Don’t be alarmed if you come across a 12-foot giant and four cannons while walking on the sand at Huntington State Beach over the next week — you haven’t stepped into a Tolkienesque fantasy world.
The giant and cannons are statues installed early Friday between lifeguard towers 15 and 16, south of the pier, as part of a campaign celebrating the fifth anniversary of the video game “Clash of Clans.” They will remain at the beach until Sept. 3.
Jessica Yuan, a brand marketer for Supercell, the creator of the game, said the Builder, a popular character who builds the battle structures in the game, was announced to have left the confines of the virtual world in a video in early August, which has been viewed more than 60 million times.
Yuan said the character grew tired of having his constructions destroyed by warring giants and goblins, so his goal is to travel around the world to build something that won’t be turned to rubble.
Other statues have popped up in Brooklyn, Shanghai and London.
A letter sitting on a desk at the Huntington site signed by the Builder addresses the community and describes his motivations.
“This is a statue of my friend the giant, he’s definitely the most ripped guy on this beach,” it reads. “Also, I made some water cannons, in case any goblins try to mess with him.”
A few members of the public investigated the peculiar presence of the statues early Friday morning.
Blake Sepe, 17, and Melanie Martinez-Fox, 18, both of Huntington Beach said they were taking a walk on the sand when they were surprised to see the giant.
The giant is a character in the “Clash of Clans” video game known for his brute force and plodding gait. The statue was built in about five weeks by Matt Pearson of the Minneapolis-based company Atomic Props and Effects.
The giant was constructed with material evoking the beach culture of Huntington Beach, composed mostly of wood, with life rings for ears and part of a boat for a foot.
Neither Sepe or Martinez play the game but have friends and family who are “addicted” to it.
Luke, 10, and Brycen Grove, 8, of Cypress are big fans of the game. They were impressed with how the giant statue mirrored the video game character, which they dislike because it’s “too slow” and “dumb.”
The boys seemed most interested with the interactivity of the water-spraying cannons. Luke said he enjoyed squirting his little brother in the face.
“It’s like a little playground,” Luke said.
Yuan said this is the first time they’ve removed a character from the game and placed it into reality. Fans have also been able to interact with the Builder through social media.
The company pretended he took over their Instagram page, where pictures of his travels have been posted, including a shot of him sitting on the Los Angeles International Airport entrance sign, presumably where he flew in to get to Huntington.
Furthering the narrative, Supercell posted a job vacancy for the Builder on its website. As part of the requirements for that job, applicants have to be comfortable working hands-on with molten lava and speak fluent barbarian.