KISS gets a $399 Guitar Hero axe

Art Guitar converts actual Peavey guitars into limited-edition controllers for PlayStation 2.

SIDEBAR: For Guitar Hero fans who find that going Pete Townshend on a plastic toy guitar after a monster encore is a little anticlimactic, a company called Art Guitar is offering an alternative with a little more heft. The company is now taking preorders for a life-size alternative to RedOctane's official axe, the limited edition AG Riff Master Guitar Controller for the PlayStation 2.

The AG Riff Master is actually a real guitar from Peavey, but it's been heavily modified to have the standard Guitar Hero fret buttons and strum bar embedded within it. The strings have been removed so players can actually use the guitar to play the game, but the rest of the guitar--including the rosewood neck, tuning pegs, and frets--are all intact.

As for the body design, Art Guitar's first offering will feature the iconic masters of merchandising, KISS, decked out in full stage garb and ready to rock and roll all night, with the obligatory partying every day to follow. KISS is no stranger to the series, having lent their song "Strutter" to Guitar Hero II, and having signed the aforereferenced "Rock and Roll All Nite" to appear in Guitar Hero III.

Authenticity and eye-catching novelty have a price, however. The AG Master Riff will sell for $399. And those who like the idea of the guitar but don't cotton to KISS can take heart; Art Guitar plans to announce a variety of other body designs for the AG Master Riff in the coming months.

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