Monday, November 7, 2011

Tron's Light Cycles Blaze a Trail Into Reality

The crushing disappointment of Tron: Legacy notwithstanding, one of the coolest imaginary vehicles in cinema history has to be the light cycle.  In the 1982 original, the light cycles sped across the game grid, producing a synthesized whiny noise that I incessantly imitated as a child while running full speed around the house.  They were beautiful examples of fast moving eye candy that no boy could resist.  The updated 2010 versions weren’t too shabby either, featuring a more streamlined and “sexy” design to accompany the likewise updated scenery.  They remained a lovely toy, and would sit proudly alongside Batman’s Tumbler in any self-respecting fanboys garage.  Alas, the real world and the game world are still light years apart.

Or are they?  Parker Brothers Custom Choppers and Evolve Motorcycles have seemingly taken mankind’s first step onto the game grid.  They’ve developed an actual, real-life Light Cycle.  Using the design from the latest Tron film, the Florida based company has turned fantasy into reality.   The electric bike is environmentally sound, fully powered by a lithium battery.  They are also relatively affordable, costing only $55,000.  The bikes are made on demand, and I’d imagine the wait list is considerably long, seeing as how many geeks would prefer a light cycle to an actual, affordable car.        
Had this development taken place during my childhood, my head would’ve exploded.  An affordable light cycle brings my lifelong dream of being a real life urban superhero that much closer to reality (Oops!  Did I say that out loud?!).  Well, maybe that’s taking it a bit far, but it does show that real world technology isn’t always that far behind Hollywood special FX technicians when it comes to combining imagination with innovation.  Now if only someone can come up with an identity disc that can derez an opponent on impact, the world will indeed be a much more fun (and much more dangerous) place. 

Thanks to The Smoking Section for this amazing scoop!


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