Fans of Vida can now keep their favorite characters close between seasons with a new Loteria game created by Mike Alfaro. If Alfaro's name sounds familiar, it's because he's the brains behind Millenial Loteria—an updated version of the beloved game played by many Latino families that is similar to Bingo.
It's been a dream-come-true for the Guatemalan immigrant to have found such a huge community of fans that keep his game out of stock constantly on Amazon. Suffice it to say, collaborating with Tanya Saracho and the talented cast of the Starz dramedy for season two was something he could've ever imagined.
We caught up with Alfaro to get the details on the collaboration and find out how you can get your very own set of Vida Loteria cards.
Congrats on your amazing collaboration with Vida! Give us the scoop about how this came to be?
Not to sound too millennial, but I literally couldn’t even. I’ve been a fan of showrunner Tanya Saracho’s work before season 1 premiered, so when I was asked to make a Vida Lotería set I was so excited. Millennial Lotería was created to bring a more modern and relatable representation of Latinx Millennials, and I think Vida is so aligned with that vision that it was a perfect fit.
That to me is one of the most special things about our collaboration, that not only are we creating something new for the show, but to know that our own Millennial Lotería exists in the world of Vida is something I will treasure forever. It’s like we’re part of pop culture now, and to do it with such an important show for our community has me “muy excited.”
You’ve always been very picky about what you include in the imagery of Millennial Lotería. Was it easy to stick to those rules for the Vida game?
It was really important for us that the cards accurately represented each character and their personality. The great thing about Vida is that every character is so well defined, relatable, and real, that it made our job easy. The characters in the show are breaking stereotypes about the U.S. Latinx community and expanding the representation of our culture, so that aligned perfectly with the Millennial Lotería brand. Tanya and the writers of the show have done a great job at defining the characters and the world of “Vida” so we just had to find ways to bring that to life in lotería form.
What has been the reaction from the cast after seeing their likeness?
Everyone has loved it. At the premiere, I was talking to Mishel Prada who plays Emma on the show, and she said seeing herself as a lotería card was better than getting her own action figure. That made me really happy, because it shows the power behind a cultural and nostalgic tradition like Lotería and how much it means to people. Ser, who plays Eddy, was also very excited about her La Wifa card, she wanted to have one framed!
How closely did you work with Tanya and the cast??
Tanya was one of the first people to buy my Millennial Lotería prints when I was starting out, even before I had enough cards to make a full game, so I knew she was a fan of our work. When she was decorating her writers room, I sent her a free copy of our first edition as a gift. We always talked online and one day she DM’d me seeing if I was interested in collaborating with the show for season 2. I was riding the metro to work when I read it, I think I let out a small scream because I was so excited.
People probably thought I was a freak haha. The team at Starz did a great job of providing me with assets from the show that I could base their cards on, and Tanya has such a grasp on who the characters are that all her feedback on the cards was super helpful. It’s always a little nerve-wracking when you are drawing a real person, especially a cast as beautiful as the one on Vida, but I’m super happy with how everyone looks and so far the cast has been nothing but nice about it.
Are there any other shows you’d like to give the Millennial Lotería treatment to?
Honestly, I don’t think there are many shows out there that align as perfectly with our brand as Vida does. It’s important to me that I collaborate only with people who are truly passionate about Latinx representation. And who knows, maybe one day Millennial Lotería can branch off into TV on it’s own. That is a huge dream of mine. I mean, white people are making movies based on Legos and Transformers, it’s not so crazy to think maybe one day I can make one based off of Millennial Lotería.
Which card is your favorite and why?
I love La Bestie because in old school lotería there really isn’t any LGBTQ representation, so to give Marco’s character his own card, it felt iconic. I also love La Boss Bitch because I relate to Emma’s character the most in the show. But the one I’ve gotten the most compliments on is La Chingona, represented by Mari, played by Chelsea Rendon. It’s probably because there's a little chingona in all of us.
I got my set from Starz, but will fans be able to buy this anywhere?
The sets are not for sale, they are part of a very limited edition collab that will be given to lucky fans who follow @VidaStarz on Instagram and attend “Vida” events.
Both seasons of Vida are avaible to be streamed via the Starz app.