Here at Cheese & Pixels, I talk a lot about the latter, but in other pockets of spare time, I work with them on arts-and-crafts projects. Specifically, I make what are called beadsprites—reproductions of video game characters and objects made from small plastic beads that I arrange on a pegboard and fuse together with a hot iron.
It’s a fun hobby, but I don’t have any special attachment to them, and in fact I’d like to make a little extra scratch off them. Not only are they great decorations for your own walls, desks, and shelves, they make awesome gifts for others too.
Every beadsprite shown below is for sale. I will update this page regularly to remove ones that have been purchased and add new ones I’ve made. Pricing is based on 2.5 cents per bead plus some rounding up for shipping.
I can also take commissions, within reason. Email me (address below) if you want to talk about having one made.
Send the price of the beadsprite you want via PayPal to roundthewheel at gmail dot com. When I receive your payment, I’ll ship it at the earliest of my ability.
Bunny Mario — $15
From Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy, 1992). Technically, the ears are wrong (they should be white), but I extrapolated from a monochrome sprite, so give me a break. I can remake this one in a jif with better colors than what appear in this photo.
Morbidly Obese Sonic — $30
Looks like all those chili dogs finally did him in. This sprite comes from a ROM hack of Sonic 2 called Sonic 2XL, a clever spin on the concept of an ascetic run* in which Sonic must avoid rings (here restyled as onion rings) to keep from getting too fat to move. This is the final stage of his weight gain; if you reach this point, Sonic sits unable to move for a few seconds before dying.
*(a challenge run of a game in which the player collects as few coins or other collectible trinkets and/or earns as few points as possible)
Rabite — $7
What’s a Rabite doing on a website like this? At a measly 19 hit points, the unofficial Mana mascot won’t be much of a threat to intruders, but what it lacks in stamina, it makes up for with its infinity cute points.
Mega Man extra life — $5
The iconic face of the Blue Bomber, giver of life, smiler of smiles.
Commander Keen — $8
From Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle (PC/DOS, 1991). The young universe-saving pogo-bouncing genius himself, seen here in a dynamic action pose. This one is missing two pixels on his left foot, but were you to order this, I’d remake it with a better color palette.
Crash Man — $8
From Mega Man 2 (NES, 1988). At last, you don’t have to scale a huge vertical stage to meet Crash Man; you can have him in your home. Crash Bombs not included.
Centaur Man — $8
From Mega Man 6 (NES, 1993). Will you pony up the cash for this majestic Robot Master, or will you say neigh? This particular one has a janked-up foot, but it’d be a pretty easy remake.
Wendy O. Koopa — $6
From Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 1990). The sole sister of the Koopalings. I had some ironing trouble with this one and made a mistake when fixing the bow.
Demo — $6
A character created by YouTube personality raocow. Main protagonist of several comics and ROM hacks created by raocow and his fanbase. I used the sprite from A Super Mario Bros. X Thing as the base for this.
Emolga — $20
What if Pikachu was a flying squirrel? That’s pretty much Emolga in a nutshell. Yet somehow, it’s not an inessential addition to the already massive Pokémon roster. Far from it, actually. In the games, I actually prefer Emolga to the time-tested old mouse. My wife’s a big fan too, which is what inspired me to tackle this one.
Graham & Cedric — $15
Watch out! A pOIsonous beadsprite! From King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder (PC/DOS, 1991). The stalwart king of Daventry and his irritating owl sidekick. These two are a package deal, cannot be purchased separately. Despite (or perhaps because of) the handicap of having to work from a screenshot, I consider these my finest work.
The Tenth Doctor — $5
Number ten, Mega Man-style. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss him.
Birdo — $8
From Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES, 1988), based on the Super Mario All-Stars sprite (SNES, 1993). This one has a small but highly visible mistake on the cheek that wouldn’t be visible in the one I made for you.
Bright Man — $7
From Mega Man 4 (NES, 1991). This one was mostly an excuse to try out clear beads.
Bomberman — $5
Everyone’s favorite explosive-laying robot. Based on the Saturn Bomberman sprite (Sega Saturn, 1996).
Mystic Book — $10
A smut-peddling magical tome from Secret of Mana (SNES, 1993). Specifically, this is the Easter egg frame that pops up every now and then. It’s not an exact match, but I think I did pretty okay within Perler’s palette limitations.
Metall K1000 — $6
An enemy from Charge Man’s stage in Mega Man 5 (NES, 1992). Arguably the best Metall variant of all time.
Maxim Tomato — $5
Restore your office’s or game room’s health with this iconic Kirby powerup, based on the Kirby Super Star sprite (SNES, 1997).
Frog Mario — $5
Mario in his frog suit. The frog suit is from Super Mario Bros. 3, but this sprite is based on the Super Mario World palette. Frog Mario is not in Super Mario World. Although that would have made Soda Lake a heck of a lot easier.
Samus w/ cello — $5
While you continue to pray for peace in the galaxy, Samus’s dulcet cello tones will bring peace to your room (note: beadsprite does not actually play music). Sprite is from Tetris (NES, 1989), with some self-made palette modifications.
Samus (Best Ending, Metroid II) — $15
Pray for peace in the galaxy with this bikini’d beadsprite of everyone’s favorite intergalactic bounty hunter, Samus Aran, as seen in the best ending of Metroid II: Return of Samus (Game Boy, 1991). The original sprite was monochrome; I interpreted the color palette myself.
Krang — $15
Tonight we dine on turtle soup and Perler beads. Based on a custom sprite by Derek Yu (creator of Spelunky, Aquaria, et al.).
Stiletto Goomba — $5
As the great Frank Zappa once sang, Kuribo’s shoes don’t make it. (Or something.) When you have to bop plumbers’ heads in style, you pull out your classiest thigh-highs and paint the pegboard red.
Roll — $5
Fashion plate Roll, lookin’ sassy and spunky.
Say Anything Link — $7
aka “Link Dobler”. The Hero of Time hoists a boombox over his head. (Kids, ask your parents what a “boombox” is.)
Split Mushroom — $20
The most diminutive of the Mavericks, from Mega Man X4 (PlayStation, 1997). Fork provided for scale.
Bowyer ($20), Robot Pikachu ($7)
Bowyer, in all his pre-rendered glory, and a tiny mechanical facsimile of the most popular Pokémon, holding a Pokéball. The only reason I have these listed together is because I don’t have any pictures of them individually. You can buy them separately though. Bowyer is from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES, 1996), while the Robot Pikachu sprite hails from Pokémon Heart Gold / Soul Silver (DS, 2009).
Rainbow Mikachu — $15
An inexplicable hybird of a female Pikachu and Rainbow Mika, the Russian wrestler from the Street Fighter series. Original sprite by TheSixthSaint, sourced from this DeviantArt page.
Suezo — $20
The cycloptic, winsome mascot of the Monster Rancher series (Monster Farm in Japan). The sprite is from Monster Rancher Battle Card GB (Game Boy Color, 1999).
Mega Man Anatomy — $150
What is a Mega Man but a miserable pile of circuits? This is by far the largest work of bead art I’ve ever made. The Kool-Aid packet doesn’t begin to do justice to the scale of the piece. Measuring 26 inches tall by 20 inches wide, this sprite is from the weapon-get screen from Mega Man in Dr. Wily’s Revenge (aka Rockman World) (Game Boy, 1991). It’s the third colorization I’ve ever done of a Game Boy sprite, and the most extensive liberties I’ve ever taken with interpreting a palette. A one-of-a-kind piece; if you’re a fan of the Blue Bomber, buy it and display it with pride!