If you’re anything like me, you’ll have your favourite TV programmes and films which you can’t get enough of. Hell, you obsess about them. But what if I told you could actually play a game of your favourite film….a custom ‘property trading’ game, like…hmmmm…I don’t know… Dario Argento films maybe?
Or maybe a board game based on the entire SCREAM series?
Garry Azzaro of International Ridicule does just that! He creates custom ‘property trading’ board games for clients tailored to their preferred theme. So whether it’s movies like Wall-E, Scott Pilgrim or to TV programmes like The Young Ones, Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes and The Goodies, there’s a wealth of themes to be created. The only limit is your imagination! However, it doesn’t stop there. Maybe you wish to buy a relative a gift for their wedding or birthday. Garry can create custom boards that reflect people or relationships, providing you have enough photos and information to complete the board’s ‘properties’ and reward/forfeit cards.
HorrorCultFilms had the chance to chat to this ingenius creator about his sought after games…
Q: How did International Ridicule custom property trading games come about?
Garry: It actually started out in 1998 as a thank you gift for a friend. He’d done a lot of driving favours for me when my car was out of action, but wouldn’t take any form of payment. He’d been round mine and played another themed boardgame, and liked the idea of taking a traditional game, but mixing it up with a film or a tv show to make it more interesting.
After that, I did a couple for other friends as birthday and Christmas gifts, and pretty soon I was getting commissions from people, which led to the website, and now I get enquiries from all over the world. I’ve also been lucky enough to have had a few orders from the stars of the themes themselves – such as Dr Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, who got in touch with me after I met them at a signing event with a board based on The Goodies.
What was the first themed game you created?
The first theme, which was for my friend, was based on American musician and parody artist ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic – both my friend Martin and I are Weird Al fans, and so that’s how it started. Looking back on that one now, it looks quite basic, but as the software (and my skills) have improved over the years, the boards have become quite elaborate.
All of the boards are made to order – most of the time, people ask for themes I’d never even have thought of – if the theme is something I’m familiar with, I can turn them around pretty quickly, but if it’s more obscure, or a personal one based on people’s friends and families, then it takes a little longer because of the amount of research I have to do to get the board and accompanying pieces just right.
Which is the favourite theme you’ve made?
So many, but I would have to say that the best theme for me is based on the Simon Pegg/Jessica Stevenson show TV show ‘Spaced’. I presented that to a friend on her birthday six years ago, and now she’s my fiancée and we’re getting married in October. So, um, that worked out.
What would your ideal theme be?
The best themes are the ones that have a good wealth of material – films and tv work best, bands can be a little harder if they don’t have an extensive catalogue to work from. I’ve been asked to do personal boards for weddings, based on the happy couple’s family and friends, which is fine, but they’re hard work, because everything has to come from the person ordering it – I can’t research that.
You also need to remember that it’s not just the board that’s themed, but the cards, banknotes and pieces as well, so there needs to be a strong sense of unity throughout. I think the easiest board took me two weeks from start to finished, printed boxed set, which was The Blues Brothers – and the longest was five months, based on the musical Wicked, because the amount of research into the cast, songs, story etc was painstaking. I’d seen the show, but for the board I read a couple of books, joined fan forums for ideas. Luckily, my fiancée Lucy is a big Wicked fan, so she managed to steer me in right direction.
Can double sided boards be created?
Yes. I call these ones ‘his n hers’ boards, because ones I’ve done in the past have invariably been gifts for couples with very different tastes – a recent one featured The A-Team on one side (for him) and Sex & The City (for her) on the other – each side still gets all it’s own cards, pieces, banknotes etc – although I take no responsibility for any domestics that arise from whose side is played first!
What size is the board?
It’s a full-size board, fully playable board, around 490mm square. My boards don’t bend, because each board is made to order, and for me to accommodate a hinged board would be tricky and expensive, which I don’t want to have to put my prices up. Personally, I think they look better without a giant crease down the middle caused by wear and tear, so I’ve never worried too much. I’ve had people order boards for themselves, with no intention of playing them, just keeping them in the box, all the pieces bagged, just to show them off occasionally. I’ve also got people who play theirs regularly, and also one or two people who have had them framed and hung in their living rooms!
If you visit International Ridicule gallery you can see the wide range of boards that have previously been created. The attention to detail is impressive and these are truly collectors pieces that are to be cherished and enjoyed, be it if they are played with or framed as pieces of art.
The boards, which can be seen in the gallery, are £75 plus the cost of postage. Prices may vary if you require a new design or playable pieces made from silver rather the standard tiled pieces.
Including in the box with your custom board are:
- 32 themed forfeit/reward cards
- 80 properties
- 60 property ‘upgrades’
- 5 counters
- 2 dice
- Themed playing money
- Themed property cards
- Rulebook (personalisation/dedication optional)
The boards can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 5 months to be made depending on your chosen theme and the work and research involved in creating it.
A wealth of stars have signed Garry’s boards or ordered their own (see here for the International Ridicule stars) and for film fans everywhere, this is a chance to own a collectable, playable piece dedicated to your favourite film. Considering most of our readers are fans of obscure movies, it’s likely that the big companies have never even dreamt of creating a game based upon your favourite films. Now you can make that dream a reality.
With the recent release of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, wouldn’t it be great to obtain an Alien anthology board or maybe a board of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, culminating with the characters of Catwoman and Bane in this year’s The Dark Knight Rises. The possibilites are endless!
Browse the entire collection and find out more at the International Ridicule Property Trading Board Game website and follow on Twitter @irboards