[first interview here] focuses on the company itself, from it's genesis,
to the Arnie-Kim-connection, to the future of their 1/6-products and more!
TOYSREVIL: let's start at the "begining", shall we? when was Enterbay conceived? how did the company start and it was started by whom?
BILL TJHANG: the company was conceived from early 2005, before that I was running a trading company. ENTERBAY was formed in HONG KONG, Mid August 2005.
ENTERBAY Limited was founded by myself and later on, my brother joined me. An idea come across my mind one day in early 2005 to create a product with the best likeness of Bruce Lee, as other Bruce Lee's figures I had collected before were nice, but not good enough. And I had wanted to challenge myself to see how good a quality I could achieve.
I did not have any experience in producing toys, collectibles or even a knowledge of plastic - just a couple of years of collecting toys and figures ... so I started studying through other figures day and night, to learn their good and bad points. After forming the company, I started to look for a sculptor, so I'd asked my friend (who is a sculptor) to help, but the likeness does not satisfy me ... then I learned about ARNIE KIM through Internet and was amazing by the Bruce Lee figure he made, and that was how the story begun.
TRE: why "Enterbay"? what does it mean?
BILL: I formed ENTERBAY to fulfill my dreams and other collector's dreams - ENTERBAY stands for "ENTER THE BAY OF DREAMS" - with the Company concept and principle being: PASSION, IMAGINATION and CREATIVITY. And our company (internally) called it PIC and selected the slogan PASSION FOR PERFECTION to represent of the concept of ENTERBAY.
TRE: what does Enterbay do? design and manufacture? in our first interview, you mentioned G2 was designed in-house. was that always the plan? as compared to getting Arnie Kim to sculpt Bruce Lee?
BILL: ENTERBAY specializes in design and manufacture. We are not professional designers or artists, but we have the desire and sense for design - We love design and we believe DESIGN IS POWER. As I said before, every person can be our designer, as long as he/she meet the PIC standard of our company, and we welcome them to join our family.
TRE: how did the "Arnie Kim-connection" come about?
BILL: I came to know and learned about Arnie Kim through Internet ... in the summer of 2005, after a lot of difficulties, I finally succeeded in inviting Arnie to join ENTERBAY to fulfil his dreams and yet to fulfil my own dreams. We are helping each other.
Enterbay's Bill Tjhang with Arnie Kim
TRE: besides Arnie, is Enterbay working with anybody else outside of in-house designers?
BILL: Current we are working closely with our feature Artist Arnie Kim and our in house designer T.York. Arnie Kim will still handle all of our 1/6 REAL MASTERPIECE department, while T.York is handling GANG2 series.
BILL: We have also signed-on another talent artist to work with us for a brand new Original series, which is also considered to be one of our major original project , which will be announced in July. This year we will input more resources into development more on the Original series and hope to bring out and build up some significant characters for that world.
TRE: sounds like a plan! who are your in-house designers? and how do they add to the overall company value?
BILL: Our in-house designer is my brother, T.York - a very innovative thinker. He is in-charge of our Original Series department for the company, including design and development, artist management and of course to handle his own GANG2 series. Frankly, computer and illustration skills and knowledge doesn't matter for our company as much - what we need is a person who has PASSION, IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY. Our partnering design company will handle all of our artwork and design based on our concept and requirement.
TRE: the new 1/6 Jet Li figure has been announced (thank you for the "exclusive"!) - are there any further details you could add? is it s Arnie Kim-sculpt? would it be as exclusive as Bruce Lee's figures?
BILL: Yes, Jet Li figure is coming, it was not sculpted by ARNIE KIM but by another Korean talent artist, but the likeness is still amazing. We are very confident it will be the best likeness figure of Jet Li ever. We will release product info by the end of May, and plan to release the figure in mid-June. It is not an exclusive limited edition like the Bruce Lee, but it is still ENTERBAY's quality as the Jet Li figure is in our REAL MASTERPIECE series with unusual packaging.
TRE: would Enterbay be producing primarily Chinese-based martial arts heroes for your Real Masterpiece-series? or would there come a time where you'd produce other non-Chinese heroes? and who would they be?
BILL: We have a lot of new members coming into our REAL MASTERPIECE family which we will announce at the right time.
TRE: with the debut of Gang2 and your mention of subsequent (non-military) figures, how do you think Enterbay would be able to carve out a niche in the market? amongst current non-military 1/6 fashion design houses like Boredomsqueezer, Jason Siu, Brothersworker, to name just a few.
BILL: Those well-known designers have created their own style of figures and they are all "classic" and no one can replace them. We hope GANG2 can open the market that hasn't been discovered yet, as throughout the years, there are only a few original "African-American figures", but we had given it a new look and concept, with luxury, high-fashion, a story and the spirit.
TRE: what do you think (or is the "plan") that makes Enterbay different from other 1/6th producers?
BILL: Luxury, Innovation and Brand images are the factors. You can discover it in every of our products line, no matter if it's the 1/6 RM series, Original series, or even a lower-end series (coming soon) for mass market. As mentioned, no matter how high-end, mid-end or low-end, every of our consumers, collectors or fans will still enjoy our innovative product, the quality and our brand power through our products.
TRE: am very intrigued about your "lower-end" figures you just mentioned - can you elaborate further on that?
BILL: "Low-end figures" might include licensed-property and original design figure/doll/toys...etc - we are not only focusing in 1/6 action figures, but also willing to attempt production of dolls, models, toys, robot or any form of playthings or collectibles. What we can say is that the low-end line will be a very an interesting product-line and we hope more people would be able to enjoy ENTERBAY's passion, through them.
TRE: are there any plans for 1/6 FEMALE figures?
BILL: Yes, we will open a brand new series of 1/6 Female figures , and it is now in it's initial first planning and development stages. It is a very challenging project as I guess we are the first one to give that (luxury) concept to this female series.
TRE: what else is Enterbay planning to do next?
BILL: We will still be concentrating on the figure and collectibles sector. 1/6 Scale RM series will be still our TOP OF THE LINE product, Original will be for mid-end to Low-end market, 1/6 Scale Female series for Mid-end market. meanwhile, we will still keep bring more new ideas or technology to input into our products.
TRE: one final question: if you had a free choice, with absolutely no strings and with no regards to timeline (past or present), WHO would you want to do as a 1/6th-figure? who is your dream figure?
BILL TJHANG: Still BRUCE LEE, he is always my hero, and forever. He inspired me a lot. and now I am working hard to bring 1/6 RM Bruce Lee series to a completed series. We input every passion into the Bruce Lee series.
TOYSREVIL: my sincere thanks for all the trouble and time for this interview and my best wishes for Enterbay - looking forward to more exciting products, and maybe to meet-up with you in September, Bill! LOL :)
[original post circa 15.05.07]