October 2020 and we were asked by Greens-Team if we could paint almost 200 6-metre-length real bamboo poles for an upcoming movie. We can’t disclose which one just yet, but we’re definitely looking forward to seeing it and the star-studded cast, and not just because we want to see our bamboo poles in action.
We had a particularly busy October and November with four large projects all running at the same time and so our workshop was at capacity, but we know how to deal with lots going on and have become masters at logistics. At 6 metres long, the bamboo took up quite a large amount of floor space and each pole was hand-painted and sprayed to look like uncut, growing bamboo. They will be dressed in the film studio by Greens-Team as part of a jungle scene.
We’ll post pics of them on site when the movie comes out, keep an eye open for them.
Just a few of the bamboo poles spread out ready for varnish.
Close-up of some of the poles ready to be picked up.
Thanks to cultural phenomenons like The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things, we’re beginning to see the likes of geek culture spreading more and more into the general population’s day-to-day lives, with Gary Gygax’s Dungeons & Dragons becoming more popular by the day. Tabletop gaming has enjoyed a rich history, with board games like Monopoly always being a family-friendly pastime and video game alternatives like the ensemble of Jackbox games finding their way to more homes across Steam, the PS Store and the Xbox Marketplace.
It’s Dungeons & Dragons that is the most interesting case study though as it’s always been viewed as the pinnacle of nerdiness; the last stop before becoming what society generally deems as being a geek. The growing popularity appears to be a mirror to the general acceptance of video games, though that enjoys a billion-dollar place in marketplaces across the globe. Even so, with the rise of entertainment channels like Dimension 20, Adventure Zone and NADDPOD, it’s clear that there is a rising trend. There are even the likes of special events where celebrities gather around the table, making it much more socially acceptable for people to get familiar with the many dice of D&D.
This has been helped in no small part by the user-friendly fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, or 5e D&D, which is largely becoming the only version of the game that people know of. Paired with an ever-growing community of friendly players who always welcome new players and the general freedom that both being a PC (a player character) and a DM (a dungeon or game master) offers players, Dungeons & Dragons is picking up steam and gathering legions of new fans by the day.
The comparison to video games is no accident either as what was once only found in ‘the basements of nerds’ is now celebrated and explored in pop culture. This new found surge of ‘geek culture’ isn’t isolated to the breakout success of such franchises as the MCU (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) but it’s certainly helped by it. It’s not hard to imagine crossovers of these cultural methods of entertainment, especially as the aforementioned Monopoly has always embraced pop-culture for its own tabletop gaming (such as the Marvel Monopoly, Rick & Morty Monopoly, and so much more). So, with this in mind, let’s explore a combination made in the nirvana of geek culture; video games with Dungeons & Dragons.
Here at Spur Creative, we love exploring video game culture with massive props and fantastic sculptures, but today we wanted to explore the worlds of D&D. We wanted to see just what the perfect D&D party would be made of, using some of gaming’s most beloved characters. Break out your D20s, ladies and gentlemen, as we’re about to explore Video Game’s Greatest D&D Party.
The Adept Party
Cleric (Life) – Aerith (Final Fantasy 7)
Largely considered one of the strongest classes in D&D (with some DMs refusing to have players use them), Clerics can serve as spectacular healers as well as exceptionally adaptable fighters. They’re often proficient in heavy armour, capable of wielding swords & shields and can manipulate magic in a variety of different ways, almost making them a chunk Swiss army knife, but they can also be fine-tuned for specific purposes.
Enter a Domain of Life Cleric; the archetypical healer, and a class that feels like it’s custom-made for Aerith. A fan favourite from one of history’s most beloved JRPGs, or games of all time for that matter, Aerith is the tragic love interest (to a degree) of the protagonist Cloud (to another degree; it’s a four-disc long story) and one of the first party members you enlist in Final Fantasy 7. Largely considered the primary healer, being one of Final Fantasy’s ‘white mages’, Aerith is all about healing spells, party-supporting Materia and the planet’s lifestream, as in, really about the planet’s lifestream.
Throughout the story, it’s revealed that Aerith is the last in a long line of an ancient, god-like people (much like the Aasimar) with a connection to the life of the planet itself. However, as innocent her intentions, as pure as heart is or as prodigious as her healing abilities, it didn’t help when her time came. Spoiler alert for a game two decades old, but the primary antagonist, Sepiroth, swiftly put an end to Aerith’s life well before her time, making her unlikely to be an incredibly high-level character.
Conclusion: If you’re not on Team Tifa, Aerith would make for a great healer for an adept party.
Ranger (Monster Slayer) – Aloy (Horizon: Zero Dawn)
Rangers are a special kind of class, those that are more often than not fairly specialised. In D&D, many often dismiss the Ranger class, stating that players should either pick a ‘Fighter with a bow’ instead of being a ‘Druid-lite’ character. However, they do offer plenty of boons to a party, especially those looking to tame and traverse the wild environments of many campaigns, and when we think of wild environments in games one particularly beautiful example springs to mind; Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Though young, Horizon: Zero Dawn’s protagonist, Aloy, is an experienced hunter and survivalist. Much like your classic Ranger, Aloy is more than proficient with a bow & arrow, as well as an array of handcrafted & eccentric guerilla-style weapons. It’s hard to consider Aloy as anything other than the creature-killing speciality subclass of Monster Slayer, granting her advantages and particular skills against her prey, such as, say, a strange device that showcases the weaknesses of gigantic robotic monsters.
Throughout Horizon: Zero Dawn Aloy proves that she’s an impressive fighter, a capable stalker of prey and even a wise & understanding diplomat. However, she’s still fresh out of an isolated upbringing, born into a superstitious and ostracising society, and overall a small human struggling to survive in a world mostly filled with vicious, gigantic mechanical monsters.
Conclusion: This dichotomy makes Aloy an exceptional warrior, one that’s more than capable of joining an adept party, but not mighty enough to rub shoulders with the legendary hitters on this list.
Monk (Way of the Sun Soul) – Dhalsim (Street Fighter)
Essentially every world in D&D is created with some pretty awesome items and weapons in mind, whether it’s in the mind of the DM or the players, Knowing that there are swords that can scare off zombies, bows that can fire giant shards of ice and mauls that can summon ghost pirates, it can seem ridiculous to pick a class that uses their fists, but there are plenty of badass moments that you can live out when your character’s a Monk.
Fighting games have an almost unfathomable amount of hand-to-hand combatants that could be considered a Monk, but one of the clearest choices that springs to mind when thinking about fighting monks is one of Street Fighter’s longest-running combatants; Dhalsim. Dhalsim is no stranger to unarmed strikes, as well as many Monk-based skills like Flurry of Blows or Step of the Wind, each of which provide excellent hand-to-hand combos and quick dashes away from opponents, but what truly makes him an unquestionable Monk would be his affinity with the subclass, Way of the Sun Soul.
