DEC, 2010 – UD Replicas is one of the finest shops for pop culture props and costume replicas. Their work has garnered official licensing from Warner Bros. and Disney. The Dark Knight replicas were previously featured in one of my past Girls’ Entertainment Network articles and now it’s time for designer DAVID PEA to talk to us about TRON: LEGACY to take the spotlight here.
The TRON suits are limited to only 500 women’s and 1,000 men’s copies at a price tag of just under $1,000.
Absolutely. Once we debuted the Sam Flynn and Quorra suits at SDCC this past July, demand for these leather suits immediately went to an all time high. We released these 2 movie replica designs shortly thereafter, with optional delivery for December 2010 so that their use could coincide with the release of the TRON: LEGACY film. Now the release of the film just weeks away I’m pleased to say those December deliveries will soon be in the hands of these clients.
The Batman (TDK) suit have so much armor to incorporate. How are the designs for the Tron suits different?
The interior of the suits is identical. The protection, removable quilted lining and overall construction is a UD Replicas standard. The actual suit designs on the other hand are radically different. The TDK Batman suit is made up of many individual armor pieces and form-molded Kevlar detailing whereas the TRON: LEGACYsuits are mostly form molded leather with no segmented visible armor. They’re just as complex, but the design of the suits lend themselves to more leather being used globally. While there’s no visible Kevlar detailing, we have a very detailed and intricate array of reflective piping details that clearly identify the garments asTRON: LEGACY. Furthermore, we were determined to stick 100% to the source material so the reflective details are incredibly accurate patterns and shapes to what was used on film for the movie used suits. The TRON: LEGACY suits may not have multiple segmented armor parts like the TDK Batman suit but they’re certainly no less complex. The back of both male and female jacket have a 3-Dimensional raised Identity Disk…also complete with reflective piping. Pretty elaborate detailing, and it was challenging.
How long does it take to create one suit from order to shipping? How much of that is just construction?
Typically it’ll take about 6-8 weeks to get the full suit made. This includes the Jacket, Pants, Gloves and Boots. From the time we start tanning the leather, working the injection molded rubber boot soles and silicone relief printing the different hexagon shapes, that alone can take about 1 month to complete. Same with the prep work needed for the reflective areas. Once all is ready from a material stand point construction is based on just how many we’re making a that time. The December deliveries took almost 6 weeks.
Will you be taking the Tron suits on any kind of convention tour?
Disney has had them on display at their pop-up stores, and we had them available to see and try on at SDCC and the Fan Expo earlier this year…and we are always entertaining promotional opportunities as they’re made available to us. If a convention tour is presented to us then we’ll certainly consider that option.
Suits for the actual movies are usually varied because they need versions for action scenes, close ups, and a variety of other functions but yet it has to look like the same suit in every shot. What real world functionality did you face to create a suit that can be actually worn and not require a team of assistants for mobility?
That’s actually how we approach all of our replica products…keep them simple to wear, easy to use and have them perform as needed in real world environments because they are classified as “motorcycle suits.”
Movement is usually the most difficult part to establish but the TRON: LEGACY movie suits were designed with that purpose in mind. The hexagon printed areas allowed us to incorporate heavy duty 4-way stretch spandex into key areas allowing for proper movement and comfort. Also, the fact that our replicas are essentially jackets, pants, boots and gloves…the zippers, snap buttons, Velcro and other elements commonly used in outerwear construction really do make these goods easy to wear…all the while conveying that TRON: LEGACY movie replica image that fans and clients expect from these garments.
We have to make them look the part…..and function as such. Functional clothing that looks like it could have walked off of the movie set. Almost impossible combinations, but our products seemingly accomplish this from one product release to the next. The TRON: LEGACY costume designers should get the credit there, as they made our job in replicating them in this regard that much easier. Incredible designs, and intelligently brought to life by the costume designers…we did our best to do their work justice and keep them faithful movie replicas.
What is the suit made out of? What material is used to get the light effects?
The suit is form molded leather for all the armor detailing, faux suede and heavy duty 4-way stretch spandex with silicone hexagon printed shapes, and the reflective areas are unique paint system we’ve perfected that is laminated onto the leather and clear coated with a protective lining. The effect when light hits the reflective piping is that of something powered and giving off real light. It’s pretty remarkable how effective this is, and bike riders are really going to love this feature when riding at night time. All our leather is Grade A cow hide.
Did the Daft Punk soundtrack have any influence in focusing your design?
I haven’t had the opportunity to hear it yet, but knowing they were doing the soundtrack just added to the incredible cast and hugely talented people behind the scenes of such an enormous undertaking that I’m sure TRON: LEGACY has been to bring to life. Just knowing that in some way we get to be a part of this incredible group of artists and performers was certainly influential, motivating….and darn right cool! I really can’t wait to see the film…and feel the music!