July 20, 2011

Lara's Hidden Treasures: Tomb Raider Collectors Open Their Vaults

A few months ago I posted a call for gamers to share their Tomb Raider collections with the rest of us. (See here for details.) I received quite a few submissions, which I'd like to share with you now. Impressive!

If you'd like to have your collection featured here too, just drop me an email (). I will be appending future submissions below the others, so check back occasionally to see the latest additions.

Update: Crystal Dynamics' Community Manager, Meagan Marie, is planning to feature fan collections on the Official Tomb Raider Blog. You can see a bit of her massive collection there and contact her about sharing yours with the rest of the community.


LaraCroftCollector

My nickname is LaraCroftCollector. I am in South London, UK, at the moment. I got interested in TR memorabilia after seeing the Lara range of merchandise advertised in the back of one of the games guides. I think it also showed the Witchblade Tomb Raider Crossover comics, because when I saw that I went straight to my local comic shop and bought them. I got myself on the internet and found the Lara Merch site, eBay and the one thing that hooked me for sure was Bill Latour's Visions of Lara Croft site. Bill to me was the first TR collector. He was back then what I aspired to be and that was a true Lara collector.

I used to have a huge collection of Tomb Raider stuff, but I was in a job where I wasn't give a payrise for over 6 years, I had to sell everything I could. I have changed jobs and am now starting to rebuild my collection.

My most favourite item is the Eidos bag because it's the rarest. There was a promo candle release for one of the games.

LaraCroftCollector's collection - click for larger image
LaraCroftCollector's collection - click for larger image
(Tomb Raider Comics not pictured.)


Aurélie

Hi everybody, I'm Aurélie from France. :-) I'm an old fan of Lara, since 1996! And I started collecting in 1997. I was young at the time (10 years old), so I started collecting magazines where Lara appeared. Then I started with the action figures from Playmates.

At first I didn't want to have a big collection, I just wanted to get a little Lara in my room, then into my bag to school, during my holidays. Finaly, at 13/14 years old, she was with me everywhere! Lara is an endearing character, a strong woman, full of spirit. She guided me during my adolescence and my young adulthood. Lara followed me all this time and the passion collecting too. These days, this passion isn't so easy to live with. For the last several years I've set aside an entire room for Lara--and it's too small now! My friends say that my office is a museum in honor of Lara Croft.

In recent years, I managed to find almost everything I wanted when I was younger, so I just stopped a little. I say this, but, wait, and let's see the TR9 games...and goodies! :-D

I'm in love with my life-size statue, the Legend model. I bought it on march 2008 on eBay (Germany). It was a dream since I'm a fan of Lara and, I remember, I had tears in my eyes and I was shaking when I opened his package! My boyfriend couldn't stop laughing! My second favorite item is my "Lara on Roses" and "Lara Gold." Yes, that's 3 but it is not easy to choose! The first was bought on eBay (USA) in April 2010 for my birthday, the second was a gift for my birtday in 2008 from a former Lara collector (French). They symbolize many years of passion for Lara and patience to find them. But I have many others objects that are very valuable to me.

Now, I'm searching for the Studio Oxmox prototype figure with or without the mummy. And the second replica watch from the Tomb Raider movie, the gold model. But it's very difficult to find, and win, them!

Aurélie's collection - click for larger image
Aurélie's collection - click for larger image
See more of Aurélie's collection on CroftCollection.com.


Igor

My collection is nothing comparing to those You showed us, Stella, but here it is anyway...

My most precious item is The Art of Tomb Raider. It's been a year since I won it in your competition, and I read it almost every day when I have the time. I can't explain how much I love it.

I would like to have one item that got away. The Snow Day Lara statue. I love collecting those kinds of figurines (I don't like action figures) but I believe I will never be able to get that one because it's really expensive the shipping costs are too high.

I have been a collector for not very long, about 2 years. I know, my collection is not very big but I live in a country (Croatia) in which stores don't sell stuff like that.