Dhalsim may appear to be nothing more than a toned shaman who can easily handle himself in a brawl, but what truly sets him apart from his Street Fighter counterparts are both his unorthodox stretching abilities (which, as far as we’re aware, there are no Gomu Gomu no Mi fruits in D&D) and his master over fire; breathing it out at will and utilising it effectively enough to counter series-favourites like the Hadouken.
Conclusion: Incredibly versatile and considerably good at balancing magic and physical combat, Dhalsim would be an invaluable addition to an adept party. However, stacking him against harder hitters in Street Fighter, like M Bison and Seth, shows that he’d be a good level, not a stupidly high level character.
Paladin (Oath of Heroism) – Link (The Legend of Zelda)
One of the most beloved classes in D&D, Paladins are exceptional choices for those who want to serve as Jack of All Trades; whether they feel like roleplaying as an incredibly religious, pious soul, a scorned & vengeful maniac or even just someone who prays to a talking, omnipotent chicken. Capable of dealing plenty of magical damage with ‘smites’ as well as healing their comrades with Lay on Hands, Paladins are pretty versatile warriors, and when it comes to versatile warriors in gaming there are few out there that beat Link.
Technically an unnamed protagonist, The Legend of Zelda’s Link has been amazing gamers for over 30 years. From its humble origins that began with an old man in a cave giving a child a sword to the genre-rocking masterpiece that saw you exploring a beautiful, wild world, The Legend of Zelda has been an almost flawless series (leaving out Link’s Adventure 2, Skyward Sword and Navi) that has put gamers in control of a mostly mute elf that’s capable of swinging a sword, shooting a bow, flinging a boomerang, utilising magical relics and…Well, the list could go on for quite some time.
Blessed by Hyrule as the chosen one, no matter where you land in the convoluted timelines, Link is undoubtedly granted some powers by the gods; even if he does have to constantly prove himself time and time again. By wielding the legendary Master Sword and imbued with the Triforce of Courage, there’s little that can stand in the way of Link; save for some angry chickens, average-sized walls and attempting small talk at parties.
Conclusion: It’s hard not to consider the Hero of Hyrule a master-class character, except for the fact that most of his power comes from items and boons picked up along quests. Still, he’s no slouch as a warrior, so would be an exceptional adept-level Paladin.
The Experienced Party
Fighter (Scout) – Joel (The Last of Us)
In D&D, it’s almost a trope to have beginners play Human Fighters, whether it’s due to their ease-of-use or simply due to a lack of imagination. In the case of gaming’s Fighter, this trope isn’t adhered to as it would be hard to describe Naughty Dog’s morally grey protagonist, Joel, as anything but a Fighter.
As ‘The Last of Us’ properly kicks off 20 years into the end of modern civilization, Joel would undoubtedly be an experienced combatant; one who keeps on constant alert, relies on scouting when outside city walls and has become grizzled after years of arduous survival. Adapting to competition with bandits, the infected and even other survivors will have made Joel proficient in almost anything he could get his hands on to use as a makeshift weapon,
A lifetime fighting, surviving and adapting in the hellish and bleak world of The Last of Us would definitely grant Joel a wealth of boons and experience, but he wouldn’t be without his limitations. As fit and capable as Joel is, he’s no longer in his prime and so would likely not be as formidable as a higher-level party member.
Conclusion: If Joel can survive a hellish, post-apocalyptic world with a handgun, a Molotov and a can of scissor pieces, he can fight well in an experienced party.
Rogue (Assassin) – Widowmaker (Overwatch)
The Rogue in D&D is often portrayed in an incredibly basic archetype; a sneaky person who loves stealing things. This, however, is the vanilla character creation of Rogues, and experienced players often know just how diverse the class can be, ranging from the haunted Revived to pirate-style Swashbucklers, as well as one of the most potentially insidious subclasses in the entire game; the Assassin.
There are plenty of brilliant assassins throughout gaming history, such as Agent 47 and Ezio Auditore, but our money’s on one of gaming’s most interesting assassins; Overwatch’s Widowmaker. For a long time Widowmaker’s past, much like the rest of Overwatch’s cast, was shrouded in mystery, yet piece by piece information has come to light. It’s a long story, but Widowmaker has undergone reprogramming, brainwashing, and a wealth of wet work to establish her firmly on the side of ‘evil’.
With a powerful weapon like Widow’s Kiss, abilities like Infra-Red Sight and tools like her Grappling Hook, Widowmaker isn’t just capable of ruining an enemy team but dealing some serious damage against monsters. Keeping her distance whilst delivering devastating shots are the name of the game for Widowmaker, and this kind of proficiency can prove that Rogues can do so much more than just pick your pockets.
Conclusion: As anyone who’s been wrecked online by a skilled sniper can attest to, Widowmaker has the potential to take out anything troubling the party from a long distance; combining her background with the Assassin subclass makes her an incredible Rogue for an experienced party.
Warlock (The Great Old One: Pact of the Chain) – Joker (Persona 5)
In the world of D&D, a Warlock isn’t limited to just being a male magic user; they are the manifestation of magic potential. Whether they gain their use of magic through a bond with a sentient book or a deal with Cthulu himself, Warlocks are a unique type of spellcaster; being bound to limited spell slots, yet having those spell slots be extremely powerful and able to recover much quicker than conventional spellcasters.
While it’s easy to label Joker as an Arcane Trickers Rogue, he fits more comfortably into the mysterious and ever-powerful Warlock class, especially when utilising the Pact of the Chain eldritch evocation. Granted powers by an enigmatic force (such as being unlocked by Igor and the Velvet Room) that can take on many powerful forms (like, say, a compendium full of different Personas), a Pact of the Chain Warlock has plenty of potential to rock the world and, dare we say, break the chains binding society.
Many past inclusions of the Shin Megami Tensei series (Atlus’ parent series of which Persona spun off from) straight up labelled the Personas that the protagonists and Joker utilise as devils and demons, at least, when they weren’t just becoming demons themselves (such as in the underrated Digital Devil Saga) or fighting alongside them (just like in one of the main Shin Megami Tensei Games, like Nocturne). With this in mind, saying that Joker is gaining his power from an external, demonic force, wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Conclusion: A perpetually adaptable, quick-witted and cool-headed leader who is just at home exploring dungeon-like environments with a party as they are on a supernatural battlefield? Joker sounds like the prime candidate for an experienced D&D party.
Wizard (Evocation) – Vivi, Kamek (Super Mario)
When you say ‘wizards’ usually one image springs to mind; old men with long, white beards, big pointy hats and gnarled looking staffs. Gandalf has more or less created the archetype for wizards, but in D&D you have the potential to reinvent this stereotype with your own take on the classic spellcaster. After all, it’s infinitely more interesting to play as, say, a Tiefling (a demon-like humanoid race) who became a Wizard in their quest to find the perfect Fireball spell or even a Tortle; much like Kamek.
