The next time that your local convention is looking for trophies for their events, consider cutting a deal. For the standard cost of some quality standard trophies, you can make your own unique ones and have enough left over for a nice hotel room at the convention, and probably still come in under the original budget. Stop thinking about metal and wood. Chrome and mahogany become old quickly. Think ceramic.
What is ceramic? Well, contrary to the belief of some misguided people, it does not refer to plaster which is sold as gypsum sculptures. Ceramic specifically refers to objects made from clay. Ceramic statuettes specifically begin as greenware which is soft and weak, consisting primarily of what might commonly be called mud packed into a specific form and allowed to dry in shape. Basically, it is a human made sedimentary rock, and will break easily if handled roughly. Bisqueware is greenware that has been properly fired in a kiln. A standard bisque firing will bring the clay body up to temperatures approaching 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, causing the molecules to fuse into a sort of igneous type rock which is usually very strong. Bisqueware can then be glazed and fired or directly painted with acrylic or oil paints. Bisqueware statuettes can be obtained at a fraction of the price of a trophies of similar size. Since bisque usually comes unpainted, there will be a bit of work involved to create the finished piece. Still, the uniqueness alone of a hand painted trophy is impressive.
Here are a couple of examples:
DarkCon 5 (1998)
Player of The Year Trophy
12.5" tall and about $13 bisque
DarkCon 5 (1998)
LIVING CITY Interactive Trophy
11.5" tall and about $12 bisque
There are literally hundreds of ceramic studios and mold pouring facilities across the country, not to mention around the world. You might have to actively look for them in your own community, and even then they are limited to the number and types of molds that they may have in stock. Look in your local phone book to find them. If you get to know your local dealer, they may even order special molds for your continued trophy needs.
There are some places that will ship your bisqueware mail order as well. One such place is Ann's Ceramics and Gifts in Oklahoma, USA. That is where I obtained the bisque pieces painted above. I might have to disqualify my recommendation by saying that I am the culprit that originally designed her web site, but Ann and her daughter do most of the web work these days. I just look in occasionally to make sure it stays running relatively smoothly.