Are you stumped with what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Do you want to veer from the typical red roses and baby’s-breath bouquet and candy tradition? If your sweet Valentine is an aficionado of the undead genre perhaps you should contact Phillip Blackman. He’s a special effects illustrator from Sussex, England who has taken up building and selling garishly ghoulish zombie teddy bears.
Blackman, 45, has made and sold more than 30 bears over the last several weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Still, he’s finding it difficult to meet the overwhelming demand for the twisted teddies he calls Undead Teds. Zombie enthusiasts worldwide are trying to get their hands on one.
“I can’t make them fast enough,” he said. “Lots and lots of people are clamoring for more … The zombie thing seems to be hitting the spot. Then when you combine that with the teddies, and who doesn’t love a teddy, people seem to go crazy for them. You know, there are always people who like the macabre. ”
The exsanguinated, eviscerated bears can sell for anywhere between $70 and $140. Ebay auction bids for one of his most recent hideous decomposing creations reached nearly $400.
Blackman recycles the bears from thrift shops and yard sales. It takes about two days to demonize the otherwise innocent looking stuffed animal into a rib and teeth baring bloody bear carcass.
Blackman, a fan of George Romero, used his theatrical special effects make-up skills to render hand-sculpted protruding bones and teeth, and lifelike organs from polymers and latex.
With the resurgence of zombie popularity, depicted on television in shows like The Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic drama based off the same name graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, and the upcoming film World War Z, the genre is especially hot right now.
People can be fanatical, which is what Blackman is banking on for the time being. However, he is currently not intending to expand the business of nightmarish stuffed animals much further beyond meeting limited demand, but hopes the exposure will aid him in his illustrating career.
Update as of Friday, February 08, 2013
Undead Teds are marketed as:
“Horrifically cute teddy bears hand zombified into quirky gifts for the zombie lover in your life. Each one a unique disturbing vision of fluffy gore.”
Undead Teds Facebook, posted recently in response to overwhelming demand:
“Hi everyone, just a quick note to remind you all that requests for custom orders or to be put on a waiting list are currently suspended. I would dearly love to make Undead Teds for you all, but I physically cannot as there are just so many requests. I will be re-opening custom orders at some point and I will let you all know when I do by posting here, so the best way to stay updated is to simply continue following this page. I am absolutely floored by the success of Undead Teds and support from you all, not a moment goes by when I don’t think about how amazing the past few weeks has been. Thank you. ”
[Images via Undead Teds Facebook]
[Feature Image via Shutterstock]