Kamek’s career on the dark side of Mario’s traditionally sunny world began in the mid-90s, serving as Yoshi’s antagonist in Yoshi’s Island and Baby Bowser’s primary caretaker. This parental, advisory position to King Koopa has been consistent throughout the years, with Kamek acting as everything from a formidable boss in the Paper Mario series to a friendly game show-style host in the Mario Party series. However, even as he’s handing out commiserative stars to the losers of Mario Party next to Toad and Toadette, it’s undeniable that Kamek has a firm grip on magical power; constantly using the Levitate or Fly spell on his broom and evoking potent (and, some could argue, Sony plagiarizing) magicks against the Mario brothers.
Despite being a hardy Tortle (or, rather, a Koopa), Kamek is still a Wizard, one who can take a good degree of licking yet still not sturdy enough to fend off a barrage of cranial stomping from Italian plumbers and their assortment of allies. His strength doesn’t come from his blue-robed body though, but his mind; a particularly sharp tool that’s seen Kamek hold an unshakable position of power in Bowser’s kingdom for decades.
Conclusion: This experienced spellcaster is nothing to sniff at, utilising magical abilities swiftly and seemingly without the need for any spell components. Thanks to this, Bowser’s right-hand man would be a brilliant Wizard for any experienced party.
The Master Party
Barbarian (Path of the Storm Herald) – Kratos (God of War)
Now we enter the realm of the gods; literally. Even from a low level, Barbarians are well known as the tanks of any parties, being more than capable of taking a lot of damage (the infamous Rage ability halving any physical damage for one) and dealing even more on the battlefield. If a Fighter is considered a versatile but simple tool, the Barbarian can easily be classed as an efficient sledgehammer; one that’s capable of dealing even more damage, or helping the party hit a lot harder, with the various subclasses available.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Kratos is one of gaming’s greatest Barbarians. Sure, you have classic characters like Golden Axe’s dwarf, but when modern gamers think of an unstoppable force of brute strength that can mow down mobs and destroy deities, they have to think of Kratos. The ‘Ghost of Sparta’ spent much of his gaming career simply being an angry, angry man who pummeled his way to godhood, and yet it was within his latest game, God of War for the PS4, that we saw just how deep and awesome he is as a character.
Few could argue that this towering behemoth of a demigod would be anything but an extremely high-level character, one that would have no trouble taking down god-like foes (previously with a grudge, of course) and would seldom be slowed down by foot soldiers or monsters (the stopping power of the Sentinal feat, the unforgiving barrage of attacks of the Savage Attacker feat and the overwhelming power of the Great Weapons Master feat springs to mind).
Conclusions:Combine all of this with the magical boons of such iconic weapons as his late wife’s axe, the Leviathan (a frost-driven weapon that rings of the Tundra variant of Path of the Storm Herald) with his raw, god-like power and no one could bring the fight to your foes better than Kratos.
Druid (Circle of Twilight) – Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
Masters of the elements, of nature, and even forces beyond this plane of existence; Druids can be complicated characters to play but they can also bring the thunder down hard, figuratively and literally. Far from simply being robed figures who appreciate nature, in D&D Druids can be juggernauts that can adapt to almost any environment. Subclasses of Druids can vary as much as the seasons, ranging from the fun fungus-based Circle of Spores to the superb spirit-based Circle of Shepherd.
However, these aren’t the subclasses that best showcase the magnificence of everybody’s favourite witch; Bayonetta. One of the only surviving Umbra Witches, Bayonetta is exceptionally powerful, often relishing her battles with the demonic, angel-like Angels of Paradiso. Incredibly proficient in dealing damage both long-range and close-combat, especially against her chosen foes that resist the natural cycle of life & death in the cosmos, Bayonetta fits almost as well into the Circle of Twilight subclass as she does into her hair-based clothing.
Bayonetta’s greatest strengths lie in her flawless mobility, her skills with her custom weapons, and her immense charm. However, where her compatibility with the Druid class is best exemplified is her Timeless Body perk, in which high-level Druids can extend their lifespans many, many times over.
Conclusions: Bayonetta makes for a formidable foe, yet still has some room to grow. The Timeless Body class feature, along with the potential to be overwhelmingly powerful, makes Bayonetta well-worthy of supporting or fighting side-by-side with a Master-class party.
Sorcerer (Runechild) – Yennefer (The Witcher)
It’s not uncommon to be a little confused when first approaching D&D, especially when considering the magic-focused classes. One common question can be “what’s the difference between a Wizard and a Sorcerer?”, and while these may seem like purely semantic differences, in D&D they offer wildly different playstyles. While a Wizard will be one who trains and studies to use a wealth of different magicks, a Sorcerer will be naturally blessed with the ability to wield and customise spells, which brings us to the infamous Yennefer of Vengerberg.
Before she was perpetually enchanted with the scene of lilacs and gooseberries, Yennefer was a deformed and abused child who, unbeknownst to her, had untapped Elvyn magic within her. After this power was brought to the surface and mastered, Yennefer quickly reformed herself both physically and in status, making a name for herself over the decades of extended life her magic afforded her. By the time she first crossed paths with the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, she was an immensely powerful Sorceress.
Yennefer’s magical abilities aren’t the only weapon she has in her arsenal, as she’s proven herself to be a shrewd and cunning diplomat, a genius scholar and even a capable commander on the battlefield. With a flick of her wrist, she can annihilate lesser men and monsters with destructive spells, enchant an entire room with both her charms and guile and easily transport herself and others over great distances with immensely powerful portals, proving that she’s a master of magic.
Conclusions: As long as she isn’t distracted by a certain cat-eyed warrior or the thought of a stuffed unicorn, Yennefer is a true force to behold. However, as talented and potent as she may be as a master of magic, she believes she still needs greater power to truly achieve her wants and desires.
Bard (College of Satire) – Dante (Devil May Cry)
One of the greatest misconceptions with Bards in D&D is that they need to be musicians. Sure, Bards are traditionally depicted as singing, lute-playing minstrels, but in D&D a Bard can simply be a creative mind who frequently expresses themselves. For example, you can determine you’re a Bard through dance, by making cocktails, or performing card tricks. However you decide to express yourself as a character, your Bard can be a charismatic tour de force; or in the case of Dante, you can express yourself by being awesome at everything.
