The Weta Workshop has created a very special addition to Valve’s internal security system.
When you or I get the itch for some game-related swag to spiff up our living rooms, we hit Amazon. When the urge strikes the guys at Valve, they go to Weta. The Weta Workshop, in case you’re not familiar, is a New Zealand-based effects company that’s done work on things like Xena and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Braindead (that’s Dead-Alive if you’re American and fat) and, oh yes, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yeah, those guys.
Anyway, Valve was after a full-scale, working model of a Portal turret (minus the live ammunition, we’re assuming) and Weta delivered in spades. The gleaming little monster has a built-in motion detector, moves and speaks like the real thing and apparently can even be controlled via a PC interface.
Even the shipping crate got it right, with a big Aperture Laboratories logo and a warning that failure to read the instructions before activation “may lead to multiple loss of life.” Valve said Weta went “far, far beyond our expectations to deliver something truly amazing.” And yes, I want one. So do you. Alas, there’s no indication as to how much this beauty cost, but I suspect the truth is that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.