Quite a long time ago, a gentleman named Tunde contacted me and asked me if I knew of a good sculptor who could help him with a project he was creating.
Why yes, I replied, in fact I do know a very talented sculptor: Mike "NEMO" Mendez.
I hooked Tunde up with NEMO by way of email, and that was that. I have kept in touch with Tunde, off and on, over the past couple years as he got his vision off the ground. Tunde is of African descent, and he had an idea for a series of action figures utilizing the cultural archetypes present in the collective unconscious of the African diaspora. In layman's terms, that means in many African cultures there exist certain characters- whether they be mythological or real- that are common threads amongst the many different cultures. Tunde envisioned a series of action figures based on these characters.
NEMO's job was to sculpt the heads of some of the figures so that Tunde could get them produced by a factory. Tunde wanted fabric clothing and accessories for these characters, and he showed me some illustrations at one point which were fascinating and of course fundamentally different from anything coming out of the Americas, or Europe, or Asia. In short, a very cool project idea.
Well, as many of you know, getting toys made, especially by factories, is no easy task. And it doesn't happen overnight. I do not know Tunde- I've never met him personally, I mean- but I know he is passionate about this idea and wherever he is, he is most likely doing what so many of us are: working trying to survive in the "normal" way, while also pursuing our passion on the side. Getting very little sleep, having very little extra money, and very excited about our next big creative project.
In Tunde's project evolution, he has created an iPad app, whose intro video is below:
Tunde's project is called The Battle of the Wordsmiths. Honestly, from the video, the graphics look pretty cool. Tunde tells me that the iPad app will be released this month and the limited-edition figure series will begin to be released later this year. Please support Tunde by visiting TBOTW's Facebook page and Liking it. Also, go download the iPad game in the iTunes store here. It's free!
Here's a description of the game:
THE BATTLE OF THE WORDSMITHS is an epic multiplayer role playing card game set in the Yoruba kingdoms. Using cards you build armies of creatures, shape landscapes, control forces of nature, and use magical charms in a war against your opponents. THE BATTLE OF THE WORDSMITHS combines beautiful graphics, original gameplay and fast paced strategy.