Igor's collection - click for larger image


Chris (a.k.a. easy_raider)

My name is Chris and I live in the UK. I have been a huge fan and collector of anything Tomb Raider related since the game was first released.

easy_raider's collection - click for larger image
easy_raider's collection - click for larger image
Here are just a few items from Chris's extensive collection. Check out the rest in his PhotoBucket album.


Hunter (a.k.a. Marluxia15)

My collection includes the Tomb Raider Tankobon books (won in Stella's contest), three novels, AoD promotional bobble head, the double pack TR movies, Lara's Book, TR T-shirt, and TR1 Movie Poster.

My prized possession is my TR movie poster. I've always loved Angelina Jolie, but it got even better when I got a 17x24 poster of her posing for the first Tomb Raider movie. But even better, the poster, which hangs proudly above my bed, is signed by four actors/actresses from the movie including Jon Voight (Richard Croft), Noah Taylor (Bryce), Daniel Craig (Alex West), and Angelina, Lara Croft herself.

I was never a real collector. The books interested me so I got them, the poster was a gift, as was the bobble head and t-shirt. The cool thing is, these aren't just trinkets that I've picked up along the way, they all have good/funny memories to go with them. I waited for two weeks to get my novels, and the day they were supposed to come, I never got them. I found out as I went to sleep that night, that my grandma had hidden them under my pillow!

The item I most covet is one of those life-sized statues. Those are so cool, and I've always dreamed of having one! Talk about a potential photo shoot! :D

Hunter's collection - click for larger image
Hunter lives in the U.S. and maintains a collection of his own Tomb Raider fan-fiction at Hunter's Tomb Raider Tales.


Marc

My name is Marc, I'm Spanish and live in Spain. I only collect the actual Tomb Raider games, not the action figures and other things. I played the original Tomb Raider when it first went on sale. I later bought Tomb Raider II and III but played them very little at first. Then, some time ago, I decided to start from scratch and play through all the games. Some I bought when they went on sale, others were acquired, some in person and online, some are new and unopened. My collection includes the PlayStation Collector's Edition, Anniversary Collector's Edition, Underworld Limited Edition and Underworld Ultimate Fan Pack.

Marc's collection - click for larger image
Marc's collection - click for larger image
To see more of Marc's game collection, visit his Blog.


Darlene (a.k.a. prindy)

I've been playing TR since the beginning and rediscovered it again with the release of TR Anniversary when my collecting really kicked off. I have slowly built up this collection, with the Lara Croft Bobblehead being my pride and joy, a very hard item to come by (new in box) but perseverance does pay off. Living in Australia, most are imports or eBay buys.

Darlene's collection - click for larger image


Trevor

Hi, My name is Trevor and I run the MacRaider web site from Australia. My modest collection consist mainly of Lara figurines, Action figures and Resin model kits. My nephew started me off back in the mid nineties when he bought me a 9" Playmates figure for Christmas and it has gone on from there. I enjoy model kit building and the internet has opened up a whole new world of kits not available in Australia. Since I'm not into the TR movies I usually modify the 'Jolie' kits to look more like game Lara.

I have several favourites in my collection (usually whichever is the newest). I really love the Snow Day statue and would like to get the two other Sideshow figures as well. The one that holds a special place for me is the Eidos (Lara blowing gun) statue which belonged to Kerrie (MacRaider's original web Mistress) and was sent to me by her daughter when I took over the web site. [Note: Sadly, Kerrie passed away in 2008, but Trevor has been doing an great job maintaining the site ever since. –Stella]

I tend to buy only the figurines that I like the look of and don't plan to collect every one available (also due to budget and space) :-) but there are still quite a few items I would really like such as one of the life size statues and The Art of Tomb Raider book. Also I noticed in Aurélie's collection a figure of Lara standing on Midas' hand and turning gold. This one really interests me :-).

I really get a kick out of seeing other peoples collections and would like to thank Stella for allowing us to share our passion with others.

