Early last week an intriguing post popped up in the social media feeds for many phans - a little company called Wulfric Media began advertising a range of Phantom collectibles unlike anything we've seen before!
Kelby Wooldridge is the man behind Wulfric Media. For those who came in late, we've spoken with Kelby before as he looked to produce a specilised Phantom comic storage box, but he has recently announced that he will be producing a range of Phantom Country miniatures - little 3D representations of landmarks and landscapes that are unique to the Phantom universe.
We have been lucky enough to be chatting with Kelby, and have asked a few questions about the upcoming collection.
Chronicle Chamber: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself Kelby - how long have you been a Phantom phan? Have you ever done anything like this (produced merchandise) before?
Kelby Wooldridge: I was introduced to The Phantom by my grandfather when I was about 11 and started collecting them by visiting secondhand bookshops to get as many as I could This wasn’t very often as I grew up on a farm a while away from any bookshops. Since then I have been interested in pop culture of all types such as films, novels, tabletop RPG [role playing games] and of course comics. Apart from my stalled start in trying to get the comic storage box started, this is my first attempt. We are based out of the Gold Coast in Queensland but will ship internationally. We are looking to release a miniature a month with the map and case to come last. By the way we will still be proceeding with the storage box along with this idea; it was just put on hold when this idea came along. This is so unique that we wanted to get a start on it straight away.
CC: We can understand that excitement! So how long has this new idea been brewing?
KW: We came up with the idea about 7 to 8 months ago and surprisingly, it has not really changed much from its inception. However, we are refining it and elaborating on it. Ideas are workshopped to see if they fit the overall feel of the Phantom and adjusted if necessary or discarded all together.
CC: Why landscape miniatures rather than characters?
KW: We felt that the characters have been overdone. Also, they don’t fit into the overall idea of our concept. I know I am being a bit cagey about the end concept but once it’s completed and released, it will be clear why. As far as I know this has never been done before.
CC: No, we can't think of another set like this either. Can you please describe the miniatures and perhaps expand on the distribution concept... we understand that you will produce 10 miniatures to be released monthly, and collected in a box or placed on a map?
KW: The Phantom Peak miniature will be 48mm wide, 35mm deep and 40mm high, with the others similarly scaled. Yes, all the miniatures are designed to stand on the three dimensional map. It will weigh about 100 grams. I thought it would be awesome to be able to visit Phantom Country rather than just look at it. The sale concept came about to make it affordable to the phans and to help with the workflow of producing the run of miniatures. We will ship internationally.
CC: Can you please share images of the landscapes you'll be creating, or a list of the full range?
KW: So far I have announced that we have The Phantom Peak and the Skull Cave of course. The other ones to come will be Witchman's Peak, Keela-Wee, Whispering Grove, The Misty Mountains, Isle of Eden, Eastern Daak, The Jungle Patrol and Nyahpura. These are all included for a reason, which will be revealed at the end. As we get the artwork and finish the images, we will release these for people to view on my Facebook page, Wulfric Media.
CC: The pics of the Phantom Peak miniature and the design for the Skull Cave look fantastic - do you have prototype versions of each of them created already?
KW: We have only the prototype of the first model, Phantom Peak, with drawings for the Skull Cave from Glenn Ford. Each prototype takes time and money to transfer it from a two dimensional drawing to a three dimensional model. As we get the interest and sales we can invest more time and money in speeding up the release of each miniature.
CC: Your release model seems very similar to the Bradford Exchange model. How do you reassure phans who may have concerns about the run being completed? [FTWCIL: some Bradford Exchange lines were discontinued mid-run]
KW: The only way for this run to not be completed is if there is no interest from the phans in buying it. I love this concept and its uniqueness and want to see it to its completion. Hopefully, with the phans’ support, we will.