By Vincent Tan
In the past, if you badly wanted a shrunken head, you had to go out and make one yourself. Also, there was no plastic, so the old ones did not last very long.
With these important consideration in mind, Funky3DFaces introduced an innovative solution for the shrunken head industry. Through their online platform on Etsy, you can order your own tiny coconut from anywhere in the world. Revolutionarily if you want to get your own head shrunken, you no longer need to provide “the one and only” (which would have taken all the enjoyment out of it!) but just send a front and profile shot via the internet with a click of a mouse. Say goodbye to the heavy shipping charges!
Cranium curing technology unfortunately has not improved as much as you would like – production time still takes about 3 weeks. However, let’s talk facial fidelity. The traditional drying and shrinking process distorts the features somewhat into a less faithful version of the original. Though 3D printing technology is in its infancy, resulting in rather fuzzy-looking faces, it is a distinct improvement over the “sewn and shriveled” appeal of traditional models.
The price tag of SGD$43 for something so small, might still make you balk, but remember this: 3D printing a head completely eliminates the headhunting process, so part of the cost is actually payment to avoid the life and death struggle, just like paying an extra $1.50 for an online ticket helps you cut the queue at the cinema.
One minor worry is piracy, a problem the original tsantsa models never had. When the data needed is just two photos, anyone with a mugshot, a 3D printer and appropriate software would be able to do print your pate. While that is true, by the same token different people can now own shrunken heads of their favourite celebs without going after their actual noggins or competing over them. 3D printing faithful copies has provided a powerful, non-fatal yet flattering way to fawn after your idols.
So the next time you are playing with your very own 3D printed minifigure, acting out a Star Wars scene from Star Wars perhaps, don’t forget the pioneers in the long history of head-shrinking technology that led up to this clever plastic toy.