[Giveaway] Ocarina Of Time Hero Bag by Level Up Studios

Time to do an awesome giveaway! Enter below for your shot to win some free gamer swag!

levelupstudios-herosbag-main-450This cute Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time inspired bag was designed by April Hoera of Level Up Studios. I had the opportunity to check out this bag in person, and it’s definitely a great product. It comes with lots of music note pins so that you can make any song from Ocarina of Time. That’s right, the notes are customizable! It has magnetic closures to keep the flap in place, plus smaller pockets inside to keep things organized. Not the neat type? That’s fine too; the body of the bag is roomy enough that you can cram all your stuff in the main compartment and it’ll fit with room to spare. The shoulder strap is adjustable, so it’s easy to carry whether you’re a crossbody or over-the-shoulder type.

April was nice enough to answer some questions about her original design concept and how it was brought to life by Level Up.

Giraffe: Tell us a bit about yourself as an artist.

April: Well, I’m 26 and graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design and have a bachelors for Sequential Arts. After graduating, I realized comics are actually not for me. I would rather draw pinups or concept work, honestly, and then suddenly I was designing shirts for a living, so go figure how that works. I really enjoy it, I work for Level Up Studios and have had a hand in well over 15 of their designs that are still going strong. It’s great working at conventions and seeing people buy and wear your products, especially when it’s one you didn’t JUST sell them that day, because you know they really like it and took it out to wear at a convention. Or at least that’s what I do for conventions.

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Perfect for carrying your comic collection!

Giraffe: Having moveable pins is pretty ingenious. What inspired that idea?

April: I had seen a shirt that had the Song of Storms on it that said “make it rain” and I thought it would be cool to have a shirt that you could change the song! But we talked about it and realized poking a million holes in your shirt would be silly. I had also thought of magnets for the fridge but after a little brainstorming we figured out to slap the design on a messenger bag because it seemed the most fitting.

Giraffe: What guided the design process for the bag itself? For example, were you thinking this to be for guys or girls? How did you pick the color?

April: This was a genderless concept, honestly. Zelda is Zelda; there are millions of fans and folks from all walks of life all over this big old world who love it and I have never seen a fandom more balanced 50/50 of male and female. It’s truly a game for everyone, as are messenger bags and satchels. As for colors? In the past, we have had several different colors, it really all depended on what the wholesaler offers us for base colors. We have had blue, drab green, brown/red and black with red stitching for Shadow link. All of which were different tunics worn by our hero of time. Another interesting thing about the bags is our pins. One of our employees helped in the process of getting the rubber ones made to look just like the old N64 control buttons, which are our cheaper, classic set. A few years later we re-released a new set of pins made of brass which are a lot fancier and cost a bit more but they don’t spin in place and accent the metalwork on the bag well to make them really give a nice authentic classier look.

A nice bag is essential to any outfit!

A nice bag is essential to any outfit!

Giraffe: What kind of reactions do people have when they see your bag on sale at cons?

April: They love them! People get really excited about them, some even just come up to buy more of the buttons for a bag they had already gotten from us in previous years. An annoying reaction we get is that people mess around and spin the arrow buttons around which makes the song unrecognizable and people will CONSTANTLY come up and either TRY to guess the song that they can’t identify or belittle us for not having a real song on the display. Luckily, the brass buttons don’t spin at all; the pvc do a little bit and people just like to mess with them sometimes.

Giraffe: Do you carry around one of these bags yourself? What’s your favorite thing about it?

April: I actually have a smaller satchel in Zora Blue, and I love it so much. It’s a great size for those who carry sketchbooks and smaller items and don’t want to commit to a giant messenger one. I think my favorite thing is the fact that we give every bag a full set of 10 buttons so you can play ANY song, from Epona’s song to The Bolero of Fire! People will constantly stop and ask about it, and others have told me the same about theirs. I can’t tell you how special it makes me feel seeing others enjoying and using something I designed. It really is kinda amazing.

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Big thanks to April Hoera for letting us feature her work and answering my questions! If you’re feeling hyped up about this awesome bag, make sure you enter the giveaway!

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ElectroGiraffe is a New Jersey native who works in the fashion industry. She's a lifelong gamer and nerd, raised on Nintendo, Sega, X-Men, and Star Trek. She studied digital media and fashion design in college, and loves combining her love of fashion and nerd culture into cosplays and geek-themed clothing. Giraffe loves cats, high heels, books, and food!