RockLove brings the Marvel universe to life in jewelry

Contributed by
May 23, 2017

If you can't get enough of Guardians of the Galaxy after watching the superhero team's latest film, there's a new way you can proclaim "I am Groot" — or at least show that you love Groot and the other characters — thanks to a partnership between Marvel and RockLove Jewelry.

The collaboration was recently announced with the reveal of a beautiful official sterling silver Guardians of the Galaxy collection. The first four pieces focus on Groot and include two pairs of earrings, a necklace and a ring. They capture the spirit of the hero in their fun, stylish designs and elevate the idea of what geek jewelry can be, compared to what fans often see on the market. These designs are just the beginning of what RockLove will create for Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel properties. According to RockLove designer and founder Allison Cimino, the partnership came about after she met last June with LA Rocks, who already had a relationship with Disney. This led to a meeting in November because Marvel was looking for a new, fresher voice for their jewelry.

Dancing Groot Stud Earrings

"What we originally thought the collaboration was going to look like has evolved dramatically with the enthusiasm of all the team members over at Marvel, over at Disney," Cimino told Syfy Wire. "Now what we're ending with is something even bigger and more exciting than what I even anticipated going into this."

Seeing RockLove's past work and the Guardians of the Galaxy designs she presented inspired by Groot and Star-Lord, she was asked to create not only those designs but items inspired by the movie's sequel as well. Since Disney loved everything, Cimino said they were making more than initially expected, so only four pieces have been released so far, due to the approval process and the learning curve involved when working with a new franchise. Once she was given the go-ahead, discussions became about how to break down designs into the physical product process and how much they could be, and the companies would let be, Cimino's voice. Ultimately RockLove was able to make all the original master models and be involved in the full process, including working with the factory in Thailand.

"The sterling silver is all made in Thailand, so it can be more affordable and we can make the kind of quantity that Marvel needed, retailers could really work with, and fans could really enjoy. I got to work with the factory, and the factory is used to more traditional jewelry, so they're getting a kick out of it. They're really excited by these fun little Groot figures, which is a completely refreshing change from the normal gemstone rings they're doing," she said. "Then right down to packaging design [I was involved] so it ended up being far more of my voice than I thought I would even get to contribute. Marvel and LA Rocks have really given me the room to dictate what this collection looks like, and they've really trusted me to express my voice through this whole story, and I'm really hoping that gets to continue for more Marvel collections."

Groot Branch Ring

This was actually the first time Cimino worked with a factory overseas, and she said she was stringent about the quality and the finish.

"I needed it to be the caliber that RockLove customers are used to, the quality that they were anticipating from anything with RockLove's name on it, [and] the quality that the price deserved and the franchise deserved, because we're not trying to be the low-cost novelty. We are trying to be premium, adult, more wearable jewelry, but just not necessarily $100," she explained. "We try to hit that lower in-between, and then we have a silver plate collection coming out too, so that we can really encompass a little bit of something for everybody, and that's about a $20 to $30 price point."

A selection of pieces in the silver and enamel collection, including some silver plate exclusives, will be available at BoxLunch, and ThinkGeek will offer the sterling silver line. RockLove's website is also currently selling the four pieces released so far, which include dancing Groot stud earrings that move as you do, a Groot slider necklace, a Groot branch ring and hanging Groot earrings with prices at $60 or $70. Future pieces will feature Star-Lord, Rocket, cassettes and headphones. Cimino is most proud of the pieces that have really detailed sculpts.

Hanging Groot Earrings

"Our cassettes are fully three-dimensional, double-sided, and you can even see from the underside the tape that goes through. For the headphones, I was working from real vintage Sony headphones to try and get that retro sculpt, and it even has the little R and L for right and left, which anybody that's 30 years old or older remembers from their original Walkman and that horrible orange foam that degrades," she said.

"Then there's a few other pieces that I'm excited about, but I'm not sure when they're coming out. There's an Infinity Orb locket in which the Infinity Orb comes out of the locket. I think there will be more that goes on through fall and the holiday, and I already have more Groot in the works, because now that the movie is out there has been more assets and screen shots that we can work from. Even more is unveiled to the licensees after the movie's out, so now I have even more to work with, and of course I want to make more Groot, because Groot!"

Cimino is already working on properties beyond Guardians of the Galaxy as well, telling Syfy Wire they're working on some Spider-Man: Homecoming items and have lots of plans for Avengers pieces. Cimino is particularly looking forward to creating items for characters like Black Panther and in the future potentially Deadpool, as well as creating more Infinity Stone items. We'll also see some Disney pieces from RockLove beyond Marvel.

Groot Slider Necklace

"I have started to work on some really exciting stuff for Disney, which is all under that same Disney family: Marvel, Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm …" Cimino said. "With the collaborative success of working with Guardians, Disney invited me to work on premium collections for that side of the family, and I've just been exploding with ideas, because I've been a lifelong Disney fan."

Considering what we've seen of RockLove's work with Marvel so far, it will be exciting to see Cimino bring her unique style to other areas of Disney!

The four Groot pieces from the Guardians of the Galaxy line are available for pre-order on RockLove Jewelry's website.