Funky 3D Faces provides a unique service – a 3D print of anyone’s head, even yours, but is the experience worth the price?
Using 3D printer technology, Funky 3D Faces prints photorealistic three-dimensional models of practically anyone’s head, compatible to LEGO minifigures and created to hyper-realistic levels of detail, thanks to a colour range of more than six million colours.
The company was kind enough to invite Brick Fanatics Magazine to trial the experience, all in the name of market research, of course, and as part of an exclusive advertising partnership. Inside Issue 10 of Brick Fanatics Magazine is a full-page advert for Funky 3D Faces that includes an exclusive discount code for readers, offering a huge 20% off orders placed at www.funky3dfaces.com. The discount is set for a time-limited period and can only be used once per customer.
Sensing the opportunity to begin building an army of minifigures in one’s likeness, I naturally volunteered to have my own head 3D printed. Now, let’s be clear – I’m not going to review my own face. I am an authority on the matter and for argument’s sake I agree with my mum, who says I am beautiful. However, as would be the case for anyone in this particular situation, staring down at a LEGO-bodied miniature version of themselves, it’s more the experience of how I got to this point that is relevant, rather than how I feel about the mini me looking back up at me.
As a service and with consideration to what they offer, ordering a three-dimensional print of one’s head from Funky 3D Faces is surprisingly simple. Once you have completed your purchase, selecting the number of custom heads you would like, you are emailed a link to a ‘private fulfilment area’ where you upload the relevant photos required. Photos have to follow particular guidelines so as to guarantee the best result, but generally are well lit front and side profile shots, like this:
It is during this stage that you can also customise aspects to your order, including selecting any hairstyle and hair colour (of which there is a substantial range) and the addition of glasses.
Wait a little while (one to two weeks as per the website’s recommendation) and through the post in a jiffy bag will arrive your order, packaged carefully in a box not much larger than a matchbox. Whilst presentation is simple, it protects the product inside effectively.
Your 3D head is randomly assigned a minifigure torso, and here I am as Joker:
Likeness is going to be to taste, and the choice of hairstyle will play a big part in that. The quality of the print, however, is solid, with my skin tone, eye colour and some of the various contours to my face captured to more detail than I was expecting, across a coarse-feeling, matte-finished, powder-based resin. The print is lightweight but with a feeling of durability, with a connection to the provided non-LEGO torso that is certainly looser than that of an official LEGO head, but, not too loose so as to drop off – there’s no risk of losing one’s head.
Whilst I will admit that the likeness isn’t 100% spot on (though, I cannot blame anyone faced with the task of recreating my pointy features). Really, the only disappointment in the final product is actually in the free minifigure provided, inasmuch as it isn’t an official LEGO minifigure, but rather an imitation minifigure. For what is such an unusual, eye-catching product, with a premium price point, to not see the inclusion and use of official LEGO elements and minifigure torsos is a slight disappointment, even though it doesn’t detract from what is ultimately the product you have paid for – yourself (or, whoever you have had turned into a LEGO compatible 3D-printed head).
Indeed, otherwise, this is a truly unique LEGO-themed experience. Do away with the non-LEGO body on arrival (as, let’s face it, we all have a few spare minifigures lying around), focus on the 3D print that is the main draw and haunt all your official LEGO minifigures with glee. There’s nothing like this on the market and for any LEGO fan (or person with an ego), this really is a very different celebration of the hobby and the self.