Toy Design & Prototyping: Final Project – Pudge: The Hamster that will eat ANYTHING

Title: Pudge: The hamster that will eat ANYTHING

Maya Wang

Idea:

My uncanny final project was a culmination of the many production techniques I learned throughout Toy Design & Prototyping, as well as a continuation of a character that I created during the semester. Pudge started off as a normal hamster that was just cute and a little pudgy because he loved to eat so much. I decided to make him into an uncanny character by combining elements of surprise and horror with cuteness and innocence. Pudge now turned into a cannibalistic hamster that would eat anything and everything, including eyeballs, teeth, and other gross things. However, on the surface, a user/player would not realize Pudge’s dark tendencies unless they had carefully scrutinized the packaging. Eventually, the player would open a zipper on Pudge’s stomach to find a blood red pouch containing all of the gross things that Pudge has eaten. The unexpectedness of the horror elements is what makes Pudge so interesting and uncanny to play with.

Idea documentation: http://ima.nyu.sh/documentation/2018/04/15/toy-design-prototyping-final-project-idea/

Process:

Links to previous documentation leading up to final:

Character Design: http://ima.nyu.sh/documentation/2018/03/26/toy-design-prototyping-week-8-character-turnaround/

The original idea for Pudge came when I had to design a character turnaround on illustrator. I drew inspiration from my trip to Japan and my love of cute and squishy things. Pudge was meant to be a soft toy, but the first iteration of his design was meant to be 3D printed. I wanted to make my character into a soft toy eventually, so I stuck with his design for the final. Back to the character design, I had to simplify Pudge’s features so that they could eventually be 3D modeled and printed. I also created some packaging for Pudge if he was just a normal hamster.

3D Modeling: http://ima.nyu.sh/documentation/2018/04/17/toy-design-prototyping-week-9-3d-modeling/

The second stage of Pudge’s existence was a 3D model based on the turnaround I created for character design. I used Cinema 4D, and despite all of the delays and challenges I had with the program, I was able to make a simpler and 3D-printable version of Pudge. The 3D model was actually a great way for me to visualize the pattern I would eventually make, as there are limitations to a 2D turnaround.

3D Printing & Mold Making: http://ima.nyu.sh/documentation/2018/05/04/toy-design-prototyping-week-12-3d-printing-mold-making/

I took the 3D model of Pudge and finally physically brought him into existence. Pudge was no longer just a character that existed digitally and I was very happy to see his transformation. Using the 3D printed Pudge, I moved onto the next part of toy production – mold making. I used silicone to make a mold of Pudge, and resin to make multiple colored copies of him. Using the mold to make Pudge was the easiest production method, aside from the mess and hassle of pouring the original silicone. I made a few different colors using my mold, which I would also eventually use in my final project.

Materials:

The materials I used – beige plush fabric, polyester stuffing, black felt, red felt, zipper, thread, resin mold toys, fake eyeballs and teeth, plastic cockroach, acrylic paint, ribbon, cardstock

Cutting, Sewing, & Stuffing:

After the brainstorming process of transforming Pudge into an uncanny character, I began to make a physical soft toy. The soft Pudge I created was intentionally much larger than the original 3D printed version, so that it could fit many things inside its stomach pouch. I freehanded the pattern since I had a general idea of how I wanted the pieces to fit together, and from my previous experience making soft toys. Then, I cut the pieces out from a light tan plush fabric. I used the sewing machine for the larger pieces and flat seams, and I hand sewed details and parts that were more difficult to sew using a sewing machine. Pudge’s actual head was sewn using the sewing machine, while his eyes, nose/mouth, and ears were sewn by hand. I continued to put his body together, and eventually I came to the pouch.

I used a white zipper left over from another project for the opening, and red felt for the pouch itself. I had to fold and line up the plush fabric, red felt, and zipper to make sure no seams showed. The rest of the body was straightforward to make, and the body parts and details were sewn on last. The invisible stitch came in handy not only when I closed up stuffed parts, but also for sewing the body parts on. With everything sewn together, the last part was making the creepy things for Pudge to eat.

