February 2003 - Gentle Giant Studios, Inc. has announced the acquisition of a license to produce a series of high-end collectable mini-busts based on characters from The Matrix Reloaded, the eagerly awaited sequel to Warner Brothers' smash hit The Matrix. The mini-busts will be created utilizing the three dimensional scanning of the actors and props for which Gentle Giant has become famous.
"As Gentle Giant continues to produce products under our own name," President Karl Meyer remarked, "we have been very judicious in what properties we go after. We want to bring only the coolest and most exciting statues to the collector market, so of course The Matrix was at the top of our list."
The exact release schedule is being set, but with The Matrix Reloaded slated for a May 15, 2003 release date, it is likely that the first statues will be available in conjunction with the film's opening.
The initial releases will be characters Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburn), Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss). Other characters, who are introduced in The Matrix Reloaded, will follow. Tentative retail price is $50.00.
Gentle Giant has named Dark Horse Comics, Inc. of Milwaukie, Oregon as the exclusive worldwide sales agent for the series, continuing a relationship that began with the successful program for the Star Wars mini-bust program. "We are delighted to be working with Gentle Giant again," Dark Horse Product Development head David Scroggy noted, "and with a worldwide sales territory we hope to introduce Gentle Giant Studios to a host of new fans in other countries."
The creation of these sculptures begins with the scanning process, which involves a session with the actor in question posing as their heads and bodies are scanned by sophisticated equipment that creates three-dimensional data that is a perfect representation. This data is then output into a solid buildup that reflects the precise geometry of their features and physique. At this point traditional sculpting and painting takes place, arriving at a finished piece that is remarkably realistic. To ensure 100% realism, props and costumes are also scanned, providing additional reference.
Gentle Giant Studios will display prototypes of the first six busts at the upcoming American International Toy Fair, held in New York February 16-19, 2003.