RAIDING TOMBS AND COLLECTING RELICS
Updated: May 22, 2021
He is from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, but currently lives in Madrid, Spain. He is the creative director of an advertising agency and, on his free time, he collects relics that would make any Tomb Raider fan envious, such as Angelina Jolie’s and Alicia Vikander’s movie outfits, and, according to the Guinness World Records, he is Tomb Raider's greatest collector of memorabilia. You know who we’re talking about, right? Well, he is the enthusiastic Rodrigo Santos, who kindly took time to answer some questions for Lara Croft fans during the launch of the most awaited game of the year in London: Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Oh, and by the way, we were able to add a video.
Get to know a little more about Rodrigo in our session Raiding Tombs.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Lara Croft Fans: When did your passion for Tomb Raider and Lara Croft begin?
Rodrigo: My passion for Tomb Raider started when I was 9 years old with the first game of the franchise in 1996. I was dazzled by the concept of the game and with Lara Croft and from that moment on I followed all the games of the saga with the same passion.
LCF: Have you played all the games? If yes, what was your favorite and why?
Rodrigo: Yes, of course. I have played all the games. My favorites from the time of Core Design is the first Tomb Raider (1996) and from Crystal Dynamics is Tomb Raider Legend (2006).
LCF: When did you start collecting Tomb Raider objects?
Rodrigo: I started collecting Tomb Raider items from the first moment I bought the first game, you know, first you must have the games and then you start collecting other related objects. I started with posters, then books and action figures until finally I ended up buying practically everything I saw about the franchise as part of the brand's cultural legacy.
LCF: Do you have any favorite object that has a great sentimental value?
Rodrigo: I love my original drawing of Lara Croft by Toby Gard. I also have the coat that Angelina Jolie wore in the Siberian scenes of the first Tomb Raider movie in 2001. I have recently purchased two costumes worn by Alicia Vikander in the new Tomb Raider movie, the one used on the island of Yamatai and the outfit used in the bicycle scenes in London. These are probably the objects that I love most today, although it is difficult to choose one because I really love all the objects in my collection and for me they have such a great emotional value.
LCF: Do you have any idea of how much you invested in your collection?
Rodrigo: I really do not like talking about figures. The Guinness Book of Records evaluated my collection in its latest 2018 book at a total value of more than $300,000. I have never really calculated the total value of my collection, it is difficult to know, and it is constantly increasing.
LCF: What is your goal in having a collection as big as yours?
Rodrigo: The purpose of my collection is to enjoy it and preserve the legacy of the franchise. Its specific purpose is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft memorabilia and artifacts, using the collection to provide meaningful, educational, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry out charitable and educational activities associated with this goal.
LCF: Did you watch the new movie Tomb Raider? If so, what did you think?
Rodrigo: Yes, I have watched the film several times and I must say that I was amazed with it. It was a movie I had been waiting for since 2003 and we all really needed to see Lara Croft again at the cinema. I loved the narrative of the film and the adaptation itself. I loved the way Alicia Vikander played the role. Maybe I felt a darker environment was missing, along with the magical and mystical elements we had seen in the 2013 game, but well... I'm a big fan of the movies and I'm looking forward to seeing a sequel.
LCF: In your opinion, who played the character better? Angelina Jolie or Alicia Vikander? Why?
Rodrigo: It's a difficult question. I like them both, but if I had to choose, I would choose Angelina Jolie because she has a personality that really fills the whole screen, not just her interpretation. I think that a lot of Angelina Jolie’s real personality is rooted in that of Lara’s in the movie and that makes it very special. Angelina is a woman with a lot of charisma and I think it is difficult to find someone who can overcome it. She has something special and maybe that's why she has that enormous fame today. Is there anyone in the world who does not know Angelina Jolie?
Alicia Vikander is great and has a lot of potential to become an actress as renowned as Angelina. Maybe in the sequel she will managed to completely own the role she plays.
LCF: What do you expect from the new game Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
Rodrigo: I think Crystal Dynamics should have certain points that are mandatory for Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make the fans happy, such as trips to different locations in the world, use of vehicles, use of double pistols and a return to the Croft Manor. If they manage to include these elements with a good story, good secondary characters and an excellent gameplay I will be happy, and I think the game and will be a success.
LCF: Tomb Raider fans from Brazil know you and admire you. By the way, they would like to have your entire collection (laughs). Could you please leave a message for them?
Rodrigo: I know many Brazilian fans, some of them in person and others through the internet and they are always charming. It is a country with a great community of fans that is really admirable, one of the countries with the most passionate fans in the world. I just want to tell you that I hope we will always continue to support this game that we love so much and always do it together.
We, from Lara Croft Fans, are very happy to know more about Rodrigo and hope that he will continue collecting relics and breaking records.