Portrayed as being so powerful, skilled and lucky that virtually nothing fazes him, Dante is the happy-go-lucky and cool-as-permafrost protagonist of the Devil May Cry series. Throughout the years he may have shifted his personality somewhat (with cringe-worthy lines from Devil May Cry 1, to having a stoic lack of personality in Devil May Cry 2, to settling on his whimsically wonderful iteration in Devil May Cry 3) but essentially every version of Dante sees him being utterly in control of every situation. Whether he’s firing round after round into demonic hordes, rocking a magical, devilish guitar in Hell or dancing like Jackson with an absurdly stylish hat, Dante is supremely stylish and always brings results.
Though he may portray an aloof behaviour, the half-demon is capable of slaying gods. Bards are known as being more than capable of being a master of all trades, as well as being the most charming characters in their respective worlds. Like any high-level Bard, Dante is an expert in handling powerful magicks, wielding mighty weapons, and supporting allies, or in this case, his party; and no one embodies the word ‘party’ quite like Dante.
Conclusions:As a man who has fended off the entire Underworld from invading Earth single-handedly, Dante would be a comfortable fit in a party that was filled with gods and legendary heroes. Whether it was through martial art prowess, his litany of Devil Arms or just through his raw charisma, Dante could handle anything D&D could throw at him.
Everyone knows Mario collects gold coins. In this economy, you can’t blame him – but how much are they actually worth?
Can we take that knowledge and find out how much he’s made over the years and what his yearly salary even is?
The answer is: “We’ll at least try”.
So, we took a very serious, analytical approach (conversion rates, Brooklyn state insurance taxes, how subletting in the Mushroom Kingdom works, etc) to find out just how much Mario made per game, and how lucrative his coin collecting side hustle really is.
Who is Mario, really?
Perpetually both 24 and 25 years old (Independent, 2016), Mario Mario is a carpenter-turned-plumber that grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He is the brother of fellow plumber Luigi (or more accurately, Luigi is the brother of Mario) and is also madly in love with Princess Peach, ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom.
The character profile that Nintendo made for him in 1993 (Press the Buttons, 2016) described him as adventurous (“He’s always ready to pack up his bag of tools and head off into the unknown”), curious (“He has always managed to retain a child’s wide-eyed curiosity and inquisitiveness”) and tolerant (“He has seen too many things in his travels to be narrow-minded”). That’s a long sentence; almost as long as the list of what Mario does for fun when he’s not saving the kingdom.
His hobbies include go-karting (1), partying (2), shooting some hoops (3), performing in Olympic events (4), providing patients with unprescribed pills (5) and transporting deadly bombs through the Vietnam jungle (6). These past-times have landed him the honour of appearing in more video games than anyone else.
Financial breakdown, pre-coins
We don’t have access to the earnings of professionals in the Mushroom Kingdom, unfortunately. Instead, let’s assume Mario gets most of his plumbing work in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
According to our research and at the time of writing, the average plumber in the NY borough makes $55,664 (Indeed, 2019), which is actually 9% below the national average. It’s a good thing that his girlfriend Peach was ranked 15th in a previous Forbes rich list (Forbes, 2007).
Maybe her kingdom has more relaxed taxes in place, but we’re playing by Brooklyn’s rules and our number-crunching leaves Mario with $3,381 a month after-tax.
While he grafts in Brooklyn, he actually lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. I know what you’re thinking, ‘what a commute that is!’. Well, with the transporting qualities of warp pipes, he can travel between the New York borough and his girlfriend’s kingdom in a heartbeat.
Based on its appearance in Paper Mario (2001), Mario’s red-and-green themed house is located just west of Princess Peach’s Castle. That fact, combined with it having a massive basement that was built by Luigi so he could hide his diary there (AV Club, 2015), you might be thinking that Mario has one hell of a mortgage to pay.
Think about it, though: would Peach really make him pay for it? Not a chance. She’s a billionaire with a heart of gold – he’s staying there rent and mortgage-free. At least this makes the 9% below average pay a little easier to swallow.
Determining the value of the gold coin
We’ve searched far and wide, but we can’t find any Mushroom Kingdom to GBP currency convertor, so we’ve had to put some work in. However, the truth is – not much is consistent in Mario.
For example, one way to determine this could be to work out the value of the gold coin based on its size compared to Mario. For content as serious as this, we simply weren’t happy with this approach though. Not only the coins but Mario himself (GetNews.jp, 2015), frequently changes size. Take, for example, this screenshot below from New Super Mario Bros (15th May, 2006) for the Nintendo DS.
According to this image, Mario is roughly the same size as a gold coin. Even when we look at the largest gold coin ever made, they still only get as large as 21 inches in the case of the Canadian “Big Maple Leaf” (BBC, 2017). Even accounting for his hat, this would still have Mario at approximately 22.5 inches – and that would give each coin a value of £3.3 million! However, according to various reports, Nintendo has confirmed that he has a height of 155cm – with a BMI of 37.0, in case you were wondering.
We even considered using one of the most consistent elements of Mario games – 100 coins get you an extra life – to work out the value of a single coin by working out the value of human life and dividing it by 100. However, we weren’t happy with this. Luckily, during our research stage, Super Mario Maker 2 came out. From what we could gather, the Mushroom Kingdom economy has faced some Brexit-style rollercoastering since the plumbers first video game outing, so we decided to use this as an up-to-date gauge of the coin.
We needed an anchor to base our different currencies around; something that you can purchase with both gold coins and with real money like pounds or dollars.
In the recently released Super Mario Maker 2, you’re tasked with building a castle using gold coins that you raise by playing levels. However, the cost of building a castle has too many variables attached to it to be a reliable anchor. We wanted something on a smaller and more manageable scale, so we can establish that conversion rate and then build up. It turns out, the stained glass window that is now synonymous with Princess Peach’s castles over every game, was perfect for this.
Clocking in at 2,000 coins, if we found out how much the stained glass window would cost in real life, we could divide that by 2,000 and then we’d have the exact conversion rate for pounds to coins!
To work out the size of the window, you can use the canon height of Mario (5 foot 1 inch) and use pixels as a measurement. By working out how many pixels tall Mario is, we know that many pixels equal 5 foot 1 inch. For example, if the window was exactly twice the same size in pixels as Mario, then we know the window is 10 foot and 2 inches tall.
Some complex maths later – which YouTuber Matthew Patrick worked out here if you want to see some of the inspiration for this content – you can work out that the size of the window is actually 11.7 square feet.
We need a bit more information than that to ask for a quote from real stained glass window providers, though. So, we sent them this image to the left, which was taken from the recent Mario game and edited slightly to highlight the individual pieces necessary.
Close analysis reveals that there are only 93 pieces involved in that particular window, which makes it fairly simple compared to some of the stained glass windows normally produced. As these are mostly large, they wouldn’t require precision cutting which will reduce the price even further. We also requested the best quality glass (if you were the literal ruler of a kingdom, wouldn’t you, too?) and asked for the price to include installation and framing.
With all that information, I felt confident going to real stained glass manufacturers to ask for a quote. I sent the email below to several different producers, knowing full well that this wouldn’t appeal to everyone since I’m not actually going to buy the window myself.
