Oct 28, 2008
Gama-Go's Yeti: Packaging + Final Production
[Today we bring our behind-the-scenes series on the development of Gama-Go's large Yeti figure to a close. Greg Long, Gama-Go cofounder, is your tour guide in this final installment and he dishes on the final package design, final figure, and the impending pre-sale this Thursday. Enjoy.]
Sometimes I head over to the Brainwash cafe to clear my head and get some of the thinkin' work done that I find difficult to do in the office. Brainwash is a bit of a SOMA institution. It's a cafe/laundromat with a typically SF snarky staff and ridiculous clientele. Once you've gotten your coffee, grabbed a table, and started looking around - you'll see five or six people on computers, a couple of faux or not-so-faux junkies, a bunch of overly-made-up gals from the cosmetic college down the street, and a couple of frisky-looking europeans who just rolled in from the hostel around the corner.
After spilling the news that we couldn't do the plastic-molded ice cave box, Denise quickly sent me an alternate box option that had a bunch of photoshopped elements that would work together to make the Yeti look enmeshed in ice. It was alright, but it wasn't the direction I was looking to go. Now here I am sitting in Brainwash with some coffee and looking over our fall product mix spreadsheet. I need to put it away and get to some doodling. I quickly sketched what I was thinking. Lots of cutaway windows: front, top, both sides - all of 'em have windows. Get the Yeti name spelled out in logs and a carved GAMA-GO on a board. Loads of huge icicles, etc. I took a quick photo of it with my phone and texted it to Denise and Omar. The main thing is that I wanted all of it to be painted.
Before I had finished my coffee Denise wrote back that Dave Higgins - the same artist who had hand painted the master of the wooden Dbot - could do the painting for the box. Excellent.
When I got back to the office I found that Denise had sent me some photos of the actual painting of the resin one-off of the Yeti. Some sweet timing. We had gotten images of the resin master the week before & things were rolling along reasonably smoothly. This first round of painting photos were a bit off. Denise's painter, Liz Belomlinsky, had gone with an ashen gray color for the face and hands of the yeti - definitely off-spec and a bit creepy, but ultimately not a huge deal as the rest of the painting was on target. I typed out a color change email to Denise and that was that.
With the painting done, the yeti could now move into production. Last piece was finalizing the box. Fast forward a week and a half.
Chris and I are in San Diego madly working the booth at Comicon when I receive a messload of photos from Denise. They show all of the box. Dave had done a great job, a watercolor treatment of the ice cave concept. Totally nailed the Yeti wood lettering. Most importantly it had the hand-feel to it that I was looking for. Unfortunately the back of the box wasn't where I wanted it to be. I shot Denise a quick positive email with a note that I'd work on the back on my return.
After four long days in San Diego I returned home, opened up the laptop and checked my email. there was a message from Denise saying she had to send off the packaging & couldn't wait further for my comments. Feck. Apparently she hadn't gotten my message. Ah well, it was off and being made and that's that.
Let's speed up to the present-day. It's October 27th, Monday & today I went over to the Ningyoushi store in North Beach to pick up the first of the production models. It's a big box and it looks sick. The windows look great, the painting looks great. I love how the top windows let light in on the Yeti. I rushed it back to GAMA-GO for an unboxing and photo taking. The torch is awesome and this thing is really friggin' huge.
Wow, here we are - the end of the road. We're going put the Yeti up on GAMA-GO this Thursday for a 1 week presale. I've really enjoyed writing this series and I want to thank Jack for giving me the forum to ramble on about the process of making this Yeti. I hope y'all got something from it and I hope y'all like our work. I also want to thank Jack for his patience and all the free liquor. Writing about this 6 month trip from the first meeting with Denise and Omar over french fries to today's double-parking outside of Ningyoushi has been a rare pleasure.
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