Insides:

There are various kinds objects inside Pudge’s stomach: resin replicas of Pudge, fake eyeballs, fake teeth, and even a plastic cockroach (thanks Marcela!). The resin replicas were made during the mold making classes, and to make them look creepier, I painted on blood and bones using acrylic paint. The fake eyeballs and teeth came from Marcela’s stash of creepy toy details, and the plastic cockroach was a surprise added by Marcela the day I presented my toy :).

Packaging:

I was inspired by Beanie Baby packaging for Pudge because of the simplicity and story inside the tag. I introduced the character innocuously with the tag, only hinting to Pudge’s creepiness with little details like the bite taken out of the corner of the tag, and some key words written in red. If you look closely at the back of the tag, you can see blood drips from the bite mark and a creepier looking Pudge. The instructions for playing with the toy were incorporated into the story on the tag, so that the interaction was self explanatory.

Final Thoughts:

Final Pudge! (not sure why the photo is sideways)

I am very satisfied at how my final project turned out, and I think my execution was even better than I had imagined. My toy was really well received at the IMA end of semester show, and a lot of people had very visceral reactions to Pudge. I enjoyed watching people play with my toy, and I ended up gifting Pudge to someone who really liked it. Toy Design & Prototyping really helped me improve my existing production skills, teach me new methods, and gave me the resources to create wonderful products that made people happy. Thank you Marcela for a fantastic semester! I learned a lot and I will miss this class, but I’m very glad I took this class before it was too late. I will never forget the fun times and interesting lessons!

IMA Show:

I didn’t extensively document people playing with Pudge, but I did get some photos. Marcela took the one on the left of Ricardo reacting to Pudge’s indsides and I actually gifted Pudge to my friend Kiril who is in the picture on the right. Watching people play with and be gifted toys was one of the best parts about taking this class.

Ricardo playing with Pudge

Kiril holding Pudge

 

assignment 2 reading reflection.

For the first reading, it basically says the ability of play differs humans from animals, because it requires systematic thinking, dialectic way of seeing things through. My mom also says if a kid has a high IQ(intelligence quotient), he would learn how to play in a very early stage. My mom said this when praising me and I feel, well..

Play for me is more of something that kills time, something to do in my spare time or something that attracts me to get away from my work. When playing, I got occupied by body movements, or I am concentrated but not producing something that could be counted as labor or work. For this case, I would say reading a novel that is not required by class, throwing a basketball when PE exam is cancelled from the academic requirements in my province, do boxing against a tree are all sorts of playing. Play doesn’t really need to be accompanied with certain objects, it could just be a statues of humans in some period of their time.

 

My favorite toy is Luban Ball. It looks like a wooden ball but it is actually a lock, and you have to find ways to unlock it. The triggers could be very tricky, and it requires much intelligence. This toy leans more on challenge and construction on the play pyramid. You need to find out the mechanism of the lock and then you can unlock it, the process is kind of difficult and some people spend a whole day just to unlock it. After one unlocks it, he would have to reconnect the parts and make it into a ball again.

This toy was invented by the god of construction in China, Luban. He is actually a man came from the legends, famous for building things, and later one people credit him for what ever they invented. This toy was also used to test if a kid is smart or not in the ancient times. If the user knows the background story, this toy also leans on the fantasy part.

This toy is still very popular, because it helps kids to develop their craft abilities, and moms like it. It is still everywhere in the market, and you can easily get it in almost any toy store in China.

Midterm Concept

For my midterm, I wanted to create something for my niece. She is two years old and the only thing she can speak is: “Mama” or “Gou Gou(which means dog)”. I wanted to sew a dog for her to play, and wanted her to speak out the word “dog.” Here is a picture of her.

Other than that, she also rides a motorcycle. Her language ability isn’t that developed, but she walks and runs very fast. She also has a good balance of her body. So I want to make my toy portable for her to carry around and have fun with. She could probably carry the toy with her on the motorcycle.

my character and package

My character is a sword man. It is a sword with a smiling face and it talks. I used the shape tool to create everything and the color tool to color it. These are the process in Ai.

 

These are the final product of my design. The Sword has a star on top of the handle, and a hexagon connects it to the blade.

mechanism of a supreme money gun

I am a fan of weapon mechanism. At first, I thought there would be something like a firing pin to impact the money and strike them out. But later on, I found I was too young and too simple.