The fantastic team at Leadbitter Glass got back to me rapidly and gave me the price of £2,200 for production and installation, including VAT.
Finally, an anchor has been established to find a conversion rate between gold coins and pounds sterling.
£2,200 (window in pounds) ÷ 2,000 (window in gold coins) = 1.11
There we have it; one single gold coin is equal to £1.11!
That seems a little low though, right?
Well, yeah, to an extent. A gold coin being worth just over one pound seems unrealistic – in our world. That’s because, for us, gold is rare and that is what drives its value up so much. If gold was everywhere, it’s price would be drastically lower. Do you know where gold is everywhere? The Mushroom Kingdom.
No wonder the price is so low – you can barely turn around in Peach’s domain without knocking into a gold coin – and you think that’s gonna be valuable? Not a chance.
This actually lines up with other games, too. In 2017’s Mario Odyssey, Mario could buy a full black suit (including a white shirt, tie, blazer, pants and white gloves – for some reason) for just 150 gold coins. Multiply that by 1.11 and the suit comes in at just under £170, which sounds about right for a full suit!
How much did he make per game?
Luckily, this was something we didn’t have to work out ourselves – as much as we’d like an excuse to bust out the classics again. Game journalism site Kotaku shared this spreadsheet which collects not just the total coins from each game, but per level.
That means we can work out exactly how much money Mario made per game and per year, and using the currency calculator on National Archives, we can even adjust for inflation. Below, you can find a breakdown of the games from the 1980/90’s and then 2000/10’s.
* Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels was first released in 1986, but didn’t release in Europe until 1993. For this reason, we have dated it as 1993, but have used the inflation rate of 1986.
For the record, we have excluded two games from the data below. As Mario Odyssey and New Super Mario Bros 2 have drastically more coins per game due to different mechanics and choices, we decided that they would skew the figures and impact the integrity of the results.
Now we know how much money he would have made from each game, we can combine that with his plumber earnings to see how much money he’d have to spent per year.
Total earnings from the games: £118,655.19
Total earnings from the games divided by years since debut: £3,707.97
Plumber salary (converted to pounds): £44,633.07 £46,139.89
That means that, per year, Mario is earning…
Peach is really pulling her weight in this relationship then.
Is that more than you thought he’d be making? Less? Did you just think you’d never have to wonder how much a fictional plumber from Brooklyn made, including his coin-collecting side hustle? Neither did we, but we’re glad we did now.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure you share it with friends and – hey, if you want some props made, we know a pretty good company called Spur Creative that will help you out. You can check out their services here, although determining the financial breakdown of a fictional character isn’t something widely on offer – yet…
“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” – Seán O’Casey
“Exit, pursued by a bear.” – William Shakespeare
“That’s how we stay young these days: murder and suicide.” – Eugène Ionesco
“Theatre is a sacred space for actors. You are responsible; you are in the driving-seat.” – Greta Scacchi
Never fear, Brooklyn is here – Newsies
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ― Oscar Wilde
“Unfinished work invites tampering, while polished, mature work seals its integrity.” – Robert McKee
“I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.” – W.S. Gilbert
“Death does not discriminate between the sinners or the saints” – Hamilton
“How hard is it, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.” – Antonin Artaud
“Happiness was useless to me. It was heartache that filled my purse. What happy man has need of Shakespeare?” – Jennifer Donnelly
“Oh if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one, but if life were only moments then you wouldn’t know you had one.”- Into the Woods
“I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theatre is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.” – Laurence Olivier
“Winfred, never confused efficency with a liver complaint.” – Mary poppins
“Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy.” – Clive Swift
“Masquerade, paper faces on parade. Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you.” – Phantom of the opera
“The theatre is certainly a place for learning about the brevity of human glory: oh all those wonderful glittering absolutely vanished pantomime.” –Iris Murdoch
“Theatre is the art form of the present: it exists only in the present, and then it’s gone.” – Simon McBurney
“A creative and artistic home is what I’ve been looking for in the theatre.” – Kenneth Branagh
“The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.” – Stella Adler
“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe
“With theatre, you have to be ready for anything.” – Willem Dafoe
“Musical theatre history is littered with bad reviews for now classic pieces.” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
“Take me for what I am, who I was meant to be.” – Rent
“My real training as an actor was when I started doing theatre.”- Steve Buscemi
“Make them laugh, make them cry, and hack to laughter. What do people go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise. I am a servant of the people. I have never forgotten that.” – Mary Pickford
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Moulin Rouge
“Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.” – Tom Stoppard
“Everything happens every night for this audience, and it’s a very special occasion to come to the theatre.” – Roger Rees
“Then everyone leaves, and you are left, each night, to your own devices with a crowd of interesting people – most of whom you don’t know – sitting in the dark.” – Anna Deavere Smith
“Actors are all about entrances, but writers are all about exits.” ― Vincent H. O’Neil
“If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that. But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life.” ― Tom Stoppard
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” –William Shakespeare
“We have freedom of speech, but you got to watch what you say.”- Viola Spolin
“It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap!” – Wicked
“Theatre exists only because it is overwhelming because its acting is astonishing. Where a theatre and its acting are merely ‘good,’ merely ‘correct,’ merely ‘in the proper style,’ theatre dies a slow death.” – Robert Cohen
“Well, we can’t all come and go by bubble!” – Wicked
“The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.” – H. L. Mencken
“You need three things in the theatre — the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something.” -Kenneth Haigh
“Wow, you mean the bible is actually a trilogy and the book of mormon is return of the Jedi? I’m interested.” – The book of mormon
“Coughing in the theatre is not a respiratory ailment. It is criticism.” – Alan Jay Lerner
“The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.” – Arthur Miller
“In the theatre the audience wants to be surprised but by things that they expect.” – Tristan Bernard
“Now life has killed the dream I dreamed” – Les Miserables
“The theater is a great equalizer: it is the only place where the poor can look down on the rich.” – Will Rogers
“Don’t think you’re funny. It’ll never work if you think you’re funny.” – George Abbott
“The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.”- Edward Albee
“Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.”- Ellen Barkin
“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb
“Whatever you do kid, always serve it with a little dressing.” – George M. Cohan
“To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory’s vault and mix in a sad memory from one’s own life.” -AlbertFinney
“It is not theatre that is indispensable, but something quite different. To cross the frontiers between you and me.” – Jerzy Grotowski
“Actors are the only honest hypocrites.”- William Hazlitt
“If you cast wrong, you are in a lot of trouble.” – Paul Mazursky
“Drama – what literature does at night.” – George Jean Nathan
“The most precious things in speech are pauses.”- Ralph Richardson
“The theatre, like the fresco, is art fitted to its place. And therefore it is above all else the human art, the living art.”- Roman Rolland
“I want to make the audience laugh and cry within ten seconds, to show just how close those emotions are.” -Neil Simon
“A talent for drama is not a talent for writing but is an ability to articulate human relationships.” -Gore Vidal
At this stage you might be wondering ‘what does a prop maker do?’ or maybe you already know, but, you’re looking for more information on how to become one or what the job entails. This guide will cover everything you’ve wondered about prop makers. We have extensive experience that enables us to provide you with everything you need to know.
