If you love collecting pretty notebooks like us (and never using them), you’ll probably be familiar with local gifts and stationery brand ‘ana tomy’ which carries a wide range of customised products such as a hand wrapped premium notebook through a collaboration with local graphic designer Humana and yearly journals which are almost too precious to use. When we visited ‘atas’ stationery stores, their colourful notebooks always caught our eye.

In conjunction with the release of the first-live action series in the Star Wars franchise from Disney+ Hotstar, the brand has introduced a customisable capsule collection inspired by ‘The Mandalorian’ featuring characters such as bounty hunter Din Djarin and Grogu (baby Yoda). The third season of the series, which premiered on 1 March, is set after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and stars Pedro Pascal as the title character.

While we’re personally Star Wars fans (being a nerd is cool nowadays…right?), the collection is great for first-time viewers of the show or those who simply dig the designs. Best of all, from customisable journals to t-shirts, tote bags, and keychains, you can make personalised items that stand out from the other Star Wars merchandise (because everyone seems to enjoy putting their own touch on their belongings nowadays).

RD’s pick from the collection is ‘The Customisable Journal’ where you can select the colour of the cover and your favourite ‘The Mandalorian’-themed artwork from a range of 20 options. You can even add a ribbon marker with quotes inspired by the show, and it comes with a woven Star Wars and ana tomy label tag.

As the collection definitely caught our eye while scrolling through Instagram, it got us wondering, how exactly does a local brand get noticed by a mammoth in the entertainment industry such as Disney? To find out, we had a short conversation with Cliff Leong, Co-Founder of ana tomy.

RD: How did the collaboration with Disney come about?

CL: Growing up, Star Wars had a profound impact on us, the co-founders of ana tomy. We remember watching the original trilogy and being mesmerised by the fantastical world of Jedi knights, epic space battles, and adventurous missions. We were drawn to the imaginative world that George Lucas had created.

The fascination just grew stronger as we grew older, watching the prequel and sequel trilogies, and immersing ourselves in the expanded universe of Star Wars media. We marvelled at the depth and complexity of the Star Wars universe, with its intricate lore, unique cultures, and moral complexities.

Then one day, Disney approached us on whether we’re keen to work on Mickey Mouse or Marvel as they celebrated their 100th year anniversary. It seemed like an impossible dream to have the opportunity to work on the Star Wars Intellectual Property (IP) ourselves at first. But without hesitation, we asked for Star Wars! We were incredibly grateful and excited from the moment it was a go!

RD: Can you describe the process and how long it took since Disney are known to have a tight control over their IPs?

CL: Absolutely. The whole conversation with Disney took place in the second half last year. We first started the process of getting ourselves audited on many levels, from employee welfare to safety measures, and to the materials and production processes. Every single process is required to comply with the global market, industry, and regulatory requirements, and of course the Disney guidelines!

During the product development, we were also required to get approval on the use of Star Wars artworks and logos. And this included social media postings and marketing. Yes, I know—that’s a lot of processes! But looking back, it was all worthwhile because the outcome is so satisfying! I’m grateful that the whole ana tomy team managed to put it all together at its best and the final outcome is so, so cool!

RD: Are there any other future collaborations with Disney or international brands that we can look forward to?

CL: Yes! The Mandalorian collection is just the beginning. We’ll be coming out with more and more Star Wars™ edition products in the coming months. You can expect to see a more diverse range of products, but which are strongly integrated with ana tomy’s DNA of customisation and personalisation. That way, our users can join in the fun and create a piece that truly represents or belongs to them. There are more to come! Look out for some exciting collaborations from ana tomy.

ana tomy’s “The Mandalorian” themed capsule collection is now available for purchase on the ana-tomy.co and ana tomy Store in The Zhongshan Building, Kuala Lumpur.

Image credit: ana tomy