Trevor's collection - click for larger image
Trevor's collection - click for larger image
Trevor's collection - click for larger image

Other sites with interesting Tomb Raider collections:

Thanks to Tom H. for suggesting the article title. :)

July 15, 2011

Square Enix Europe Crew Treks for Charity

Some of the guys from Square Enix Europe are undertaking an epic trail walk to help raise money for Oxfam. They'll be walking 100km in less than 30 hours this weekend as part of the Trailwalker UK 2011 event. Follow their progress on Twitter (@Square_Enix_EU and @TrailwalkerUK) and chip in if you can.


The team poses with an empty Lara Croft outfit.
Wonder if she'll be going on the hike.


The guys and their gear, all packed and ready.

The Making of an Epic Game Trailer: Tomb Raider "Turning Point"

When the Japanese video game publisher Square Enix acquired Eidos Interactive a few years ago, Eidos, the company in charge of the blockbuster series Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Thief, became part of the same family as Visual Works, the studio that produces the elaborate CG animation for Square's Final Fantasy games. Fans can clearly taste that Final Fantasy flavor in the first video trailer for the new TOMB RAIDER.

The trailer, titled "Turning Point," was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles last month. It revealed a brand new Lara Croft to the world and caused quite a buzz in the gaming community. (If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here.)

Recently Square released a developer diary style video showing how the "Turning Point" trailer was made. It includes interviews with the creative people from developer Crystal Dynamics, as well as the amazing animators at Visual Works.


The game itself is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Links:

July 9, 2011

Tomb Raider 3 Group Play Starting Now

It's time for another Tomb Raider group play session. This time we'll be playing Tomb Raider III and sharing the fun on the Lara Croft Online forums. Here's a link to the forum topic started by the intrepid Jessica (a.k.a. Mute2Conversations):

http://www.laracroftonline.net/index.php?showtopic=5901

In case you missed the last several group plays, the way it works is everyone plays offline on their own, since TR3 doesn't have actual online or co-op play. Then we meet at the message board and share our progress, impressions, fun and frustrating things that happened, screenshots, video, or whatever else we feel like posting. There are no rules except to be courteous to the other players and to try and have fun. :)

So far we've done TR1, 2, Anniversary and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and launched a Tomb Raider Level Editor beginner's group. There's more info in the various "group play" posts here on the blog.

Please join us and help spread the word if you know other players who might be interested.

July 8, 2011

Video Game Walkthroughs, Live Streaming and Machinima Could Soon be Felony Offenses

Do you record your video gameplay and upload it to the internet? Do you create or watch video game walkthroughs, reviews, "Let's Play" videos, speedruns or machinima on YouTube? Do you broadcast your gameplay or tune in to other gamers' livestreams? If so, then you need to be aware of a bill now making its way through the American legal system that would make streaming gaming videos a felony punishable by a hefty fine or even jail time.

The aim of this law, Senate bill S.978, is ostensibly to punish those who illegally upload music, movies and television shows. However, it also inadvertently targets gamers who share gameplay video online, since it does not distinguish between different types and uses of copyrighted content. As the bill is now written, someone who uploaded a video walkthrough or a karaoke performance of a copyrighted song would essentially be subject to the same penalties as someone who streamed a pirated movie online.

davidr64yt has made a great, easy-to-follow video explaining this issue.


As he says, this bill is not intended to penalize gamers, only to protect content creators, but through careless wording it goes farther than it probably should. "The people who have written this bill simply don't understand the internet and what we're doing on it. I agree that in the case of TV, film and music, streaming and uploading stuff to YouTube is a bad thing and it hurts those industries. In the case of video games, we 'let's-players' and viewers are a big part of fueling the growth of our industry. ...[We essentially provide] free and powerful advertising."

If you agree with this and think that punishing gamers for sharing video online is a bad idea, I encourage you to speak out. Contact your senators and representatives directly or just take a few seconds to sign this petition opposing bill S.978:


I also encourage you to post a comment on this important issue below or come and talk about it with fellow gamers on our Facebook page.

For more information, visit these links:


Under S.978, I'm a criminal and could spend 5 years in jail for teaching people how to do an adrenaline dodge and headshot.

Special thanks to Nathan E. for bringing this issue to my attention.
Tomb Raider Archives - Collecting all the classic Top Cow Comics
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.