What is a Prop Maker?
A prop maker will create anything from replica gaming weapons, giant props of food or life size props for theatre productions. Prop makers work with a variety of different materials and their methods are constantly changing as each new prop challenges their skills and ability to create real life looking props. Prop making is an art which needs patience and the ability to be extremely creative.
Day to day, prop makers usually work in a workshop, theatre studios or at a TV or film studio. Day to day, you’ll be discussing the props that need to be created, creating plans and sketches as well as detailed designs and detailed research if creating replica designs. You’ll be using different materials and a multitude of tools and machinery. You may also be required, not only to create, but also to repair props.
Prop Making Courses
Wondering how to Become a Prop Maker? There are a few routes you can take. There are many apprenticeships around as well as university courses; it’s completely down to personal choice as to what route you take. Some prop makers have made it into their dream career without attending an apprenticeship, college or university and instead have achieved so through hard work, connections and self entrepreneurial qualities. It is always a good idea to get in touch with a prop company and offer to work on a voluntary basis for a few weeks, proving your worth and making good connections along the way.
Prop Maker Apprenticeship
There are many apprenticeships that become available throughout the year in regards to prop making. The National Theatre has had an apprenticeship programme running since 2011, you can also find opportunities on the National Careers website.
To get into university and on a path that will enable you to become a prop maker, you’ll typically need:
2-3 A levels to get onto a degree course
1 A level to get onto a foundation level
A foundation diploma in art & design
To become a prop maker you may decide to take a foundation degree in:
Art & Design
You can go to college and complete a variety of courses there in order to get some of the skills needed for prop making. Just a few examples of the courses you could take are:
Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design
Level 2 Certificate in Carpentry
Level 3 Certificate in Creative Craft
Level 3 Diploma in 3D Design and Crafts
2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course
Prop Maker Vacancies
There are many prop maker job vacancies online.
You can use any popular jobs posting websites such as Indeed, Total Jobs, LinkedIn as well as National careers to find opportunities within the prop industry.
Do you have what it takes?
It takes a special person to create props; you’ll need to be adaptable and explorative.
Skills Needed to Create Props
The great thing about being a prop maker is that no job is ever the same. This also means that you’ll need a different set of skills each time you create a new prop. The prop industry is constantly developing and so will you. Below are some of the many core skills that you’ll need.
Carpentry involves constructing and repairing structures made from woods and various other materials. Carpentry involves mechanical skills such as use of tools and machines. This can involve anything from power saws to drilling and remodelling. You will also need maths skills to measure materials, work out angles, scale objects, work out volumes and mass. You’ll also need to utilise your maths skills for calculating costs and estimates.
Carpentry also involves a certain degree of critical thinking and problem solving. Prop making does not always go to plan and you’ll need to think on your toes as well as strategically. Critical thinking will also help you with the design, layout, time management and planning of your prop creation.
Sculpting involves the transformation of any solid materials into any form or shape. Making sculptures takes a lot of patience. Sculpting may be done with materials such as clay, polystyrene, wood and metal. Sculptors will need to carve, chisel and model their materials into a finished sculpture, and often bearing in mind how the finished piece will be moulded, making sure to minimise any undercuts that can be time-consuming and costly in the moulding process.
Moulding & Casting
Moulding is a process that is used extensively in prop making, especially when multiples of a prop are required. Moulds can be made with silicone, fibreglass or plaster and some moulds are more intricate than others, but a knowledge of this process is invaluable. Once a mould is created, casting can take place. Materials used to cast in to moulds are fibreglass, also known as GRP: Glass Reinforced Plastic, or Jesmonite, otherwise known as GRC: Glass Reinforced Concrete, or polyurethane foam, often used to bulk out and strengthen a cast that has been rota-moulded or to give a soft finished prop rather than a solid, non-malleable one.
There are many forms of painting, each entailing their own skill necessity. Painting props requires special attention to detail in order to enhance the realism of the props. You may be required to paint a prop that needs to have a glossy smooth finish or a textured prop that required you to paint over materials to create a certain effect. Anything that is seen in nature can be replicated with paint effects. The painting of a prop is the last process, and the knowledge and skill of the painter makes all the difference in what level of quality the finished prop has.
There are different types of welding; the ones mainly used in prop making are MIG welding (Metal Inert Gas) and TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas). MIG welding is easier to learn compared to learning how to TIG weld. Welding is used across a variety of prop types and it is an invaluable skill to have.
As well as drawing up designs, you’ll also be required to create digital designs. Computer aided design is used to create detailed designs prior to prop making. The design will factor everything from measurements, paint, materials needed and the overall look. These can be shown to the clients for approval as well being used as an aid to create the prop when the time comes.
Soft props & upholstery
Soft props are props made using fabrics, foam, card and anything that results in a soft feeling prop. A puppet made using fabrics and foam is a good example of a soft prop. Weapons cast in silicone rubber or polyurethane foam are another. Upholstery is used when you are looking to cover a prop with material; this can be anything from creating an antique looking chair to creating a soft backdrop.
Prop Maker Salary
So you’re wondering ‘how much money does a prop maker make? Like most artistic and creative roles, it’s hard to completely define how much people in these professions earn. Earnings may depend on where you work, the size of the company and how in demand your job is. Below are some broad averages in terms of salary:
£15,000 a year
£85 – £250 a day
Mid – Senior Salary
£25,229 – £53,469 a year
Prop Maker Jobs
Model making jobs requires real attention to detail. A model is often smaller than the object it represents. Many people like to collect model figures so many businesses, film companies or gaming companies like to make models of popular characters. Models are also often used within architecture, product and theatrical design.
Set, production or stage designers are in charge of creating the overall look of a theatre, television or film production. Set design jobs are such an important part of telling a story, the set needs to fit the story and aid the actors in their roles.
You could work as a prop maker over a variety of different industries or become a prop maker within a workshop. If you work in a prop workshop you’ll be creating props for a variety of different customers such as film, theatre, business, retail and many others.
You’ll need to be adaptable and have a really wide set of skills in order to fulfil clients prop requests. They may provide you with a rough idea of the type of prop they’re looking for but you’ll then need to go away and decide on the best method and materials to use. You could be creating anything from theatre props, film props to window display props.
