AVATAR: THE WAY of the Water hits theaters this Friday, but we’re already seeing some high-quality merch popping up ahead of the much-anticipated film’s release. Case in point: Sprayground’s new collection of officially-licensed Avatar backpacks.
The Sprayground x Avatar: The Way of Water collection sees the film’s aquatic imagery splashed on three backpacks. One pack features Jake Sully and Ney’tiri, while the other two showcase some of Pandora’s fauna. All three backpacks also feature Sprayground’s recognizable shark mouth design and streetstyle aesthetic. Plus, the backpacks are highly functional too with a water-resistant faux leather build, a laptop compartment, and plenty of space for everyday essentials or overnight trips.
All three Sprayground x Avatar backpacks are available now at Sprayground.com with price tags of $80 each. If you’re thinking of picking one up — whether for yourself or as a gift for an Avatar fan — just be sure to act fast because, like all of Sprayground’s releases, the collection is limited-edition.
“Sprayground has always celebrated individuality and aims to cultivate an out-of-this-world mentality,” says David BenDavid, founder and Creative Director of Sprayground. “Who better to work with to emphasize these points than Disney and Lightstorm Entertainment for an all-new Avatar: The Way of Water collection? We’re excited to present this collaboration to fans of the epic film and Sprayground alike!”
Abundant collaboration has been a pillar of Sprayground’s model since BenDavid founded the brand in 2010. As of writing, the “Collab” section on the brand’s webstore shows 55 entries ranging from collections with musicians like Tupac and Lil Tjay to brands like Jolly Rancher to TV series like Rick and Morty and The Simpsons.
BenDavid says this process of collaborating with celebrities and beloved media properties like Avatar is a key to the brand’s goal of diversifying the luggage market: “The idea for [Sprayground] came because I wanted the customer, the fan to feel unique” he tells Rolling Stone. “Because way before Sprayground, it was just an ocean of kids wearing the same product and nothing was unique. It’s like when the luggage comes out on the conveyor belt and it’s like, it’s all the same thing.”
One key to this wide-net partnership approach, says BenDavid, is keeping collections limited (as seen with the new Avatar collaboration): “The philosophy of the brand was never to make it a mass-market product, so it’s the same thing with collaborations. It was always like, I never went out to hunt for someone,” he says. “You know, on the Chris Brown [collab], for example, he had to be excited about the brand, you know, and that’s why it was very easy to work with him because when I first met him and he’s like, ‘oh yeah I got seven Spraygrounds.’ And it’s like, of course I want to make something with him.”
Though Sprayground has branched out with apparel, suitcases, and other bags, backpacks remain BenDavid’s bread and butter. Thanks to its history of making successfully out-there backpacks, brands and celebrities now give Sprayground a considerable amount of freedom in designing their collaborative backpack collections. “The way I see a bag is like, you know, it’s this weird 3D object,” says BenDavid. “So how can I take characters and interact with the bag from an outside perspective? So it’s cool that like, there’s this trust, you know, letting me have fun with it.”
This approach of re-envisioning existing IP is put on full display in the new Avatar collection, showcasing BenDavid-designed graphics that depart from the film’s CGI realism. Shop the limited-edition collection now at Sprayground.com, and check out the brand’s extensive lineup of other collabs here.