Here is the translation of an interview of Cyril Marchiol made by the Italian website Itakon.it ! As there are many interesting news inside, I decided to translate it for you!
1- During this year you?ve shown 2 innovatives HQS like Nico Robin and Hashirama, you?ve surprised everyone with a new 1/4 scale statue of Majin Vegeta, and finally, you?ve organized the amazing Tsume Fan Days 4 with a lot of contents, especially around One Punch Man, and the massive prototype of Ace. So, what would you say about 2016? Are you satisfied with what you?ve done until now? Have you got any other surprise to show before the end of the year?
I am globally satisfied with 2016. We still have a lot of things to change, modify and improve, be it in term of communication or production. We always have a lot of things to rethink constantly.
Our company evolves very fast and it is difficult to tie down everything, especially when we have a lot of interesting projects going on.
It requires a lot of energy. People often don?t realize that working with license owners or with China is not easy at all. But still, we are very happy. We had good results and all our products are sold out. We almost doubled our quantities which enabled us to offer a figure like Saitama at less than 60 euros, when a similar figure would have been sold 99 euros two years ago due to the low quantities and cost of the molds. People often ask us why we grow bigger, but this is one of the reason. It enables us to go even further.
Now 2016 isn?t over. One final event remains and we hope we?ll be able to make it happen this year, though we are still waiting for the final approval. We have one last piece, probably the biggest figure of TSUME so far, so we?re going to be pushing it a bit in December.
2- During the TFD4 you let people choose the next characters for the future HQS of Naruto, Dragon Ball and Bleach. I think the fans appreciate this kind of initiative. Do you think you will do it again, maybe with a poll on the social networks?
We are working on some secret projects that I cannot talk about now, but in 2017 we are going to have tools that are exclusive to our world, to the world of animation and figures.
We want to go further, but not only with products, we want to go further in the way to do things and suggest things to people. And the poll will be one of them.
3- Saitama Xtra has been successful from the beginning, probably more than every other of your pvc figures. And the prototype of Genos couldn't be better. How do you plan to continue the line? Are you going to make only the 3 or 4 main characters or would you complete the line with all the characters of One Punch Man?
It?s a little too early to talk about it. The second season of the anime was cancelled, then rescheduled. It is difficult for us to look too much into the future of this series. We would like to continue working on OPM because we like it and this there is a lot of things that could be done. Still, we won?t go where people are expecting us to. We would like to surprise fans on this series.
Saitama is one of our biggest success. We printed over 7000 pieces and are thinking of making a reprint. Thank you to all the people that believed in us for this figure.
4- After the figures, you?ve started to make clothing and board games. Are you planning to make some other stuff, for example Art Prints?
At the moment, we have many things we want to do, but we need to organize what is already in place. Tsume is advancing well. We have an incredible success and we?re very proud of it.
We have to put a lot of energy in IKI and YOKA as well. It requires resources and it takes time. So yes, we have a lot of projects, but the future of Tsume it to take a step back and do things at our own speed.
5- What do you do to decide the design of a new figure? Do you take any inspiration from a particular scene of the manga or the anime? Or do you start from scratch and work on your own idea?
The good thing at Tsume is that we are now around 30 people and many are fans of a series or another, so we get a lot of suggestions. It?s really cool. As for me, apart from the series I?m into where I will say ?I want that or that?, I?m more the person who will make the final decision on what can work from an artistic or commercial perspective. Many people give ideas and we try to work together to make the best feasible project. We are learning with time and always questioning ourselves to arrive at the best level and to limit broken items.
We work together to get to the best project possible. There are products where we will get ambitious, other a bit less. In terms of energy, ambitious figures can cause troubles. Productions needs to follow up and can cause delays. So, we learn, all the time, every day and question ourselves to avoid problems. We always try to do the best we can.
6- After a lot of requests from the fans, you finally announced the license of Berserk for the statues. What kind of scenes are you going to do?
We alreayd know what we?ll do for Berserk. We?re going to work on the characteristics and the strong points of Tsume: dynamism, ambition and we?re going to try to do something awesome that will surprise you. I know many companies already work on it, because it?s quite an open license, so we?ll have to surpass ourselves and go even further. We are working with Caleb on the license. He usually does more realistic works, so we?ll bring our experience of the anime world and work together with him to get closer to an anime style. It is interesting, because I believe he will bring us a new kind of vision. Cyril Farudja, our art director, will work with him on the posing. I think it will once again be a real teamwork. Even in terms of painting, we have Guillaume who is from the Wahammer world and who will really have a great time on Berserk. I think it will be a blast.
Lucy Heartfilia & Aquarius
7- You announced a new line of statues for Fairy Tail. Why did you choose the HQS plus instead the normal HQS? Can you give us some preview about Natsu?
It?s very simple. I chose HQS+ because we do HQF that are very close to HQS in terms of volume. (Like Luxus or Mirajane). So, we decided that if we were to do something more, we would go against what people were expecting from us. This range enable us to go even further in the details. Why choose HQS+? It?s because some license owners are easier to deal with that others. We created a bond that allows us to make proposals. This will enable us to increase the level of details and work on the textures. We?re really getting along well with the license owner so it really motivates us to go for 1/4th
Fairy Tail is a license that is a little set aside. There are very few people working on it . It?s not big outside of Europe and a part of Asia so it?s interesting to be working on it.
How many pieces will we release?
I cannot say at the date of today. It is difficult to make a forecast on HQS+. When you are getting ready to sell figures over 500 euros, it is very complicated to make a forecast. Almost impossible. We have too few pieces to look at for reference. Every time we ask ourselves how many people are able to put so much money in such products: 100, 200 or 500? For Vegeta, we got really surprised. We didn?t expect such a big volume. For Natsu we really don?t know. It?s the main character, but I really don?t know.
It?s going to be difficult, but I?m confident.
8- Is there something you want to tell to the Italian fans?
I wanted to tell our Italian fans that I will be at LUCCA next year. This year I was not able to attend and I regretted not to be there. The team that went there did a really good job. They actually did such a good job and told me so much good about the event, that I will do my best to attend next year and make a signing session. And maybe I won?t be alone. I may bring a secret guest along with me. As Italy is an interesting country for our Japanese friends, I may come along with someone. But I can?t promise anything yet, there may be a last-minute problem, but I already have my little idea in mind.
Thank you very much Cyril !
I hope you guys learned some interesting things about Tsume.
See you soon.