The great thing about being a prop maker is that it can take you into many roles. There are always new and exciting designs to create and you can always be creative. These skills are also very transferable across many different artistic and creative sectors so you’ll have many options. No day is ever the same as a prop maker, so if you’re looking for a job that enables you to be innovative and adaptable, prop making could be the profession for you.
Paul Bateson played a radiologist’s assistant in The Exorcist. He was a convicted murderer who dismembered and killed gay men in the late ’70s.
2. Alien (1979)
The actors were not informed that the xenomorph was going to explode from Kane’s chest. This enabled genuine reactions from the cast. Veronica Cartwright even passed out.
3. Psycho (1960)
It was the first movie to ever show a toilet being flushed.
4. Poltergeist (1982)
Four of the cast in the original film died within six years of the film’s release data. One of those was Heather O’Rourke (the girl in the gif) and because of this, the belief that the film was cursed arose.
5. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Night of the Living Dead was shot in black and white. This means that they didn’t have modern film challenges to make the fake blood look realistic. When Karen Cooper (Kyra Schon) takes a bite of her dad’s flesh, she’s actually biting into some leftover lunch.
6. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Anthony Hopkins was only on camera for just under 25 minutes. He was barely in the movie but he still took home the Oscar for Best Actor that year.
7. The Shining (1980)
The carpet is the same design in The Shining and the second floor landing of Sid’s house in Toy Story.
8. The Amityville Horror (2005)
The cast and crew of The Amityville Horror kept waking up at 3 am while filming. That’s the same time the original murders took place.
9. Split (2016)
James McAvoy broke his hand while filming Split in 2016. The incident occurred after he hit a door that he thought was fake. It was actually solid metal.
10. The Conjuring (2013)
During filming, Vera Farmiga experienced several instances of paranormal activity, including finding claw marks on her thighs.
11. Get Out (2017)
It’s no secret that Get Out has many references about American slavery. The teacup is symbolic to slave masters that summon house slaves using teacups.
The use of a silver spoon can be seen as meaningful because of the term “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”.
12. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Jules kisses the wolf head on the wall. The wolf’s tongue was covered in powdered sugar to make it look dusty but also to make the scene more tolerable for Anna.
13. Saw (2004)
Saw was actually inspired by a news story. The idea came about when James Wan saw a news report that described a man who would break into people homes and tickle the feet of sleeping children.
Once the man in question was caught, he revealed that he was forced to do it by someone else & was sent a jigsaw piece. This is where the idea of the jigsaw killer forcing characters to do unthinkable things flourished.
14. Halloween (1978)
Due to its limited budget, the prop department used the cheapest $2 mask they could find in the costume store.
That mask happened to be of the Star Trek actor William Shatner. They spray-painted the face white, teased the hair out and reshaped the eye socket.
15. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick created all 500 pages with the words “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Kubrick didn’t go to the prop department with the task and instead, he used his own typewriter to make the pages.
16. Candyman (1992)
Real bees were actually put into lead actor Tony Todd’s mouth while shooting the finale.
17. The Badadook (2014)
The Babadook is a gay icon. It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. The joke lead to the Babadook becoming a symbol for Gay Pride month in parts of America.
Exhibitions are a fantastic marketing platform that enables you to leave an impression and interact with your target audience. You want attendees to notice you and in a busy exhibition venue, you’ll need to stand out. To gain valuable leads you’ll first need them to stop at your stand and then have them there long enough to engage in constructive conversation.
Exhibitions and trade shows are extremely important for attaining leads but it’s equally important that you aren’t too sales heavy. It’s a place to be creative and really show off your amazing brand and employees.
You’ll need to portray your brand in the most eye catching way possible. Blending into the background is the last things you want.
If you’re all about innovation, you may want a LED video wall screen to showcase this. A digital screen can be a really eye-catching feature and a fantastic way to display demos, promotions or just something fun. According to 48% of exhibitors, an eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees.
If your brand focuses on being environmentally friendly, you may go for a smaller, more natural stand. Using AstroTurf grass, wooden boxes, potato sacks and a plant filled wall would reflect your eco brand identity.
The stand has to fit with your brand and values. 83% of exhibitors believe expanding on brand awareness is a high priority objective at an exhibition. People need to immediately identify your brand personality, so it’s crucial that you get this right.
Props are another great visual element that can be used to attract the attendee’s attention.
You can use large or smaller props, however at an exhibition or trade show you may want to go large. A large prop will grab attendee’s initial attention and may even be the show stopper of the event.
Spur Creative Workshop made a magic tap for The Boat Show; the tap appeared as though it was suspended in mid air, being supported by the force of the jet water. They used a submersible pump to keep the flow of water coming from the tap spout and to also help the illusion.
If you have any characters that are associated with your brand or product, it’s definitely worth recreating them as a prop. Zingy, the orange character associad with EDF energy became popular when he featured in a series of their successful adverts. Recreating Zingy as a real life size prop would work successfully in an exhibition space to attract visitors.
Spur Creative created two game characters for Microsoft’s new game Sea of Thieves.
The sculpts were used to promote the new online platform at a video gaming conference in Los Angeles. The use of sculptured props were a success, hundreds of gaming fans had their picture taken with the sculpts and it captured many other gamers attention.
43% of exhibitors spend between £500 and £2000 on their exhibition displays per year. 21% of exhibitors at smaller exhibitions spent between £100 – £500 on their displays.
Of course the cost depends on the size of your business, what shows you want to participate in, how large your spot is and if you want to integrate expensive technology.
However, whatever the budget, the below image breaks down the percentage of budget you should be spending in each area.
Give Them Something for Free
Giving away free things is often an underrated method. You can attempt a more traditional method of giving out things like pens and notepads with your branding on, but everyone has seen this a thousand times over. Plus, no one is jumping at the chance of a free pen.
We mentioned earlier that if you’re values are in line with being eco-friendly, you may have a wall of tiny plants as part of your display. This is where you take this creative idea further; why not let visitors take a small plant home?
The branding can still be on the pot but it also encourages them to come over and interact with your stand. Plus, if they identify with your environmentally friendly brand, they’ll definitely be up for a free plant to nurture.
Using interactive games to draw people in can go hand in hand with giving them a free gift. Why not make them work for it?
You don’t just want people to notice you, come take a free gift and go (although that’s still great) you want to aim for people to come over, play a game, spend some time, engage in conversation and then take a free gift. This process gives a much larger scope for attaining leads and ensuring you get chance to portray your message and also your brand personality.
Not to mention games are fun, make sure the game is on brand and that it’s in line with the message you want to convey. McVities recently used an interactive experience where two consumers were required to work together to operate a model crane.
The aim was to grab a giant Mcvities ‘prize’ nibble, each prop nibble providing a prise. This campaign was an effective way for consumers to interact and win prizes associated with their brand, far more successful than just taking a free pack when passing by.
