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Balloon Solid Snake refers to a twisted balloon sculpture of the fictional character Solid Snake from the Metal Gear video game franchise. It rose to notoriety in early 2013 after a picture of the effigy was shared on Konami’s Facebook page, where it drew attention for its poor resemblance to the Metal Gear protagonist character, in similar vein to the botched Ecce Homo painting.
The photo of the balloon sculpture was first posted to Konami’s Facebook fan page on January 3rd, 2013. According to the image description the sculpture was created by Florida-based balloon artist Bruce Carr for his friend’s birthday. Within four days, the photo gained 1400 likes and 234 shares.
Following its featured appearance on Konami’s Facebook page, a screenshot of the post and a transparent exploitable of the sculpture were shared in a thread on 4chan’s /v/ (video games) board, resulting in dozens of image macro commentaries (shown below, left) on the sculpture’s construction as well photoshopped images of Balloon Solid Snake placed to various pop cultural contexts, including scenes from Metal Gear games or promotional materials (shown below, right).
The same day, the transparent cutout of Balloon Solid Snake photo was posted to Tumblr, where it gained more than 4,000 notes within 12 hours, and the full photo was submitted to the Gaming subreddit, earning more than 9,500 upvotes and almost 2,100 points within four days. Also on January 3rd, video game sites Hardcore Gamer and MTVMultiplayer featured the original Konami photo. The following day, the balloon character was featured on Dorkly,Geekologie, the IGN Forums and Kotaku. An events thread on the GameFaqs forums launched on January 3rd received nearly 200 replies within the first 12 hours. On January 6th, videogame blog Kotaku started a photoshop contest for the character, which resulted in more than 30 submissions on the first day.
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MTV Multiplayer – Happy Birthday From Horrifying Inflated Solid Snake
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