When I pulled the trigger, I was like: “What? this is electric? Are you kidding me? ”

This is the battery.

There is a wire that connects the battery to a motor, and a gear is attached on the motor. When you pull the trigger the gear rotates and sends the money out.

This video shows part of my process as well.

IMG_9998

 

Duchamp toy and poster.

Duchamp is famous for creating Dada art, but before that he is also a painter.

a

In 1917, Duchamp drew a beard on a print copy of Mona Lisa. He named the painting L.H.O.O.Q, which means: “elle a ehaud au cul.” The French sentence could be pronounced just like L.H.O.O.Q. His friend published this painting and named it the Dada art of Duchamp. The meaning of the sentence is: “the Mona Lisa with beard has a hot ass.” Duchamp teased the mainstream aesthetics and tried to deconstruct the aesthetic views of the society. Mona Lisa is beautiful and valuable for is realism, but Duchamp thinks anything can be art if people recognizes it. The discourse power of art pieces is socially constructed and the spirit of Dada is to tell people how absurd and brainwashed they were to believe what they were told to believe.

Similar things happened to his other works.

  

This is Nude Descending A Staircase. When World War I broke out, the flourishing Europe was destroyed, and people lose hope for a bright future. Duchamp and other artists started this Dada movement in Switzerland, and they added their anarchism ideas in their works. The movement tried to remove the preconceived idea, including the nationalism reflected in art works. 

In this paining, Duchamp was influenced by some photograph techniques, he used sequence photography to draw a sequence of the woman going downstairs. He also involved some mechanology in his work to make his paintings look a little machinery.

The painting removed any symbols of nation, continent, color and race. What you can see is almost walking machine, even the gender of the person on the canvas seems unclear. 

For myself, I would consider him as a pioneer of post-modern art movement. He didn’t pursue success on the techniques or on the feedbacks. Implanting new and extraordinary ideas into his works is more important to make it look “good”.

His fountain and bicycle wheel are very famous, and they both represented Duchamp’s early ideas emerged from his early paintings.

 

 

So for me, I think he would like something that involves new ideas.

When I went to see the found objects, I found a turnip, I made a duck body with the turnip and added a nose with the carrot. Meat is considered more important in Chinese food culture, and vegetables are to foil meat in a big dinner. I want to deconstruct that idea, and used vegetables to create a “meat”. The shape of my product is meat, but the material and texture is totally vegan. But unfortunately, the product went bad before class and I threw it away before taking any photos…but anyway, the idea is more important, I think Duchamp would agree with me for this one.

Oh, wait, I just found one photo in my album, I am so careless but it is still there. Even though I found one, I still think it is better to not have one…It’s so ugly and I fell without it, the idea could be illustrated better. By the way, the hand/wings are made of beans and the red beans you see on the toy are actually red beans.

For the poster, I drew an ugly duck in Ai, it stands for my product so well.

I created the Chinese and English artsy characters for “Ugly Duck”. Later on, when I rethink about my project, I think unpalatable duck suits my idea better. Because here my target to deconstruct is human’s taste and flavors. Looking ugly does not matter as much as the taste.

I chose this photo called “War of Asura” to be my background. Asura is a half god in buddhism, and it fights all the time, life for him is an infinite war. Putting my duck before the infinite war indicates that humans’ greedy for food is endless and infinite, and in order to satisfy this idea, great amounts of animals would be killed. Humans’ relationship to the animals is like endless war.

Final Ai design. It is ugly, but expected.

 

This is when it is hanged…on the wall.

resin toy

My mold and replica.

This is my professor Marcela when she teaches.

This is a close-up.

I made a cardboard white box and glued my lego element on the bottom of it.

Because my oeject is very small, and I didn’t use much of the chemical fluid.

After 8 hours waiting, my mould looks like something below.

I poured resin into the mould and it became a lego element very quickly.

I poured too much resin the first time, and I had to use a knife to fix it.

In the second time, I added some color and it looked so cool.

In the end, I have three elements, and combining them looks like a wall.

Toy Design Final Project: Mummy Boy

Inspiration

When I thought about Uncanny I immediately related it to Mummy because of the mysterious and scary elements it has. But at the same time I want to make a Mummy that’s cute at the same time. The bandage on Mummy would provide me with cover of something surprising underneath.

