Form
Heroic Forces
Evanna Ramly 
Iron Man figurine
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Teaming up with The Walt Disney Company Malaysia, Royal Selangor recently launched its inaugural collection featuring Marvel superheroes. The range caters to generations of fans who grew up with the iconic characters, thrilled by their adventures in comic books, TV shows and films.

Leading the pack is the limited-edition Iron Man. Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark stands nine inches tall, his streamlined armour glinting as he steps off a powered platform in his lab. The Avenger looks poised to unleash a beam from his gauntlet, its strength concealed by the smooth precise lines that delineate the plates of his famous suit. Sculpted to minute detail, the coveted figurine is limited to 3,000 worldwide.

Spider-Man swings in to help save the day, the muscular curves of his athletic build and subtle wrinkles of his richly textured costume faithfully reproduced. Also limited to 3,000 worldwide, the nine-inch figurine is already a hot topic in Peter Parker’s friendly neighbourhood.

 

Captain America figurine

And where would our heroes be without their loyal friends? Miniatures of Marvel favourites from Thor to Captain America complement the collection, which also includes stylish lapel pins. Adorn your ensemble with Captain America’s shield or emblems of Spider-Man and Iron Man.

 

“When we launched our Star Wars collection in 2015, we received very encouraging feedback and support from both avid and casual fans,” recalls Chen Tien Yue, executive director of Royal Selangor. “From there, we thought about what we could do next in the pop culture scene and the obvious answer was to explore the DC and Marvel universe.”

Thor figurine

 

He observes how comic characters have been reinterpreted over the years by different artists and writers, and have been made relevant for new generations of fans through these reinterpretations. However, he adds, the essence of these characters is often maintained.

“Royal Selangor has also evolved over the years, and our product categories today are relevant to the lifestyles of today’s consumers because of this constant evolution. Yet, our core focus on pewter design and craftsmanship remains. Therefore it is quite fitting that Royal Selangor is immortalising some of your favourite comic characters in pewter.”

Chen says the company thoroughly enjoys producing collectibles from these iconic franchises. “It not only expands our product offering but also shows what we can do with pewter. The level of detailing and texture that we are able to achieve with pewter is amazing.”

One wonders if the company is specifically targeting the younger generation or perhaps hoping to appeal to new consumers.

“You might be surprised that most of our customers who buy the Star Wars, Batman or Marvel collections are in fact not far off from the median age of our other customers,” Chen reveals. “I guess this is due to the fact that most of these fans grew up with the characters during the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.”

That said, the collections do of course attract some younger fans as well; Chen believes this is due to the recent surge in the number of comic-to-movie adaptations.

“Some of these younger customers may not have walked into a Royal Selangor store before because they have grown up with a perception of Royal Selangor being a traditional brand. This is hardly surprising if their parents have received Royal Selangor corporate gifts, or won awards made by Royal Selangor. When they walk in now, because of their interest in pop culture, they are pleasantly surprised to discover our selection of contemporary designs which appeal to them.”

On how the aesthetic differs from the classic look of Royal Selangor, Chen points out it is only testament to the versatility of pewter. “We have always had a wide range of design styles and product categories. From detailed motifs to sleek, Scandinavian finishes; from Oriental tea caddies to mid-century whisky accessories.”

This versatility, he adds, is also why the company has been able to collaborate with various partners on licensed collections.

“We started many years ago with Winnie the Pooh children’s gifts and we partnered with Tolkien Enterprise for The Lord of the Rings collection. Over the years, we have also collaborated with several museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, drawing inspiration from their huge archives to produce official licensed products.”

According to Chen, the team of in-house designers and product developers are constantly trying to expand the use of pewter and pushing the envelope of what is possible when it comes to pewter design. “While we will continue to add new items to our licensed collections over the next few years, our core offerings are still our homeware and tableware products. We are always keen to explore what other product categories we can get into, so watch this space!”



This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 265.