ORIGINS OF THE BOGLINS.
Every so often I have to remind myself that a Christmas Boglin just doesn’t exist. Given the fact that Mattel pumped out not one, but two Halloween editions of these rubbery bundles of joy, and that their green & yellow flesh somewhat resembles the Grinch’s putrid skin, it seemed like a Christmas version would come out of natural progression. But that never happened! So if you’re insisting on bringing your Boglin home for the holidays this year but are embarrassed about his lack of Christmas flare, throw your cat’s Santa hat on him, strap a bottle of spiked Bog-Nog to those dangly arms of his and you’ll be a golden God in the eye of your family.
* *If you haven’t already, be sure to read TNUC’s first passage about the Boglins from 2012 here before continuing* *
The real reason why they’re in the spotlight this week is in response to a recent message that landed on the desk of TNUC regarding the actual origins of the Boglins! The message came from the toy line’s original creator Tim Clarke, which led me on a discovery of way more than I could have possibly imagined about the beginnings of these freakish little beasts. Prior to Tim’s creation of the Boglins, he worked with the one and only Jim Henson for The Henson Company. His first start in the toy business was designing the first line of figures for The Dark Crystal, which actually never saw the light of day because of issues that Hasbro had with how “dark” the film ended up being. Tim did however keep working with Henson on projects like the Muppets and Fraggle Rock.
After eventually being let go from The Henson Co. due to a lack of work at their end, Tim’s next creation would be the Sectaurs, another popular toy line which landed around the height of Thundercats and Masters of the Universe. Shortly after he commenced work on his pride and joy, the Boglins. He had previously learned about the endless possibilities of working with latex rubber from working with veteran make-up artist Dick Smith on The Dark Crystal. Using this knowledge and inspiration from Mexican “Olmec” heads, the Boglins were created. Even on the earliest prototype of the puppet, they were easily hand-operated and somewhat human-like. If you pulled on the original Boglin’s tail, it’s hands would open and close.
Deals were made and contracts were signed that in time had Tim’s creatures in the hands of Mattel
and the Boglins
as we know would rise to success and popularity. Years later and following multiple versions of the puppets (both big & small), the final Boglin
was released sometime during the nineties.
Recently there’s been a resurgence and appreciation of these grotesque but lovable tiny beings. Besides being traded by collectors for high prices on auction sites, over the past few months I’ve seen Boglin t-shirts and artwork being bought and sold from fans. As for mastermind Tim Clarke, he unveiled a new toy line called TOTIMS at Designer-Con in Pasadena, CA last November. Be sure to head on over to his site TimClarkeToys.tumblr.com to see more behind the scenes photos, drawings and prototypes of the beloved Boglins!