Artist turns cute cuddly toys into gruesome zombies
February 1, 2013 in Weird News
Artist turns cute cuddly toys into gruesome zombies that would be sure to to keep you awake at night
- British artist Phillip Blackman, 45, makes ‘Undead Teds’ from old soft toys
- His £59 Valentine bear, which has ripped out its own heart, is bestseller
- Mr Blackman, from Suffolk, says he’s sold out of the ‘horrible’ zombie teds
If you are looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day present then one of these could be just the ticket – if you want to make your other half run for the hills, that is.
These gruesome teddy bears, called the ‘Undead Teds’, have been selling like hot cakes in the run up to February 14th.
So many people have placed orders for a £59 Valentine’s Day teddy ripping its bleeding heart out that their British creator, artist Phillip Blackman, says he has sold out.
Mr Blackman, who lives with his fiancée and two-year-old son in the Suffolk countryside, describes his gory creations as ‘repurposed soft toys transformed into fluffy, bloody horrors to keep you awake at night’.
The 45-year-old makes the zombie teddy bears by transforming old toys using film-standard special effects make-up.
He said: ‘I hit on the idea of making zombie teddy-bears – the inspiration came from a rather obscure in-joke between my partner and I.
Some bears have worse injuries than others – these two appear to have suffered particularly badly
‘She had a terrible cold at the time and we’d been talking about a gift for a friend’s baby. With a very stuffy nose “teddy-bear” kept coming out as “deady-bear”, and we joked about zombie teddies that creep from under your bed at night to feast on your brains while you sleep.’
Mr Blackman initially tried sewing bones and organs out of felt, but felt his sewing skills weren’t up to it.
Having long been a fan of film director George A Romero, creator of zombie film Night of the Living Dead, and with training in theatrical and special effects make-up, he decided to use the same techniques on teddies.
He bought some old bears on eBay, but when his partner became pregnant and they moved house, the artist forgot all about the teddy bears in the chaos of a new family.
But when he was sorting through his son’s soft toys deciding what to take to the charity shop, he came across the old bears he’d bought and decided to have a go at transforming them.
He said: ‘I individually hand-sculpt the bones, teeth and other organs from polymer clay or latex, then open the bear’s carcass, scoop out as necessary and glue the bones into place.’
Possibly for those with harder stomachs than most: These teddies by Phillip Blackman have both sold
Some designs, including the Valentine Undead Ted, have a strong wire frame retrofitted to ensure they keep their pose and don’t fall over.
‘The bones, teeth and other organs are individually hand-sculpted from polymer clay or latex, the bear’s carcass is then opened, scooped out as necessary and the bones glued in place.
Mr Blackman then paints the bears and adds a wet-look varnish to blood and bones for extra realism.
He said: ‘Each UndeadTed takes in excess of eight hours to make, not including the time it takes for glue, paint and varnish to dry, and I price them individually depending on size, complexity, materials used and time taken.
For adults only: These customised teddies featuring horrific injuries have both been sold to unknown buyers
‘They’ve all been great fun to make but of all the ones I’ve made so far, my favourites are the Valentine ones, holding their torn-out hearts aloft as a grisly gift to their lovers. Horrible.’
While the appeal of the gory bears may prove elusive to many of us, their appeal for others is obviously strong.
Mr Blackman’s online Etsy store has sold out, while his undeadteds.tumblr.org website has attracted comments from enthusiastic fans, all of them female.
One woman asks if he ships to the US, adding: ‘I am dying to get one of your amazing creations’, while another exclaims: ‘These are perfect for Valentine’s Day!’
Fans of the bears can also send in their own teddies and specific injuries, and Mr Blackman will customise them according to their requests.
This disembowelled teddy, left, and bear with a gouged-out eye, right, have both been snapped up already