Daft Punk might want to consider getting into the costume-helmet business. The Wall Street Journal reports that unofficial replicas of the Random Access Memories duo's signature robot headwear go for hundreds and even thousands of dollars on sites like eBay.
The article is worth checking out for the Journal-style ink-dot Daft Punk helmet drawing alone, but it also illustrates how little merchandise is available from a group that by this time next week may well have the best-selling album in the country. We learn how 30-year-old Harrison Krix was able to quit his job at an Atlanta ad agency and go into prop making full-time, in part due to a Daft Punk helmet-building how-to video that racked up more than three million views. Intriguingly, Krix said a Daft Punk rep sent him a "terrifying" email that prompted him to switch from selling completed helmets to do-it-yourself kits. (Daft Punk, as is their shtick, didn't comment.)
Kevin Sanders, founder of London fan site Daft Club, told the Journal that demand among his members for such helmets was up 365 percent in April compared with the same period last year. If you're willing to forgo a computerized light display, a helmet may cost you $200 to $500. Otherwise, we're talking about "several thousand dollars," per the WSJ.
Another helmet maker, 23-year-old Hayes Johnson of Vermont, has sold helmets for $1,000 on eBay and is revising a 2010 chart titled "A Visual History of Daft Punk Helmets." Massachusetts 54-year-old Thomas Spragge, who makes toy prototypes, sold a Daft Punk helmet on eBay last month for $1,125, pocketing a tidy profit. He said he was unfamiliar with the group until his daughter asked him to build a helmet three years ago. Now he's staying up all night — or whenever he makes the things — to get pretty darn lucky.
Watch Krix's time-lapse "How to Make a Daft Punk Helmet in 17 Months" video below.