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Katamari Car Project

So, about two months ago Penny Arcade announced a contest, to give away some awesome prizes to whoever made the best Katamari of their very own.

These were some awesome prizes, so I really wanted to make a great, original entry. I decided to fashion a Katamari Car, a Car-Tamari.

First, I want you to have a look at what I did.

Here is the car as it was before I started work. I apologize that I forgot to take a great overall picture.


As you can see, we are working with a silver 1995 Dodge Caravan. It is heavily rusted, especially on the roof, due to a faulty paint/primer coat that was applied at the factory. There was a recall, but my grandfather, who owned the car at the time, never took it in, and so it languished until it came into my hands.


So not a ton to lose. But it is a fully drivable, road-worthy car, and so would be, so far as the internet could tell me, the first ever street-legal Car-Tamari.

I got to work in late October, and I learned a lot along the way. Spray paint? Pain in the ass. Painting with a brush is much easier for most things.

Scraping the rust off was a real must.

It would be far better in future to do this in the Summer; fall in Wisconsin is very windy.

I dodged my landlord for the first few days, but eventually, I realized that no one really cared what I was doing.

After I got most of the rust off and a light layer of blue down via spray paint, it looked like this:



The gaps around the windows are from where I covered them up with posterboard and painter’s tape to get a nice edge; I intended to go back later with a brush and a can of the same color. Which I did, in fact.

I began applying Katamari style dots using the same technique, and had some mixed results. When it goes well, it really looks nice, but on oddly slanted surfaces the paint tends to run. Spraypaint is really messy too.




Next I had to finish the dots so I could get to touch up work. I had decided on a blue-green-white-red design, which looks a little bullseye-ish but it’s my Katamari, so I get to pick the colors.


As you can see, the roof was not neglected by any means.


By this point it was bitter cold in Wisconsin and getting worse by the day, so some work had to be done inside. Fortunately it was well and truly to the touch up phase now, so my esteemed roommate painted on a Prince for the back, to push the car.


This is what it looked like overall, at this point.


A bit more touching up on the Prince yielded this:


And after another few hours with a hand brush, the overall design is more or less finished. There are a couple little messy spots I want to clean up but it may have to wait for Spring.


Now, they took many weeks to judge the contest. I had reasonable hopes, and was eager to see what someone out there would surely do to top a Car-sized Katamari. I knew that there would be thousands of entrants and there are a lot of talented people out there.

So they announced it today.

I literally cannot fucking believe it.

The first prize goes to a piece of original art, a small clay sculpture. I find it distinctly underwhelming, but it is original art. The second prize?


This is literally unbelievable. There are THOUSANDS of Katamari knit hats online! This idea has been done, and done, and done to death. It is completely and utterly unoriginal. Fuck, it might even have been made from a pattern!

Great and powerful Google (or Great Gazoogle, for Sadly, No! fans), how many pages are there about Knit Hat Katamaris online?



Oh, but how many of them have pictures?


Over three thousand, five hundred!

This is surreal. You announce a contest for Katamari fans around the world to submit their earnest original works, and then you give second place to something completely unoriginal? That has literally been done thousands of times before?

My roommate does custom knit hats, from patterns and from her own art, as a hobby. So do MILLIONS of other people. This is the videogame equivalent giving a Pulitzer prize to a whiny emo Myspace post.

The third place goes to… another knitted Katamari!

Ok, so this one has a magnet in it. Which has also been done to death! In fact, I read about someone coming up with a magnetic katamari on Kotaku

In 2006!

They were even for sale, for 25 dollars a piece!

Even better, they TOO can be made from patterns online, so you don’t even have to design it yourself!

Dear lord.

So yeah. I am completely stunned. It’s one thing to lose a contest to someone who does a better job, or a subjectively better job, or just does something wild and original and out of the box. But to lose to derivative hackery, or derivative hackery with a slightly clever twist from 2006?

This is staggeringly retarded. Thank you Mike and Jerry for wasting the time of untold numbers of fans, and for being either too lazy or too shortsighted to check Google before you hand out a once in a lifetime, irreplaceable prize.


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