Even most young kids these days are well-familiar with Pac-Man, whose charm is surprisingly immortal, allowing him to live on reigning as the icon of arcade gaming. A recognizable hero of fun and challenge, the rudimentary yellow circle has stood the test of time like a rock star dinosaur.
Thirty-five years later, we celebrate the bright yellow power-pellet eating character who has a taste for chasing and consuming colorful ghosts. Still points-driven and speeding toward Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde decades later, Pac-Man will finally be featured on the big screen via Sony’s Pixels. And as new technology paid homage to retro, 3D printing was responsible as the medium for launching a giant 3D printed Pac-Man into the heavens from the UK. The 3D model, attached to a helium balloon, purportedly reached heights of 34,949 meters.
“Pac-Man is one of the most recognizable videogame characters in history, so we wanted to be there for him as he bites into the big 35,” said Josh Greenstein, president, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures. “Before he makes his big-screen appearance in Pixels, we’re celebrating with birthday parties all around the world. We’re excited that Pac-Man is a part of the movie and can’t wait to share his performance with the world this summer.”
The 3D balloon launch was designed as a grand marketing stunt for Pixels, also starring Kevin James and Adam Sandler. The movie is a great vehicle for the comedic acting of the pair, who are age-appropriate for making all the ’80s arcade-style quips, as they fight video game characters sent to earth by aliens. The trailer depicts not only humor, but lights, action, music, and an enormous inventory of gaming references which should delight many early ’80s game lovers. You’ll even see a Rubik’s Cube thrown in here and there for the cherry on top.
“It is hard to believe that 35 years has passed since we created Pac-Man. It has been very exciting to see the world accept him as their own,” said Professor Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man. “Like any creator, I wanted to make something lasting, but this has surpassed everything I hoped for. I also feel very proud that Pac-Man is playing an important role in Pixels.”
“The visual effects of the giant Pac-Man in New York will be extraordinary, and something that you’ve never seen on film before. My birthday wish is that Pac-Man can continue to make people happy.”
Along with all the 3D printing hoopla, space travel, and birthday cakes galore, gaming enthusiasts can also look forward to the gift of a new iOS app offering a bunch of new mazes, multi-player functionality, and integrated pro tips.
This will be the birthday extravaganza heard ’round the world not only as the 3D printed character soared high into the sky but cakes were iced and eaten in the Pac-Man’s name, parties thrown, and shout-outs given far and wide.
And here’s a warning and a spoiler alert: the movie does contain violence toward Smurfs, and some viewers may experience traumatic flashbacks to the ’80s.
What are your thoughts on the marketing stunt sending the 3D printed Pac-Man into space? Will you be seeing the movie? Discuss in the 3D Printed Pac-Man Launched into Space forum over at 3DPB.com. Check out the video of Pac-Man in space, as well as trailers for Pixels, below.