Train Your Staff for the Event
Training your staff that will be manning the stand is vital. Your staff’s behaviour is just as pivotal to the success of the stand as the design is.
You need to look the part and be the part. 85% of an exhibitions success lies within the performance of the staff.
If you feel like your employees don’t fit the part, or you don’t have enough time to train them, you can always get promotional staff to fill in. They’re great for attracting and opening up conversation with attendees.
You can even use them for specifically ‘pitching’ your brand or just to get people interacting with your stand. That gives you more time to have deeper conversations with those who are looking to find out more about you.
It’s also worth hiring promotional staff if you’re holding an exhibition in a country that is not your first language. Promotional staff will approach situations with the appropriate dialect for that specific country.
There are many ways to attract people to your exhibition stand, but not all of them will work for you. It’s important to know the message you want to put out at these types of events and only then can you use these methods to enhance it.
Exhibitions are a really great way show off your business and have fun doing so. This may be the only chance attendees get to see something physical that they can associate with your name.
Make it memorable and don’t be afraid to go big or be different.
Props play a crucial role in provoking viewer’s emotions and heightening performance.
Theatre props are anything movable or portable on a stage which is distinct from the actors, costumes and scenery. The use of props in British theatre has come a long way since they were first introduced in the 13th century.
In an age where everything is digital there is something special about humans using only themselves and props to tell a story. It is this element that has helped theatrical productions continue to play a significant role within British culture for thousands of years.
Props help scenes become more realistic and assist in guiding the viewers’ imagination. Some may argue that props and the design behind them are often underappreciated.
They not only help the viewer identify the character that is being displayed but also help the actor get into character – much like how wearing a suit may help a professional get into a business mind set.
Props have the power to take us back and become engrossed in stories that were centuries well before our time.
They often become a part of a character and therefore develop into a vital association with that particular story. These props can often become highly valued collectables.
Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet first made his film debut in 1956 and later went on to appear in The Twilight Zone and The Addams Family. The robot became the most expensive prop ever sold at auction when it reached $5.375m.
This was closely followed by the Aston Martin that appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger and Thunderball which was sold for $4.6m.
Props are much more than just an object to assist the eye. We put meaning into objects and use them symbolise and communicate stories.
Trying to make your company stand out is a common issue. Whether it’s a small business trying to break through in a new industry, or multi-national company looking for new ways to draw in more customers, getting noticed is something which all business strive for. One of the most popular methods successful businesses use to get noticed is with visual imagery as a form of advertising. Visual advertising comes in many forms; however we’re going to focus on visual imagery which uses replica props as a focus.
What are replica props?
Replica props are an exact copy of a product which can be made to actual size or larger. Here at Spur Creative, we have created replica props for a wide variety of businesses. Replica props are often used in theatre to literally replicate an object, usually in a smaller form. Replica props can also be used by businesses to provide potential customers with a visual display of their products.
How can businesses use replica props to their advantage?
To improve brand awareness
One of the biggest benefits of using replica props is their ability to improve a business’ brand awareness. This can either be through leaving a visual memory in the mind of potential customers or through improving exposure on social media channels. One of our clients, Maelu Cafe have used replicas of their delicious macrons to increase exposure on social media through posting pictures such as this image below. The ‘fun factor’ of the image increases social media interaction, which in turn improves the exposure of the cafe and could lead to even more customers in the local area visiting the cafe. When customers visit the store, the large replicas can also leave a lasting memory in their minds, which means, when they next plan to visit a cafe in the local area, they will remember Maelu over their competitors. This is an unorthodox way to get ahead of your competition.
Replica props are also used by multi-national companies to promote their popular cereal Krave. We were asked to create a larger than life replica of a Kellogg’s product cereal box and Krave cereal pieces, which was to be installed at Alton Towers to promote a new ride which Kellogg’s had sponsored. The replica needed to be an exact match of their cereal packaging and instantly recognisable to theme park visitors. From detailed CAD drawings, we were able to perfectly re-create the packaging and cereal pieces to exact requirements.
Replica props offer a great, long-term alternative form of advertising which, in the long run, can be more inexpensive than traditional advertising techniques such as television, radio or newspapers. The maximum amount of time a business usually runs an advert of this type is around 3 months. However, with a replica prop, it can continue to promote and advertise your business for years
To promote a new product
When it comes to promoting a new product, it’s important to maximise the exposure to both existing and new customers. A new product simply isn’t going to sell if nobody knows that it exists. You need to get the product in front of the eyes of potential customers. Using a replica prop of the new product can be a great addition to your marketing strategy. Large, successful businesses know that it’s important to leave an imprint of their product in the eyes of the customer. At Spur Creative, we are constantly working with businesses on creating replicas of their products. A replica product in a popular resort like Alton Towers is a great way to promote a product directly to a specific target market.
Large-scale replica products can help to promote your product to a wide audience. Whatever the product, our team of creative experts pride themselves on being able to complete a job to the highest standards. By using a large replica of a product, potential customers are likely to remember the product the next time they visit a store.
Using replica propsat business stands
Marketing stands can be a great, affordable way of drawing in new customers who are interested in your industry. Stands can be effective when displayed at exhibitions or conferences because it is highly likely that the audience will have a direct interest in your industry, with a willingness to engage with you. However, it can be tricky to draw in the crowds, especially when there are rival businesses competing right next to you.
Replica props can be a great way of making your business stall stand out at a busy conference or exhibition. Often, visitors to the exhibition will find it difficult to remember particular aspects of your stall. In one example, a water purification company asked us to create a large tap to help their exhibition stall stand out from their competitors. The client was really happy with the finished product and the stand went down a treat at the exhibition. This project is one of our biggest success stories.
Using replicas in shop window displays
Shop window displays are a major influencing factor in determining whether potential customers visit your store or whether they simply walk past. Often small retailers are guilty of displaying boring, uninspired displays which fail to attract visitors. It’s important that your shop window draws the attention of potential customers. One great way to brighten up any window is to add props which help to create a visual theme. This is a simple way to make your shop window look more interesting to potential customers. Spur Creative are highly experienced in producing props for various well known brands such as Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer, Next and Topman. Contact us today to discover how we can help to improve your shop window display.
What types of replica props can Spur Creative design?
Whatever the product or concept, it’s very likely that our design experts will be able to create an exact replica to your requirements. Our creative process begins by looking at the design from either a 2D perspective with hand drawings, 3-D artwork or even from something as simple as photographs of a product. Following on from initial ideas, our design team works out the best way to manufacture the prop then out team of prop makers, carpenters, metal workers and painters make it happen.
The term “props” refers to theatrical property, and is the shorthand for the various items used to drive forward the narrative of a play, or screen/theatrical production. The first use of the shortened word “prop” appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. A prop’s primary function is to make the setting of a play more realistic for the actors involved.