Inside The Customizers Studio: Hazel Tam, Part 2

Welcome back to our second day of interviews with Hazel Tam, founder and chief designer of Amazing Armory Ltd. Yesterday we discussed many of the elements behind Hazel's design philosophy and views on the custom minifig accessory market. Today we take a look at the past to clear up some confusion, while turning turning our eye to the future.

Is there a story behind the Amazing Armory name (where did it come from)? Also, what is the story with the (old) 'bullet-head' mascot?

"Amazing Armory is a name that reflects my dream. An armory that wins  through amazing products! The bullet-head came to me while I was doodling. It was easy to recognize, and that was the reason we used it in the past. It was fun, but I believe I need something more serious than that now. Amazing Armory Ltd. is a production house for different kind of products, a new logo is needed. Therefore, from now on, our new logo will replace the current logo."

I must admit that in the past it was unclear as to who was involved in the old Amazing Armory. How did the people involved with the original Amazing Armory come together?

"It takes time and experiences to search for the right people to join the team, and I have to say, sometimes I pick the wrong people. Amazing Armory start by me, the original concept was to attract people who are interested in making and designing products to join us.

I am a designer, and I work as a designer because I have a passion and a dream. Money is not what my main focus on. Some people joined us about a year ago, yet turned out to be thieves who tried to steal Amazing Armory from me. It is a shame that it didn’t work out the way I expected. But now we are Amazing Armory Ltd, I would say that this is a brand new start. With new members and a new direction, I believe we can reach a higher goal."

I understand that 'Amazing Armory Ltd.' will have a whole new series of brands underneath this banner. How can customers ensure they are getting products made and designed by your new company and not the old one?

"After the unfortunate events of Amazing Armory, I rethought the focus of Amazing Armory. To me, Amazing Armory is just the company name. Amazing Armory Ltd. is a production house with several brand names underneath, HAZEL-Fantasy belongs to this category. Nightmare System, Orrangnade, United Armory will join Amazing Armory Ltd. and continue to produce high quality products for our customers. As such, our LEGO customers shall remember HAZEL-Fantasy as the brand name for custom parts. That’s the easiest way to find the products that they are looking for. With our new website coming, customer can have a better understanding of what those brand name stand for."

Can you share with us a little bit about the new brands that will be coming out soon (Nightmare System, Hazel Fantasy, etc.)? How will they be different from each other? How will they work together?

"As I said, HAZEL-Fantasy will focus on custom parts. All of them are still designed by me, and we will have over 80 new items in 2011.

As for Nightmare System; we are trying to something new, and therefore we still need more research and insight on these new ideas. We will keep everyone updated once we have any news.

I must talk about my Japanese friend who taught me everything. He is going to join Amazing Armory Ltd. in the near future with brand new directions of products. His skill shall bring marvelous products to Amazing Armory Ltd."

You've worked with other customizers/designers like Orrange in the past. How many other designers will you be working with under the new brands?

"With new brands and new Amazing Armory Ltd, we are excited to announce that a group of very talented designer has joined our team. Our chief concept designers will be HAZEL Tam, Nakamure and John. We have 2 3D designers, 8 animators and 2 graphic designers. We will still use Flickr as our communication channel with our customers and these designers will soon join our discussion.

Also, we are opening a new co-operation project for those who are interest to join the toy design industry. Our plan is to help them create new products with smaller quantity and provide a suitable environment for them to grow their business. This is the job of Amazing Armory Ltd."

A lot of exciting things to look forward to, but you won't have to wait long. In a little over 24 hours, the Amazing Armory Ltd. website will go live. Product will be available soon after on the website or through United Armory (US/CAN) and FireStar Toys (UK/International). These three outlets are the only ones to carry these new and exciting products. If other authorized resellers come on board, we will be certain to let you know.

I want to extend a big 'thanks' to Hazel and John for taking the time to set up this interview. I'm really looking forward to all that Amazing Armory Ltd. has in store for us, as I'm certain the rest of the community is too.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I never knew so many people where involved.