Tron-Mania: 8 Inspired Pieces

Black_Eyed_Peas_TronThe futuristically-styled Black Eyed Peas and a mass of LED-lit dancers filled Cowboys Stadium last night, during a charged Super Bowl XLV Half-Time Show that may well go down as the most aesthetically dazzling in the game’s history.  The spectacle’s design referenced the same inspiration that’s been rocking the motorcycle world since early last year: Tron-mania, it seems, is alive and well.

When Tron debuted in 1982, it became a quick cult classic for its ultramodern design, light-trimmed bodysuits and the iconic racing scene between CGI Light Cycles. Computer animation was just a fresh-faced kid in the industry back then, but the groundbreaking aesthetic kick-started an era of more industrial, future-looking design. It likewise set the stage for a shift in motorcycle creation; sharp, aerodynamic bikes like the Suzuki Nuda and BMW K1 showed up in production, and fantastical, space-age designs (remember Akira?) popped up on the screen.

Now that Tron fever is officially re-ignited, we’d like to celebrate the best sequel-inspired products and design bits (to date) that recalled the major influence of the original movie on biking.


1) Parker Brothers Light Cycle

The first real piece of attention-grabbing Tron-aphanalia in 2010 was Parker Brothers’ street-legal light cycle that left fanboys and speed junkies drooling when it went on sale for $35K last summer. A YouTube video eventually surfaced of this bad-boy on the streets – er, in a parking lot? – with the rider stretched fully horizontally over the hulking 23-inch wide body and maxed out around 10mph. We can probably assume this is more a design masterpiece than a grid-worthy, superhero racer. Available now for $55K.

2) Opening Ceremony’s Tron Legacy line

NYC trend spot Opening Ceremony partnered with Disney for a line of Tron-inspired fashion pieces that were displayed in the SoHo storefront’s neon-lit recreation of the Game Grid. Turns out, bright polyurethane motorcycle jackets look awesome if you’re a mannequin, and like colorful, bulky packing material if you’re anyone else. With prices starting at $290, I’m not sure how many of these eye-poppers sold, but I’m still crossing my fingers for a street sighting of the Crayola-yellow, 5-inch rubber and neoprene heels.


3) Tron helmet

It was announced in December that French masters of haute-helmet design, Les Ateliers Ruby, would release an all-white helmet with blue, circuit board-style Tron-trimmings. The pictures surfaced and were expectedly lust-worthy, but it’s unclear whether the helmets ever actually went up for sale. (Hopeful buyers can keep checking for updates at the Les Ateliers Ruby website.)


4) Skatecycle

The iconic Light Cycle was miniaturized and turned into a self-propelled, neon-lit “Skatecycle” by a couple of guys at Brooklyn Workshop who called it “the result of a nerd-gasm over the upcoming Tron: Legacy movie.” The glowing, two-wheeled custom board was not for sale, but a YouTube demo gave fans the best skating-like-cool-guys-in-the-future montage since we all lost our minds over the Hoverboard.


5) Tron Segway

One guy in Orlando played out his Light Cycle fantasy by using reflective tape and a strand of blue LED Christmas lights to dress up his ordinary Segway i2. He turned the bulky sidewalk-cop-mover into a tricked-out Tron homage, and then made it even cooler by blogging, “I have managed to add even more nerdiness to an already ultra-nerdy mode of transportation. But I think it’s pretty darn awesome.”


6) Tron replica motorcycle suit

The company UD Designs released 1,000 officially licensed and fully-functional Tron replica motorcycle suits that look, well, exactly like the ones in the movie. Their Facebook page shows actual buyers modeling the outfit in what is legitimately the real world, even though once the suit is in the photo, everything feels like a video-game-hero fantasyland. (The body armor is CE approved, so for $1,000 USD European fans can legally suit up too.)


7) Tron suite @ the ICEHOTEL

Sweden’s seasonal ICEHOTEL heaped on another serving of design insanity in December with a Tron-themed hotel suite; they used six tons of ice and 160 meters of low-energy electroluminescent wire to bring the futuristic scheme into their frozen palace. (I can just hear the weird conversation at the travel agency: Folks, how about a lovely sub-zero, Arctic Circle ice suite with futuristic blue-neon tekkie embellishments…)


8) Tron Legacy 8-bit YouTube video

The French are obsessed with cult films, and so when their beloved, pretending-to-be-robots, musical duo Daft Punk signed up to create the soundtrack for the Tron sequel, there was understandable excitement. A French video producer and co-hort Midimachine paid tribute to the sound and spirit of the film by recreating its signature scenes as a sick 1980s-style, 8-bit video game YouTube video set to the appropriately Nintendo-ized track Derezzed.


And because in this golden age of the Internet you can’t swing a dead cat over your shoulder without hitting… well… Here’s our parting shot (via ICanHasCheezburger)


Courtesy of

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