Following three and one-half years of designing, prototyping and licensing negotiations, R. Hayes Instruments of Cincinnati, Ohio, unveiled the first in a series of unique licensed sculpted guitars at the Summer Session NAMM show in Nashville. Leading the product line is a Bugs Bunny model with a worldwide limited edition of only 100 pieces. It is not simply a guitar with characters sculpted into it, it is a character "sculpted" into a guitar -- with the integrity and value of the Warner Bros. stamp of approval. This guitar marries artistic form with outstanding musical attributes. Each instrument is part of the complete set of 100, yet the nature of the handwork involved ensures that each is unique in its own right.
Heading the company is Rick Hayes. Following a stint with Kenner Products working as a designer on the original Star Wars toy line, Hayes has since managed to keep a hand in music and art-related projects at all times. This has been his most exciting project to date. As part of the baby boomer generation, Hayes grew up with the Looney Tunes characters he can now share with his teenage sons who find them as captivating as ever.
Following the Bugs Bunny model, will be a Sylvester with Tweety model, then Yosemite Sam and on to several other Warner Bros. character guitars. Negotiations are currently under way with other unrelated licensing entities, as well as other Warner Bros. movie properties. Regardless of the model, only top-of-the-line materials and parts are chosen for their musical and esthetic qualities. In particular, the Bugs Bunny guitar is made of top grade AAA maple that is individually carved and painstakingly sanded, airbrushed, clear coated and buffed to a high-gloss shine. The Canadian hard rock maple neck, reinforced with a unique two-way double action adjustable truss rod, is topped with a natural ebony fingerboard that is detailed with intricate mother-of-pearl inlay and secured with a custom engraved and numbered solid brass neckplate. Added features include a custom wound humbucking pickup, L.P. Jr. bridge, Gotoh locking tuners and a graphite nut.
Each instrument travels in a custom fit Anvil® ATA (Air Travel Association) approved flight case with combination lock and is accompanied by a color Certificate of Authenticity placed in a gold embossed leather portfolio and hand signed by Hayes. Additional measures have been taken to provide authenticity protection.