people who have never lived. With this also came countless nominations for awards and recognitions for having managed to revive the saga with a new facelift and success in that tough process.
With all this prelude, of course merchandise was not left aside, on the contrary, it was exploited in the most commercial way possible creating a website dedicated exclusively to the sale of products derived from the franchise, Tomb Raider Store. A real madness for fans eager to increase their beloved collections.
Let's analyze below some of the most outstanding products that came to us thanks to this game.
Original ink drawing of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot by the game's creative director Brian Horton in 2012. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix auctioned this piece of original art to donate proceeds to the Child's Play organization. It is a charitable organization that donates toys and games to children's hospitals around the world and was founded in 2003 by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, authors of the popular computer and video games based on Penny Arcade.
Tomb Raider reboot poster signed in person by the entire Crystal Dynamics team in 2013. These posters were given to webmasters at the time to support the promotion of the new game.
As with the previous life-size statues of Lara Croft, once again Studio Oxmox and Muckle Mannequins were commissioned to produce this magnificent 205-centimeter fiberglass figure based on the origin of Lara Croft.
Lara appears in an attack position with her bow and placed on a rock formation with the game's logo. As a detail, it should be noted that this was the only statue that Studio Oxmox made with natural hair wigs (and not sculpted directly on the statue) trying to give it a more realistic look and playing with the protagonist's disheveled hair. Due to the fact that the wig used to undergo modifications in the shipments and places of exhibition on the part of the people, Oxmox ruled out reusing this technique with real hair for any other figure, since they were not 100% satisfied with the durability of the hairstyle effect.
In 2013, the number 1 European brand for geek culture products, ABYStyle entered into a commercial agreement with Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics to produce memorabilia based on the Tomb Raider reboot. With this agreement, they released this series of products that were massively distributed. The complete collection consisted of: two messenger bags (large and small size), a mug, a key ring, two different models of t-shirts (in black and white), as well as two posters in nylon fabric with official artworks of the videogame.
After the success of the skateboards based on the Core Design designs that were launched on the market in 2000 (we talked about it in the Treasure Hunters section based on Tomb Raider Chronicles), in 2013 we had one of these skates with an original design based on the reboot: Tomb Raider 2013 Driftwood Longboad Deck.
42" (110 cm) concept board made by Never Summer Industries. Limited to 40 worldwide. Adverts for the longboard describe it as being of a rocker profile, has a scratch and chip resistant sublimated thermoplastic coating, has a mellow concave and a medium flex. It even features the silhouette of Lara Croft cosplayer Tiphaine, aka Illyne.
Originally, this longboard deck was available for purchase from the official Tomb Raider store for $130.00 but nowadays it is practically impossible to obtain due to the limit of manufactured units.
Interestingly, this was not the only longboard made; there was a board specially made for Crystal Dynamics’ employees at the time of the development of Tomb Raider (2013). Only one was given away in a competition in December 2012.
With the release of the Tomb Raider reboot, Square Enix also released these two controllers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game consoles.
Controller for Xbox 360:
This attractive red cotroller was first announced at the annual Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas on January 10th 2013, this limited edition controller was released on launch of the game Tomb Raider (2013). Buyers were then given a download code for the exclusive Xbox 360 multiplayer character, the Scavenger Archer. It has a two layer colour finish, has been laser etched and bandaged to create a look of battle worn. It also has Lara’s axe etched on the front, features a customisable D-pad that switches from a ‘plus’ design to a 'disc’ pattern, and has a wireless range of up to 30 feet. As with any Xbox 360 controller, it uses 2 x AA batteries.
Controller for Playstation 3:
This PS3 officially licensed controller was released by BigBen Interactive on 5th March 2013. It was only available through their website to Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival, this magnificent art book collects all the conceptual designs used for the Tomb Raider reboot in its 272 full-color pages and luxury finishes. Without a doubt, it is an interesting book to discover the entire creative process behind the development of the reboot.
The next item we are going to analyze is not an official brand licensed item, but I think it definitely deserved a special mention on this reboot tour. It is the model of the original ice axe on which the now mythical red Lara Croft ice axe was based. As has happened in the past, for example, with SOLA's wetsuit in Tomb Raider 2 (we discussed it at the time in the Treasure Hunters: Tomb Raider 2 section), there are items from Lara Croft's equipment that are actually based on real objects and marketed by existing brands today.
The design of the ice axe that Lara would use in her adventure by Yamatai is based on an original ice axe from the brand DMM International Ltd., an English company specializing in the design of climbing equipment. The specific model in the DMM Rebel ice axe designed in 2011 for climbing on ice waterfalls. The original price of this model was around 200 euros, although its commercialization was finalized around 2013 for newer models. It is a really rare piece due to its low production and that fans and cosplayers usually value very positively for their collections. The auction price is currently very high after this particular model became popular because it was the one used by Lara Croft after the reboot of the video game series and in the Alicia Vikander´s movie.
Thus we come to the end of our adventure on the lost island of Yamatai. I am Rodrigo Martín Santos and if you like Tomb Raider and / or collecting, I encourage you to follow me on my website www.tombraidercollection.comor through Facebook.Next month we continue with the trilogy of the last reboot and we will analyze in depth the rarest memorabilia based on another of the great jewels of Crystal Dynamics, Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) where Lara will try to find Kitezh and on the trail of the secret organization known as Trinity. I wait for you!