SyndiCats is a new series of in-house designs that reimagines our favorite cuddly felines as members of an underground crime syndicate. The first of the series, Purrface, launches this weekend. Starting off as a concept sketch, our concept artists share their process of creating the SyndiCats.
The Big Idea
Many of us at Mighty Jaxx are pawrents of cats and lunch-time conversations often revolve around our furbabies (this is partly why we’ve so many cat-based collectibles). Part of the joy of owning a cat is how mellow these adorable kitties can be but sometimes they’re total bosses - howling for food, biting our ankles, or banging our doors for attention.
This behavior planted a thought in the head of our concept artist Samantha, likening them to mafia bosses. In Samantha’s own words, it’s like her cat’s saying “you better feed me now if you know what's good."
This is Samantha's cat. The true godfather.
Some cats love to roam and gather lazily in groups. Putting a spin on these day-to-day activities of cats and leaning into the meme of “we don’t own our cats, our cats own us”, Samantha imagined these cats running their own kitty rings, teaching each other how to best own their humans.
Taking this narrative spin, she pitched the idea of a whole suite of kitty gangs dubbed the SyndiCats.
Details, Details, Details
Bringing the gangster out of these cats means equipping them with the necessary tools. While conceptualizing SyndiCats: Purrface, inspiration was pulled from real and fictional mobsters.
The concept team worked on various poses for Purrface, each artist bringing their own take on the idea. While conceptualizing SyndiCats: Purrface, the team wanted to give it a classic vibe, referencing film noir imagery as they came up with each design. The team then voted on the pose that fit this concept best and evolved the design from there.
It was instinctual to include classic gangster paraphernalia like the tommy gun, trench coat, and fedora (cat in a fedora? Fedorable!). Later on, tattoos were added to the piece to give it more visual flair while keeping the smooth criminal aesthetic.
The tattoos, designed by concept artist Charles, give a nod to the nature of cats. On top of typical mobster-like tattoos, you’ll find badass ink of kitty antics on Purrface’s body. From fish bones to the yarn balls they like to kick around, and even a hearty bottle of milk.
You definitely wouldn’t have missed the crown jewels hanging off the back of Purrface. When probed on its inclusion, Samantha offered some reference images. “We were looking at photos of real cats just airing their balls out, licking ‘em, doing normal cat stuff. It’s a cute little touch to add on to the sculpt.”
One of many reference images.
From 2D To 3D
As the collectible goes through its process of development, once the 2D concept art is finalized they get sculpted by hand or in 3D sculpting software. You can read about translating 2D illustrations into 3D in this blog post.
Join him, don’t cross him. Bring Purrface home from 6 November, 9 am ET and together you’ll run the most lucrative kibble ring in all of the town.
6” tall polystone collectible // $199 with free shipping worldwide // Limited edition of 300 only