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Fender Custom Shop and Illumination combine forces to create the Fender x Minions: the Rise of Gru Collection

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection
(Image credit: FMIC)

Fender Custom Shop (opens in new tab) and computer animation studio Illumination (opens in new tab) have joined forces in order to create one of the most ambitious projects we’ve seen this year – the Fender x Minions: the Rise of Gru Collection.

Comprising four one-of-a-kind instruments, proceeds from the sale of these Masterbuilt works of art will be dedicated to the Fender Play Foundation (opens in new tab) (FPF) – an organisation whose aim it is to “equip, educate and inspire the next generation of players.”

Both organisations are committed to expanding the equitable access to music and arts education in after-school programs

Aarash Darroodi

“Since we introduced the Fender Play Foundation, it’s been our mission to equip, inspire and educate the next generation of players, supporting their passion for music through our programs,” said Aarash Darroodi, President of the Fender Play Foundation.

“Our partnership with Illumination is a special one, as both organisations are committed to expanding the equitable access to music and arts education in after-school programs.

“By joining forces, we have been able to create truly unique musical instruments inspired by Minions: The Rise of Gru (opens in new tab), all proceeds of which will help expand access to music education to even more students in Los Angeles.”

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection

(Image credit: FMIC)

“We are extremely proud to partner with the Fender Play Foundation to celebrate and support the power of music and movies to move and inspire audiences of all ages,” said Founder and CEO of Illumination, Chris Meledandri.

“Together, we are harnessing the power and creativity of our movies and characters to help expand equitable access to music and arts education for all.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the instruments on offer…

1) StratoStuart ($48,000 USD)

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection

(Image credit: FMIC)

Masterbuilt by Kyle McMillin, the custom Minions Stratocaster electric guitar comes in a Dakota Red finish and is outfitted with unique fret markers and pearl inlays.

This guitar features unique artwork including custom carved Minion symbols, a bite taken out of the sides by “a Minion'' and a custom black acid washed distressed denim case with Minions patches and stencilled artwork.

2) Otto’s Moon Bass ($50,000 USD)

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection

(Image credit: FMIC)

Created by Master Builder Ron Thorn, the Otto’s Moon Bass features a seven-piece snap-together alder body that can be taken apart and reassembled.

“The Illumination team is an incredibly talented group of artists and designers,” said Thorn. “To say I was blown-away by their initial concepts is an understatement.

“The fact that they’re not guitar designers seemed to liberate their creativity, resulting in instruments that a guitar-designer would never conceive.”

3) Kosmic Kevin ($71,500 USD)

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection

(Image credit: FMIC)

Masterbuilt by Gonzalo Madrigal, this custom acoustic guitar boasts unique features from its carved headstock to colourfully painted soundhole.

The Kosmic Kevin includes a custom guitar case with Minions artwork covering and Minions' googly eyes on the surface.

When asked about his Kosmic Kevin creation, Madrigal pointed out, “I’m happy knowing I get to help kids enjoy the gift of music by doing what I love to do – building guitars!”

4) The King Bob ($50,000 USD)

Fender x Minions Rise of Gru collection

(Image credit: FMIC)

Masterbuilt by Dennis Galuszka, the King Bob Minions ukulele features a custom Minions artwork finish painted by freelance artist Sarah Gallenberger (opens in new tab).

“I’m personally very interested in any and all opportunities to help kids build a relationship with the arts,” said Galuszka.

“Music saved me as a kid and I can’t say I would have ended up in a good place in life without it.”  

Information on how to buy any model is available on the Fender website (opens in new tab) or by contacting fenderplayfoundation@fender.com

Rod Brakes
Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.