Fanattik’s Anthony Marks on his fan-first approach to creating collectibles for Arkham Horror

Fanattik’s Anthony Marks on why a new collaboration with Asmodee Entertainment made perfect sense for the firm.

Anthony, it’s great to catch up. We’re here to discuss your exciting new partnership with Asmodee Entertainment! When we last spoke, you said that it’s vital your team is passionate about the brands you work with. Were you guys gaming fans prior to this collaboration?
Hi Billy, great to talk to you again. That’s a good question – and yes, we must have that fan connection for us to work with any brand. Luckily our creative team boasts several avid board game players, a dungeon master and one who was a member of his University Board Game & Tabletop Role-playing Game Society, so we are well versed with Asmodee titles.

Sounds like a perfect match! You’ll be creating products for brands like Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror and Twilight Imperium. What sort of things can we expect to see in the range?
The Fanattik mantra has always been to create affordable collectibles, so we’ll have product such as bottle openers, drinks coasters, keyrings, pin badges and so on. What we are most excited about is the opportunity to create in-game replicas, especially for Arkham Horror. We are really looking forward to bringing items from that universe alive.

Anthony Marks, Fanattik
We’ve established the team already love a good board game, but what was the process for getting to grips with the brands once the deal was done?

Asmodee sent us samples of each game – and reference materials – and we played them together. Then each member of the design team and myself got to take a particular game home for the weekend to familiarise ourselves even further with each game, to help us better identify opportunities for merch.

Some of your products are beautifully subtle, with core fans in mind. Do brands like Arkham Horror give you opportunities to create products that have these kinds of smart nods?
We are at the beginning of the product development stage so I cannot say anything now, but rest assured each and every item will have that Fanattik twist that has made us a fan favourite within the pop culture community.

“This will be the first time we’re creating ranges based on board game titles, so it’s very exciting.”

Fanattik works with lots of different brands across the entertainment space. Does this Asmodee collaboration highlight the growing clout of the board game sector when it comes to licensing and consumer products?
This sector has always been there bubbling away under the radar, with virtually no consumer product out there… Then the pandemic came along and popularity for board games went through the roof – retailers were highlighting to us that this is an area we should be in.

Anthony Marks, Fanattik
So, this is your first foray into working with board games?

We are a licensee for Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, but this will be the first time we’re creating ranges based on board game titles, so it’s very exciting.

There’s lots of tabletop games launched every week, so what gives a game serious consumer product potential?
It’s got to have replayability and promote social interaction between the players; that dictates whether the board game is successful. When it comes to merch, the board game needs to have that backstory and wealth of possibilities that we can translate into collectible product – and these Asmodee titles have that!

Great stuff. Anthony, one last question before I let you go! What fuels your creativity?
We are fans ourselves. We are releasing product that we want to see out there and buy ourselves. To keep our creativity levels up, we need to get out of the office to meet with the fans and other companies like us.

We visit a lot of the Comic-Cons here in the UK and Europe, and we’ll be at New York Comic-Con this year as well. We were also recently at UK Games Expo, the biggest tabletop convention in the UK.

Anthony, a pleasure as always! I look forward to seeing your Asmodee range when it launches later this year.
Anthony Marks, Fanattik

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