Stuffed stuff: Shark from BattleBlock Theater
Created and stuffed in August 2011
I hope everyone enjoyed Shark Week on Discovery channel. I’m sure many of you are now suffering PTSWD , Post-Traumatic Shark Week Disorder.
So to ease you into a week without sharks, I decided to post the Shark from upcoming XBLA game, BattleBlock Theater by the Behemoth. No, it’s not a duck, it’s a shark. Watch the trailer and listen carefully.
Cuing to the scene of a scary Golden Whale followed by the Shark.
When I was at a fabric store, I saw this super soft and fuzzy fleece and fell in love with it. I believe this is what “Squishables” are made of. The color immediately reminded me of the Shark, and that was enough for me to pick it up and start a new project.
First I made the base cylinder body without the feather (fin?) at the back of the head and attached it separately, but it didn’t look right… So I decided to make it a part of the body. This was a bit tricky because the body was all in one piece including the top and the bottom. A couple of versions later, I had the final pattern.
For the lighter color on the stomach, I used lime green fleece and zig-zag sewed it onto the body. I made the wings/fins, made a slit sideways on each side of the body, and sewed the slits close with the wings (fins?)
For the bill and feet, I used yellow/orange felt. The bill is basically a tube, and I sewed black yarn on the middle across the bill. I knew the feet were the same color as the bill because of the demo of BattleBlock Theater I played at PAX East. I couldn’t see the bottom of the feet in any photos of the Shark available so I had to guess. I hope I’m not far off.
For the eyes which are upside down “Yen” symbols, I cut felt and sewed it on.
Even though I LOVE the fabric, it was SUPER TRICKY to handle. I usually use felt to make patterns for plushes but for this, I had to use the final fabric to make practice pieces which I rarely do. The problem was that this fabric stretches a lot. Also it’s fuzzy on the both sides, thus making it hard to mark the sew line. I couldn’t even see where I was sewing because the thread would get buried in the fuzz. Just like when working with fur, the fuzz would go everywhere when I cut the fabric. On top of that, it frays a lot so I had to make sure that I had extra seam allowance (the space between a sew line and the edge of fabric) and cut the excess fabric later.
But all the troubles were well worth it. Because the fabric is light and stretchy, you can stuff it lightly and it still keep its shape. The fuzziness and softness of the fabric really makes you want to squish it. But this fabric is definitely not suited for making anything complicated.
If you’re still wondering “Yeah, but… how is this a shark? It’s got wings, a bill and feet.” It just is.
At PAX East this year, I had a funny conversation with Dan Paladin, the lead art director of the Behemoth and the man who’s responsible for creating the Shark.
When I made the Golden Whale from BattleBlock Theater a while ago, I got a comment on one of my photos on my flickr.
She wrote: “…I am very confused. I don’t know what game this is from and if the source is like this, but whales don’t have that type of fin, whale’s fins are turned 90 degrees. This is more like a shark fin!”
I told Dan about her comment, and he said “So she didn’t care about the fact that the whale was gold, flying around shooting gold coins from its blowhole, but she was confused because the way the fin was?”
Granted she had never seen any gameplay but we both thought it was cute and funny. I mean, my plushy whale was sparkling gold with a big smile. And then Dan said “When she sees the Shark, her head is gonna explode.”
That’s when I found out that the green duck in the trailer was actually a shark. (The earlier trailer didn’t have the narration.)
Many people are saying that because its eye are “Yen” symbols, it could be a “loan shark” but no official word on that theory yet. I thought it’s interesting that when something reminds you of something you know, you expect other details to match. Gotta refresh my mind and start thinking like a kid again.
This is part of my plush gifts I’m bringing to PAX Prime (Penny Arcade Expo, the biggest U.S. gaming convention open to the public) which is in less than 3 weeks. I wanted to keep my plush gifts secret until PAX Prime, but I thought some people needed to see it to deal with PTSWD. Besides, this is only one of MANY plushes I’m making…
For more pictures of this plush, visit stuffed stuff: Shark from BattleBlock Theater set!
You can also check out more stuffed stuff on my flickr.