IRL Unlocked: Top 15 Video Game Replicas

Posted: September 29, 2015
IRL Unlocked: Top 10 Video Game Replicas
  • Pip-Boy
  • Needler
  • Thorn Hand Cannon
  • Mega Blaster
  • Mini Gun
  • Warhammer
  • Gravity Gun
  • Borderlands
  • Poe Soul
  • Caius
  • IRL Unlocked: Top 10 Video Game Replicas
  • Helm Skyrim
  • Thrall Doomhammer
  • Mario Kart
  • Fishbones
  • Terrible Shotgun

The guns, swords, and Personal Information Processors you wield on screen may not exist in real life...yet...but many, many attempts at replicating them do. From old school to new school, computer to console, fantasy to in the field, and the 700s to the 2700s, here are my picks for the Top 15 Video Game Replicas (Note: While some items are available for purchase, others are one of a kind and were not made for commercial distribution. If an item was for sale at printing, its entry will include the purchase price prices. All prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.)

Destiny Thorn Hand Cannon. Starlight 3Dee 3D prints these Thorn replicas at 20% infill. You have have the option of buying your Weapon of Sorrow as a DIY kit, arriving as pieces requiring super or plastic glue to assemble the model. The Thorn is about 15" long and, of course, non-functional, so even if I had one I guess the pigeons camping outside my bedroom window would live another day.

Mega Man Mega Buster. $80. Includes the full gamut of light and sound effects. When turned on, the cannon plays a power up sound and illuminates its power meter as it fills up. Once your arm is nestled inside and your brain prepared for action, trigger pulls fire off energy blast sounds and the blaster's end flashes. A held trigger produces continual, intensifying sound as the power meter fills, and then fires a supercharged shot upon release.

Thrall's Doomhammer. This World of Warcraft replica is Volpin Props' interpretation of the Doomhammer as it appears on the cover of the novel The Shattering. Volpin mastermind Harrison Krix describes his incarnation as "formidable and quite large, but just a bit shy of gigantic." It measures 30" long, but with a head constructed of hollow sections, is much lighter--and less deadly--than Thrall's own.

Team Fortress 2 Heavy Minigun. Cory Alexander's day job is running a company that manufactures rotating equipment. Judging by his work on "Sasha", he's probably as good at his day job as he is at his prop-making hobby. Alexander built the Minigun from both 3D-printed parts and traditional techniques and materials. It includes lights, motors, and full sounds, courtesy of a 12v Li-po pack and 2 x AA batteries. See a video of the Russian beast here (action starts at 4:50).

Poe Soul in a Bottle. $14 and up. This Legend of Zelda incarnation makes the list mostly because I gave one to my video game-hating but macabre things-loving girlfriend for her birthday and it went over well. Very well, if you know what I mean. Just trying to pay it forward with the tip. Each 1-1/4" Poe Soul bottle houses a red, blue, green, yellow, or purple glow-in-the-dark Poe Soul with searing yellow eyes guaranteed to terrorize children.

Borderlands Psycho Bandit Mask & Buzz Axe. $550. Steven Smith's Vault-obsessed bandit gear is most impressive. The mask includes functional blue LEDs, which don't impede cosplayers' vision, and has been hand painted and weathered with acrylic paints. The buzz axe is a resin model, also hand treated with acrylics.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Steel Warhammer. Steel smithing warrior TheAnti-Lily made this incredible homage to the Elder Scrolls series from mountain ash, styrene, acrylic, MDF, body filler, and tea. Yes, tea. To add a feminine touch to dragon slaying. TheAnti-Lily notes this Steel Warhammer also "doubles as the ultimate back scratcher."

Half-Life Gravity Gun. Another Volpin Props/Harrison Krix especiale, this Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator was made to auction off in the 2011 Penny Arcade auction. The annual event benefits Child's Play, a charity funded largely by gamers and the gaming industry that helps kids in hospitals and domestic violence shelters. If you're willing to settle for a more half-assed version of the Half-Life replica, NECA has one for you for around $160 here.

Fallout 3 Terrible Shotgun. This Volpin Props issue was made as both a collectible and a prop for the web series Nuka Break. It consists largely of metal parts, with a rear stock and forward grip cut from red oak. The gun's butt plate has the logo of Dracogen, slated to wield it on the set of Nuka Break.

Fishbones. The League of Legends rocket launcher gets a big--huge!--nod from Volpin Props. It measures a grand 43" long nose-to-tail and features light-up eyes and an articulated mouth whose jaws pivot on spring loaded hinges for control by the real-life Jinx operating it.

Caius Ballad's Sword. It took 250 hours for a 67" young lady to handcraft this 73.6" behemoth from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Helm of Yngol. Skyrim's second entry on the list, because there's nothing more satisfying IRL than going medieval. Want to see a video of its entire fabrication process condensed into 4 minutes? Harrison Krix throws you the bone here.

Halo Needler. Whatever Volpin Props makes is always one of the best in existence of whatever it is. The Needler project was one of Volpin designer Harrison Krix's most difficult projects, consisting of 15 different molds created for individual components, and a final product comprised of 24 different cast parts. The Halo replica features 54 LEDS for needle illumination and blue accents on the gun's body. This Needler plays the Power On, Semi-Auto Fire, and Full Auto Fire sound effects from Halo: Reach.

While the Volpin Props Needler is not for sale, those who really, really want one can grab a limited edition replica from NECA in time for the October 27, 2015 release of Halo 5: Guardians. A few clicks and $300 is all it takes. Start here.

Pip-Boy 3000 (link to video). The electronic PIP manufactured by RobCo Industries in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas is now a viable acquisition to your non-gaming, non-digitized, biological life. If you can build it. My Magic Pudding will tell you how he made the above Pip-Boy 3000 prototype here.

West Coast Customs Mario Karts. Custom built in tandem with the 2011 release of Mario Kart 7, this real-life Mario Kart from WCC made its first appearance at that year's LA Auto Show. Sadly, you'll probably never see it on a street near you because although the electric classic standard Mario Kart and its brother Luigi Bumble V model (not pictured) are fully-functional, they are not street legal. Both karts were given away to a pair of drawn winners as part of a Mario Kart 7 promotion to game buyers in 2012. Check out the reveal video here.

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