 

BackGround Story

Before becoming a Mummy, he was a nice boy who always had smiles on his face, but unfortunately he had cancer and died. In order to keep his smile, his body was kept as a Mummy.

The Process

  1. Cut the fabrics for each component of the body.
  2. Sew each part using sewing machine.
  3. Flip the sewed part out.
  4. Draw the face on the head.
  5. Cut a red heart and stick it to the body part.
  6. Stitch each part of the toy.
  7. Bind each part of the toy using yard.

Mechanism 

Unwrap the yard  on the toy’s head and you will see the the smiley face of the boy before he died

Unwrap the yard on the toy’s body, you will see the hidden red heart that hasn’t faded away.

 

 

 

Future Improvement

Use more materials to decorate the face

Stitch each part of the toy more perfectly.

Add more props for the Mummy like a coffin.

Final Project

 

When making my final project, I came across some problems. First of all, I ordered a lottery box from Taobao, they told me they had some problems sending it out, and I found that there is maybe no way for me to apply my old plan, so I changed my original proposal.

 

I still want my Shark to shock people, I went into electric shock function. I bought some electric pen on Taobao, thinking of taking it apart and re-build it on my shark. It would be so fantastic if I have a “lighting” shark. I can tell my users that it is created by Zeus, and the background story is easier to tell. When I consulted with my instructor Marcela, she told me it might make people uncomfortable, and I have to change my plan again.

 

I searched pop culture elements related to sharks, and found one film Jaws. It is about how a group of people battled against a shark in the ocean, and the idea it expresses reminds me of a novel The Old Man and the Sea. In the novel the protagonist’s masculinity and courage was tested trough the battle against the big Shark. It is something very difficult to do, no one had experience doing it, and that makes this experience mysterious enough to be “uncanny”. I also searched about other horror films, and found one called Jurassic Park. In this film, humans are also involved in the battle against some giant monsters. The basic idea is similar to the Jaws, but the enemy is moved from ocean to land. I thought about combining the two very scary elements and make my project even more scary, and here is what I did.

I 3D modeled a scene that combines two sharks and a dinosaur, and all three of them are struggling in the ocean. I used tutorials from the internet and combined them together. Unfortunately, I didn’t combine them so well that the tails of the sharks are below the bottom of the water, and this is not printable. Luckily, Marcela and Bruce Luo helped me with it and removed the extra bottom part from the model and successfully printed this. It took the machine 6 hours to print.

I chained the dinosaur and sharks with rubber bands.

I used a metal wire and pierced the ping pong ball. I connected the ping pong ball with the rubber band, so that if some one pulls the shark part, the ball will hit his hand.

I connected another ping pong ball on the other side.

I put some heart-like materials in the bottom to hold the height of the shark platform, and cut two holes on the side of the box, and then stuck the ping pong balls in the holes.

On one hand, these two holes can stretch the rubber bands and gives the ping pong balls a force. On the other hand, if the user didn’t pull the shark with enough force and didn’t trigger the balls, the watcher of the toy can attach a force on the balls outside and help trigger/scare/uncan the user.

The outside triggers are well-hidden under the ocean posters.

After making the trigger, I also have a story line. I had made a hard paper version ship and some parts of ocean above the shark platform. It is also the cover of the box.

The user will be told to be a member of a scientific research team. They found an existing dinosaur on an island, and one the way to ship it back to their lab, the dinosaur jumped into the water, and was facing the attack of some sharks. The user’s mission is to rescue the dinosaur from the water(unchain the rubber bands that are connected to the dinosaur).

 

This is the appearance of my final project. I used a plastic foam as the ocean part, cut a hole that allows a hand to go inside and rapped it with blue hard colored paper. Then, I made a ship that has a giant hole in it. If you flip the triangle canvas on the top of the ship, you will see a big hole, and you can put your had inside the box to unchain the dinosaur.

 

I intentionally made the box very tall, and so that the user can’t see what’s going on inside. When my user plays it, and accidentally pulled too hard, the ping pong balls will hit my user, and this is scary and uncanny.

I have this little flag winded by a rope. This is one decoration I have for my project.